Canadian jeweller Kat Cadegan was born and raised on Cape Breton Island. For as long as she can remember, she used to walk the coast collecting shells, sea glass, and other treasures brought in from the Atlantic. When her mother went to the city for art markets, Kat would ride along to listen to the artists tell stories of how each piece came to be.
During her first year at university, a poster announcing a summer job out in the wilderness grabbed Kat’s attention. Sparked by the natural setting, she took a train halfway across Canada to plant trees in the cutblocks of Northern Ontario. What started as a summer job turned into seventeen years of seasonal work in the bush and more than two million trees planted. The long hours of repetitive work out in the elements instilled in her a strong work ethic and lasting resilience; her unending devotion to nature had been forever forged.
Kat’s road to metalsmithing began in 2006 when she set off for India. Surrounded by the rich tradition of silversmithing, she took her first jewellery course in a small school in Pushkar. At night she would line gemstones on her windowsill, dreaming and sketching the various pieces that came to her like distant lights in the dark. She followed India with travels to Nepal, Malaysia and Thailand, purchasing gems and communing with the rich cultural traditions of the lands and people. Kat took the next step in her journey a few months later by heading to the mountains of northern Mexico to study under the maniacal eye of master silversmith Billy King.
Kat’s unique designs are inspired by the endless wonder of the human world. Her deep love of the earth, forests, and waters provide the gifts of inspiration that make it into her jewellery. She has committed to the most environmentally-aware practices, actively working to reduce her footprint inside and outside the studio, and has resolved to make certain that every worker mining the materials and stones has been treated with fairness.
Kat now lives in Revelstoke, BC, where she continues to create and explore techniques both modern and ancient. The pieces in her ever-expanding collection are laced with stories of the old world and the new, inspired by nature and made by hand.