My jewellery collection brings together a passion for the beauty of nature with traditional themes taken from Nordic Folk Art.
Although I have lived my entire life in the Hamilton area, I have enjoyed traveling through Europe and reconnecting with my Baltic roots. While visiting relatives in Estonia numerous times, I had many occasions to study Viking era jewellery in the museums. With the help of photos and history books, I have incorporated this Baltic theme into many of my pieces, and my love of pearls allows me to embellish them in the most unlikely places. Traditional motifs involving Viking boats, swords and shields are recombined in modern pieces using casting and a variety of silversmith finishing techniques such as patena, enamelling and ornamental solder. I have also incorporated the patterns from traditional folk costumes, many of which are embroidered flowers or cross stich patterns, into my work as rings or beads or pendants. I like to feel I create pieces with a modern twist on traditional patterns. This is also shown in the rings I create from traditional brooches, i.e. the large “Viking Brooch” ring and the “Miniature Shield” earrings.
The recreation of sterling silver heritage pieces, suitable as everyday jewellery or meant to be worn with the traditional Estonian ethnic costume, is a challenge which I particularly enjoy. It has always been a pleasure to help someone add the finishing touches to their ethnic costume, be it a necklace chain, brooch or just to repair a small missing link in a treasured family heirloom. The “Viking Pinecone” ring is a heritage piece.
The piece “The Runner” reflects a new direction in my work and my interest in moving parts: the legs swing, while the freshwater pearl head holds everything together. This piece was created for my sister who runs in various charitable marathons and is intended to reflect the joy and the determination of the long distance runner at the finish line.
My 30 year career as a biologist at McMaster University has given me a keen eye for detail. After my retirement in 2007 I was able to concentrate fully on my silversmithing. I love experimenting with natural themes, such as trees and leaves, in my work. One example is the “Tree of Hope” pendant and earring set which was originally made with precious clay and my hand carved linoleum stamp. I wanted the roots to grow and move, and again chose pearls to reflect motion and natural beauty.
I believe that gifts of jewellery at special occasions become treasured moments to be reflected upon in the future. I hope you enjoy my work as much as I have enjoyed creating it.