It All Started With Necklaces...
I love necklaces. A lot. Especially big, bold statement necklaces. I spent my early (and mid, and late) twenties in Victoria, BC where I was surrounded by local artisans, quaint coffee shops, and tasty brew pubs. Beautiful, unique, locally crafted gems waited around every corner. Despite spending most of that time as a poor university student, I amassed a sizable collection of statement necklaces – the kind that people stop me in the street to ask about. I repurposed rigid body butter tubs to carry them safely with me wherever I traveled so I would never have to be without them.
I moved to Edmonton, Alberta for graduate school and two things happened: I lost my ever-present supply of gifted local artisans and I became even more immersed in science laboratories. I’ll expand. First, Edmonton does have some very talented local artisans, but in comparison to Victoria, the broader culture is lacking. Second, speaking as a woman in science (even in the relatively well-represented field of biology), gender is felt. While existing gaps may be shrinking, we are still fighting a weird stigma against appearing too feminine lest we not be taken seriously as scientists. Many have written on this topic and it is tangential here, except to illustrate a temporary divide between me and my beloved collection (expanded by perfectly sane contamination concerns in the lab). There was a transition. I developed a habit of buying an interesting necklace from a local artisan in every city that I travelled to, but it wasn’t quite enough.
Two or three years ago, while pouring over my collection and feeling inspired by the creativity and artisanship, the thought occurred to me that I might create a piece of my own. A hobby was born. I completed my thesis, became gainfully employed at the university, and had disposable income. I reveled in the creative outlet and influx of new, bold statement necklaces to my collection. I have also enjoyed the solid platform from which I can lead by example while molding young minds – it is okay to be female, and look female, in science. After hearing scattered suggestive comments along the way, I have decided to contribute my part to the brilliant community that led me here. I hope that my work can inspire the same feelings of discovery, contentment, and passion for another.
Welcome to my obsession.