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 design at Capilano College in North Vancouver. A chance visit to see family in California was a life changing experience. I signed up for a basic silversmithing class at San Francisco State University and fell in love with metal.
An incredible opportunity then presented itself and I was offered a fulltime jewelry apprenticeship with Janet Alix, a well known jeweler in the Bay area. Just after starting my apprenticeship, a trip to Greece, Turkey and Egypt was instrumental in deepening my appreciation for the metal arts. Walking through the museums of antiquity and seeing the incredible craftsmanship was a huge inspiration.
Two years later, and ending my apprenticeship, I started to sell and promote my own work, developing my style at the same time. Doing small shows and starting off with custom orders, I was finding a customer base. During this time I started taking classes at the prestigious Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Francisco and cultivated an interest in lost wax casting and granulation.
My son was born in 1987 and I decided to start a small home-based jewelry business and took on a job with a Berkley based retail store creating one of a kind custom pieces of jewelry to complement their line of beautiful clothing. This gave me complete freedom to create and establish myself as an artist. I then did a year of custom goldsmithing for another small company out of San Francisco, and was able to further my skills working in gold.
Change is a constant and just as I was creating a customer base as a jeweler, my family decided to move back to Canada. We were ready for a more tranquil environment and relocated to a small Gulf island off of the coast of Vancouver Island.
We fell in love with Denman Island and the quiet community of little more than a thousand people. The next phase of my business was to open a jewelry studio to the public in the summer months. I was part time manager of the Comox Valley Art Gallery craft shop and given a year long grant with the SEEDS program to teach myself the process of lost wax casting. It was a challenge and took my work to a different level.
I’ve had a long relationship working with metal and am proud to say that 2020 will be my 34th year making my living as a jeweler. Teaching now takes up a lot of my time. I teach at North Island College, in their Metal Jewelry Design Program in Campbell River. I teach part time classes at recreation centres and at Argentum Jewelry School in Victoria, as well as the Metchosin International School of the Arts in Sooke. I also give private classes out of my studio to groups and have apprenticed students as well. My studio and home is now located in the small village of Cumberland, in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island.
I’ve done many craft shows such as the Filberg Festival, Circle Craft, One of A Kind and Out of Hand. My work can be found in galleries across Canada and I do custom out of my home-based studio as well as repairs.
Everything I work with comes from the earth. Beautiful pearls and semi-precious stones, crystals and fossils, the stones speak to me and that is where my inspiration comes from. A special piece of jewelry can tell a story, hold our memories, connect us to our deepest beliefs and act as a healing talisman that offers protection and strength.