Liane Vaz

Liane Vaz was told in the 8th grade by a multiple choice quiz that she would be a jeweller! At that moment of her life, she dreamed of being a world-famous fashion designer, Liane thought big!, and this prediction disappointed her.

But it seems Career Cruising's algorithm got it right, because she graduated from OCAD University with a degree in Jewellery & Metalsmithing Design in 2013, and did so with her family's approval, which surprised her. Coming from a strict, religious South Asian family, Liane believed her parents would ask her to stop at some point and go to school in a more academic field.

After completing her course and training, she started working at Made You Look Jewellery studio in Toronto in 2016, where she fully launched her business and collections. Today, Liane still loves her job, and we can say she is really good at it! It means the world to her to think that her creations will be treasured for a very long time, well-loved first by one, and then maybe by many. 

Choosing to use not only traditional jewellery techniques, Liane also manipulates alternative materials to bring a fresh look to her collections. Liane’s aesthetics embrace symmetry and linear composition – employing details thought the use of texture. She loves to explore naturally occurring patterns and precise geometry to create every day and special-occasion pieces.

We're happy to present to you a short interview in which you'll learn about what inspires Liane, what she loves and get a glimpse of who she is. 

Who are the artists you love the most, who inspire you or accompany you?  Do they influence your work, and if so, in what way?

It's hard to move through life without collecting inspiration and influence from artists of various disciplines! While I cannot pick favorites by any means, I definitely feel inspired and empowered by researching into various forms; from fashion (Sabyasachi) to architecture (Victor Horta) to glass (René Lalique) to photography (Alyssa Thorne) as well as eras like gothic revival, art deco, mid-century modern, and more.

There are so many ways to draw inspiration from studying shapes, light and shadow, technique, methodology. 

How do you deal with times when you feel stuck or frustrated in your work?

Do you have any strategies for overcoming these obstacles?

I travel! I know it's a big luxury, but it's the best way to get myself out of a rut when I haven't been able to create anything new for myself in a while. There's nothing like experiencing the architecture and art of another country to get your owncreative wheels running. 

If you could be reincarnated as a flower, which one would you choose and why?

I'm a huge fan of dried flowers so this is a hard question to answer! I think it would be between New York Night helleborus or a white bleeding heart. My grandma planted bleeding hearts all over the garden when she used to live with my family as a child. We have never had to replant them over these last (almost) three decades - they just come back every year. My grandma passed away in 2022 and it's a beautiful reminder of her whenever I see one. I even have a bleedingheart tattooed on my ankle!

As for the NYN helleborus - they grow best in the shade and bloom in the winter months...perfect for someone who does not like the sun or the summer! The hellebore is also linked to the myth of Persephone, whose name is the Greek version of my grandmother's middle name :)

How do you think art can have an impact on society or on people's lives?

How does your own work fit into this larger context?

My favorite part of what I do is being able to contribute positively to someone's story, even in a little way. Being able to create little pieces of art that are meant to last lifetimes as a way of commemorating a moment or immortalizing a feeling or a person is such a gift that I do not take for granted. My process also relies on education of the craft itself, and I find that my clients walk away with an even better understanding of how important it is to support the arts and small businesses.

Do you have any guilty pleasures?

So many, but not too many that I actually feel guilty about haha! My life is very much go-go-go both for work and in my personal sphere, so whenever I get the rare chance to do a full-day movie marathon on my couch with my husband and our dog and a HUGE bowl of popcorn, I take it!

We are both big movie people and always have a long ongoing list of movies to watch together and separately.

Is there a movie you could watch on repeat and never tire of?

As a child I watched the 1999 film The Mummy maybe a hundred times. Now, I often find myself putting on limited series like Flanagan's The Haunting of Hill House in the background while working (it takes on a different meaning every time I have watched it, so I have not gotten tired yet!)

Finally, what is your favorite museum (worldwide)?

The V&A in London and the MET in New York have special places in my heart. I could spend ages in both museums and never get bored. I haven't been to either museum in a very long time and would love to go back when I am in either city.

I also always try to find little lesser-known museums wherever I go, like the Museum of Witchcraft & Sorcery in northern Iceland or the Bone Chapel in southern Portugal.

Thank you for sharing a little of yourself with us, Liane!