Material & Care
Tania Larsson - Gwich'in Fine Jewellery from Tania Larsson on Vimeo.
Moose and Caribou Hide
Tania tans the moose and caribou hides used in her jewelry. She uses traditional methods taught to her by several elders and friends from across the Northwest Territories. This process uses the natural fat of the animal that has been harvested to soften its hide. It means that no harmful chemicals were used in the process. She uses smoke and lots of physical labor to tan the hides. It can take up to three weeks working hard on a hide every day to obtain a beautiful dark caramel colored hide.
An important protocol in hide tanning is to always be respectful of the animal since they offered their life to us. We are respectful to them in thoughts, language, and action.
Tania only uses sterling silver in her work. She doesn't use materials such as plated silver, or nickel as they can cause sensitivity and allergic reaction to the person wearing the work. She makes her own ear hooks from a sterling silver wire.
Taking Care of Your Moose and CaribouHide Jewellery
It is important to keep the jewellery away from water otherwise it will change the shape and the quality of the hide. For example, if you like air drying your hair it is important to put on the hide earrings after your hair has dried, or else the earrings will change in shape and color. You should always take off your hide earrings before going swimming.