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S A S K AT O O N S TA R P H O E N I X

Artist creAtes interplAy of light And colour through precious metAls Jennifer Jacoby-Smith

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his year’s Style Week giveaway features the work of a local artist in a unique set of earrings and matching pendant. Mary Lynn Podiluk is a Saskatoon-born art jeweller and goldsmith. She views the human body as her canvas – a place to express her creativity through precious metals and alternative materials, such as resin. Jewellery design marries the technical skill of metalsmithing with creativity in forming a variety of materials. It is the harmony of these two aspects that attracted Podiluk. While attending NSCAD University (formerly Nova Scotia College of Art and Design) in Halifax, she initially thought she would focus on painting for her art degree, but one of the first classes she took was jewellery design. “The first day that I realized I was going to use a torch, I was completely hooked,’” she says. After graduating in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts in jewellery design and metalsmithing. Podiluk and her husband returned to Saskatoon. She worked with a local goldsmith, but eventually transitioned to a full-time studio practice of her own. Podiluk says she’s received amazing support from the Saskatchewan Craft Council (SCC), the Saskatchewan Arts Board and Creative Saskatchewan. In fact, the SCC Fine Craft Boutique on Broadway in Saskatoon sells her oneof-kind-pieces and collection work. The SCC Boutique will be hosting an exhibit called Triadica featuring new art jewellery by Podiluk, Joan Thomson and Jenny-Lyn Fife starting on Nov. 25, 2016 through Jan. 7, 2017. A reception will be held Dec. 2 from 7 to 9 p.m. The earrings featured are part of a collection. “Unlike my one-of-a-kinds, I make collection pieces reproducible, but limited. I might make 50 of them. Those pieces draw from my one-of-a-kind works, but are simplified a little bit, making them a little more accessible,” says Podiluk. Even though these designs are made to be repeatable, each resin piece is individually hand-dyed in a manner similar to how a painter might mix paints on her palette. No two pieces will have the exact same colour. The sterling silver has been stamped with random letters, inspired by her training in linguistics. “These earrings are entitled Retroflex. Linguistically speaking they refer to a sound that one would make when curling their tongue backwards,” explains Podiluk. This manner of articulation is used for the letter R. “That’s

LUMINOUS BEAUTY Inspired by language and beautifully hand-crafted by Saskatoon art jeweller and goldsmith Mary Lynn Podiluk, this unique set of earrings and matching pendant feature letter-textured sterling silver married to a luminous resin form. Mary Lynn hand-blends the colour on each piece of resin for a one-of-a-kind look. The set serves as wearable art and is available in other colours. Titled Retroflex, this lightweight jewellery will become a treasured adornment for years. Shop the Saskatchewan Craft Council’s Fine Craft Boutique at 813 Broadway Avenue. Model: Danielle Booth, She Modelling

where my design originated from. I often draw on language and linguistic concepts to inspire my conceptual designs, but at the same time I’ll take natural and found objects and recontextualize them with that perspective, giving the jewellery a very organic and botanical feel.” The resin is light-weight, yet resilient, and is coming to define Podiluk’s work. Podiluk continues to grow in her craft, constantly experimenting with new materials, new colours and textures. “A lot of people in Saskatoon would be familiar with the fashion industry which includes wearables that are

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often produced on a large scale. The intention is to be very accessible to a wide large audience and follow the seasonal trends,” Podiluk says. “People like me don’t really fall into that category. In contrast, handmade jewellery, contemporary art is designed and motivated by artistic expression, experimentation and innovation.” The fine craft community is thriving in Saskatchewan, thanks to the SCC. The Saskatchewan Craft Council promotes excellence in fine craft through the artists it represents and its Fine Craft Boutique. “We celebrate art through our Gallery program. In fact, our current exhibition, Continuous (featuring linocuts

by Monique Martin), is our 300th,”says Carmen Milenkovic, executive director of the SCC. “We’re part of a national campaign called Citizens of Craft. If you respect the original, the personal, the authentic – if you love the handmade – you are a citizen of craft.” Having an artisan piece hand-crafted by a local artist is something to treasure for decades and vastly differently than most mass-produced jewellery. It’s the opportunity to showcase a local artist’s voice and vision. Visit the Saskatchewan Craft Council at 813 Broadway Avenue for the opportunity to see more of Mary Lynn’s designs, as well as work from over 80 fine craft artists.

Mary Lynn Podiluk, a Saskatoon-born art jeweller and goldsmith, expresses her creativity through precious metals and alternative materials.

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Saskatoon Style Week 2016  
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