Behind the Scenes: Crafting Cedar Branch Jewelry for the Holidays
I've been busy in the studio making pairs of these gorgeous emerald and cedar earrings, thanks to a feature in the Portland Mercury's Gift Guide in their Holiday Spectacular issue. (These earrings are for sale here as part of the Sparkling Cedar Collection!)
They're truly my faves-- every year I say I'm going to make a pair for myself, and every year they sell out! But it brings me such joy to work with such beautiful raw materials, to bring these beauties to life, and then to see them on you, looking radiant and gorgeous with your new favorite earrings on!
My inspiration for these starts in the heart of Southeast Alaska, where old-growth forests paint the landscape in vibrant hues of green, and my love affair with Western Red Cedars began. As a child, I found solace and endless wonders beneath the sprawling branches of these majestic trees. The scent of cedar boughs became synonymous with my adventures, a fragrance that whispered tales of the forest.
Fast forward to the Stone Anvil studio in Portland, Oregon, where this childhood connection metamorphosed into wearable art. Inspired by the memories of playing amidst ancient cedars, I embarked on a journey to encapsulate their essence in sterling silver. The process? Organic casting – an artful endeavor that involves taking cedar branches and immortalizing their intricate forms in precious metal.
Each piece in our beloved cedar line traces its roots back to our Pacific Northwest forests. The journey wasn't swift; it was a meticulous exploration of processes, branches, and metals until I found the perfect combination that resulted in one perfect branch. That special cedar branch became the prototype, the muse for an entire collection.
Crafting these pieces isn't a mechanical process; it's a dance with the memories of my childhood. Each cedar branch is individually cast, and then hand-formed and finished to create perfectly matched pairs, ensuring that the wearer carries a piece of the forest's magic with them.
The emeralds I paired (they're sisters, not twins!) are great, rosecut stones, each sparkling with personality in the form of light striations or mottling, rainbowy flecks, and perfectly imperfect inclusions that make each emerald unique. These bold gems are the perfect accompaniment to the cedar branches. You are going to love them!