lydi of the valley
contemporary metalsmith + designer
Lydi of the Valley is a single studio operation situated in the heart of East Vancouver’s thriving artist studio district. As both a designer and contemporary metalsmith, Lydia Buxton cultivates handcrafted pieces informed by her love of texture and natural materials.
A graduate of NSCAD University (Halifax, NS), she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in Jewellery Design and Metalsmithing. Shortly after graduating her student work won the 10th National Jewellery Student Competition at L.A. Pai Gallery in Ottawa. Today, she continues to show her personal work both locally and internationally through various contemporary jewellery galleries and exhibitions.
Many of the Lydi of the Valley collections start with a memory or recollection, a nod to a specific moment of inspiration. Each piece of jewellery offers natural elements and textures creating softly structured designs that feature a mix of silky freshwater pearls and sterling silver. These intentionally tactile pieces are meant to be worn simply; bringing a subtle luxury and interest to any look.
on her studio process...
"When creating new work, I am constantly looking for new ways to incorporate colours and textures in ways that are surprising, yet functional.
Currently, I employ a range of materials and resin as sources of color and form. I find that the addition of alternative materials keeps my ideas fresh, sparking an organic way of making.
I use freshwater pearls frequently throughout my work, I intend the pearl to act as a metaphor, small reminders of those moments that arise often unexpectedly in daily life - a whiff of peony, or the crush of wet grass – a quiet transport to a personal place of remembered delight.
I don’t limit myself in terms of materials, often considering any texture that catches my attention as an option. Perhaps my approach is backwards in some ways. I’ll find a strange alluring material, purchase it and let it sit amongst other materials I’ve found until it works.
I usually have a concept in mind before I begin experimenting, and then a palate usually forms with the materials I’ve accumulated. I try to have the materials out for a few days mingling in amongst each other. I like to keep them out, let my eye mull over them without a lot of conscious thought while I experiment with one aspect of construction.
Ever interested by inner landscapes, but particularly with aspects of memory – my work reflects my understanding of how we are affected by the emotions that are tied to memory. Recently, my interests lie in the idea of a collective memory and emotion. The recent elections South of us have stirred some parts of me I didn’t know existed, I feel weirdly a part of a making movement that is fighting against a heavy emotional weight this past year. Currently deciphering what that is and how it is affecting my making practice – Resilience/Emergence are pieces that have all in been made in this new era of felt collective emotion."
Model and studio photography by DeeDee Morris
Product photos by Tanya King