Tell me something about yourself?
I grew up on the Canadian prairies, where the winters are bitterly cold and the summers are full of mosquitoes. Before coming to Australia, I lived in Vancouver and there I completed my degree in Multi-Disciplinary Design with a Major in Interior Design.
In Sydney, I worked on large-scale architectural projects, but left to start a family. When my first child was six months old, my husband suffered a stroke from a chiropractic adjustment. His recovery was long and slow, but we got through it. From that point, we promised each other that we would follow our hearts, and have no regrets.
I come from a family of artisans, and have always passed time in the act of creation. So, after my second baby, instead of going back to my job, I decided to turn my passion for handmade, and my love of design, into a full time pursuit and Kuh-er-fuhl Jewellery Design (pron. colourful) was born.
We have recently relocated to the seaside town of Thirroul, south of Sydney. I wake up every day, feeling a deep sense of gratitude, knowing I am truly blessed to live in such a beautiful place, with my loving family, following my creative heart.
What are your sources of inspiration?
I spend many hours researching beads and source them from around the world. When it comes time to put them together, I work with photo images and colour palettes as well as the colour wheel – and I try to mix the materials to get interesting textures in each piece I create. I also keep an eye on the Pantone seasonal palettes, just to see what other creatives will be inspired by.
Where and when did you learn your craft? Who taught you?
When I was getting married, I had very little to spend on the wedding. All funds were spent on travels to Canada so my family could meet my Aussie boyfriend. For the wedding, I made as much as I could myself, including my jewellery. I took a class in Sydney and put my design degree to use, transforming what bits and pieces I had, into something I could happily wear on the day…. and after that, I just kept making.
Aside from your craft, what else do you enjoy doing?
I love spending time with my family, taking our dog for walks on the beach or up into the bush. Once the kids are at school, and the house is quiet, I also love having a cup of tea and a long phone conversation with my mom.
What piece of advice can you give to other artists?
There will always be someone out there who loves your work. The hard part is attracting those people to you. Don’t give up. As your work matures, and time passes, those people will find you.
What are your plans for the future?
I am keen to visit some of the interesting places where I source beads. In particular, I dream of travelling to Ecuador for the Tagua Nut beads I use. Tagua is a substitute for ivory as it is similar in color, appearance, hardness and feel. This helps save elephants and keeps the rainforest from deforestation, while providing employment for impoverished South American communities. This is a truly eco-friendly, socially responsible material that I love using and want to know more about.
Kuh-ler-fuhl Jewellery Design will be at the Dreamers Market on Saturday, July 18th.