Romancing the Stone – How to design your custom ring

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For the Calgary Herald:1-Traditional hand tools meet the latest technology in Paul Kangas' workshop Photo courtesy Paul Kangas

When Jim Ball decided to surprise his wife Marilyn with a custom ring for their tenth anniversary, he took his design to his favorite jeweler 10 months ahead of time.  He wasn’t worried about how long it would take; he was looking forward to the experience.  Jim and Marilyn had designed her wedding bands, based on her vision of a piece of lace set with a yellow diamond, as well as other pieces over the years. According to Peter Kangas, of Kangas Diamonds and Custom Jewellery, most people who are looking for custom rings are not young newlyweds.  Generally speaking, they are couples like Jim and Marilyn, who have been together for more than a few years.  They usually have a design in mind and are looking for something distinctive and unique from jeweller like Peter who can, as Jim says, “draw out of you what …

Memories Made of Ice

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1-The Silence Below 2014 Winner

For AAA Home and Away Magazine, Southern Pennsylvania and online: 

Every January, a palace of ice rises on the frozen glacier waters of Lake Louise to signal the start of the Ice Magic Festival in Banff National Park, Alberta. Surrounded by the knife-edged peaks that mark the Continental Divide in the Canadian Rockies, Lake Louise has always been known for its spectacular beauty in summer, but when the trees put on their white sweaters and powdery snow covers the ski hills and mountain trails, Lake Louise becomes a magnet for those who crave the exhilaration of the outdoors in winter.

In 2014, against the backdrop of massive limestone peaks, a select group of international artists created works of the most fragile beauty – the ice sculptures of the 20th annual Lake Louise Ice Magic Festival.  Only carvers who had won in previous years were invited to take part in …