We began making jewelry in 1987 out of necessity , curiosity , a better feeling of self worth. Also, to keep dry on the long rainy evenings in Port Hardy.
Marlene, a Chipewyan from Fond-du-Lac, Saskatchewan, relies on Spiritual reverence of the traditional Medicine Wheel for designs. Not finding any Jewelry with her themes in the West Coast Native style she kept sketching her designs and ideas.
Frank had taken jewelry training while he was preparing to become an ‘Industrial Ed’ teacher in the 1970’s. Marlene called on his abilities to help her designs become a technical reality. In other words ,she designed some earrings and asked , ‘could you help me make them’? So it began.
He designs and works the materials with the same respect nature has instilled in him in his many years on the remote West Coast of Canada.
Marlene is the feather pendant , Frank is the Italian chain.
One Question for Purists … Were those who helped create Bill Reid’s masterpieces All Natives , or where there many types of Human’s that help create molds, pour the bronze, frame the art, move and weld , cast, carve, and help form his work ?
I am in no way close to Bill Reid’s talent and quality, but reserve the right, without criticism, to help people develop their artistic talent and explore mine. I taught under that premiss for 28 years and continue to do so along side my Wife.
Over the past 36 years Bearclaw Custom Native Jewelry has created 7 main categories, about 180 pages and 1000’s of unique custom designs with pieces delivered world-wide, from Australia to Germany and many lands in between.
Since 1987 when Bearclaw Jewelry sold it’s first engraved silver bracelet until present we have seen our designs grow. They developed from one theme with 5 or 6 variations. Now, approximately 50 themes with unlimited variations. Our work is in gold, silver, platinum ,precious gems , lost wax castings and custom constructed one-of-a-kind art. The body of work contains over 1600 unique designs available on the site.
Both of us are proud to say that we have many pieces in Europe , China , Australia and throughout Canada and the United States. Further, we have been published as well as having been featured in national magazines. We enjoy a solid base of local customers as well as world-wide appreciation.
During the 27 years in Pt Hardy we constantly watched the Eagles go fishing from the trees in front of our house. At times we have chased off the odd Bear ,bumped into the occasional Deer, and experienced the Whales , Seals and Porpoises that visit Hardy Bay from time to time. Artistic Inspiration surrounded us.
Now, in Mission BC , we still enjoy the Bear and Deer eating the apples, Salmon spawning in the Fraser river and all that Country living offers.
Marlene has finished her Masters in Education and Woman’s Studies, and a few book ideas that need developing but has zoomed in on ‘ beading’ with exceptional quality and detail. Frank has retired from teaching Jewelry and Woodwork ( at Pt Hardy Secondary School) in order to concentrate on the Business. Since moving to the mainland to be closer to our Grandkids we both still stay out of the Rain and enjoy the wilds of British Columbia as much as we possibly can.