October 2016: Michelle Cogger 

Amethyst and pearl necklace with succulents in the background

Michelle Cogger is an artist born and raised right here in Brantford. Cogger’s background is in conceptual art; she has always been interested in “the story” or the “whys” of art and creators, and finds enjoyment in the endless possibilities of art. This interest has translated to her current focus on handmade items such as jewelry using semi-precious crystals, hand-wrapped smudge sticks, loomed wall hangings, crystal soap bars, and more. For Cogger, her work focuses on good intentions and love. The main theme in her work is crystals, which she says all have a history and different meaning. “In the vibration and energies of the crystals,” she says, “we are able to find healing, beauty and power.”

She credits her grandparents for sending her down an artistic path. “My grandfather, a traveler of the world, would always bring [her back] crazy cool jewelry pieces from his trips…my Nana and Papa always asked about my education and art… my Paper made sure I was always moving forward, and my Nana gave me confidence, which may be my most powerful gift.” She is grateful for her passion for art, and has had a clear path in the arts since a child when she was known to “hustle kids to buy [her] beaded hemp bracelets.” Although the materials have changed and she now creates as Moon Artist (since 2012), the hustle and passion to create has stayed the same.

Michelle Cogger sitting cross-legged and smiling

She is an avid reader, always researching, discovering, and playing to grow as an individual and an artist. She stresses the importance of self-assurance, noting that you should create for yourself. “At the end of the day it is you, and your thoughts, and your pile of art mess. You had better be happy. You can try to follow trends and stay ahead of what is popular, or you can just do you. It will come around and it will always sit right in your heart.”

Cogger continues to grow as an individual, and her craft follows the same path. As she works, she becomes more confident, and this confidence to try something new is evident in her finished pieces. This confidence has also given her the ability to accept failures – the single most important thing she’s learned as an artist – since from failure comes the ability to problem solve and “create magic that is only possible in art.”

She appreciates her hometown for its sense of community and the pride among the people who create with their hands. “What I find the most inspiring [about Brantford] is the support and help. It is the sense of community over completion.” Brantford, like art – she says – “is all about the possibility and what you make it. I adore this city, and believe in this city.”

Cogger is teaching a Jewelry Making course at Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant on Sunday, November 6 from 10:00am to 4:00pm. This beginner workshop is perfect for those DIY-ers who are interested in making their own jewelry from semi-precious crystals and beads, and you will leave the course with your own handmade earrings and a necklace. For more information, or to register for this course online, click here to open a new browser window.

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