Most of our designs are developed long before there is a practical possibility of carrying them out. – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

My name is Mercedes La Rosa. I’m a Montreal-based designer, and I want to make really special things for you by mixing my digital design know-how with the man-made process. This is why I created The Treasury Department and its first offerings online: chain necklaces featuring meticulously hand-painted, graphic-design-driven pendants made of polished, hand-carved wood. 

After years of designing for print and then web, being a graphic designer felt like playing Tetris on level 20, 40 hours a week. The days of literal cutting and pasting on the draft table and actual dodge and burning in a darkroom swiftly died in favor of software that could reach last-minute, quick-turn-around times much better. I lost touch with the hands-on element of the creative process that drew me to design in the first place (I would manually draw margins, linespacing guides and image place holders and bookbound reports in grade school), and I wasn’t hot on that. 

I wanted to fill the void of human hands in my creative process and figure it out in a way I could own, using my interest in the Bauhaus movement, William Morris and Paul Klee (shoutout to Bishop’s University and Concordia University for the Liberal Arts education), along with inspiration from my heritage and the Filipino craft tradition. 

What started out as a side project called Bijougraphie is now The Treasury Department. Here’s what I hope my collection can do for you:

“To give people the pleasure in the things they must perforce use, that is one great office of decoration; to give people pleasure in the things they must perforce make, that is the other use of it.” – William Morris

Mabuhay et merci!