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(c) 2015-2019 North Sun Studio - Manitoba, Canada

Photos by Janine Bergamot

   About the Artist   

Born and raised in Winnipeg, I've had a life-long interest in rocks and collected them as souvenirs since childhood. I well recall the funny looks from school friends going on trips at my request to bring me back a rock, but to this day if I'm travelling I'm sure to still come home with some tucked away in the suitcase!

Now using a variety of stones in jewellery, I love to show off their many amazing colours, patterns, and special features! I'm excited everytime I learn about a stone I hadn't heard of before, and enjoy getting the chance to share their intruiguing properties with others.

 The Journey to Jewellery

I have always been drawn to working in smaller scale with fine detail. When competing in local horticultural shows as a young teen, my favourite category was Miniature Arrangement in the adult division (5" or less in any direction including container)! I've enjoyed designing embroidery and cross-stitch images under 4", and watercolour paintings at a maximum of 5"x7".

I completed a Fine Arts degree at the University of Manitoba with a double major in photography and ceramics, followed by a degree in Education. Where the school encouraged Big Art featuring Big Ideas, my joy in tiny beautiful things was hidden in focusing on the print grains in the darkroom and carving images into small clay bowls. Much of my work included interpretations of the natural world or aspects of storytelling. Functional beauty was not a popular notion at the time, but I was told the stories behind my pieces and the sometimes surprizing context of their expression kept things interesting and worth a closer look!

Around 2000, I became intruiged with the notion of 'portable art'. As the world was becoming more digital, I felt the tactile experience of art in the hand and not behind glass was important. Harkening back to the personal significance of memories and mementos, my pieces aimed to share the simple and whimsical natural world. Whether kept close to the heart, packed for move after move, or shared with others, these pieces looked to provided a small quiet refuge in a landscape of hectic transitions.

 Dancing Pines bowl, 1992, 2"x8"

I began working with wire in 2013. This is where it all came together for me: my passion for beautiful things, functional design, and the inspiration of nature. I loved all the wonderful textures that could be explored, whether bold or subtle, and examining how they interacted with light. Selecting the colour of metal to best compliment a stone or translate a feeling, and constructing a frame to both reveal and protect more delicate features allowed for interesting challenges. The fascinating revelation that many of the skills I had gained in drawing and embroidery could be translated into metal was exciting!

To me, jewellery has always been about more than fashion. It doesn't care where you came from, your size, or if you act your age. It can reflect who you are or who you wish to be. It can tell the world: I am confident, I am carefree, I am soft, I am sassy, I am unique, I am beautiful. The meaning of style is so personal, and to hear why a piece strikes a chord with someone can be so surprizing and rewarding. I love creating art that is cherished and worn!