Handmade Beauty by Lowell

Lowell is a Canadian brand that we are proud to carry. It is a company started in Montreal by Rachel Fortin and Mathieu Mudie with a "simple, urban, and dreamy" aesthetic. We love the way they blend quality, style, and functionality together to create these incredible pieces. A bag from Lowell is a bag for life.

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Lowell uses full grain leather that is ethically sourced from small farms across the USA and Canada. The quality material gives each bag a unique look and it ages with a ruggedly natural beauty. 

Thick leather gives structure and durability to each bag. It softens with age and over the years the natural patina that emerges will give it a personality of its own.

Each piece is made from start to finish by a single worker in their workshop in Montreal, and the larger bags come personally signed.

They have everything from small, daintier purses to large backpacks and totes. The classic styles allow you to dress them up or down, giving them more versatility in your wardrobe.

Next time you're on Granville Island, swing by Paper-Ya and take a peek at what we have!

Blog by Christine Wiebe

Snapshot Interview with local glass artist Minori Takagi

Minori Takagi is a local artist who makes beautiful pieces of glass jewelry. You may recognize some of the pieces that we carry here at Paper-Ya! Here we explore her art and the process that goes into each piece.

1. What made you decide to make jewelry and to work with glass?

I have loved crafts since I was a little girl. I tried many different crafts such as Origami, sewing, knitting, ceramics, and Kumihimo braiding.. but glass was special. The molten glass is a material that you can't touch directly when you are working with it. You have to use tools to shape it. It's challenging but you will get better as you practice.  I think that is why I have worked with glass for 20 years.

Minori at work

Minori at work

2. What is your favourite item to make?

I love working on new pieces. Experimenting with new work is exciting. I've been working on a new product called "Circle Chain". It's a textured circle chain so it reflects the light very well. I also enjoy making unique items. Something like my "eyeball necklace" or "tooth necklace". They are a bit creepy but cute, and definitely fun to wear. I hope people enjoy them as much as I do!

3. How has your style changed over the years?

When I started to make glass beads, I learned the traditional method to make Japanese glass beads called "Tombodama". People collect them or wear one bead on a necklace in Japan. I loved learning techniques and working on the details. But after I moved to Vancouver, people often asked me "it's beautiful but what is this for?" I realized that people are looking for a finished piece of jewelry. Now I am into a modern glass jewelry designs that are "clean+simple". 

4. Could you explain a little bit about the process that goes into making a piece of jewelry? 

My works are all done by torch. It is called Lampwork. I work over the torch to melt glass rods. Flower patterns on/in the beads are also hand made. I make them separately, cut them into small pieces, then melt them into the molten glass bead. 

Next time you're in Paper-Ya, be sure to take a peek at the Minori Takagi pieces that we carry!

You can see more from Minori on her website and instagram.

Blog by Christine Wiebe