about the artisan
Corabella handcrafted wirework jewelry is created by me, Tracey Morelli, in Calgary, Alberta Canada. I'm from a family of make-it-from-scratch/fix-it/d.i.y./creative people. Thankfully, I inherited that gene too! I grew up in a beautiful rural area beside a creek next to the woods, and along the way I developed a keen interest in biology (I have a BSc hon) and a deep appreciation for our living earth.
"Corabella" was established 2009, named after my Oma who was called "Cora" by friends. I design and make all my pieces, and also do my own photography, website design, etc..
My favourite materials are repurposed solid copper electrical wire, reclaimed silk sari ribbon, and vintage treasures like keys & escutcheons (key holes), crystal chandelier drops, and rescued old buttons.
behind the scenes
To make my wirework designs and components, I bend, twist, and shape wire using hand tools such as pliers, mandrels, and hammers. I oxidize the pieces for a lovely antique-like patina that highlights the pattern by darkening recessed areas, and adds a vintage aesthetic.
A patina normally forms over time on brass, copper and sterling silver; we simply speed up the process for a "vintage" or "antique" look (done in my kitchen, without using dangerous chemicals). We love the depth and variation that patina adds to our pieces, and how with wear and handling, the patina creates contrast. No lacquer, coating or plating is added; chain and wirework are left in a natural raw state. The Corabella wire flower, a signature design, blossomed in August 2010 after months of imagining and experimentation. My dragonfly design emerged in the spring of 2011, and since then, many more (leaf, cat, bird, elephant, octopus, heart, etc.).
I hope you enjoy the whimsy and fun of my pieces as much as I enjoy creating them!
Quality ingredients. I choose materials and supplies mindfully, sourcing from eco-responsible suppliers where possible, and choosing materials that have a lower impact on the environment.
A bit about my favourite ingredients:
- I use only pure copper, NOT plated
- Wire and chain sourced from reputable and family-owned Canadian and USA suppliers, ensuring high quality, and free of nickel, lead, cadmium, and mercury.
- Contains recycled content. I use reclaimed pure solid copper electrical wire for some handmade components. I oxidize the copper to give it an aged look.
- I use jewellers brass - a metal made by combining mostly copper with some zinc (approx. ratio 80-85% copper with 20-15% zinc, depending on the manufacturer).
- Wire and chain sourced from reputable and family-owned Canadian and USA suppliers, ensuring high quality, and free of nickel, lead, cadmium, and mercury. Contains recycled content.
- I use the same type of stainless steel used in food processing applications, cookware, and utensils: 304, 304L raw stainless steel.
- Wire and chain are free of lead, cadmium, and mercury. Contains recycled content.
- As its name implies, stainless steel is non-reactive, which means it doesn't rust, tarnish, or change colour. It is also very strong, a feature that makes wire-working muchmore difficult, but a benefit to the durability of the finished product.
Czech Glass Beads
- I use Czech glass beads for their quality, richness of colour, and inertness to skin and skin products. These beads are durable, non-porous and easily cleaned.
- The finest, most beautiful glass beads in the world have been traditionally crafted for generations in the Bohemia region (now part of the Czech Republic). Many small, family owned companies still remain, making small quantities of beads of their own unique designs. These are some of my favourite suppliers of glass beads!
with respect for our earth
It is important to me to be kind to the earth. Below are examples how I aim to minimize the impact my small business has on the environment. We hope to constantly monitor and improve!
Our Earth Policy:
- I make most of my findings (ear wires, clasps, headpins, etc.). Not only is it a design element - it means not having to ship them from various sources which saves packaging & shipping.
- I use the best quality glass beads rather than mined gemstones because they do not have the ethical or environmental issues of mining stones.
- Creating quality pieces that are made to last.
- I choose materials and supplies mindfully, sourcing from eco-responsible suppliers where possible, and select those with a lower impact on the environment.
- When available, I use ethically sourced, sustainable materials, and purchase supplies from local businesses
- We use all LED lights.
- To wrap purchases, I use recycled, recyclable, compostable materials. No nylon organza bags! (Nylon bags are pretty and cheap, but they take decades to decompose!)
- Some jewellery designs I create to use up small cut-offs of wire and chain rather than scrapping them.
- Repurposed objects into designs - vintage keys and buttons.
- I use reclaimed solid copper electrical wire for some handmade components.
- Display fixtures I make by repurposing used and vintage items rather than buying new wherever possible.
- Our chain & wire has recycled content, and scrap metal wire is collected for recycling.
- Recyclable padded envelopes. We no longer buy mixed-material bubble envelopes or plastic packing tape.
- 100% recycled paper business cards
- Other paper supplies we search out high recycled content, and of course, practice recycling.