Barrie Edwards wore many hats before discovering jewelery making. Along with being the mother of four boys, and wife of many years, she was a sales clerk, a secretary (back when that’s what you called them), a pet store manager, even the owner/operator of a reptile import/wholesale company (what was she thinking?),

In 1993, she discovered a beginner’s jewelery making workshop through the Vancouver School Board’s Continuing Education program, and devoured the eight Saturday morning classes with a vengeance. This turned out to be the biggest life altering experience she’d ever had. Once the classes were over, she began the process of teaching herself the craft. Within six months she was selling her jewellery at a Steveston boutique, and signing up for art and craft shows throughout the Lower Mainland.

After two years of designing, creating and selling, she decided that she wanted to try to give back some of what she had learned, and began teaching silversmithing classes. Her goal was, and still is, to give students somewhere to ask questions that would otherwise go unanswered and offer them a relaxing, enjoyable introduction to making silver jewelery. She continues to teach these classes at Mountain Gems in Burnaby, and at the Fraser Valley College in Abbotsford and Chilliwack.

Several years ago, one of her students introduced her to lampwork glass beads. In her usual manner, she threw herself into it with a passion. Her familiarity of flame and heat has enabled her to excel in this intriguing new medium. She began teaching lampwork classes, again offering students an opportunity to learn from a generous teacher.

In 2004, she decided that BC needed it’s own bead show, so she organized the first annual Fraser Valley Bead Show. 2008 will be the fifth year of the show, and promises to be bigger and better than ever!

To this day, she remains thoroughly hooked on silver, gemstones and beads and balances a busy career as a silversmith with an equally busy career as a bead artist and show organizer.


8 responses

12 06 2008

Hi Barrie, love your blog computer not working right again.I am very illw/spinal cord issues -LIz

18 01 2010

I have read on a forum that you use a trumbler quite often.

I wanna trumble harened steel.
have you every tried that?

maybe you could give me some infos

would be great

19 01 2010

Hi Fred!
yes, I do use a tumbler but I’m using steel shot to polish silver which is a softer metal than hardened steel. I would suggest contacting Rio Grande’s live help and ask them for pointers on polishing hardened steel. All I do for silver, brass, copper and gold is put polished steel shot (mixed shapes – available at places like Rio Grande), I add enough water to cover the steel by about 1/2 an inch and about a teaspoon of Ivory bar soap (grated). Lots of people I’ve heard of use Dawn dish soap, but I haven’t tried that one yet. I prefer Ivory bar soap (99.9% pure soap). Then the lid goes on the barrel and I let it tumble from an hour to 8 hours depending on how many pieces are in it.
Good luck!

17 06 2010

Hi Barrie,
It is me your headache again!!!!! I am just doing a ring and my solder isn’t melting at all. I don’t know if solder can get too old to us or what. It is quite a few years old.
I used flux on it and on the solder but it won’t melt. HELP!!!!!!


6 02 2014

Good morning Barrie.
It is great to see BC artists online! And especially one so versatile. I very new to artisan work and so am seeking an affordable source for metal (wire or plate) for silver jewelry making and lampwork glasses in BC. I am living in the far north (most north-westerly community in all of BC). If you have any suggestions, I greatly appreciate hearing them. Thanks.
Are you planning on a Whitehorse teaching session? I understand that the Yukon College is looking for instruction proposals… just in case you want to see the Canadian North. Many thanks for going online, Sarina

3 04 2014
Clo Nickel

Hi Barrie, I am very interested in doing the Simply Charming Bracelet course that I believe you teach in UFV and much to my dismay I seem to have just missed it 😦 Do you teach privately or will you be having another one soon in the Fraser Valley? Thanks!

16 12 2014
Colin Genders

Hi Barrie, my wife has a handmaid sterling silver chain on which hangs a large silver mounted cabachon, unfortunately ring for hanging the cabachon has broken off and needs to be replaced. I used to create gold and silver jewelry, but that was in the past and I no longer have the necessary tools to do the job myself. It would be wonderful if you could see your way repairing the piece, paricularly as it has significant sentimental reason to my wife.

1 05 2017
John Craig

Hello Barrie, I have a beautiful large Spinel and wonderful Kimberlite for sale, email me and I can send the information if you are interested, I am in Chilliwack now but was living in Nunavut and was prospecting in my spare time there.

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