Apotropaia Tarot and Jewellery
Janet Harrison is a jewellery artist, gemologist and tarot reader living and working in Vancouver, BC, Canada on unceded Coast Salish territory. Her inspiration comes from shape and form, the natural and the supernatural, the occult and the mundane.
Harrison is a graduate of the Jewellery Art and Design program and is currently a student in the Gemmology program at Vancouver Community College. She is the recipient of the Craft Council of British Columbia Award for First Year Display (2014) and the Edgemont Village Jeweller Scholarship for Creative Ingenuity, Technical Excellence and Strong Presentation Skills (2015).
How did you end up making what you make?
I got interested in making jewellery during a sculpture class I was taking at Langara College when I was doing the Fine Arts program there. We were working in steel and copper for a project. I loved it and it sparked my interest in jewellery as tiny wearable sculpture.
What have you learned in an unexpected place or from an unexpected person that informs your making?
I was once reading tarot for a friend at her family's cabin. They had their neighbours over and early in the reading the neighbour kid came over and got right into it with me. He just started reading the cards. He had never seen them before but he was connecting to the stories in the images of the cards. Be spontaneous, play, let it come to you, make it up as you go along and have fun. Kids have a lot to teach us.
What inspires or drives you to make what you make?
I want to make things that have meaning. I don't know if I have achieved that so far but it is that synchronicity that I'm striving for. To create things that are beautiful and symbolic, seamlessly.
Who are some of your favourite other makers? Local? Worldwide?
Oh my, so many amazing creators out there. Locally, I am crazy about Noctex's Negin Izad. Randi from Ora Bags/Aro Upholstery. My incredible classmates from VCC's Jewellery program: Sophie Armstrong, Mariya Karpenko, Taylor Gardiner, Sarah Hodgson, Laura Struve. All of my fellow Collective Howl folks, especially the ever inspiring Caitlin ffrench. Worldwide, I am wild about Morph Knitwear, Maude Nibelungen, Hunter Gatherer Chicago.
What is your favourite season and why?
I love Autumn. I used to get excited about summer as a kid because it represented freedom but at some point in my 20s something switched. I craved the slowing down of Fall and Winter and the activities that go along with those seasons. Being able to just be at home or in the studio and not feel like you are missing out on anything or expected to be doing anything other than create art, make food and be with loved ones. Fall represents the turn inward that is needed to progress. It's the time to do the necessary work.
Who is your celebrity crush?
Cher. Dolly. Tina.
How do you connect to your landbase?
I try to be in a place that is all trees and no people as much as possible but I don't drive and I have a pretty intense schedule. I end up city-bound more than I would like. I try to ritualize little things like my walk to the grocery store. I literally stop and smell the roses. I have favourite trees and bushes that I love to watch go through their seasonal changes. I love the weeks in the late spring when the crows moult and there are black feathers all over the roadsides.
Do you have any sort of mantra or quote that strikes you?
Just work hard and be kind.
Do you remember the first thing you made that you felt was great/ the first time you found passion in being a maker?
When the solder flows and you know that you have bonded metal to metal! The first time and every time since!