Impressions of Trees
The texture that inspired Susan Jean Whyte to start her jewelry series "Impressions of Trees" is seen when you leave the roads and venture into the trees. Walking through a forest, it is a saturation of texture.
Susan takes impressions from the bark of Vancouver Island's trees. "I choose the trees based on several reasons. Normally an anomaly will catch my eye, a knot, or a texture change. One of the Fir trees I chose because a spider web caught my eye. A shaft of light, as corny as that sounds, lighted up the Maple tree. It was enough to make me fall in love. Once I have a possible subject, I then see if I can get to the tree without shredding my jeans (lots of blackberry on the Island). Then I decide if I can take a nice photograph of the tree. My earrings come on a card with the tree image on it, so this must be beautiful."
Then she makes molds from the trees and uses these molds to create the textures that she designs her jewelry around. The designs are kept simple, to keep the textures as the main focal point. Fine silver, copper and bronze are used together to add color and interest. Patinas on the metals transform the surfaces to mimic the wood.
Susan's work can been seen any time at Imagine That in Duncan or The Pottery Store in Chemainus.
The Cowichan Valley Regional District is a broad geographic region stretching from the Malahat to North Oyster and from the Cowichan Lake to Thetis Island.
The region's artists are represented by 5 sub-regional arts councils with support from the CVRD Arts and Culture Division