As the creator behind Rooted Romantic, Jake Vanderwerf finds inspiration in the natural environment. He produces intricate copper wire jewellery and sculptures, often rooted in the landscapes he explores every day.
“Here in Alberta, my favourite landscape is probably the lone tree and a field. I really love how that looks, or I’ve been exploring the river valley a little bit more too with my partner. Going down there, the trees are definitely my favourite part,” he says.
Vanderwerf’s jewellery ranges from pet-shaped pendants to rings with gemstone beads, and bracelets stamped with letters or patterns. Many of his pieces are custom designed, as he works with clients to create exactly the style and design they’re looking for.
But where Vanderwerf’s work truly shines is in his larger commissioned sculpture pieces. From bonsais to birds and dragons, these pieces can take upwards of 40 hours to produce, as he painstakingly turns each individual wire into a detailed part of a greater vision.
“I’m always happy when people bring their ideas to me for a project. And when you’re making a sculpture, it gives a lot more room to play with the creativity,” he says.
His latest efforts are focused on creating kinetic sculptures — pieces of art that feature some sort of mechanical or moving element. They’re still a work in progress for now, but Vanderwerf is enjoying the process of developing them.
“It’s been a lot of fun, but a little frustrating at times, because mechanisms don’t always work how I imagine they would,” he laughs. “But we’re getting there.”