Fernie is a town filled with creative, artistic people who are masters of their respective crafts.
Textile artist Kate Moran, who moved here a year ago, said she was overwhelmed by how well she, and her work, has been received by the wonderful folk who live here.
“Fernie is really a supportive place where I’ve been welcomed as a textile artist by the markets, community, Arts Station, Spinners and Weavers Guild, The Banner Project 2015 and Freyja.”
Moran, originally from Ontario, who lived in Nelson, BC for many years, relocated to Fernie last year with her boyfriend Ty West, who plays guitar for local band Shred Kelly.
In Fernie, Moran has really been able to focus on her craft, making unique micro macramé jewelry.
Having made friendship bracelets in her youth, Moran has adapted that technique to create beautiful and intricate necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings.
“It’s like friendship bracelets on steroids,” she said with a laugh.
Inspired by the technique used for making plant holders, Moran’s newest line, “Botanista”, is a collection of wearable art – with some pieces having actual air plants in them.
Years ago, Moran and a friend bought an old school bus and traveled to Mexico and Central America, living in the bus. It was there she was introduced to Brazilian waxed-polyester thread and to the concept of sculptural macramé. She made a friend from Costa Rica who taught her how to make the jewelry.
Moran admits she didn’t take to the craft for many years following her first introduction to it.
“I wasn’t very good at it at first,” she said, adding she didn’t attempt it again for four years.
After meeting West, who encouraged her to take her hobby of making jewelry and turn it into a business, Moran really began to explore her creative side and decided to give sculptural macramé another go.
“Four years later I tried it again and it was a success,” she said. “I’ve been making them ever since.”
Moran’s “Botanista” line was recently featured in a magazine and some of her work can be purchased at Freyja.
The artist said she is grateful to live in a place that inspires and encourages her work.
“Fernie’s been incredible. There’s such a wide variety of people here and somehow they still really want unique things and they’re willing to pay for them,” she said.
Since those with creative talents tend to have multiple crafts in which they thrive, Moran is no exception. She also does wet felting and has even created three hats for Grammy-winning recording artist Jason Mraz.
For more information about Moran’s work, or to purchase some of her pieces, visit bykatemoran.com.