Designer Spotlight: Tim Andrew & Giselle Duval
A brief story of what you do and why you do it.
Giselle and Tim mysteriously transform simple steel into magical mini masterpieces by combining traditional metalworking techniques with a contemporary eye, while looking to mankind's oldest inspirations of Nature and Love.
How did you get into jewelry design?
The story begins when Tim placed a small hammered heart – that he had made from a piece of scrap sheet steel – into the palm of Giselle's hand…
Giselle wore “The Heart” fashioned to a string around her neck while working the local markets and craft fairs while trying to sell their (40 pound!) scrap metal clocks. People kept noticing and commenting on the askew little heart that adorned her neck.
Tim watched as the jewelry vendors sold their trinkets non-stop throughout the day and exclaimed “Hey, let's make JEWELRY out of STEEL!” while Giselle thought to herself (out loud) “Who's going to want STEEL JEWELRY?”
Fate, luck, chance – and a double dose of Capricorn stubbornness – paved the way for the next 8 years of taking an unconventional jewelry making material and turning it into a viable and ever-evolving line of undeniably distinct, wearable metal art.
Translation: Many years of backbreaking work, trial and error, a bunch of ugly stuff, opening a fancy-shmancy Art Gallery, torrents of tears, sleepless nights, costly mistakes, closing a fancy-shmancy Art Gallery, countless cross-Canada adventures, (full of cheap motels, gut wrenching road food with one severe case of food poisoning, unfeasible frustrations, airport calamities, ferry fiascos, car catastrophes and more!) lots of laughs, buckets of broken tools, a major move, constant self-critisisms, questions, concerns, confusions, happiness, glory and pride…
Oh, sorry! What was the question?
What makes your collection unique?
Although there are many physical facets that set the work of THE RAVE ‘N' IRON apart from other Fashion Jewelry Designers the most noteworthy quality is the reoccurring emotional responses encountered due to the nostalgia and memories that their designs evoke. They have seen many a tear and have heard oodles of heart-expanding personal stories from complete strangers that had them too, involuntarily weeping.
Upswells of emotion aside…
- Their chosen medium of Reclaimed Steel and the 40-step process that they've developed.
- The gorgeous, natural heat-tempering colours and patinas that they have learned to achieve.
- The FREE HAND engraving using hand-held rotary tools; without the aid of any stencils, lasers, computer programs or machinery of any kind.
- The fact that every single piece is made BY HAND, by Giselle and/or Tim, from start to finish.
- The focus on Canadian Design Themes portrayed in their work.
- The extensive range of shapes, sizes and styles of Fashion Jewelry and Designer Accessories that they have to offer.
- THE RAVE ‘N' IRON has Gifts for MEN!
- The vast demographic of buyers and widespread appeal of their work.
- Quality Findings, a Certificate of Authenticity and a Gift Bag are included with each purchase.
- A ‘Designer Direct' sales approach… (Can you tell that they are CONTROL FREAKS?)
What are your inspirations?
Nature, as always… The muse!
How are you making a difference in your life?
By making a late December move three years ago from the bustling Capital City of Victoria, British Columbia to the absolute wilderness of the Kootenay Mountains to an off-grid, riverside cabin, the lives and ideals that Giselle & Tim had established were shaken to the core.
Priorities quickly changed, lessons had to be learned, survival skills honed and an unexpected appreciation developed for the strength and generosity of their small Community. The definition of the word ‘neighbour' took on a whole new meaning!
Three years later they can look back and laugh at the fact that they didn't even have winter boots and had to wear headlamps while eating dinner in a darkness that can only be found in such utter isolation. (They got glorious, glorious Hydro after a very trying first year.)
Now they enjoy a lifestyle brimming with the simple pleasures of the modern pioneer… Gardening, bread-making, baking, harvesting, the stocking up and storage of precious necessities, beer brewing, wine making, the whole ‘firewood' thing, cooking (with much of their food being organic and locally produced… Yum!) bird watching, early nights and weather talk.
What's something unusual about you that makes you “you”?
It is unusual that a couple can connect, create a business, run a business, sell their wares, travel the vastness of their Country, care for their home and pets, cook, shop, work, live and play together while still finding the time to say “I love you” so many times a day.
What's the biggest struggle in running your jewelry business like a business? OR What is your biggest success in running your business like a business?
There is no success without struggle!
- Online exposure/sales/marketing
- Being the Boss of everything
- The development a NEW Jewelry making technique
- Happy Customers and Appreciative Admirers
- Home, Health, Happiness and Love
- Being the Boss of everything
About Tim Andrew & Giselle Duval
THE RAVE ‘N' IRON is the collective creative coalition of Metal Maestros Giselle & Tim; a tribe of two free-spirited, ingenious Designers that like to share their Love of Nature through absolutely One of a Kind, original creations in Reclaimed Steel.
They live in the wilds of the British Columbia Mountains in a small chalet with their two dogs. That's right… Livin' the dream!
Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/theraveniron