This is my first jewellery collection and so far, I’ve just got the pendants going. It will eventually have bracelets, earrings and other types of jewellery as well. The collection features etched images of original photographs, mostly botanical, taken in Vancouver’s parks and gardens. The photographs are etched into copper and silver, and the metal is formed into jewellery using traditional goldsmithing techniques. I’ve been fortunate to come up with a way to combine my two passions, photography and metalsmithing and make something lovely and unique.
Each piece is named for a person or feature of Vancouver and her fascinating history, and has a story to go with it. For instance, the Johnson pendant is named for Pauline Johnson, one of Canada’s most famous poets. The image on the pendant is of a tree overlooking Lost Lagoon, in Stanley Park, etched in copper and silver.
A poet, performer and of mixed Mohawk and English heritage, Pauline Johnson was an important figure in Canada’s history, both as a woman poet and as a First Nations writer and performer. Daughter of a Mohawk chief, born on the Six Nations reserve, she lived in Vancouver, in the West End, during her retirement from performing. She loved Stanley Park and like to paddle her canoe in Coal Harbour. and the tidal basin in the park, where the water vanished upon the low tide, naming it Lost Lagoon. Her poem, The Lost Lagoon, was published in her Legends of Vancouver collection, back in 1911. When she died, her ashes were buried in her beloved park and a monument was erected in her honour.
On the back of each piece, a design from Japanese Sashiko embroidery is etched, providing a nice patterned detail. My studio is in the former Japantown, now the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver. This design feature is a way to acknowledge the area’s history. In fact the studio is in a building that’s over one hundred years old, housing at on point Ebata Japanese Goods in 1906 and Tsuruda Sewing in 1941. Now it’s home to the Octopus Artist Studios and Soigné Studio (where I work out of).