DISCOVER six commonly-asked questions we get asked about Joseph and his jewelry line...and his answers, below!
What better way than to find out from the artist himself - and find out how serendipity and a little luck helped him on his artistic journey.
Question #1: A lot of customers ask where your jewellery shapes come from. Are they from a certain language or culture?
Joseph: I say yes. The shapes are in fact from the international language of love, as well as my ideas of the universe. I work to essentially capture love, in all my designs.
My jewelry line is designed to look at the many stages of love, from young romantic love to the love between partners, to the love a mother feels for her child. My jewelry grows with them... from a Family of three to Family of Five, Six, and even Seven!
Question #2: A lot of people ask if silver will tarnish. How do you polish your own silver?
Joseph: Only stainless steel won't tarnish. I use a basic, simple polishing solution at home. Toothpaste! Any white toothpaste will do. And in our Granville Island Public Market stall location, people can always come to us with their jewelry they've purchased from us and we are happy to polish it for them.
All my jewelry is created using non-tarnish sterling silver. So in fact it will take longer to tarnish. And on some of my customers, a beautiful patina develops on their piece and it just truly becomes a part of them.
Question #3: Do you have a favorite design in your Line of Love jewelry line?
Joseph: I love all the shapes I create. If I didn't, I wouldn't create them and put them out to the public. (So, I do have lots of sketches that have ended up in the recycling bin!). But some of the ones that I see as classic shapes are the Mother & Two Children designs... both the larger version and the smaller one.
For the smaller Mother & Two Children pendant, I had a vision of the sun, moon and Earth incorporated in the design, as well as the shape of a Family of mother, father and child or Mother and Two Children. It's the way I see people connected in love.
Above: Mother & Two Children, the shape of everlasting love with the moon
and the sun behind them...
Question #4: What provided you the inspiration behind these designs?
A large part of my customer base here in Vancouver, B.C. knows me for my porcelain work on the wheel, which I have been doing for 30 years. At Granville Island, I have both my porcelain and silver jewelry on display in the public market area.
But many people may not be aware that during this time span I've worked in a large number of mediums where I've molded and taken the shapes of people to create physical representations of art - that represent something more spiritual, something with a deeper meaning, in all different shapes and sizes.
Simply, my lines and dots represent the creation of the universe and connection of all kinds of love between people. The lines are the bonds between lovers, families and friends. The dots are people like you and me.
Question #5: Tell us about the ladybug and why it became a part of your signature?
Joseph: I believe my life has been blessed with serendipity, and the ladybug has also been a strong example of that in my life. A long time ago, I was sitting in my studio, and my heart was broken because a perfect piece of porcelain I had thrown was chipped.
It was imperfect...I wanted to cry. But then, a little ladybug actually flew onto my porcelain piece and to my surprise, it gave me the answer and solution I needed!
Above: This little ladybug wants to stay on the porcelain! Porcelain vase by Joseph Chiang
The ladybug gradually became part of my porcelain signature. And ladybug jewelry collection I have created is also to give people a little bit of the luck it gave to me…so many years ago.
I am always working to come out with new designs too. I don't want to get bored of my own work!
Innovation and creativity are central to what I do, even today. I came out with my latest ladybug design, the ladybug on the silver leaf, last year. Now people call me the Ladybug Man.
Question #6: What are some of the latest designs in your jewellery line?
Joseph: This year I took a few weeks off from the Granville Island market to work on a few new designs. I take into consideration customer feedback as well - a number of customers told me, for example, that they wanted a smaller version of Mother & Child. So this is now one of the newest pieces in my collection.
I also created a new Yoga shape, the Tree Pose, because we have such a big yoga community here on the West Coast. People love jewelry that means something to them... and I want to create pieces that people love to wear.
It's so nice to talk to all the customers who come here to Granville Island's Public Market. The people come from all over the world as visitors and tourists. Even sometimes with a language barrier, they understand the shapes behind my jewelry. It's love; and people understand what it means to them.
For me, it's all about making the connection with people around us, and doing it with great love and joy together.
As you know, your appreciation warms my energy and your support sparks my imagination, everyday.