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Original sketch by Rebecca Fernando.

Support Local showcase: Rebecca Fernando at Benchworks

By Apartment613 on November 16, 2013

Rebecca Fernando’s work usually isn’t small enough to be worn – you’re more likely to see her creativity at work in Ottawa’s skyline. When approached by Magpie Jewellery to take part in their Support Local Benchworks project, she jumped at the chance. A founder of PLOTNONPOLT Architecture, Rebecca is working to create spaces and places that resonate with Ottawans, and build a sense of pride in the city.

As part of Benchworks, Rebecca stepped away from designing buildings to design a ring. It’s a simple piece that references architectural lines, and, like all of the Benchworks pieces, is available for November only at Magpie Jewellery. We asked Rebecca to tell us more about her work and why she decided to get involved in the Benchworks project.

Apartment613: Tell us what creative things you do in this city!
Rebecca Fernando: I’m an architect and I very recently co-founded PLOTNONPLOT Architecture with two guys I went to school with complementary skills. Together we are trying to shift the emphasis of our architectural process to accommodate a more exploratory design approach; we think there’s creativity to be found in everything. We want to contribute to and ameliorate the fabric of Ottawa, work on projects that evoke pride in all parties involved, and avoid cultivating indifference and boredom. On my non-PLOTNONPLOT time, I like drawing with and on anything at my disposal. It’s my most effective form of communication.

plotnonplot_logo_lgWhy did you decide to get involved in Support Local?

I was approached to create a piece for Magpie Jewellery’s Benchworks, and tried to do so through an architectural lens. This was an amazing opportunity to explore the techniques of creating a piece of jewellery with Magpie’s goldsmiths. I designed a ring that employs the shape of the archetypal (gabled) house, a motif prevalent in Ottawa neighbourhoods. Building awareness of the local art/design community is integral in discovering Ottawa’s potential and fighting its conservative stigma.

Photo by Andrew Szeto of Maru the Circle Brand.

Photo by Andrew Szeto of Maru the Circle Brand.

What was it like, developing a piece of jewellery, rather than your usual art form?

Very educational. Magpie’s goldsmith assisted me with tools, techniques, and guided me through the creation of a wax prototype. Seeing the application of the design at such a shift in scale from that of typical architectural output was fascinating and, like thoughtful building, its relationship to the body is critical. Being able to appreciate this level of detail can only make larger-scale explorations more potent.

This year’s Support Local theme is “Home is there the ______ is” – instead of the usual heart, we’re adding the image of Ottawa, which makes a heard. What would you fill in that blank with – what is at the heart of our city?

I think at the heart of our city are creative people that can help Ottawa build a clearer identity driven by a higher quality of experience – people who can look critically at their home town and help it grow to reflect its distinct parts rather than settling for banality.

Rebecca Fernando’s work can be found at Magpie Jewellery throughout Support Local month.

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