Carla Swope’s passion for creating unique jewellery is something she’s possessed since she was young. Inspired by our natural environment, she draws her design ideas from the mountains and valleys where she lives in Chilliwack, BC, and beyond. The jewellery she creates is constantly evolving: she loves to work with unusual colour and shape combinations, and these change with the seasons. Mother Nature is Carla’s muse, with all of her pieces balancing the elegant feminine with Earth’s elements.
Impeccable high-quality craftsmanship and a keen eye for detail have helped her to build a successful business over the past 15 years. Carla has participated in many juried art shows, community craft shows, markets and events. She was also the owner of Beadifferent bead shop in Hope until 2010, as well as being a certified yoga instructor. She teaches jewellery design at the University of the Fraser Valley, as well as at local arts councils, community centres, and schools.
I work primarily with semi-precious stones and metal; however also incorporate glass, crystals and wood into my designs. I use a non-soldering technique that complements each stone, preventing marring or scratching. Each design combines hand tools, strict tension, extreme patience and an ever-steady hand. I wrap each stone, texturing the wires as I go.
Many of my stones are locally picked and hand cut from the mountains where I live. Where possible they are truly “Made in Canada.” Stones that are not locally mined are sourced from all over the world; I pick the most unique and unusual that I’m able to find. I have a strong eye for stone quality!
One thing that sets me apart from many jewellery artists is that I also love to teach. I always have an easy to understand step-by-step showcase at my booth. This allows potential customers to view the process and intricacy involved in the making of their pieces. I’m always happy to show people how I do what I do.