Autobiographical artist statement
"My story does not begin with a life-long desire to carve. In fact, I came upon it quite by accident.
I was 21 in 1985, and I needed something to do--the local technical school’s automotive program was full. My father, being actively involved in west coast native communities, introduced me to Ray Dumont, a local native artist. Ray suggested I try carving, and the rest, as they say, is history.
In those early days, my education came from school, Ray, and the library.
Through the 90’s, I carved part time. The rest of my time was spent working in different BC art galleries, deepening my understanding of the art world, and interacting with local artists.
Today, demand for my work has grown to the point where I carve full time. My work is carried by a number of galleries in the Greater Vancouver area. I continue to learn through reading and experimentation.
My style is a combination of influences. I was born and have lived my whole life on the west coast of British Columbia, and my native ancestry is Cree. I fluctuate between west coast and plains styles. Each offers its own unique quality, stories and history, and its impossible for me to limit myself to just one type of design.
When I create a new piece, I always picture the wearer in mind. My job is to produce jewellery that makes the wearer feel good. Many of my favorite pieces came from custom requests, because I had a specific wearer in mind, and was able to shape the piece to that person’s personality and taste.
I never would have guessed that I would enjoy carving so much. There is something incredibly satisfying about a craft that combines the delicacies of design with the power of carving with the technique of assembly.
I enjoy experimenting with materials. I work in gold and silver, and combinations of the two. I work with precious and semi-precious stones, in a variety of settings. I love finding the perfect way to combine stylish, modern jewellery designs with traditional native art."