Kat Cadegan’s hands are always moving — whether she’s chipping away at her newest gem-stone ring set (sourced from a recent trip to India), or collecting materials for an up-coming project — this Revelstoke-based entrepreneur is a perfectionist in her craft.
An adventurer at the core, Kat finds inspiration while playing in the outdoors. “I don’t necessarily set out to find ideas,” she admits. “They just seem to find me.” Whether she’s out ski touring, mountain biking, or simply walking her dog, Kat’s eyes are constantly drawn to nature’s intricate patterns and peculiar textures. Leaves, feathers and bones, are simply a few gathered treasures that have been eternalised through her creations.
Mountain life aside, Kat’s passion for travel plays a big part in her work. Her journey as a jeweller began in 2006, when, discontent with her science-based career path, she realized life was pulling her in a different direction. Towards India — to be more precise. Immersed in the gems, jewels and rich cultural traditions of Delhi, she spent the next six months mastering the art of silversmithing. With her new passion crystalized, she then travelled to the mountains of Northern Mexico, to study her medium for a further two years.
Her road eventually led her back to the mountains of B.C., where she completed her education at the Kootenay School of the Arts in Nelson. Kat and her husband Phillipe (a.k.a. best friend and unofficial business partner), have now found their forever home here in Revelstoke. And, as it happens, their beliefs align perfectly with the town’s green ethos.
What others may see as worthless, Kat sees as reusable. “This town cares a lot about handmade and sustainable products,” she explains, “people love to buy local — they want to know where their purchases are coming from.” Recycling materials is just one of the steps that Kat takes towards making her practices sustainable. Emblems of culture — namely coins and trinkets — collected from her travels, are reborn in her necklaces, bracelets and rings.
In a chemical-dominated industry, Kat goes the extra mile to keep her processes environmentally-friendly. In her studio, natural citric acids are used as a substitute for standard pickling (cleaning) acids. For polishing, organic dish soaps are used as an alternative to standard high-estrogen tumbler compounds. What’s more, she even uses biodegradable plastic to package her products.
Moving forward, Kat wishes to return to India to investigate the conditions of the mine-workers first-hand, to ensure that even her materials are sourced in a socially responsible way.