There is an astonishing number of jewellers across Inuit Nunangat, each creating beautiful, wearable art in a wide array of materials. In this round-up, the IAQ explores the innovative creativity of yet more jewellers from across Inuit Nunangat.
Phebe Bentley Kukinguak inspired earrings with Swarovski crystals (2021)
The creative mind behind Lookin’ Sharp By Phebe, Phebe Bentley creates original, handmade jewellery using antlers shipped to her from Nunavik by her mother and aunts. One of her signature designs is a carved antler cross section beaded to resemble a qulliq lamp; she has also recently started creating earrings that mimic bluebell flowers, using two antler pieces set at angles with a central beaded petal in the middle.
Karlyn Blake 12 gauge shotgun shell earrings on moosehide (2020)
Creating under the label Designs By KarJoy, Karlyn Blake’s work incorporates moosehide, beadwork and metal to create earrings and matching keychains that sparkle with colour. Blake is best known for earrings that make use of her husband’s discharged bullets from hunting trips, which she creates concentric rings of beads around.
Alookie Korgak Slim V necklace and Saku earring set (2021)
A self-taught artist from Iqaluit, NU, Alookie Korgak creates both jewellery and accessories made from fur, bone, beads and silver and sells them under her label Alook Designs. Her creations marry traditional materials with modern shapes, asin her signature “whale tail” necklace, which features a sealskin torque with elaborate beadwork, metalwork or fur dripping from the bottom edge.
Caroline Blechert Petal Drop Studs (2020)
Using an artistic practice rooted in geometrice designs and a mix of glass beads, porcupine quills and caribou hair tufting, Caroline Blechert makes and sells intricately beaded earrings, cuffs, necklaces, hairpieces and more under her line Creations For Continuity. Over the years, her business has evolved into a sister collective that showcases Indigenous jewellery designers throughout the US and Canada.
Lavinia van Heuvelen Silver statement necklace (2020)
Lavinia van Heuvelen
Sold through a variety of art galleries across Canada, Lavinia van Heuvelen’s award-winning jewellery melds intricate silversmithing with traditional Inuit themes and imagery. When not making tiny replicas of traditional objects like qulliq, qamutik or antler shaped earrings, van Heuvelen uses her work to abstract the forms of said traditional objects to make something new, like her headpieces which reference traditional forehead tattoos and her neck plates shaped like giant ulus.
Misty Dyson Pair of pink mini studs (2021)
A beader who initially began making earrings as a way to occupy her time during the pandemic, Misty Dyson’s practice has expanded to a range of functional accessory object like lanyards, badge reels and keychains, each featuring the intricately beaded concentric rings that are the hallmarks of Dyson’s practice. Dyson sells her work primarily through her social media online, but has also begun frequenting (virtual) craft fairs.
Basja Ellsworth Silver Fur Necklace (2021)
Incorporating beads, furs, fabric, lace and silver, Basja Ellsworth’s creations—primarily sold under her label Beads By Basj online—take a variety of forms, from earrings and necklaces to beaded lighter cases and magnets. She frequently experiments with different colour and material combinations based on feedback from her Instagram followers, constantly expanding her practice and repertoire.
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7 Jewellers Whose Work You Should Covet