Runik Jewellery was created out of Alexis Carter’s desire to bring her own vision to life. She began teaching herself metal work only three years ago. “I was working full-time during the day and was teaching myself at night by a lot of trial and error.” Using books and the internet, Carter successfully created jewellery that she herself wanted wear and found her preferred creative outlet. “What I like most about it is, there is so much to learn, so many techniques and methods to try. It’s a constant experiment and always exciting to see how a piece will turn out.”
Carter is a Queensland native, born near Surfer’s Paradise in Australia’s Gold Coast. But Carter prefers the country’s untouched woodland to the beach. Runik Jewellery’s Instagram account has a strong following, awaiting new photos of her creations with Victoria, Australia’s rural Gippsland in the background. She uses recycled materials, sterling silver, and a variety of gemstones to create pieces that are elegant and edgy. The jewellery showcases the natural beauty of minerals and the subtlety of hammering techniques. “Every design is natural, fairly straightforward and with subtle hints of my surroundings thrown in.” The Gippsland forest is awe-inspiring. “I am constantly trying to find ways to transfer organic textures into my pieces.” Carter collects natural materials from the forest floor, then transfers the pattern to her jewelry hammers to create the impression. Bark, eucalyptus leaves, agate, gum nuts, and moss are currently in her studio. Carter also has an affinity for runes, ancient symbols from the Germanic alphabet most often associated with Norse history. The mysterious symbols complement the gemstones and natural textures in Carter’s jewelry, and strikingly stand alone. Visually, the runes have a quality that rests between the organic and the constructed. The way that Carter approaches designing jewelry embodies this meeting of earthiness, freedom, and intent.
Prior to designing jewellery, Carter was in the Army for eight years. She returned from the Middle East in 2010 and began thinking about moving off the grid. Carter appreciates her military experience, but it also created the desire for solitude. “I think I had seen enough of what people are capable of and wanted to live in ignorant bliss…alone. This is not to say that I had a brutally negative experience over there, it just helped me realize what was really important to me and what wasn’t. So, when I got out of the Army, I bought a bush property in the middle of nowhere and started to prepare to go off grid. I think I live in pure luxury and I am so lucky that my dream is simple and inexpensive.” Carter’s Instagram photos paint a picture of an artisan who feels a connection to her surroundings. Her appreciation for the natural world is what makes Runik Jewellery so unique.
The Seeds and Light Project was created by painter Sara Drescher to support Freedom 418, Compassion, and the Midland County Child Welfare Board. These organizations work to free children from the cycle of poverty (Compassion), support survivors of human trafficking (Freedom 418) and help meet the needs of children who are in foster care (Midland County Child Welfare Board). Drescher, a celebrated artist from Midland, Texas began by simply asking herself if she could do more to help others. Check out the Q&A below to learn more about Seeds and Light.
What specifically inspired you to start the Seeds and Light Project?
I was ruminating about my life one day and had a strong desire to do more to help people. I felt like I had only been doing the bare minimum and I wanted to take the next step. A few months before, I painted to two paintings to raise money for my friend’s work with sex trafficking survivors in Southeast Asia. I had also just committed to sponsoring a child in Indonesia. These two additions to my life inspired me to go ahead and create a series of art solely to raise funds for children in need. I had two groups that I felt confident supporting but they were based in other countries. Helping my own community is important to me, too. I was talking about my idea in one of my art classes and two of the ladies told me about their work with a non-profit that supports local kids in the foster system. It was a perfect match! I had my three groups to support, and now I could create the art.
Which painting did you create first?
I have two “series” in the Seeds and Light Project. The first in the “Seeds Series,” was “Seed of Potential No.1” and the first in the “Light Series” was “Value.”
What do you hope the paintings communicate to survivors?
I want to communicate acceptance and love to the survivors. I want to show them that they are full of light and potential and not darkness.
Has working on Seeds and Light impacted the rest of your fine art practice in any way?
I think the Seeds and Light Project has made me even more determined to infuse all of my work with hope. A painting may not be directed at survivors of abuse or neglect specifically, but everyone has scars and struggles with something. One person’s pain is not less than another person’s pain. There is so much darkness and conflict in the world right now, I do not feel led to contribute to it in any way. I hope all of my work can bring light, comfort, or promise to anyone it speaks to.
80% of the proceeds from each sale benefit Freedom 418, Compassion, and the Midland County Child Welfare Board. High quality 11×14 prints are $60, and the paintings themselves start at $305.
Learn more about Seeds and Light and purchase the artwork here: saradrescher.com/seedsandlightproject/