Natural Icon

At Natural Icon Designs I make original mixed media paintings and handmade jewellery with a focus on semi precious gemstones, bone, amber, wood and freshwater pearls. I take pride in creating every piece in Calgary Alberta Canada. Unless otherwise noted all pieces are one of a kind.



Made to Order

   Have you ever been to a liquidation store? Wondered where all this stuff comes from? Why are there 100 pairs of mustard yellow culottes in all different sizes on sale for 10 bucks a pair? No one is going to buy them for 10 dollars, probably no one is going to buy them at all. I often filter through the clothes at the grocery store and wonder who is going to buy all of this bizarrely designed, creepy material clothing? I am guilty of buying leggings there in the past, they are really cheap, but my powerful thighs usually rub holes into them in a month or two. I have a pile of them in the basement in my mending basket, like that's ever going to happen.

     If your clothing was made to order there would be way less polyester leopard print floating around the planet.

 Are there enough people in Calgary to wear all these lovely leopard tops? I have some doubts! My son is always fun to go shopping with :)

Are there enough people in Calgary to wear all these lovely leopard tops? I have some doubts! My son is always fun to go shopping with :)

     I have been trying to be a more mindful consumer the past few years. I have been trying to create a business that has less impact on the world and can help others be more mindful consumers as well. I find it challenging but not impossible. My solution has been to use a company that makes everything that I design to order. Made to order means there is no extra. I will never have 40 XS googly eye pants in my living room, looking for a place to happen. If someone wants googly eye pants and who wouldn't??? they order them and they are made especially for them. It does take a little bit longer than ordering things from other ginormous companies but if you plan your purchases ahead a little bit, it is not that inconvenient. 

    The other benefit of a made to order business and a business that makes things in North America is that there is no giant container-ship shipping from overseas. I don't have to order bulk and have things shipped to Canada first and then distribute them from here. Everything is made in Montreal and shipped from there, one little package at a time. Container ships are responsible for a lot of pollution, both in the air and in the water.

     If you would like to have something made to order for you have a look at my online shop! 

 Click the button and sign up to save 10% on your first  Made to Order  Order!

Click the button and sign up to save 10% on your first Made to Order Order!

End of Summer Learning Series at Wolf Willow Studio

Take a Creative Vacation this August

Check out my Eventbrite profile with all the events, dates and details listed. Supplies for the described projects are included, 12 and up is great and if you would like to arrange different payment options email me!

Always So Much to Do!

I always feel like I am not getting enough done. I'm not great at relaxing at all. I very much feel like there are never enough hours in the day yet I also think I am a chilled individual until I blow my stack and then I think hey I'm actually a really big spaz. Sigh. Blogging I am not so good at. I always think it needs to be epic and amazing and it never really is so I am going to post something daily for awhile and see what comes of it. I may not even check my spelling which will really freak me out. I have been doing the #DailyBead on Instagram since January 1 and I must say I am getting bored of it. So the three month rule may not apply to me. I intend to stick with it though so we will see what happens! Blogging on the other hand makes me shiver. I'll start with something safe, a Daily Bead round up! I love visuals - colours, textures, balance and symmetry and contrast and all the components of visual language - so easy. Real language, not so easy :)  But like anything you want to get better at...practice!

A Fresh Start!

I have been trying for quite some time to cram three things into one web site! It has not been working out very well. I am stubborn though so I have kept at it until finally I have given up and made a separate site for my Jewellery, Art and Social Media Services business. The relief I feel now! Maybe that's the fun of being so stubborn, finally giving up is such a nice feeling. 

1-Fullscreen capture 11012014 23432 AM.jpg

Coming up with brand names, logos etc is very time consuming and sort of gets in the way of the creative process. Trying to define who you are and what you are all about in a word or two and an image or three is challenging. You must remember that you can always change things in the future, it is not written in stone. It is an evolution. That's what I've been telling myself anyway. So the name Natural Icon I came up with years ago for a series of paintings I was doing. I had just graduated with my fine art degree and was out of school, floundering around a bit, free from instructors, thesis statements, artist statements or any other sort of structure for my art. So I got to meditating about what I really cared about, what really moved me and made me happy. I started thinking back to my childhood and what fascinated and inspired me way back when. What I came up with was animals, leaves, rocks, stars, the sun, flowers, shells, bones, sand, dirt and water. So basically Nature!


The architecture of the natural world follows mathematical equations. Now math is not really my thing, like Barbie said "math is hard" or at least I have to think about math way harder then other things. Probably the only thing I have in common with Barbie:)  Math is magical though and mysterious to me. According to Wikipedia " two quantities are in the golden ratio if their ratio is the same as the ratio of their sum to the larger of the two quantities. " 


  Now if I think real hard about that it makes sense! What I am all about is the visuals, and the visuals associated with the Golden Ratio are amazing and magical. The example to illustrate the Golden ratio is more often than not the cross section of a nautilus shell. The Nautilus is a living fossil, remaining unchanged for millions of years. It is a mysterious creature that builds it's own home a chamber at a time, perfectly and beautifully. The above fossils are cephalopods, much smaller than a Nautilus but illustrating similar construction. So that's where the idea started, the magic of the Natural world...the Icon part I will write about next time!