Bayoush Mengesha

Artist Statement

 

My goal as an artist is to take the world around me, which I find to be extraordinarily beautiful, and to tell that story through my jewellery. A lot of detail can go into a single piece, even if it doesn’t appear that way. I enjoy using texturing and manipulation techniques that mimic images of nature.

 

Birch bark and feathers are used in some of my designs, but subtly; understated suggestions, which give the viewer an opportunity to either see what I see, or see the reflection of something which is entirely of their own imagination.

I am also inspired by my Ethiopian heritage, which has taught me about the beauty which can come from that delicate dance between the simple and the complex. All the materials that are used in my designs, I’ve personally sourced out. The stones are cut ethically and sustainably by a family in India.

 

The gemstone cutting family are 3rd generation lapidaries, who have cut, shaped and polished gems in Rajasthan for numerous years. I use sterling silver and 14kt gold-filled wire for my pieces.

 

The silver and gold- filled wires I use is recycled silver from a company that takes scrap pieces of silver and gold from artisans and reincorporating them into materials. I create all of my jewellery in my studio in the heart of Vancouver. I enjoy creating my unique on-of-a-kind jewellery.

 

All pieces are handmade and designed by myself in my studio in Vancouver. I have travelled personally to India to source unique and beautiful gemstones from a 3rd generation gemstone cutting family. All stones are cut in an ethical fashion (no child labour and everyone works in safe working conditions). Nature is a big part of my influence.

 

I manipulate and texture metal to look like elements or images of nature. For my birch bark series, I collect birch bark from trees from around Vancouver. I create all of my jewellery and components of my pieces by myself, manipulating wire or metal sheet, cutting, texturing and shaping metal into my designs.

Giving back to communities not just in Canada, but around the world, is very important to me, and I strive to be both a conscious consumer and artist. My own inspiration comes from growing up in Vancouver, where nature has been a big part of my life, and from my brief work as a biologist.

 

Also from my Ethiopian heritage, which has taught me about the beauty, which can come from that oh, so delicate dance between the simple and the complex

Artisan Biography

Born in Manzini, Swaziland, Bayoush Mengesha began making jewellery five years after moving to Canada with her family when she was eight years old. She was introduced to the art form during a Girl Guides sleepover by her mother, who taught her how to make a peyote stitch bracelet.

 

This is all it took to hook her. Supported by her mother with frequent trips to their local craft store, Bayoush began to teach herself a variety of different weaving patterns, along with – eventually –designing her own.

Bayoush began silversmithing two years ago after she took a course at a local institution (although she continues to be primarily self-taught and experiment with different techniques).