My process and creativity is generally governed by the materials I use. Everything from the carving of reclaimed wood, hand picking ethically sourced gemstones, hand dying fibres with natural and low impact dyes, to hand hammering & soldering metals. I want to respect and keep the traditional techniques alive and well. As we merge into tech based processes, which I also respect, I believe we should never forget and loose the art of creating by hand. It might just be selfish of me, but its also about the journey and joy of making!
The overall vision, however, is to connect self expression with the beauty of natures materials. Striving to create a modern and minimalistic aesthetic which captures the true essence and beauty of the materials in use.
I'm constantly experimenting, I have to be, as most of the materials I work with are reclaimed, recycled and in limited quantities and irregular shapes!
First choice is always reclaimed or recycled materials others may have overlooked. All other materials are sustainable and ethically sourced.
Reclaimed wood plays a predominant role in my work. I take in everything from hardwood stair treads and floor boards to exotic hardwoods from local wood turners and carpenters. The works that come from these materials are one-of-a-kind and made in limited runs of anywhere from one or two pieces to 12 pieces. No two are the same! Once I run out of materials, thats it, back to the wood pile! I could just go out and buy the wood pre-cut and planed and classify that as sustainable materials. Although I do supplement the occasional piece from the local hardwood store, I generally give my equipment and hands a run for their money with reclaimed wood. I have to cut and process irregular shapes, sometimes cracked and knotty wood to a manageable size before the designing and construction of works even begin! With all that being said, I make sure there is no toxic materials hidden within the wood, including but not limited to, nails or mold.
Once the wood has been carved and constructed into its shape, I tediously sand it to a smooth wearable feel. Depending on the wood I may use a sealant to keep its colour longer and to protect from potential wear on your clothing. Padouk for example is bright orange and when unfinished has the potential to rub off orange colouring on to your skin and clothing. Other hardwoods like walnut and oak do not. Typically I just use bamboo oil to bring out the richness of the wood and finish with beeswax polished into every pore to help with water resistance and protect against scuffs.
For info on how to best care for your wood jewelry and keep it looking vibrant, read wood jewelry care here.
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