MAKER STORIES // Jordan Clarke of Enarmoured
1. Tell us about you and what role 'hand-made' plays in your life…
My passion for jewellery making has developed fairly recently. In 2007, I graduated from OCAD University in Toronto, Canada with a BFA in Painting and Drawing. After working full-time as an oil painter for nearly a decade, I was drawn to the idea of using my creativity in a new medium. Since I've always loved working with my hands, the tactile quality that jewellery making provides seemed like the perfect next step. This spoke true for me after completing Con Ed courses in Jewellery at George Brown College.
What I enjoy most about creating jewellery is that each stage offers a new tactile experience.
I started Enarmoured: Handcrafted Fine Art Jewellery in the fall of 2017. Since then I have been working hard with the goal of moving from a part-time business to full-time. Currently, my jewellery is being sold at On The Other Hand, 1015 Queen Street East in Toronto’s Leslieville neighbourhood, as well as at The Right Side Boutique, 2097 Danforth Avenue Toronto, ON. I’ve also sold at The DESIGNnooks Weekend Pop Up, and will be participating in future NOOK events in 2018.
2. What is something fun, interesting and/or personal about you and your business?
I’m a stay-at-home mom to an extremely energetic 16-month-old boy. Wednesdays are designated as “jewellery production” days, and you will find me in my make-shift basement studio grinding out the work. When our son is asleep, I use the evenings to work on assemblage of jewellery pieces, as well as admin work, promotion, etc. I’ve definitely learned the art of hustling and time management since becoming a mom – #werk.
3. How did you get interested in becoming a jewellery maker? What do you love about it?
Creativity has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember: it is essential to my well-being. It has long been a tool for communication of my thoughts and feelings through oil painting. Nowadays, through Enarmoured, I am enjoying creating pieces of wearable art that are accessible to everyone. Each piece of jewellery has been manipulated by my hands and tells a story, just as a painting would. I love the idea that people can adorn themselves in mini pieces of art.
4. What is it that you specialize in within the crafting/handmade goods world?
Enarmoured is handcrafted fine art jewellery. Working with brass, I create bold, elegant and timeless pieces of small-batch jewellery.
My background in fine art informs my approach to design. Inspired by art, architecture, nature and the human figure, my aesthetic combines simplicity in design with organic, textured surfaces.
Each piece of jewellery, from the initial sketch to completion, is formed lovingly by hand. Using both traditional and innovative jewellery-making techniques, I create unique pieces of ‘wearable art’.
5. Describe your artistic community and how you think people in that community see you. What are you known for?
Enarmoured is relatively new, so I am constantly working on building a community supportive of my art. There are a lot of artists and craftspeople working and living in the east end, and I love that there is such a strong sense of community and creativity here. As a proud east ender, I am enjoying making a contribution as an artist in this community. Although Enarmoured is a relatively new endeavour, I think people are quickly recognizing the unique bold designs of my jewellery pieces.
6. What stories do you have or struggles have you overcome that will encourage the development and strengthen the identity of the Canadian-crafted industry? *
As an artist/creative person, I have faced adversity over the years. It is always hard to put your work “out there” into the world, especially when you feel really connected to it. What if no one understands? What if they don’t like it? What if I never sell a thing? What I’ve learned over the years is that you need to be your biggest fan: you have to believe in yourself, and you must protect and nourish your creative spirit. I always try to surround myself with like-minded individuals who will lift me up and encourage me when I’m not so sure. Community is everything!