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EDWARD JOE

Edward Joe was born into the Harris family of Stz’uminus (Whirlpool), and the Joe family of Quw’utsun (Warm Valley) on December 20, 1969. Being immersed in his culture from birth, Joe was pulled towards art as a young man, something that came naturally to him. Joe began designing in 1987, and in 1998 he graduated from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design with a Diploma in Fine Arts. Edward Joe learned to set gem stones at the Alberta Collect of Art and Design (ACAD), and also graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico with an Associate Degree in Fine Arts in 2001.

 

Edward Joe has refined his skills far beyond the scope of what is traditionally seen in First Nations jewellery of the Pacific Northwest Coast. While most First Nations artists engrave their beautiful patterns onto silver and gold, Joe’s pieces are all one of a kind. His signature style involves cutting out the negative spaces of a design, then soldering it to an oxidized foundation. This is a meticulous and painstaking process that requires patience and skill, as it is very easy to destroy the piece by over-heating the metal. The end result is a timeless and elegant piece, bound to catch the eye of many collectors who appreciate the stark contrast of a silver sheen against a black background.

 

For collectors familiar with the ovoid, split and u-forms used in Pacific Northwest Coast design, Coast Salish form may be quite unusual, as it is comprised of circles, darts and crescent shapes. Coast Salish eyes consist of a circle with darts on either side, unlike other coastal eyes that consist of an eye within an ovoid shape. Coast Salish design is less enclosed than the other styles from the coast, and remains the easiest of styles to identify, as it is so distinct.

 

Edward Joe’s art captures the Coast Salish spirit, as his designs are alive with motion. Many of his pieces correlate with stories that hail from his family’s territories, resulting in his jewellery being much more than mere decoration or costume. These pieces are sure to be passed down through generations as representations of an historical culture, one that is not static but is constantly transforming through the passage of time.

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