The paddle project began when my mom, Maria, was diagnosed with breast cancer. A family friend and metalsmith, Julia Turner, responded to the news by making eight sterling silver paddle pendants for my mom to distribute to her loved ones. Julia’s reference to the proverbial foul smelling creek made my mom laugh, and not being without a paddle instantly gave her comfort. These tiny pendants soon became formidable symbols of strength, connection, and support. For us, they gave us a way to come together despite the distance that separated us. They gave us a way to accompany our mom and express our solidarity. For my mom, the paddles were a powerful reminder of the people paddling with her when she could, and for her when she couldn’t.
Today, the paddles are about more than breast cancer. They are about more than Maria and her loved ones. They have become a symbol of support and strength for many.
Carrie's love of making has taken her across many media and disciplines including painting, sculpture, jewelry, and furniture. Her pieces are inspired by natural forms, traditional Japanese aesthetic, Shaker design, African cultural objects and indigenous jewelry. She studied painting, metal smithing/jewelry making and woodworking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she received a BA in Fine Art. During her undergraduate work, she lived in Florence, Italy for a year studying painting and art history. She has also participated in several domestic and international workshops and residencies including Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine, and attended Rose Shakinovsky and Cliare Gavronksy's invitational workshops in Italy and South Africa. She received her MFA at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.
Julia Turner has been making jewelry and objects in her San Francisco studio since 1995. Her award-winning work has been exhibited and published internationally and she has held faculty positions at California College of the Arts, San Francisco State University, and the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts. She has travelled and worked internationally, most recently as a Jakob Bengel Artist in Residence at the Fachhochschule Trier in Idar-Oberstein, Germany. Julia Received her MFA from Miami University (Ohio) in 1995.