Hanukkah or Chanukah also known as the Festival of Lights or Feast of Dedication, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the re dedication of the holy temple in Jerusalem. This year the festival starts tomorrow, December 16 and ends on December 24th. The festival is observed by the lighting of candles in a unique candle holder, called a menorah. The typical menorah consists of eight branches, one for each day of the festival, with an additional visually distinct branch. The extra light is called a shamash and is given a distinct location, usually above or below the rest. The purpose of the shamash is to have a light available for practical use, as using the Hanukkah lights themselves for purposes other than publicizing and meditating upon Hanukkah is forbidden. Many families exchange gifts each night, such as books or games and "Hanukkah Gelt" is often given to children. Other Hanukkah festivities include playing dreidel and eating oil based foods such as doughnuts and latkes. I may not be an expert in making doughnuts or latke, but I love the challenge of creating something new that is sure to be treasured by the recipient of such a gift. One traditional Jewish item that I have made in the past is something that every Jewish home must have. A mezuzah, it's a piece of parchment (often contained in a decorative
Monday, November 17, 2014
DuKo designs specializes in custom engagement rings and wedding bands and creates all sorts of jewellery pieces. I'm not limited to creating jewellery objects though. People have contacted me to put my skills to use on many different projects. I've now made three board games. The chess set pictured on the left is made of walnut with hand carved and cast, solid sterling silver pieces. This set depicts ancient Aztecs versus modern Bauhaus figures, they have turquoise and amber accents set into the kings and queens. I recently made the crib board, pictured at right, as a birthday gift for my fiance. The board was made from a piece of maple, the pegs are solid sterling silver and they tuck away inside, when not in use. The last game is Mancala, possibly the worlds oldest game. Mine is made from walnut with sterling silver hinges and clasps, the counting pieces are quartz, tigers eye, hematite, and agate. These sorts of projects are challenging and a true pleasure to make. Let me know if you're in the market for a truly unique and deluxe gift or gaming experience.
Monday, October 20, 2014
I've just returned from backpacking around Europe with my fiance for the past 2 months. Inspiration was everywhere. Architecture is not unlike custom jewellery design. It's just in smaller scale. While in Barcelona, I was awe struck by Antoni Gaudi's Sagrada Familia. His inspiration comes from nature. Spiral staircases like the inside of seashells, church spires topped with details that resembled lavender or an exotic fruit. Just like Gaudi, I too get inspiration from nature. I find the intricate details in a leaf to be beautiful, I've taken a sage leaf and twigs and turned them into rings, earrings and necklaces. These lines are on hand in sterling silver for anyone who would like one for themselves or as a gift for a loved one. I've also done many custom variations using these components as building blocks for unique custom pieces.
Something as distinct and detailed as this church, has taken time to construct. Just like a unique custom jewellery piece. Gaudi's church started construction over 100 years ago and will be many more years before it's finished. I don't need quite that long, but I do enjoy it when a project grabs me and consumes me, taking on a life of its own.
The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona was just one of countless buildings, wonders and sights that we saw in our 2 month whirl wind experience. Now that we're home, I have a refreshed love for my work, with many new ideas that I'm excited to execute.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
2013 was a very big year for me. It was busy and life changing and apparently I didn't have time to post a single blog entry. With so much going on I certainly need to rectify that and fill people in. I met my fiance on Halloween day in 2011 and convinced her to move in with me within a couple of weeks. By Sept of 2012 I had plans to marry her and had a beautiful half carat eighty eight cut diamond set aside for me in my diamond dealers safe. The one I