Soigne Atelier
By Drew Copeland

Great Attention to Detail

The English translation of the French Soigné Atelier is a workshop in which there is great attention to detail. It's an apt name for the school and studio that Beata Kacy runs in East Vancouver, as the art created here is done with great care and the results are truly stunning: wool and felt garments, metal and clay jewelry with etching, soap and bath fizziers.

Soigné Atelier teaches over 150 students each year in all sorts of art techniques across a range of mediums. There are 20 different classes that students can take, each kept to a maximum of four students. The result is very effective and engaging instruction from the seven instructors.

For Beata, the studio is a work that continually progresses. “When I first got the building, everything was in really bad condition. The walls were green, the floors were growing, so I took lots of time to renovate sections while renting out part of the space. Slowly I made this into a teaching spot.”

We have a schedule, but if someone can't take the class on Wednesday, for example, I schedule another class for that person. It's basically up to their schedule, not our schedule. - Beata Kacy, owner
Soigné Atelier - classes in: metal and clay jewellery, acid-free jewellery etching, making soap and bath oils, felting and metal-smithing. Jewellery benches rentals

Versatility and Diversity

Beata's diverse history and experience are mirrored in her work. She has a robust education, holding a masters degree in marketing management, a bachelor in computer science, a degree in fine art from Emily Carr, and she attended Vancouver Film School. She is the only Canadian holding a Rio Grande precious metal clay teacher's certificate and a Hadar Jacobson Art metal clay accreditation.

Metal clay is a relatively new technique originating in Japan in 1990. Particles of silver, gold, bronze, or copper are mixed with an organic binder which burns away when the material is fired. The result is sophisticated and detailed jewelry. “Metal clay is my favourite art. I make some things for myself and I sell some as well," says Beata.

She adds that she initally found inspiration from her grandmother, Bronislawa Klimek, who opened several craft schools for women in Poland in the early 1930s. The schools taught felting, knitting and wine making.

The focus at Soigné Atelier is mainly on the classes, but Beata is pleased to also be able to rent out bench space to artisans in need of a place to work.“There is nowhere in town for people who graduate from a jewelry program at Langara Jewellery or Vancouver Community College to actually go and practice without paying lots of money for their spaces, or practicing in their own kitchens. I’m quite proud that we can offer something like that for them.”

Soigné Atelier - classes in: metal and clay jewellery, acid-free jewellery etching, making soap and bath oils, felting and metal-smithing. Jewellery benches rentals

A Teacher at Heart

In addition to running Soigné Atelier, Beata teaches rock climbing and skiing. “Teaching is my biggest passion. “From time to time I guest teach in high schools too,” she says. Her approach is one that puts students first: The classes at Soigné Atelier focus on the students by offering a flexible schedule and a cancellation policy.

“We have schedule, but if someone can't take the class on Wednesday, for example, I schedule another class for that person. It's basically up to their schedule, not our schedule.”

Student-driven classes coupled with a deep and diverse knowledge of the arts makes Soigné Atelier an place for people to come and explore their artistic side, and make something beautiful.

Soigné Atelier - classes in: metal and clay jewellery, acid-free jewellery etching, making soap and bath oils, felting and metal-smithing. Jewellery benches rentals
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