SaamiCraft – Alexandra Lanzarotta- My family clans have travelled across the Northern lands of Sweden as well the Highlands of Scotland. After living a nomadic life myself, I have found my home by the ocean on the West Coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. It is here that I create my Saami inspired craft, as well as my other jewellery creations. I discovered my connection to the Northern Saami people through exploring my ancestry lineage on my father’s side. I was pleasantly surprised to discover I had a paternal grandmother and great-grandparents who were Saami. My older brother married a Swedish woman with Saami heritage and it was through her guidance, along with my own research, that I have learned more about the Saami culture. She has supported and encouraged me in my art and I feel honoured that I have come to understand and appreciate this side of my bloodline. It has also been an honor for me to embrace my family heritage more deeply. I also have ancestors, on my mother’s side, from the Cameron Clan in Scotland. My great grandmother was a master weaver, and my great grandfather did leather handcraft. Some of the woven pewter-tin thread patterns I use in my Saami-inspired bracelets, as well as the leather braiding techniques I incorporate in my bags and purses, were passed down from my Scottish lineage. I feel art is an active and evolving interpretation that is rooted in our environment. It does not exist in isolation, but obtains stimulation through interaction with other peoples and other cultures. I believe jewellery design, as an art form, should be fluid. As with art in general, designs change as new influences from other cultures and experiences enter into our awareness. As an artist my designs are a fusion of many different cultures and influences. I grow and change as a person when I incorporate new ways of thinking, feeling or being into my artistic creations. It is from this philosophy I choose to say my craft is Saami – inspired. I may design a purse for example, that has reindeer leather imported directly from the Saami people, tin thread imported from Sweden, antler buttons I make from B.C deer, and hand-woven trim from an artist in the Ukraine. The purse may have a Saami feel, but it has also embodied other cultural influences. I am Saami. I am Scottish. I am Canadian. I am me. At the heart of it all, in spite of our differences across cultures we are all one. It is my hope that, through my craft, I am able to bring Saami Culture and their artistic influence to a wider awareness. I am working towards creating something generous, something that matters. It is my hope that something I have taken the time to create resonates with you, your life, or a loved one in some special way.
RonanCraft – Ronan Lanzarotta- My journey into the creative arts began many years ago. I have studied different forms of artistic expression; however, since retiring to Comox, Vancouver Island, I have pursued the art of making silver jewellery on a serious level, and have embraced the lifestyle of a full-time artist. I cannot imagine a more fulfilling life, or a more enjoyable way to spend time! Currently, I enjoy the art of photography to create photos for handmade art cards, and I continue to pursue my passion for silver-smithing. I create wearable art pieces using sterling-silver and copper, along with semi-precious stones and crystals. Besides hand-cutting individual pieces for pendants and earrings, I design and make my own silver castings. I strive to improve my jewellery designs and the quality of my work, and I feel it is important to continuously challenge myself to grow as a person and artist.