You know, ever since COVID started, and I haven't been able to be in art markets with my jewelry or meet all of your beautiful faces in person, I've missed all of the sharing and the storysharing that goes along with making & selling this nature jewelry. And so a while ago, I had this idea that I wanted to do some LIVES with you so that we could connect and I could answer your questions and tell you little stories about the pieces.
Every once in a while I'll give away a piece of my Handmade Nature Jewelry to somebody who's tuned into the LIVE!
Tune in WEDNESDAYS at 11AM on INTSAGRAM
I did a little trial run last week with fern. You can actually go into the archive and see last week's video about our handmade Fern leaf jewelry.
I want to share a little bit about the symbolism of these pieces and tell you their stories.
And, you know, when I realized that I wanted to make jewelry, that was what I wanted my career to be (I'll tell you that story another time because there's a great story about the moment I knew that this is what I wanted to do.)
But first I had to find out: What do I like? What do I want my style to be? And you know, it took me many years to find out what that it was this Nature Jewelry that was calling me. I think many artists go through that; sort of trying to find your voice trying to find your unique style
First, I tried hammering silver wire into circles and playing with gemstones, then I played with resins and cement even at one point - I tried all kinds of different experimental things.
But there was this vision that I kept having of cedar wrapped around a wrist, like a cuff. And I spent probably about six years, sort of obsessively walking through the forest and looking for the perfect cedar leaf to experiment making jewelry with.
So I had this vision to make this bracelet. And I was in jewelry school at the time. And I brought it to my teachers. And all of them said, Well, that's a really nice idea, it would be really great. But that's not how metal smithing works. That's not how jewelry works. You can't really do that what you are describing. What you want to do isn't really a thing that's not really possible.
And years went by and I was like "I'm going to make it happen. I'm going to figure it out - I'm going to do this thing."
And so I spent 1000s of dollars of my own money (at this time I'm not making any money on jewelry) because I hadn't started selling or making my nature jewelry yet.
I had to make this vision I had a reality. I wanted to wear cedar, I wanted other people to be able to adorn themselves with cedar in perfect detail.
And so after about six years of both walking through the forest and trying to find the perfect cedar branch, and then back in the studio for more trial and error experimenting (Organic casting is a very tricky beast) - Ask anybody who's ever been involved in organic jewelry casting, it's not easy.
But eventually I cobbled together this method and I was finally able to perfect the casting of these glorious cedar leaves, which have become an iconic cornerstone of our Nature jewelry collection.
I can communicate with nature in a way that was hard to describe at first...
When I first started out, I sort of had a hard time talking about this because I thought people were going to think I was weird. But I really can sort of hear - not with words - things in nature. It's more like feeling... a knowing of what the thing talking to me is trying to say.
And and sometimes it's a good message like pick me up, pick me up. I want you to bring me home and make me into jewelry!
But its also Put me down! Don't touch me! I want to stay right here where I am!
I've had to put down beautiful little pebbles or the perfect leaf - when something told me it didn't want to be removed from its home.
I really listen to what these objects are saying to me. These things do have a voice if I'm listening carefully, they will share with me important information.
There is a wisdom in these things, a generosity. They want to share their wisdom and their gifts with us. There's a transmission that happens when I make one of these specimens into jewelry and you get to be the recipient of this gift when you wear these pieces
Have a closer look at the textures in my pieces. Front and back I've captured every single tiny little piece of detail from these original specimens - it's one of the things I'm so proud of is how much detail I'm able to capture in this work.
And then the symbolism
For example wearing cedar jewelry is all about clearing negativity, it's used a lot in traditional rituals.
You can have a bath and cedar it makes it really healing tea read more about the healing properties of Cedar.
One of cedar's superpowers is to help clear negative energy. And clear the way for renewal. It is also powerful for calling in strength - think about the trunk of a cedar tree and how strong it is, that translates over into into you when you wear cedar jewelry. You get to access some of that magic when you're wearing it.
For somebody who's going through a period of renewal or wants to bring in the energy of renewal into their life, cedar jewelry is an amazing choice. If you're feeling like you, you know you're about to walk through a really difficult situation, you need just a little bit of extra strength. And maybe you want to let go of some of the things that have held you back in the past. Cedar is a wonderful thing to wear for that because it kind of even just touching it can just sort of ground you and remind you of of what you're working on.
I promised to one day tell you the story of how the cedar in the current Morning Moon Nature Jewelry collection came to be. So here it is.. .
There's one tree that all the cedar jewelry from the morning Moon Collection comes from. And it's actually in West Vancouver under the Lions Gate Bridge right across the from Stanley Park in Vancouver. I was playing at the dog park with my dog Lucy (bless her heart)
So we're at the dog park and walking along the path there was this little cedar branch that was poking through a fence because there's a golf course there. And I right away when saw it, I could see it had a different energy than all the other branches on that tree. And I kind of zeroed in on it and walked over to it. And I felt it as I had been feeling around all of these cedar branches for years at that point, trying to find one that was juicy enough to cast. Because if you try to cast something that's too thin, it just doesn't have enough body, and so when it translates into the metal, the metal is too flimsy, you can imagine kind of how easy would be to bend a paperclip. That's kind of how it is if you've got too much if it's in there or just get lots of holes in it and doesn't cast or the texture doesn't come across.
So I'd been looking for the perfect cedar branch for years. And this one, well it was almost like there was a spotlight coming down from the heavens and it was like, "AAHHHHHH that's your cedar branch." So I walked over to it, and I put it in my hand. And I always do this thing where I sort of close my eyes for a minute. And I ask it kind of was not from my mind, but from my heart, "Is it okay if I take you?" And this branch was like jumping up for joy! "Yes! Take me home! I've been trying to get your attention for weeks. Every time you come here."
Yes! So I took it back to the studio. And it cast perfectly. Every little detail.
Head over to any Cedar product page or any of the cedar pieces (and know that they are even better in real life) The detail on these is exquisite.
And and so from there, we made a mold of this little piece of perfection. And now every piece from this collection is lovingly, carefully, mindfully and heartfully handmade from this mold of this one cedar branch from that one tree from that day.
So I love thinking about that, and how I let that all happen. How we have these ideas of what's possible and what's real and how we can break through them and create beauty for each other.
I came from a very scientific family - very, logical people. And for a long time, I just felt like I couldn't even admit out loud that I can talk to the trees or that I could hear things from seashells on the shoreline talking to me, but I can and there you go.
So I embraced it. And that's how this whole collection has come to be.
So I'm so happy that you are here and that I can share this work with you.
And if you ever have any questions at all, please send me a note. I would love to hear from you.
Oh! and if you're thinking of buying a gift for somebody, we've recently launched BIRTHElements, our modern take on birthstone jewelry.
So back in the day, long time ago, in like the early 1900s, this list of birthstones was invented.
I love the idea of having an emblem that represents you for your for your birth month, but the birthstones didn't ever really do it for me. And so I, I had this idea to create BirthElements
I had to tune into the elements which took a long time - talking to the trees and the shells and finding out who was what month.
And now I am so pleased to share with BirthElements with you and excited for you to find out what yours is so you can adorn yourself with a piece of jewelry that has special symbolism just for you.
These are also terrific to give as a gifts.
And every package is gift is wrapped sustainably, there's no plastic at all in any of our gift wrapping or packaging anywhere that's really important to us.
And oh yes one more thing for now, a little while ago I started doing the Creative Genius Podcast as a way of sort of talking about this creative intelligence that moves through us - the thing that talks to me through the trees.... you can listen to that in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.
Much love for now,