In the Artist's Studio With Fia Bruinsma

Most of the blogs I have done for the "In the Artist's Studio" series have been of the painterly sort, not all, but most have been pencil, watercolour, acrylic or oil painters. So it was a new experience to visit the studio of Fia Bruinsma, a silversmith & jewelry maker. I really didn't know what to expect.

I've known Fia for years, our sons played hockey together quite a few years ago. I knew she was a nurse and her husband ran his own business. I knew her children and we would say a friendly "hi, how are you" and that was about that. I didn't know, for instance, that Fia was a local. Born and raised in the area. She never had a desire to leave and try life somewhere else - why would she when everything she loved was right here. Mountains, foothills, prairie and a certain young man.

Little did I know Fia had an alter-ego, she was a jewelry artist. Well, to be fair, she probably wasn't when our boys played hockey - life was too busy with kids, work and keeping life running smoothly. As the nest empties though, and time begins to stretch a little, those personal interests have a chance to take hold.

Her Studio

It was amazing! Her husband created an annex to the garage for her shop, only rider, he gets to borrow tools. Such a variety of tools there are and the machines and equipment, pretty impressive. It was hard equating the delicate, artful, finished pieces with the large, noisy, dangerous tools of the trade. But there you have it - life can be a contradiction.

Everything has a place, though when she gets creating and needs this and that from here or there - well, I guess things can get a little out of control. Good thing I came along for a visit, it was an incentive for a clean-up.

There were persuaders
fine tuners
and reshapers

There was stuff to make everything shiny and bright.


There is an entire vocabulary that goes along with jewelry making. One of the new words I learned was, "cabachon". If I had to describe what that word meant I would not have come close to it's actual meaning. I even got a demonstration on creating a cabachon.

Cabachon - A gem, polished but not faceted.

In addition to shaping cabachons this grinder helps keep the fingernails nicely trimmed.

Specialty Items

Sometimes things need to be warmed up a little - or a lot. Good thing she is a trained nurse.

That Special Something

Every artist I've met seems to have a tool or gadget that they simply cannot get along without. I asked Fia about hers and she introduced me to her Dremel. I'm not convinced that is her special something, I know she uses it regularly and couldn't get along without it but I saw this piece of wood that had obviously been much used and just had a ton of character, I think this gadget just might be her special something.

Cool Things

An interesting chest caught my eye - I love it when "found" things find a new purpose. That was the case with this chest. It is now home to beads, wire, crystals and all sorts of jewelry-making treasurers.

A reminder of other times when one long and two short meant a neighbour was getting a call and you were to stay off the line.

And I find it totally cool that a girl has an anvil in her workshop. You need it if you are persuading something to change its shape.



Equals = These

On the Road

You may catch sight of Fia as she scoots around town on her baby bike. It's not what John and her take when they hit the road, which is one of their favourite pastimes. Being able to spend part of the winter south of the border will hopefully be available next year. I know she is chomping at the bit to get to the Tuscon Rock and Gem Show once again.

Until next time - stay safe and stay healthy.

Created By
Cathy Bennington


C. J. Bennington Fine Art Photography