I grew up on Vancouver Island, surrounded by trees, mountains and the ocean. Even though I haven’t lived there in many years I still feel that the West Coast informs my thinking, my being and my art. When we go back there is something that just feels “right”. We’ve been going back every year for a while now to check in on my Mom.
If I get a chance I like to get out to a beach – especially an interesting one with tidal pools and miscellaneous flotsam on the beach! The best beaches for this type of thing that I’ve found are on the west coast of the island, such as East Sooke Park, Point No Point, or the granddaddy of them all – Botanical Beach!
I’m the person who is peering into pools to see what inhabitants got stuck when the tide went out – no time for sun tanning! When I was young I spent a lot of time turning over big rocks to see all of the little crabs make a mad dash for safety! I’m more respectful now, though sometimes it is tempting!
Most often you see various types of seaweed, tiny crabs and tiny fish, and anemones. Sometimes, though you get lucky – a biggish fish, big colorful anemones, a hermit crab, a star fish(!), whelks – who knows, the possibilities seem endless. The downside is tidal pools are darn hard to photograph, and the little fellas in them, who are mobile, are really zippy which makes it a challenge to get their picture too.
This all leads back to our “big” final year project in school. We were to make either a necklace or bracelet with a “mechanical” catch. (In this case mechanical means not a toggle, hook, or lobster claw.) I knew a few things right away: I wanted the catch to be hidden, I wanted to use enamel and I wanted an ocean theme.
From the outset of the design process I was determined to use a shell for the shape of the enamel. Then I thought about adding barnacles and beach rock shapes. This was an exciting project because I had to think all of the way particularly because I made the centre piece curved and asymmetrical which made construction a challenge! In the end, I am very pleased and proud of how it turned out:
By the way, isn’t that baroque pearl fabulous – I sure was nervous when I was setting it! We also had to design a companion piece for our necklace, which was a no-brainer for me(!) – earrings!
What are your sources of inspiration? This land locked West Coast gal would like to know!
All the best,