BY DOLLY GORDON-ANDREWS
Meet Samantha Brazeau-Wilson – a past resident who is making her mark as a handmade artist in Ottawa.
Samantha grew up in the Onaping Falls community and moved to Ottawa in 2010 to attend college and university where she studied journalism. She is a seasoned writer and has written articles for magazines such as Ottawa Family Living, Ottawa Wedding , Fifty-Five Plus and regularly contributes to the online publication, Makeful. Samantha is also a very talented photographer. Having worked in a professional photo studio for a small time, she perfected portraiture.
Since her move to the nation’s capital, Samantha has started her own creative business called Birch Jewellery – a collection of accessories inspired by Canadian nature. There are several different things that inspired her to start her collection, but growing up in Levack, Onaping and Dowling gave her a deep-rooted love for the beautiful landscape we are fortunate to have in our community. Her collection features necklaces, earrings and bracelets that feature unique materials such as real leaves plated in silver and gold, naturally shed deer antlers, raw crystals and bullet casings.
“Growing up in a small town you learn to love and appreciate the simple things, like nature,” she said. “Bringing materials like amethyst and quartz into my pieces remind me of the mines back at home where a lot of my family worked. The deer antlers and bullets are reminiscent of my dad and family who always hunted in the fall, and of course, the leaves are a significant symbol in the community.”
Samantha sells her handmade pieces in several local stores in the Ottawa area and has been slowly spreading across Canada where she now has pieces available in Saskatchewan, the Yukon and, soon, Nova Scotia. Her biggest accomplishment this year is getting her collection in the Canadian Canoe Museum gift shop as well as the Ottawa Art Gallery.