Put a Raven On It


In September 2012, I thoroughly enjoyed not attending classes for the first time in twenty years. By this past October, I had been out of school for a little over a year and already wanted to go back. However, this time it would be for fun rather than for a degree. I signed up for a course provided by the Nunavut Arctic College: Jewelry and Metalwork. For our first task, our wonderful instructor, Erica Stanley of Silver Moon Studio, told us that we would be making pendants.

This is going to sound totally hipster, but I swear it is true: I liked birds before they were trendy. I still do like birds, even after Portlandia tried to ruin them for me. I think my affinity toward birds (except seagulls – I detest seagulls) started at a young age because my Farfar loved birds so much. He was a terrific whistler.

Perhaps influenced by my time up north, I decided to focus on ravens. Some people dislike ravens, and rightly so. They’re tricky little brutes who make a mess of damn near everything. Me, I quite enjoy them. Their guttural calls and their unpredictable flight paths.

In any case, the inspiration for my pendant came from an unexpected place: a photo that I took where ravens abound – the local garbage dump.

When I initially took the photo, I wanted to capture the vast quantity of ravens.

But then I noticed how beautiful each raven was.

The rest was written.

Or, rather, sketched, drilled, sawed, filed, buffed, and polished.

If you're in the territory, check out Nunavut Arctic College's Continuing Education Evening Course Schedule for other great classes being offered in winter 2014.

Thank you to the ever-talented Gustavo Oliveira and Dana Statham for the photos of yours truly.