The minimalist designs of artist and jewellery designer Kari Woo can be found hanging on many an earlobe in the Bow Valley.
Woo started designing and making jewellery in 1993.
“When I took my first class in Calgary and fell in love with the processes and materials,” says Kari Woo. “Since then, other than a short stint on Haida Gwaii, I have lived and worked in Alberta.”
Woo’s hometown is Calgary where she went to school earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) from the Alberta University of the Arts.
“I moved to Canmore in 2010 with my husband and son and worked out of my studio there until 2020,” Says Woo.
She wanted more space and a garden so she relocated to Cochrane. However, it is the space and matter of the Bow Valley.
“My work is very much informed by time I have spent on the land surrounded by those that are other than human,” Woo says. “Though this may not translate literally into my work like it might with a landscape painter, for example, you will see the influence of texture, form and feeling of spaciousness in my designs.”
As an artist, Woo works in various mediums and plays between dynamic, sometimes opposing forces.
“I’m very interested in the tension between the developed, to natural / the urban and rural /the architectural and organic which is also a very present influence in my work,” Woo says.
Woo is not one to pay attention to trends. Her designs are minimalist, clean and sometimes architectural. Her jewellery is designed to be worn every day – something that is perfect for active people or those who don’t want to be precious with their jewellery.
“My minimalist design approach is about simplicity, versatility and comfort,” Woo says. “My styles are timeless and style adaptive, meaning that they can suit a broad spectrum of age and personal style.”
Not only do her designs fit different styles, but they fit different budgets.
“I have items spanning a broad range of prices (starting at $24 for simple silver earrings to gold and diamond rings in the +$2,000 range) so can suit almost any budget,” says Woo. “Patrons can feel good about purchasing from my local brand as it supports the local economy, creative culture and an independent small business.”
In the past, Woo has made many bespoke pieces and custom orders. Currently, and for the rest of 2021, Woo is working on building a new website and expanding her wholesale catalogue. However, she will be taking new bookings in the new year.
To learn more about Kari Woo, visit www.kariwoo.com.