By Daniela Degrassi
This is the time of the year we focus more on ‘giving’. The Holidays are approaching and we’re all on the hunt for special, meaningful gifts for our loved ones. It’s perfect timing that I recently discovered the delicate designs of British Columbia based Twisted Fern. Not only they make charming and affordable Christmas presents; these designs are an ideal accessory to a boho wedding look and make excellent bridesmaid gifts. Plus, Twisted Fern sustainable and ethical philosophy makes these jewels an even more special purchase.
Founder and Designer Victoria grew up in the historic town of York, England. The past fascinated her from a young age. Through her studies and work as a Social Historian she was granted an insight into the pivotal roles art and fashion played in almost every culture and era. However it was in studying the 19th Century Arts and Crafts, and Aesthetic Movements that she found her calling to be creative. In 2015 she learned to crochet and quickly fell in love with the structural beauty and unique expression the art form afforded. Crocheting Precious Metals produces designs that are elegant yet strong; a modern imagining of a heritage craft.
“My jewelry is hand crafted using 100% reclaimed Fine and Sterling Silver. My inspiration comes from 19th century lacework, doily patterns and the geometric abstract patterns of the natural world. When I sit down to create, I usually sketch out my ideas, then turn the drawings into a geometric pattern to work from in Silver wire. For complex designs, I will often create a prototype in cotton to test the pattern. My favorite challenges are custom design requests where I am given a patch of lace, or a family heirloom doily, from which to create a matching pendant, hair piece, or set. Seeing the craftsmanship in heritage pieces inspires me to push my creativity and technical finesse.” says Victoria.
Check out all Twisted Fern pendants
In 2014 Victoria swapped the rolling hills of North Yorkshire and a job with English Heritage for the vast wilderness of British Columbia and a new career managing a Mountain Lodge in the Bella Coola Valley. She now handcrafts all Twisted Fern designs out of her Vancouver Island studio.
“Living in the world’s largest coastal temperate rainforest afforded me a unique insight into what it means to live closely with, and in defense of, an environment under threat. Logging and mining have threatened the most biologically diverse area on the planet and I knew I had to use my voice to make an impact and inspire others the way this area had inspired me. I learned a lot about resource management in the three years I spent there, including the impact our everyday choices have on the world around us. After reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic one dark winters day, I knew I wanted to make my passion for crochet my living. Combining that passion with my passion for environmental protection, using both as a vehicle for education, change, and empowerment was a natural progression for me. I created Twisted Fern Designs knowing I wanted to provide an alternative to fast fashion, mass production and the associated environmental resource corruption and depletion. I love being able to use my brand as a platform for education, bringing awareness to environmental and ethical issues surrounding precious metal and mineral mining and the use of animal products.”
Check out Twisted Fern crochet style earrings
Searching for the right materials for her designs Victoria learnt that metal mining is one of the largest polluters of land and water supplies worldwide. Acid rock drainage from waste rock associated with silver mining causes oxidization, this inhibits plant growth and contaminates surface and groundwater supplies. The effect of metal mining is felt for hundreds of years after a mine ceases activity. Many older mine shafts become unstable and collapse, displacing communities and deeming the land inhabitable, while others fill with water and continue to contaminate the surrounding ground water supplies for decades. Recycling sterling silver is an effective form of resource management. Silver is a great conductor and does not corrode. Due to this, it is used widely in many household appliances such as refrigerators, TV’s and microwaves, as well as in medical and industrial machinery. Recycling silver from these sources has a hugely positive environmental impact, decreasing reliance on known pollutants. That’s why all of Twisted Fern jewelry’s components are made from recycled sterling silver. From the bails to the clasps!
Check out Twisted Fern rings and adjustable rings
Victoria also engages in vegan activism through Twisted Fern Giving Back in Style program. She has been raising money for a number of Vegan charities in BC since mid 2018. For the remainder of 2019, 10% of each purchase will be donated to the wonderful charity P.E.A.C.E (People Ensuring Animal Care Exists) – a registered BC charity uniting and working with farm animal sanctuaries through Resources, Rescues and Education. One more reason to love Victoria and Twisted Fern!
An incurable enthusiast and independent spirit since she could remember (her childhood heroines were Pippi Longstockings and Katharine Hepburn) Daniela Degrassi found her creative outlet as a lifestyle photographer, working mainly in Northern California. Currently splitting her time between SF Bay Area and her native Italy to continue to be her autistic sister’s primary caregiver. Vegan since 2014, she found a perfect way to carry her message of compassion while celebrating her love for the wedding industry launching The Kind Bride in February 2018.