Mini Profile: Jewelry artist Kerri Parnell answers 'Who R You?'

NAME:Kerri Parnell

CRAFT:I make jewelry with found materials near my home, tucked in the foothills of the Monashee Mountains.

The main material I work with is antler. Antlers are shed annually and I am amazed at what the natural world leaves behind. It gives me great pleasure to be able to transform these gifts from nature into wearable art for all to enjoy.

I also work with horsehair and fur from local farms, and salvaged copper from demolished buildings.

Each piece has a separate story and meaning behind it. For example, my beaver fur necklaces (as seen in the photo) are made from a beaver that was rescued from a trap line near our house, which was placed there to lure large game, such as cougars. I salvaged the pelt and created this necklace. The Anishinaabe people believe that beaver represents wisdom. We all have a special gift; wisdom is to honour our spirit by sharing our gift with the world.

THE BEGINNINGS:I am originally from Winnipeg. I feel fortunate to have been raised in such a vibrant and artistic community; I spent my time as an avid drawer and painter. Along the road, I stumbled upon Cherryville. I was smitten by its lush forest and clean water, and wanted to live there. I was surrounded by this picturesque landscape, feeling this "magic" and wanting to share it with the world. I was on a walk and found an antler, and the creationsbegan. I have been working with antlers for the past four years and have fallen in love with this material. Iam amazed that antlers are so lightweight and yet so strong. It's very exciting when I cut into one because you never know what colours are inside. I am grateful to live in such a supportive community whose neighbours are very helpful in resourcing antlers with me.

DAY SHIFT:My other passion is to work with young girls ages 10 to 14. I run a girls empowerment program that I hope will be adopted into the school system. It focuses on body image, bullying, media messages and self-esteem. I think it's so important to send the right messages to young girls in their formative years. I am also a proud mother of two wonderful girls who fill me up completely.

IN FIVE YEARS . . .I hope to teach my girls empowerment program throughout the Okanagan and abroad. I will forever continue to create and want to adorn as many people as I can with my jewelry. My hope is that when people wear my creations they will feel a connection to both nature and their own inner strength.

BRIGHT LIGHTS:You can see me at the Kamloops Arts Council's Art in the Park on July 1 at Riverside Park and other festivals such as the Winnipeg Folk Fest and Shambhala.

I also have an Etsy page(my shop name is LichenAntlers). But, please bear with me, I am trying to be more computer savvy - this seems to be my challenge.

I would love to see you directly or you can email me at lichenfashionedantler@hotmail.comif you have any questions or would like to see some more of my work.

© Copyright 2018 Kamloops Daily News