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Our Artists: Caneel Johnson

July 19, 2012

Rings made by Johnson

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Caneel Johnson and I am 31-years-old. I am learning to make jewelry as a hobby.

Apart from creating things, what do you do? 

I work at Colville Travel. I love to read, eat and be outside.

Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from whichever stone I am working on to make a new piece of jewelry. I also get inspiration from all the artists in my life that have moved me with their work.

Who has been most influential in your craft?
My mentor, Fred Rossman, has been the most influential in my craft. He has taught me everything I know, being unconditionally patient with me and taking me under his wing. Also, my friend Oso (Larsen) who introduced me to Fred and encouraged me to go for it.

When did you know you were an artist/maker?

I am still not sure if I would define myself as an artist. I just enjoy making something beautiful with my hands.

How would you describe your creative process?

I see a stone and it tells me what it wants. I talk it over with Fred, we lay out a plan of action and I set out to make it happen (usually, with lots of restarts).

If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?

I would love to have met any of the greats, such as Van Gogh or Da Vinci. I suppose if I had to pick, I would want to meet Edgar Allen Poe. As for another jeweler, it would have to be Harry Winston.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?

The second ring I ever made. I constantly get compliments on it. People never believe it’s only the second piece of jewelry I have ever made.

How do you get out of your creative ruts?
Since my craft is just a hobby for now, I usually just wait until the spirit moves me again.

Where would you like to be in ten years?
In 10 years I would like to be in a position to have a web site and sell my jewelry there.

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