Written by: Joan Thomson, jewellery artist featured in “Triadica”
“I have recently had the good fortune of receiving support from the Saskatchewan Arts Board. This has allowed me to explore various methods of application for vitreous enamels in jewellery making. The liveliness brought to a piece when texture, gemstones and colourful enamel techniques are used is exciting. When I first show my work to someone and they want to touch it, I am delighted because I believe jewellery is by nature tactile. Its most effective presentation is when it is worn. Not only does it express the personality of the creator but also the interpretation of the wearer in the same way that a painting brings life into the space that it occupies.
I want my jewellery to tell a visual story about the person who has chosen to wear it. The inspiration for this group of pieces, originate from memories that I hold dear. Some are sentimental, some are humorous and some come from books that I love. The intricate images that these rich stories represent are the sources of my inspiration.
When I wear the Thai Opal pendant I think of my mom’s sunny disposition in contrast to the blue of the Forget-me-not representing the illness that affected her later in life.
Fish have always intrigued me – in my childhood, as well as in adulthood when my children had them as pets. From the countless days my family spent on the water, my dad collected and shared a trove of wonderful fishing tales. In our home we had an aquarium holding a variety of fish. On one occasion, I recall digging through my freezer. I peered into an unmarked container and through the hazy ice I recognized the angelfish!! I was taken aback. Unknown to me at the time, this was my husband’s way of gently putting a sick fish to rest.
During Spring and Fall I’ve noticed the peculiar behaviour of the rodents we share space with. Likewise, a friend has shared with me photos of his rubber boots filled to the brim with scavenged peanuts. In the ‘Rogue’ neck piece, I have depicted the following incident that my cousin had experienced. Her family decided to create a windbreak by planting oak acorns around a large farmyard. Putting in a great effort looking for seeds, they found, purchased and planted acorns. The following spring her son discovered that all of his efforts were in vain. Everything had been dug up and relocated to piles that no longer served as the intended windbreak. Instead, they had been repurposed and appeared to be the obscure collections of tiny, obsessive, hoarding creatures.
The style of imagery used in ‘St. George’ – as well as ‘Big Fish’ – is rooted in my love of decorative patterning. Whether I am selecting a garment, a piece of furniture or plant for my flowerbed I am rarely able to express myself without an over-the-top use of embellishment.
In preparing for this show I realize that Jenny-Lyn, Mary Lynn and I all take a very different in our approach in working within this disipline. This diversity provides something for everyone and expands the idea of jewellery as being a unique and broad Artform. Tom Ferraro, our curator, directed me to collect my thoughts and showed me how to combine components that hold a story together. I hope that each piece brings to life a story for those who view or wear them. SCC has graciously given us this opportunity for which I am grateful.”