Adornment is extremely powerful and has been used since early times as a way to express ourselves creatively and spiritually. I am thrilled that my collectors feel that their Cheryl Jacobs piece really touches them and means something to them on a deeper level.
I knew early on that I would be travelling an artist’s path in life. Initially, I was drawn to fashion and studied fabric arts at Capilano College in Vancouver, BC.
A visit see my aunt in San Anselmo, California was a life changing experience. My aunt was a successful dress designer and manufacturer and while staying with her I signed up for a silversmithing class at San Francisco State University and fell in love with making Jewelry. An incredible opportunity presented itself and I was offered a full time apprenticeship with Janet Alix, a well known goldsmith in the Bay area. A trip to Egypt was instrumental as an influence as well and walking through the Cairo museum, room after room of incredible gold handmade exquisite jewelry, my path was determined.
I was hooked.
During my years in California I sold and promoted my jewelry to the public and local galleries, this was my time to develop my style. I was also able to attend casting, fabrication and granulation classes at the esteemed Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts. By this time I had a child and worked from her home doing one of a kind pieces for a high end clothing shop in Berkeley. The owner gave me free reign to design a line to complement his clothing. I also honed my skills by making a high end line of gold jewelry for another customer and my business was started.
In 1993 my family felt ready for a more tranquil environment to live in and raise our son and on a trip to Canada where I was born, we found and fell in love with Denman Island. The forest, beaches, solitude and a quiet community of little more than a thousand people.
Moving to Canada meant leaving all my California contacts behind and starting my jewelry business all over again in an area where I was not known . I worked at the Comox Valley Art Gallery as the manager and was given a self-employment grant to upgrade my skills. I used this year to teach myself the process of lost wax casting. This meant mastering new techniques, it was a challenge but an exciting one.
North Island College hired me to teach in the newly developed Metal Jewelry Design Program and I have been teaching there since 2011. It has fueled a passion for teaching and I began teaching at recreation centers on Vancouver Island and Metchosin International School of the Arts in Sooke.
In 2016 I moved from Denman Island to Cumberland , B.C., where I am fortunate to have a studio large enough to teach classes out of my home and continue to create my unique line of jewelry.
I’ve had a long working relationship with jewelry and I’m proud to say 2020 will be my 34th year making my living as a jeweller. I’m an established artist who sells my work in galleries across Canada and I’m in demand as a teacher throughout Vancouver Island. In 2011, North Island College hired me to help develop a Metal Jewelry Design program and I’ve been teaching there ever since. I also teach at rec centres, other colleges, take on private students and the occasional apprentice. I have a table at various juried shows around British Columbia, which really gives me a chance to connect and have a relationship with the people who buy and admire my work.
ABOUT MY JEWELRY
Everything I work with comes out of the earth and the ocean. Silver. Bones. Corals. Fossils. Stones. Shells. Freshwater pearls. Nature is amazing and I want to capture that sense of awe and appreciation in my pieces.
Some of my pieces include seashells and pebbles I’ve picked up during my years of walking on Denman Island beaches and even the fossils I’ve found on my own hiking trips.
A special piece of jewelry can tell a story, hold our memories, connect us to our deep beliefs, or feel like a talisman that offers protection or strength.
All of my work is made completely by hand and most pieces are unique, dictated by the energy I feel as I work with the materials.