The Workingsilver Studio is pleased to offer excellent instruction to its students!  All our instructors have extensive training and experience in the medium or for the class they are teaching, and they love to share their knowledge with others excited about the art of jewellery making.

Laurie Emerslund aka “the Beadist”

My first trip to a bead store was when I was nine. My best friend at the time and I convinced my mother to take us to a shop on West 4th Avenue which was the hippy part of town at that time. I remember walking into the shop with its incense, bead curtains and groovy music and immediately feeling I was home. Since then I have been obsessed with beads of all kinds, from different times and different cultures. I especially love stone beads which is partly due to the fact that my father was something of an amateur geologist. I remember trips in the summer to out of the way places in B.C. to look for fossils and jade and even to try panning for gold! I am also fascinated by the myths and lore that surround these treasures of the earth. Each stone is beautiful and unique, and carries its own special magic. I love creating one of a kind jewelry that shows off the beauty of each stone, whether it be cheap or outrageously expensive. I enjoy sharing my knowledge and hope that my passion for stones will be inspiration for others to create beautiful jewellery to wear and enjoy!

Gwen Jongejan

While working as a field biologist in Tanzania, Gwen was often drawn into the gem shops of Africa.  The sparkly jewels were a stark contrast to the dusty streets outside.  After having purchased some of these stones, she returned home to find she couldn’t afford to have them set, so she enrolled in a class at a local college determined to learn how to do this herself.  And so began a rather circuitous journey into the world of silversmithing.

That first class opened the doors to a craft of seemingly endless possibilities, not only of techniques but of design.  It is the exploration of these possibilities that inspires her and feeds a curiosity that continues to push the boundaries of her knowledge and skill.

Over the years, Gwen has had the good fortune to have been taught by some very generous teachers, and she is excited to share this knowledge with her students.

Naomi Evans

Workingsilver is pleased to welcome Naomi Evans to our roster of studio Instructors.  After completing both a BFA and a MFA in ceramics, Naomi worked as a successful studio potter.  She was always fascinated by jewellery and returned to school to retrain as a goldsmith.  In 2004, she moved from Cambridge, MA to Vancouver, where she works as a studio jeweller.  Naomi uses traditional fabricating and stone setting techniques, incorporating silver, gold, and precious and semi-precious stones and beads into her work.  She has always put great emphasis on function, and her jewellery is both comfortable and stylish.  For Naomi, nature, architecture and utilitarian crafts are sources of inspiration.

“I love creating things.  I love creating well crafted, beautifully designed things.  I love, most of all, creating these things for others to take home and cherish.” (Naomi)

You can view and purchase Naomi’s jewellery HERE

Serena Bartok

If you ever have Serena over to your place and leave her alone, you will find her in one of the following places; conversing and playing with whatever animal you happen to have, scanning your bookshelf, or rummaging through your jewellery box. Jewellery items have always held a certain fascination, they tell a lot about a person, their style, personality, and hold personal sentiments and stories of their own. It is all these things that drew Serena toward creating wearable art. Her first jewellery pieces were created in her early high school years from pieces items found at early morning garage sales and flea markets her grandmother would drag her to.  The jewellery pieces were taken apart, the components added to stores of previously acquired pieces, and new chockers and bracelets were created. From old forgotten stories, new ones were made.

Serena is self-taught in the art of beading, wire work and jewellery design. Metal work and fine jewellery making however required quality instruction. The need to keep expanding her skills brought her to her first metals class in 2007. She loved the possibilities this added to design choices, along with being able to create completely new pieces from scratch rather than assembling things together.  A few night classes lead to enrolling full-time in the Vancouver Community College VCC Jewellery Art and Design program in 2014, where she finished first year with the Overall Acheivement Award from Cavalier Jewelers. Serena has now completed the VCC program with distinction winning several major awards.

Serena loves teaching and is excited to pass on her skills, tips and tricks to budding jewellery artists in Workingsilver classes.

Adam Kelliher

Broken Ox Creations

After completing an A.A. in Environmental Studies and now another in Philosophy, Adam takes a sustainability approach to his art and works towards creating the most eco friendly work possible, while still creating pieces he is proud to display for eternity.

Lapidary work and jewellery are areas in which Adam excels.  He is grateful for the instruction and support he has received by many in the BC Lapidary community.

Adam practices his craft at home, enjoys the challenge of learning new techniques, and sharing his knowledge with students.

FaceBook: Broken Ox Creations

Here is a wonderful article about Adam and his creative journey:

Liz McDonald

Liz is a busy artist, teacher and advisor. Her Precious Metal Clay classes at Workingsilver are FUN and creative.

As Liz says, “.. my newest love, Precious Metal Clay, fine silver, jewelry making, teaching, selling, I love it all.  I live in North Vancouver, Canada, and have travelled to Washington and Oregon in the US for great classes and now I teach classes here. What a satisfying form of art, so organic. The comments by many people go something like this ‘where did you get those earrings’ ‘I made them’ ‘No way’ ‘ yes and I teach classes’ then hand out a business card.  The right side of my brain is happy.”

For more about Liz and to see some of her work, visit her website: HERE

Kathy Brandon

Kathy has always loved working with her hands and has tried many and varied crafts over the years. However, it was a class in hand fabricating silver jewellery about 14 years ago that really ignited her passion for creating.  Since that time, Kathy has continued to train in the art of silversmith jewellery making, and she learns from the creative process as it unfolds with every piece of jewellery she makes.

Kathy enjoyed silversmithing as a wonderfully creative and balancing hobby during her career as a Clinical Social Worker and over time her hobby grew into an exciting business.   Kathy developed about 8 years ago, expanding beyond her ecommerce shop and selling her finished jewellery to the Workingsilver Retail Store and Teaching Studio in New Westminster, BC about 3 years ago.

Kathy’s work can be seen and purchased on this site by clicking “Finished Jewellery”.  Thank you for shopping!!

Kelly Allanson

Kelly Allanson finds jewellery an amazing way to express herself.  Drawn to textures and layers, both are seen throughout her work.  The boxes of beads that accompanied her on childhood family vacations were just the beginning of her jewellery journey.  Graduating from Vancouver Community College’s Jewellery Art and Design Program in 2000, Kelly gained a strong base knowledge of traditional techniques allowing her to develop and refine her nature-inspired design aesthetic.  She has spent the ensuring years building on those techniques, branching out and exploring her craft, and selling her work at various galleries and artisan fairs.  She gladly shares her knowledge and experience with her students in the various workshops and classes she teaches.

Please visit to view Kelly’s work.