Designer Draws Inspiration from Ancient Egyptian Culture
Asia Clarke, founder of Wild Moon Jewelry, discovered her hidden talent when she decided to create handmade gifts for close friends and family members during a Christmas holiday. In return, Clarke received more than she anticipated: overwhelming feedback and support, which propelled her to begin her journey as an entrepreneur.
“I identified that I’m good at this. I was never trained in it, but maybe I’ll just keep doing it,” remembers Clarke, sitting inside a cozy Starbucks coffee shop in Toronto’s east end. “I worked on the concept behind the line with my friend, then I decided to call it Wild Moon.”
With a peach tea latte in hand, Clarke smiles infectiously as she speaks about the concept of using jewelry as a form of artistic expression.
“I see art as a vision. You have to have a vision in order to create anything. Some people don’t consider jewelry as art, but it is.”
“I don’t want my jewelry to be considered as anything else, but art,” she explains. “I see art as a vision. You have to have a vision in order to create anything. Some people don’t consider jewelry as art, but it is.”
The jewelry creation process therapeutically empowers Clarke to heal and cope with the unforeseen surprises of life, she says. Patience, happiness and forgiveness are what she feels after completing a necklace or pair of earrings. Fittingly, her latest collection is titled Transcendence.
Clarke uses gold and silver metallic tones with pops of colour and beading. The necklaces have a simple concept paired up with complex precious stone centrepieces.
“Creating the sketch or the idea behind a piece of jewelry is a lot harder than it is to actually make the piece,” explains Clarke, later adding, “This was something that was intentionally made, that has my soul in it. My hands touched it and it’s important to me.”
That passion for design encouraged her pursuit of launching Wild Moon Jewelry as a business in 2010. The inspirations for most of her pieces derive from a combination of history and everyday life.
“I like to study a lot of ancient jewelry from many different cultures, but I find that the other thing that inspires my art is my lived experience.”
With eyes gleaming and her long eyelashes batting with excitement, Clarke goes on: “I was always intrigued by self-adornment. Even if we were looking at ancient Egypt, all the Pharaohs buried themselves with all their jewelry and it was always one of my favourite art forms.”
“There’s no better example than somebody else who is there already and they can give you insight. You don’t have to make the same mistakes that they made.”
For up and coming entrepreneurs or individuals with business ideas, Clarke advises to remain focused on passion, values and mission. She urges aspiring entrepreneurs to conduct information interviews with successful industry professionals. In speaking with these professionals, it provides a fresh perspective, she says.
“Try to reach out to people who are doing things like what you want to do,” says Clarke. “There’s no better example than somebody else who is there already and they can give you insight. You don’t have to make the same mistakes that they made.”