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Fashion Stores

The Devil's Workshop

Posted by Tim / Posted on December 26, 2007

Buying a ring for a loved one is not for the faint of heart. With so many different stones, metals, designs, sizes and price-points, a trip to the local jewellery store can be just a tad overwhelming. Luckily, there's The Devil's Workshop, a 2 year old boutique/workshop nestled in the Chocolate Factory Lofts across from Trinity Bellwoods Park.

While the boutique side of the store stocks off the shelf rings and jewellery made by a number of local, professional artists, it's the workshop half that I find the most intriguing. Among the many classes on offer like Silversmith for Beginners, Lost Wax Casting and Glass Fusing, the Wedding Band Workshop ($240 per person, or $320 for a couple) is the most popular, if not also a relationship saver. Held every Saturday from 12 to 6pm, students (mostly with no prior experience) make their own bands in silver or any karat of gold from scratch to finish.

Owner Sarah Wan told me she created The Wedding Band Workshop a few years ago as a couple's class for a Valentines Day promotion. Over time, people kept calling for the class so she made it a regular item on their menu. According to Sarah "The class is great fun and students are always so impressed with themselves in the end. I love teaching the wedding band workshop because it's like teaching them a magic trick. They have had no prior experience and somehow they are able to make these perfect bands! It's a kick!"

To find out more about the goings-on at The Devil's Workshop, I recently connected with Sarah who happily answered my questions below. Read on:

What inspired you to create the store?

It's hard to explain. It was something I just had to do. I was teaching at a couple of places downtown while making jewellery in my home studio but never made a steady job of it. Opening up my own shop somehow gave me job security and control of my future. As scary as it is to run your own business, I feel better this way.

Who is your typical customer?

My typical jewellery customer seems to live in our neighbourhood, is female, maybe 28-45 and has an appreciation for something that is designed and made by an artisan's own hand. My workshop students fall in the same gender and age range but tend not to be the same people that buy my jewellery.

My workshop students are from all over the city and are taking the class for many different and interesting reasons. Some are looking for a hobby. Some have more than dabbled in beads and want to take their jewellery to the next level, and some just do it for the love of jewellery.
What sort of jewellery do you have for sale in the store? What are your most popular items?

I have my jewellery as well as jewellery by other professionals in the city. I carry unique handmade pieces. Among the most popular items right now are my ringlet necklaces. Everyone seems to like them. I do a lot of custom work, engagement rings and wedding bands.

Are there any new workshops or initiatives planned in 2008?

I have just added Open Studio Friday - Self Directed. It will start in January and take place once a month. Students who have taken a few classes with me or the equivalent can come in and work on whatever they want in a classroom setting. I am looking forward to adding enameling to our workshop soon. Can't wait!



Dave / December 27, 2007 at 10:28 am
My wife and I made our rings here last year. Not only was it tonnes of fun, but we actually managed to produce a couple of beautiful rings at the end of the day.
Johnny Johnson / December 27, 2007 at 05:32 pm

I have bought many pieces there for my wife as she loves Sarahs designs.

I heard that she may be having her first sale ever this Saturday (December 29th, 2007). Can anyone confirm this?

Gen / December 27, 2007 at 05:45 pm
REALLY?! I thought she was closed for the holidays. My sister asked for Devil's Workshop jewellery for Christmas. Maybe I'll stock up for her birthday...she loved the black disc-bead 3-strand necklace I got her!
vanessa / December 27, 2007 at 06:17 pm
i really like the variety Devil's has. along with some beautiful metal pieces are some really lovely ceramic, glass and beadwork. before the holidays i saw some really nice floral patterned brass disc earrings. i'll just have to gift them to myself.
Erin / December 28, 2007 at 01:07 am
This place looked great and I was thrilled when I wandered in and realized workshops were offered. I jumped at a gift certificate for my Mom's 60th birthday and she loved the idea. Unfortunately, my Mom's experience in trying to book a class was less than desirable. She tried booking many times, often cancelled by the owner. At one point, the owner couldn't find any record of her gift certificate and did not want to honour the booking. In the end, my Mom ended up asking for money back (which was honoured) as the experience was too frustrating. I wish others luck as the jewellery was beautiful and the workshops sound like a great experience, when you can get in.
Sarah / January 2, 2008 at 05:33 pm
Yes! We will hold our first sale ever at The Devil's Workshop this Saturday, January 5th!
We will have handmade jewellery discounted from 15 to 40% off

I feel compelled to respond to the comment posted by Erin. I tried my best to please your mother and even offered a free class on top of the full refund I gave her for gift certificate and apologised profusely for the mix up. I never did meet your mother in person and all our correspondence was done via email, I admit there was some confusion as to weather she held a gift certificate or not as she kept quoting a "ticket number" a term I didn?t recognize, but I simply asked her to bring it with her when she came in and all would be cleared up. I hope she will attempt to take the class again as I am sure they will be very pleased with the workshop. This confusion occurred about 2 years ago and I haven?t had a problem before or since, but to make registration easier we now have an automated registration system on our website to simplify matters. Oh the growing pains of starting up New Business :(
Alex / January 26, 2008 at 09:11 pm
I just made an engagement ring here and I am so glad that I did it at The Devil's Workshop..
It was a very fun and relaxing environment, Sarah was very helpful and the ring worked out extremely well.
I cannot believe that my first ring turned out so well.
We are coming back to do our wedding bands.
If you want a unique and very personal way to make a gift or special item for someone then I would highly suggest coming here!
M / April 14, 2011 at 06:57 pm
What is the minimum age for the silversmithing for beginners course?
m bowman / August 27, 2013 at 10:45 pm
No happy with the class. The owner has an arrogant attitude towards students. She does not get it. We pay for your service and to learn WITH RESPECT !
Never go back to this place.............
m / November 3, 2014 at 11:48 am
I just wanted to write a recommendation for Sarah, and the staff at the Devil's Workshop. We worked with Sarah extensively over several months to create custom engagement and wedding bands, and we could not be more delighted with the results! Sarah was very patient while we worked through the design process, and showed her skills in computer design as well as hand carving (which is what we ended up with). Sarah was willing to go through the extra effort to make prototypes of the designs to make sure we were happy, and this helped us refine the design, and ultimately completely change the direction we were going. Thank you so much for creating pieces of art that are imbued with so much care and attention, and that we will treasure for a life time!
Potential customer / June 7, 2015 at 11:30 am
I really love the concept however I must say that I strongly dislike the name of the business. Why would you use the word "devil" in your company which produces wedding rings.

I am not religious at all, I just don't think it is a professional or mature choice of brand name and for this reason I am hesitant to do business here. Sorry.

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