Designer Profile: Sword+Fern Jewelry

Formerly a landscape horticulturist Emily Baker of Sword+Fern continues with an organice aesthetic in her line of  jewelry crafted from natural and antique pieces with modern clean lines.  From rough gems to woven chains Revolver is happy to carry this Portland's native's line. Emily was kind of enough to sit with Revolver and discuss her goals, line etc.

Q: What's your background in jewelry making, and how did you get started?
I am completely self-taught..I'd been making jewelry since I was a kid, and became  excited about using recycled materials to create jewelry more recently- the line is now around 4 years old.I am thinking about taking some metalsmithing classes someday-but to date, the techniques I use to make sword+fern jewelry is sort of like assemblage or sculpture in my mind.

Q: You use a lot of found/vintage pieces in your design -- what's the magic behind something old?
I just feel like when an object you can hold in the palm of your hand has passed through many hands and timelines it tells a story that so many of us can relate to. People seem to delight in old, weathered things, like they've found something that has been lost or buried and then it got rescued and they get to clean off the dust and have it for awhile. I find so much beauty and magic in everyday objects like keys and matches and bits of metal, I feel like a crow on the railroad tracks, I am always walking with my eyes open and my head down.I have been that way since I was little.

Q: What's the greatest vintage find you've ever come across?
Oh boy, that's a hard one! So many good ones on my list! Although I feel like when I read about other people's finds I am astounded. I am sort of a frugal collector- I don't have a lot of space for huge things- but I do have drawers of tiny special things. I adore anything religious right now, like gaudy medallions and crosses and goddess related stuff- so I guess the huge lot of crosses in all shapes and sizes and styles I found last week would be the one I can think of! I also love vintage, handmade pottery right now,I've been collecting them + I am making tons of planters with them for summer.

Q: How do you feel the Portland scenery affects your design? What are your other inspirations?
I love the Pacific Northwest. It is overwhelmingly inspiring in so many ways. I am attracted to the landscapes of all the corners of Oregon- the coast, mountains, deserts, rivers, and the gorge are my favorites. The plant life and the sky and the weather are comforting and familiar. I haven't traveled a lot, so it's good I embrace it here! I spend a lot of time near water, collecting rocks and driftwood. I grew up on an island in Washington State, so it's my nostalgic inspiration when I am near the forest and small beaches and passages. I think as far as affecting my design, I just do what I know and what moves me. And that is mostly PNW nature/natural ecosystems and environments, but I am also super excited and inspired by women of ancient civilizations, textile patterns, rhythms in language and music, and simple, modern elements in all kinds of design from architecture to clothing.  People seem to like the ease and minimalism I embody in the jewelry. Circles, stones, and the warm colors I use like brass and gold are so special and timeless and grounding for us. I play off themes of traditional women's work, folk art, and ancient earth-based spirituality a lot in my personal style and logo/design/styling because those are fascinating and seemingly just as lost as a ring of rusty keys..


Q: What role do you think jewelry plays in fashion?
It's huge! It kind of takes a backseat to clothing on some level, but everyone knows that jewelry is powerful and sought after in almost every culture and class through out all of time.. I love the differences between all of the styles! I have always really been excited by all accessories. I think different people gravitate towards different elements of fashion. And I always wear jewelry, it feels like protection to me. If I don't have an awesome outfit, I can wear a great necklace and it's just as good. I don't like overdoing it on clothes or on jewelry- unless it's a costume scenario. 

I think everybody can feel the powerful role jewelry has always played in the world. It has so many meanings..and can really say a lot about the person wearing it. I like to meet people and look at the jewelry they wear and try to imagine what their life is like, and why they chose to wear that one piece.

Q: Is there a piece of jewelry that can always be found on you? Or do you switch it up daily?
I almost always wear earrings but it depends on what my hair is up to that day.
I made matching necklaces for me and my sweetheart about a year ago. It's a nugget of this amazing gemstone called Prehnite that is the color of a green apple, strung on a grey silk strand,we never take them off. 
I do change my other necklaces everyday, it is true.

Q: What is the must-have accessory you couldn't live without?
My eyeglasses are pretty cool- I am sort of blind without them-they're vintage Stetson huge aviators- sort of like the ones Jeffrey Dahmer wears. I got them to ward off creepy weirdoes while in a bar, but it does the opposite. If i had unlimited income or if a certain someone is reading this.. I would love to have an Arielle DePinto  or an Erin Considine necklace.. 

Unique items from Sword + Fern are available @ Revolver 

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