SparkleSwap is pleased to introduce our featured ‘Artist of the Month’ for October, 2019: Eugenia Chan.
Eugenia Chan was born and raised in Hong Kong. She started her nursing career right after graduating from high school. Seven years later, she got married, quit her job and started running a die casting factory in the family business. In 1976, Eugenia moved to Canada with her son and daughter and has lived there ever since. In 2009, she retired from real estate and has been enjoying her new-found hobby in jewelry making and tool invention. This year is a very special year for Eugenia, as she has celebrated her 80th birthday in January and her only grandson graduated from high school and is on his way to university. Today, Eugenia is still living in Richmond, BC with Karlie, her sweet 13 year-old Maltipoo by her side.
Around 2013, Eugenia took a workshop on metalsmithing which included some enameling, a technique she had longed to learn. It was her first experience and she was not comfortable with the available techniques for firing the enamel. She asked her instructor if there were tools available to hold and secure the piece. Her instructor replied ‘NO’, but if she could think of something that works, she would be a millionaire!!!! Well, that was a challenge and 6 month later, her first jewelry making tool was born!
It is the TORCH/KILN ENAMEL BASKET AND HANDLE SET OF 3. It includes a stainless steel Basket with base which can sit inside the kiln. You can also drop the Basket onto the tripod and lastly, you can thread the handle onto the Basket and fire with a torch.
Since then, she has invented 9 more unique tools for Enameling, Soldering and Cold Connection. They help to make the procedure so much easier and more enjoyable. Please check out her website www.eugenia-c.com for more details. Her tools are distributed by Euro Tools Inc. Some of them are available for purchase on her website as well as online stores.
I met Eugenia earlier this year at the Tucson Gem Show. I was just learning how to enamel and was introduced to Eugenia at the JewelryTools.com booth (they carry all of her tools). I marveled as she demonstrated the brilliant tools she invented (some of them have been absolute game-changers for me in my own workshop, particularly her Steel Riveting Block as well as her Enameling Spatula and stencils). Not only is she a brilliant and talented inventor, but her work is positively stunning.
Eugenia, thank you for generously sharing yourself with us this month!
SparkleSwap: Please describe your artistic style and medium?
Eugenia: I have no idea what to call my style! I love working with sterling silver & copper and creating pieces with techniques learned over the years from many talented instructors.
SparkleSwap: We have to agree; your style is unique and very special! It’s difficult to put you into one particular category, since you successfully incorporate multiple techniques.
SparkleSwap: How did you get started in your craft?
Eugenia: In 2007, I was killing time in the craft section of a book store and the cover of a craft book caught my eyes. The book was called “A Bead on a Wire” by Sharilyn Miller. This got me started in wire wrapping that eventually lead me into metalsmithing and enamelling.
SparkleSwap: What is your favorite place to shop for supplies and why?
Eugenia: Rio Grande as a one stop supplier. For stones, gem shows. I like to check out the actual colours and the feel of the stones.
SparkleSwap: From where do you draw your inspiration?
Eugenia: Books, videos and nature.
SparkleSwap: What is your favorite tool right now?
Eugenia: My Titanium Bezel Soldering Grip.
SparkleSwap: Ah yes, we’ve had our eye on this tool, too! It helps to keep the bezel flush against the backplate when soldering! So clever!
SparkleSwap: Do you have any tips or recommendations for new and aspiring artists?
Eugenia: Love what you do, keep learning and keep in mind the three “Ps”: Practice, Practice & Practice.
SparkleSwap: What is one of your biggest challenges as an artist and how do you overcome this?
Eugenia: Creativity! Sometimes I have to walk away, relax and come back later in hours or days to finish the piece.
SparkleSwap: How can we contact you if we are interested in purchasing your products or would like additional information?
Eugenia: Tools are available to purchase on my website, www.eugeniac.com. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org