0

Our Story

hands.jpg
I am not what I am, I am what I do with my hands.
— Louise Bourgeois

 

THE COLLECTION

Rooted in the northern landscape and a desire to cultivate a mindful lifestyle, forestière is a small collection of fibre-based jewellery and art objects designed by Sara K. MacLellan. Carefully crafting each piece by hand in our Vancouver-based studio with a focus on sustainability, we strive for the highest quality in both our details and materials, using natural fibres, plant-based colours, wood, and ceramics with minimal hardware. Allowing the materials we work with to guide us, our goal is to make beautifully crafted objects that connect us to the natural world while also offering a fresh, modern aesthetic. 

All collections are produced in small quantities on a non-seasonal, ongoing basis throughout the year. 

THE PROCESS

Our studio practice is characterized by an organic, ethical approach to jewellery and art making that emphasizes sustainable design and responsibly sourced materials in an effort to minimize waste and environmental impact. We design and craft each piece in the forestière collection in-house with great care and attention to detail, combining modern and traditional textile techniques such as braiding, rope making, hand wrapping, knotting, weaving, and natural dyeing, and using only the highest quality natural fibres. Guided by an interest in materiality, composition, and slow design, our process embraces experimentation, improvisation, and natural imperfection. With every piece of jewellery that we design, we endeavour to create an item that will be cherished as much as it is worn, allowing the beauty of our materials and craftsmanship to shine through. Produced in small batches, all designs are limited edition or one-of-a-kind.

THE DESIGNER

Born and raised in Northern Ontario, Sara is a self-taught fibre artist, designer, and multifaceted creative living and working in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, where the northern landscape of her childhood continues to influence her art practice. 

Sara’s work in fibre is uniquely informed by her scholarly background in the visual and liberal arts: she is currently a PhD Candidate in Art History at McGill University in Montréal, and holds both an MA in the History of Art, Design, & Visual Culture (2010) as well as a Bachelor of Humanities (2007). Craving a more visceral, handcrafted experience, she established forestière in the Ottawa Valley in 2013 with the idea of creating a unique collection of jewellery that could not only be worn, but also appreciated and respected as works of art, before moving her studio to the west coast in 2017.

 
I love the intimate process of working with natural fibres. They have memory and resiliency, they develop character with age, they require care, and they guide me through the process of making as much as I guide them—it is almost as if they are living. The way they interact and move with the body is part of the magic of designing and making fibre-based jewellery.
— Sara K. MacLellan
 

 

OUR PHILOSOPHY

forestière is the feminine form of the French forestier, meaning both n. forester, a person who works in and cares for the forest, or adj. forest, in the sense of “of the forest.” Our design sensibility and philosophy are derived from the natural world, which in Canada is largely defined by our expansive forest regions. We feel a great responsibility to the land we call home and are committed to low-impact, environmentally conscious techniques and processes, incorporating sustainability and integrity as core values guiding everything that we do. Invoking a timeless, artful expression, forestière speaks to an ethos that extends beyond style or trends to our way of living in the world.

 

Our philosophy is simple. We believe in a thoughtful, honest approach to design—one that celebrates timelessness, good craftsmanship, artisan handiwork, quality materials, and ethical and environmental responsibility. We believe that the art and objects that a person chooses for their life should be a reflection of these kinds of values and aim to encourage a mindful approach to buying by creating beautifully-crafted quality pieces that have timeless appeal, unrestrained by trends or seasons. We design for a customer who believes that the comfort, beauty, and design of the accessories they wear have real power to affect the way they feel and move through the world, and who seeks a personal connection to their purchases, favouring sustainably made products with stories behind them and that contain a palpable sense of their maker.