I began creating jewelry from wood and epoxy resin in 2014. But my exploration and education in the arts prior to this had much to do with this new venture. In my emergent painting practice, I was exploring fluid paint media and epoxy resins, bridging the worlds of painting and sculpture. In my developing craft practice, woodworking, sculpture, found object art, and environmental arts all merge to inform the pieces that I make.
My work always begins with materials: unusual wood, bark, lichens, moss, and other natural fragments. After finding these little treasures on hikes and travels, they need to be dried for a period of weeks, months, or up to a year. When ready, I carefully arrange them in large molds, which I then fill with epoxy resin. This often takes several pours, allowing the resin to dry and seal the natural elements more slowly (for better clarity, multiple colours and layers). After several days I remove the block of resin and wood from the mold. Using woodworking equipment and tools, I cut out each pendant, earring and ring, making decisions as I go about where and how to cut, to get the most interesting effects. Then each piece is sanded up to 3000 grit, oiled, finished, and assembled into its final form.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN
I create and market my jewelry under the name “Wild Blue Yonder,” a common phrase which deeply informs my work. The philosophy of “Wild Blue Yonder” represents an embrace of Canadian wilderness, natural beauty and endless possibilities. Each of my pieces are unique experiments, with undetermined outcomes and intrinsic wildness; microcosms of flowing water, moody skies and windswept landscapes. They celebrate endless possibilities, high horizons, and looking beyond what you can see.
WHY DO I DO IT
I have always been a bit of a scavenger. On trips or hikes, even as a kid I have always been compelled to find something interesting or different to take home with me as a keepsake. There is something very special about an object you find while travelling. It signifies a sense of adventure, specific memories, relationships, and a finite period of time. This sentimentality is what leads me to forage for unique bark, wood, and other natural items. While not always found on epic travels, even a locally-found object or reclaimed wood from local woodworkers is transformed and celebrated in my work. Paired with epoxy resin, which acts as a perfect preservative, these small fragments defy their own fragility, take new form, and can last a lifetime.