Smithstine Copper: Unique Prairie Jewelry

Smithstine Copper is a one-woman studio creating prairie inspired and custom copper jewelry and accessories. Kristine MacDonald, of Smithstine Copper, has been making jewelry since 2011, first joining us for the holiday season in 2013. "Copper has become my metal of choice because it is soft, shines up beautifully and is not particularly common in jewelry making. My copper designs are mainly prairie related because I appreciate Alberta's diverse features, creatures and landmarks." Catch her at the Bison both weekends, Follow her on Instagram or Twitter to keep up with her new work and read on to learn what inspires her!

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Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
Smithstine Copper:
I love working with my hands and creating tangible, wearable art inspired by the things I encounter on adventures.

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
Copper enameling! I’ve recently begun learning the craft of copper enameling, which is the process of sifting a fine glass powder onto copper and heating it up in a very hot kiln. The glass powder melts and fuses to the copper. It creates beautiful, glossy, vibrant colours on the surface of the copper. This was a hobby of my grandma and mom in the ‘70s and I am excited to be able to use some of their tools and kiln. I will have lots of new colourful pieces with me on both weekends of the Bison.

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
Copper is not a particularly common metal in the world of jewelry making. When I began working exclusively in copper I didn’t know of anyone else working with it and ended up self-teaching myself most of the techniques I now use through trial and error. I love it’s malleability, rosy colour and the way it shines up. Copper has many unique properties that make it a dream to wear and to work with.

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RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community?
I love being a creative in Edmonton because there is a lot of support within the community and between artists. Others are always willing to share tips, collaborate, and lend a hand. The patrons who attend art and craft fairs are so encouraging and enthusiastic, which I love! I think that Edmonton is often overlooked as a creative hub and maybe that’s why art & design flourish here under the radar.

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
Aurélie Guillaume of Montréal is a creative genius and combines wacky character illustrations and vibrant enamel to make incredibly ornate and unique jewelry. I am in awe of the fine detail she includes in these pieces.

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us?
We don’t have a lot of traditions anymore, but I always love having friends and family over, decorating sugar cookies, snowy days, and drinking mulled wine.

Check out Smithstine Copper’s Instagram to discover more about what pieces she’ll be bringing to the Royal Bison!

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