Raw Eco JEwEllERy handmade jewellery designed using raw materials "such as seeds, stones, shells, bones
Raw Eco JEwEllERy handmade jewellery designed using raw materials "such as seeds, stones, shells, bones
Raw Eco JEwEllERy handmade jewellery designed using raw materials "such as seeds, stones, shells, bones

Raw Eco JEwEllERy handmade jewellery designed using raw materials "such as seeds, stones, shells, bones

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  • AMAZING CANADIAN FASHION 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION 167166 AMAZING CANADIAN FASHION 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

    Raw Eco JEwEllERy Story by lori-lee emshey PhotograPhy by ArAsh moAllemi Styled by Jessie gu

    I nside the gritty and industrial Evergreen Brick Works near Toronto's Don Valley, Toronto photographer Arash Moallemi is capturing one of his signature moments. Amongst the graffiti, rust, rivets and dust, our model glides in front of the lens. Moallemi, one of the city's foremost photographers with over twenty years of

    industry experience is a favourite of ACF, also shooting actress Rachel Luttrell (TV's Stargate Atlantis) for the cover of Vol V amongst an impressive list of his accomplishments in the industry. But the keystone element of the shoot was the layered upcycled necklaces and the urban boho bracelets, by jewellery-maker Devaki MacDonald. Devaki MacDonald grew up on Toronto Island and started her brand RAW Eco Jewellery after she left Canada in her twenties for Argentina to travel through the America's. She funded her wanderings by selling her handmade jewellery designed using raw materials "such as seeds, stones, shells, bones or teeth," she found in each country she visited. MacDonald learned some jewellery-making from her mother, but is largely self-taught. During her travels local artisans helped inspire and develop her technique. Now, back in Canada she continues to design and create for Canadian women. "Canadians really have a true appreciation for handcrafted products and I'm so flattered that the public has received my work so well," said MacDonald. After returning home, MacDonald's designs evolved and she began incorporating upcycled antique watches and timepieces. Upcycling is the process of repurposing materials such as antiques, metals and clothing to make something new. The process creates products of better value from materials that would otherwise go to waste. The final pieces look like they elegantly fall together, but the entire practice takes a full year. MacDonald collects her source material in the fall and spends five to six months planning the pieces in that year's one-of-a-kind line In the spring she starts putting everything together and the jewellery begins to take shape. By summer the pieces are ready for market and MacDonald hits the road, selling pieces at craft shows and music festivals. "It is a beautifully time consuming and painstaking process," said MacDonald. "In the end each piece is worth it." During her creative process MacDonald said she tries to strike a balance between creating the outrageous and runaway styles the raw materials inspire and items that appeal to the general public. Christian Lacroix might be able to get away with exuberant headdresses and bib necklaces, but MacDonald isn't there – well, not yet. "I would prefer to spend all my time lost in the design process, but then each year's collection would consist of twelve items," said

    MacDonald. "...Maybe one day when I'm silly famous I can sell each necklace for a bazillion dollars." In 2012 MacDonald's themed her designs with colour. For example the bracelets were metal chains from grandfather clocks and fire engine-red seeds from the Caribbean, peachy bamboo from Mexico, sun-bleached fish vertebrae out of the Amazon, earthy reed tips for Guatemala and golden Acai from Brazil. Many pieces in MacDonald’s last collection were also reversible. Using vintage wallpaper and Japanese prints MacDonald rosined the papers to the backs of her pocket watch designs to make the double sided. The previous lines were more serious, comprising mostly of "metals, brass and black". Regardless of seasonal style, MacDonald says her designs are conversation starters and she likes selling pieces at music festivals especially because it is a one-of-a-kind design at once-in- a-lifetime events. MacDonald believes women are naturally drawn to her designs because, like every woman, each piece is unique. "I don't design for a 'type' of woman, I design for women," said MacDonald. "Women deserve to feel like an individual, because they are! I think a RAW piece helps them do that." In addition to individuality MacDonald also found Canadian women liked the social responsibility and eco-friendly aspect of MacDonald’s designs. MacDonald said she’s committed to keeping her products one hundred percent Canadian made, which has not always been the most profitable way to operate, but she is determined to make it work. “My entire business model revolves around those principals and I intend to keep it that way,” said MacDonald. Right now, MacDonald is keeping RAW focused on the domestic Canadian market and creating jewellery for the Canadian woman. In her next collection she hopes to incorporates patina’s, like tarnished copper and begin selling year round through her website, www. rawecojewellery.com. In the next few years she hopes to eventually branch out into the United States and Europe, but for now the Canadian identity and the stimulating demand for responsibly sourced jewellery is forefront in MacDonald’s plans. MacDonald’s chic travel eclectic, environmentally ethical and all-Canadian brand fits right in with the artisanal movement moving coast to coast and as the demand for unique, clear conscious accessories that tell a story continues to grow, it ensures we can expect more creations from Devaki MacDonald.

    166 AMAZING CANADIAN FASHION 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

    on ashtyn: outfit from homegrown boutique

    a six month upcycling journey to create beatiful works of art for women

    ACF Vol Jan6 Complete.indd 166-167 12/01/2013 4:05:45 AM

  • AMAZING CANADIAN FASHION 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION 169168 AMAZING CANADIAN FASHION 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

    hair by DAT TrAN make-up by WhiTNey sellors model AshTyN FrANKliN/ChANTAle NADeAu on location at eVergreeN BriCK WorKs

    "IT IS A BEAUTIFULLY TIME CONSUMING AND pAINSTAkING pROCESS.... IN THE END EACH pIECE IS WORTH IT." -DEVAkI MACDONALD

    AMAZING CANADIAN FASHION 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION 169

    dress stylist's own collection

    outfit from homegrown boutique

    ACF Vol Jan6 Complete.indd 168-169 12/01/2013 4:05:52 AM

  • AMAZING CANADIAN FASHION 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION 171170 AMAZING CANADIAN FASHION 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

    "I DON'T DESIGN FOR A 'TYpE' OF WOMAN, I DESIGN FOR WOMEN," SAID MACDONALD. "WOMEN DESERVE TO FEEL LIkE AN INDIVIDUAL, BECAUSE THEY ARE! I THINk A RAW pIECE HELpS THEM DO THAT."

    AMAZING CANADIAN FASHION 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION 171

    outfit from homegrown boutique

    ACF Vol Jan6 Complete.indd 170-171 12/01/2013 4:05:56 AM