Cameo is an ongoing series featuring Canadian jewellery artists. here, they share their latest thoughts and insights, and give us a peek into their practice. 




Tamika Knutson


Dawson City, Yukon Territory

Tamika Knutson.JPG

Describe your current work/practice in one sentence.

My aim with my practice is to explore and retrace my indigenous identity as a Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in First Nation through creating art jewellery while also bringing First Nation craft into a more contemporary space.

What are three things/ideas that inspire you?

I find inspiration from the boreal forest. It’s so exciting to find little gems of colour and texture when you take a closer look at the nature around you. I am also excited by the challenge of using unconventional or mundane materials in jewellery and transforming them into something precious.

What other things do you do besides your jewellery practice?

I’m playing a lot of hockey these days now that I’m home in Dawson City! I didn’t have much time to play sports while I was at school. I’m happy to have that balance between work and play again!

What is a favourite piece that you've made and why?

My favourite piece is 'Reconstruct' (birch bark piece). It’s significant to me because it was the last piece I made while I was at NSCAD and it represents a turning point in the conceptualization of my work. The use of birch bark and beads became more personal and important to me as a First Nations artist. It has allowed me to make work that challenges the perception of traditional First Nation craft.

Reconstruct (2017)
Birch bark, copper, cotton rope, epoxy, spray paint, patina

Lichen Necklace (2016)
Copper, silver, enamel, patina

What word pops into your mind when you think of Canadian art jewellery?

It is difficult being an art jeweller because it’s not only technically and mentally challenging but also the Canadian art jewellery scene is quite small and you really have to go out there to make opportunities happen for yourself.

What is coming up next for you?

I am working on expanding a body work in birch bark for an exhibition at the ODD Gallery in Dawson City, Yukon on May 17th. You all are invited! :)

Published: 2017/12/15