The Deep Winter
The Nooks - February 11, 2020
Kendra Elizabeth Welham is the Toronto artist and metalsmith behind jewellery line The Deep Winter.
"I’ve always been a tinkerer and an artist. Jewellery making has sort of combined the two. I have experience in sound and graphic design, but wanted to do something that involved my hands and metals. Real, solid things. I took a basic mixed metals class, fell in love with the wax carving and silver process and everything grew from there. I literally get to play with fire! I love that."
Kendra applies both conventional and unconventional metalsmithing techniques in her craft. Incorporating themes of dark fantasy into wearable art, The Deep Winter Jewellery are unique gems that feel like metal armour.
"When I think of handmade I think of the tiny imperfections that make a piece of jewellery art, as opposed to a product. Those imperfections, intentional or not, are what make the jewel unique. You can feel a piece of the creator within the item. I first realized the impact handmade can have when my brother and his fiancee asked me to make their wedding bands. Handmade is so personal and intimate— it’s just really special."
Kendra quite literally began her business in a closet-- the miniature second bathroom in the tiny apartment she shared with her boyfriend at the time. She converted it into a workspace; the sink became a desk, the toilet makeshift storage. There was just enough space to work on one thing at a time, so she was constantly setting things up, putting them away, and resetting for the next task. As Kendra continued to learn, she collected new tools, and her need for a real space grew. Eventually she was able to create a proper studio garage in Toronto’s east end, a space that gives her room to flow.
Kendra's sculptural pieces are carved in wax by tool and heat, then cast in to precious metals. Other pieces are hand-fabricated from gathered sheet metal or recycled bits. The Deep Winter's more classic jewelry forms have an organic feel. These applied textures seed from her fascination with the ever growing and decomposing natural world.