Monday, May 16, 2011


Sterling Silver Killerwhale Pendant Necklace
with Abalone and Turquoise Inlay
Let’s take a trip along the Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec, Canada to see the island known as Percé Rock. 

A hulking mass of lime stones at over 1,000 feet long and nearly 300 feet wide it is one of the world’s largest natural arches.  Canada is also home to featured jewelry designer Barry Wilson.

Hailing from the Killerwhale clan of Canada’s Haisla Nation, Wilson imparts evocative cultural symbolism in his handmade jewelry designs rendered from sterling silver, 14-karat gold, ivory and gemstone accents like lapis lazuli. 

Complex engraved images of hummingbirds, otters, beavers, sea wolves, and ravens each tell a story of heritage and tradition.

Under the tutelage of his grandfather, Gordon Robertson, Wilson first explored the art of wood carving at age five. 

Upon creating a variety of items including masks and bowls, Wilson would next venture into silk-screening and jewelry making by age twenty-six and ten years later Wilson received the first place award for Original Design Jewellery at Vancouver’s Native Arts and Crafts Show.

What I really like about jewelry designers from indigenous cultures is that aside from creating designer jewelry that is aesthetically pleasing these designers do not necessarily play by mainstream rules.  Though contained in the form of silver cuff bracelets or gold pendants, Wilson brings stunning visuals of engraved symbols to these pieces. 

The surface detailing is masterful and seems to take you inside another world.  The surface designs are more than decoration they reflect life, history and a connection to nature.
Sterling Silver Fisherman Cuff Bracelet

I did not find an official website for Wilson but there were three online retailers that sell pieces from his collections: Lattimer Gallery, Spirit Wrestler, and House of Himwitsa.
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