I was expecting glass jars with cotton beards and raisin oatmeal cookies when I attended the craft fair at Mt.Pleasant Elementary yesterday. Instead, I met Shirley Brown, a cedar bark weaver and jewelry maker.
A year ago, before I’d heard of things like the WhoMadeMyClothes campaign and the True Cost Documentary I probably would have admired Shirley’s art for all of 2.3 seconds before deciding I would rather spend their $30 price tag on heck, an entire new outfit at Winners.
This time I stopped and asked her how she makes her pieces and heard an amazing story of how Shirley hand harvests cedar strips from her home in Bella Bella, BC–one time getting a single strip 20 feet long. An orange-wedge-shaped smile expanded across her face as she told me about how much she loves being in the forest, listening to the trees, and touching the bark.
So, yeah, I bought the earrings partly because they are pretty and sustainable and locally made, but mainly so I could have a piece of that giant grin.