December 10, 2011

Kari Woo

In 1993 Kari discovered her love of making jewellery literally by accident. While recovering from a snowboarding injury she enrolled in her first jewellery class - it was love at first make! Though she had always collected jewellery through her girlhood she never imagined that she would make it. Now almost two decades later she is still at it and she still loves it. After a few initial classes Kari's beginnings were largely self taught until she returned to school in 1998, receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts [hons] specializing in Jewellery + Metals from the Alberta College of Art + Design in 2003.

Since then she found a second love - collaborating to build small independent arts events and businesses. In 2003 she co-founded the Shiny Fuzzy Muddy Collective of artists and makers based out of Vancouver, B.C. - a group that still works together annually to host one of Vancouver's best curated independent arts + craft events. In 2004 Woo co-founded INFLUX Jewellery Gallery in Calgary which she co-owned and co-piloted with her business partners until March 2011 when they passed the torch on to new owners. 2004 also saw the start of the New Craft Collective - an Alberta based initiative modelled after her successful collaboration in Vancouver. In 2007 she launched Made In Canada: Calgary Artist's Market which supported local artists with a venue to show and sell their works on a monthly basis for the entire year.

During this time she has also been able to develop and maintain her own studio based business where she designs, produces and distributes an independent line of contemporary art jewellery, works closely with clients on custom pieces and occasionally instructs workshops through the ACAD Extended Studies Program.

Her work is notably understated and modern in design but with the use whimsical freehand motifs and the intentional asymmetry of form it is also warm and intriguing. Drawing her influences equally from architectural forms, human dwellings and her observations of nature Kari’s designs reference notions of space - whether they be public or private, external or internal, urban or natural, physical or metaphorical. Her mixed media work has been exhibited in the United States, Europe, South Korea and across Canada; her jewellery designs are available in high-end design boutiques and galleries across the country, online and in select U.S. locations
In 2010 Kari moved to Canmore with her husband where they have burrowed into a cozy little nest which includes her home studio. In early 2011 they became new parents and are embarking on a whole new collaborative project of new proportions… and she still designs and loves to make jewellery.

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