Into the studio: Basic Gré techniques explained

Into the studio: Basic Gré techniques explained

Jan 06, 2024Isa Tousignant

One of the questions we get asked most when we sell our goods in shops or fairs is, “but how’s it made”? This post is your answer. What usually comes first is the idea, the shape, the colour combo, the look — then come the techniques, drawn from silversmithing, painting, sculpting, fibre arts and general craftiness. Invention and innovation are at the heart of Gré.


To make our necklaces, whether it’s our amulets, mini talismans or bunches, it all begins with the stone. Whatever mood we’re looking to invoke, that’s what guides the choice — and then comes the fun. We call it our process of edification, when we endow nature’s bounty with resin, polymers, acrylics, precious gems, sparkle and good juju. Our findings are 10k gold and our chains are either gold-plated or gold-filled, depending on the model.


The process for our powerpuff cuff bracelets starts with a metal structure. Next come the crystals and stones: they’re pierced, so that we can weave them onto the metal structure with a wire so they’ll never come off. After that we play: with polymer, resin and all kinds of crazy materials, we cover that whole structure and make it into a wearable sculpture. If ever the stones on your cuff become wiggly, rest assured: they just feel like moving a little! They won’t come off.

For our crystal cuff bracelets, the techniques are different: we start by sculpting a mould, which our friendly local foundry turns into sterling silver or brass. We file, sand, polish, sweat and slave over that beauty for days, until it’s as smooth and shiny as our soul. Then on go the stones and crystals, woven on with a metal wire, then polymer, resin and more, more, more. 


Our rings are made just like our crystal cuff bracelets, but smaller. We start by sculpting a mould which we get cast in sterling silver or brass, then file, sand and polish it lovingly until it reflects more light than a mirror on the moon. Then we decorate: stones, crystals, glass, pearls and so much more get woven on with metal wire, and all that goodness is then encased in a layer of polymer and resin. BAM! A one-of-a-kind Gré ring.


Our earrings and ear cuffs start with a solid sterling silver or brass plate, which we hand-saw into our desired shapes. Then we heat, bend, whack, file, sand, polish, polish and polish until they look like the beautiful images in our head. Onto that we add our mixed media stylings, including precious and semi-precious stones, polymers, resins and more. A little different for every earring, because we’ve found that no two things — even within pairs — are exactly alike.

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