On the Rise: Meet Vancouver Jewellery Designer Jamie Carlson

The jewellery designer behind Scandinazn makes a bold statement and a small footprint.

They say beauty is pain, and anyone who has worn a pair of heavy, jaw-dropping statement earrings would likely agree. Daring accessories that push the boundaries of style often do the same when it comes to comfort: big jewellery is a big burden on the ol’ earlobes. But the earrings that Vancouver-based Jamie Carlson is making have style that punches far above their weight class.

Squiggle Earrings.

The answer, for Carlson, is leather. It’s a versatile, long-lasting and feather-light material that makes it the perfect medium for her playful, eccentric designs. Carlson uses leather that has been upcycled from community donations and thrift stores, meaning that your soon-to-be-favourite pair of neon purple, asymmetrical squiggle earrings may have lived a past life as a leather jacket or a handbag. “I like the idea of repurposing something that’s going to be discarded,” says Carlson.

Wakame Earrings. According to Carlson, some say the wakame seaweed hoops ($48) remind them of Matisse, others of Spongebob: regardlesss of what camp you’re in, they’re delightfully distinct.

Her studio, Scandinazn, is wordplay that references her mixed heritage—Swedish and Japanese—and that background comes through in her design sensibility: clean, curvilinear silhouettes mix with bright colours and whimsical patterns (think acid-green wakame, confetti-freckled teardrops and psychedelic strawberries). She uses a flexible, waterproof and leather-specific acrylic paint to splash brilliant hues atop the secondhand material, letting the original texture shine through. Fans of Carlson’s work love both her eclectic sense of style and her dedication to sustainability—it’s a commitment she doesn’t take lightly. “This combines my love of painting and jewellery-making into one fashion art project,” says the designer.

Vancouverite Jamie Carlson (pictured above) crafts all Scandinazn jewellery by hand. Her statement earrings are lightweight and full of whimsy.

This story was originally published in the September/October 2023 print issue of Vancouver Magazinefind the digital issue here.

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