Toronto jewelry designer Kat Shura was born in a century-old log cabin in the wilds of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Surrounded by a community rich with artifacts of the early pioneers and settlers, she grew to have the heart of a dreamer and the spirit of an adventurer. Through her work, she loves to marry the natural with the mechanical, drawing unexpected beauty from the mundane.
Kat’s ever-changing collection of Curious Oddities is always an eclectic mix of romantic, whimsical and elegant designs paired with fine workmanship, quality materials and exquisite detailing. Crafted as one of a kind or limited run pieces, the collection is made up of found objects, glass, resin, stone and beautifully hand-oxidized or plated stamped brass.
Designs to spark the imagination, pieces to treasure.
Hand verdigrised brass maple leaves –The leaves are machine pressed from solid sheet brass and are oxidized by hand to create the beautiful shades of green and brown verdigris.
Feather pendants – Set in copper and oxidized brass and glass settings, the lovely feathers were all hand gathered by me here in Toronto and are completely cruelty free as they were natural molted.
Q&A with Kat of Curious Oddities:
How long have you been designing/where did you get your start?
From childhood I’ve enjoyed making my own jewelry, clothing and costumes and have experimented with many different materials and techniques over the years. In February 2008 I opened my Curious Oddities Etsy shop as a part time venture while I continued to fill my days as a freelance floral designer. After two and a half years of very receptive customers and wonderful shows I quit my other jobs in September 2011, in order to focus full time on Curious Oddities.
Where did you find your inspiration for this collection?
The colours and motifs of the season are always the base inspirations for each collection: in this case, Autumn leaves, acorns and molted feathers paired with copper, bronze, shades of rust, ochre and emerald. Currently I’m in love with the rich reds, browns and textures in the semi precious stone fossil jasper and the lovely greens and browns of grass turquoise so I’ve worked them into this fall’s collection.
If you could dress any celebrity who would it be?
When I see photographs of Florence Welch, the singer from the band Florence and the Machine- I always think “oh my gosh, how amazing would it be to have her wearing my jewelry” I’ll confess though that I’m mad for redheads, but she also has such a lovely, ethereal, bohemian style that I adore.
My first pick thought, would have to be Drew Barrymore, who I’ve always had a fondness for. Her look and style shifts seamlessly from curvy playful pin up, classic vintage glamour to California style bohemian and I think I would have a piece to suit every outfit. I think my collections would overall speak to her fun, full of life personality as well.
What is the most rewarding part about having your own line?
It’s a dream come true to make my living treasure hunting, creating jewelry and curate collections to share. I’ve spent so much of my life being a bit of an outsider, so it’s truly wonderful to have the things that bring joy to my life be treasured by others as well. To watch people have those moments of reflection, happiness and connectedness with things that I have found, compiled and created makes it all an absolute pleasure.
What has been the best part of your Fresh Collective journey thus far?
Working with so many other designers has been priceless experience- having a group to share advice, triumphs, support and feedback with. I also really love to curate my in-store jewelry cases, crafting vignettes of colour, themes and texture. When I worked at the Kensington Market location I would quietly listen in on peoples conversations as they would explore my display, just to see what they were drawn too- what spoke to them.
*Curious Oddities is available at all three Fresh Collective locations