Johanna Brierley’s lifelong fascination with jewelry can be traced back to a childhood spent rummaging through her grandmother’s jewelry chest. From an early age, she developed an enthusiasm for found objects and a curiosity about the various ways in which objects worn on a body interact with the body itself.
For generations, Johanna’s family has been collecting lucky stones with natural holes because hole stones are believed to be symbols of good luck. As a child, Johanna made numerous jewelry pieces with the lucky stones only to find that over time, the real stones would crack and break.
Her work now incorporates metal replicas of beach stones found on the shores of Lake Winnipeg in a town called Gimli. The molding and casting processes of jewelry making allows her to repeat shapes that ordinarily exist as single, unique, natural elements. Repeating what is normally solitary enables the creation of new shapes, structures and patterns while transforming natural stone into metal allows for the setting of diamonds and sapphires among the metal beach stones. The humble act of discovering and picking up a pebble on the beach becomes the beginning of a process of re-contextualizing natural forms to work with and on the body.