Cree artist Justin Rivard was born in Nanaimo on October 11, 1964. In 1985, Rivard’s father introduced him to native artist Ray Dumont who suggested he start carving. Rivard took him up on the offer, and began researching his ancestral roots, working in art galleries and spending time in the library analyzing different styles.
Through the 1990s, Rivard found a niche as a jewellery known for making unusual pieces from silver, such as lighter cases and business card holders, as well as some of the lesser seen objects such as cuff links, tie bars and money clips. His Spirit Beads have been exceptionally popular, as they fit the ever popular Pandora and Troll bracelets, and can also be worn with pendants, alone, or even on hair wraps.
Rivard’s work is clean, consistent and generally crafted from a thicker gauge of silver than most artists use. Pendants and rings with semi-precious gem stones are marveled at by collectors and other artists alike. Rivard has also applied oxidation to pieces, giving them an antiqued quality, and has created many beautiful overlay pieces.
Rivard works in both silver and gold, and silver & gold combinations. If you would like to custom order a piece, please contact us.
Frog Spirit Bead by Justin Rivard
Frogs warn humans of imminent danger. Frogs represent stability, foundations and communication, which correlate with environmental observations about contamination and a worrisome decline in frog populations. Frog and Salmon both represent fertility in different regions along the coast. As a creature who lives in both water and on land, Frog is respected for being adaptable and knowledgeable. He is an important assistant to medicine men.
Frog faces are depicted with large round or oval eyes, tiny nostrils and long, closed lips that are often smiling and sometimes have a protruding tongue. The tongue represents transfer of knowledge. Frog is most recognizable when the whole body is shown, as the front and hind legs have webbed feet.
Cheryl Shearar Understanding Northwest Coast Art (2000)
Jay Miller Tsimshian Culture: A Light Through the Ages (2000)