Inuk Barbie Designs, Iqaluit, NU: Jewellery

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My name is Barbara Akoak, owner and designer of Inuk Barbie Designs. Originally from Cambridge Bay, I now reside in the territorial capital Iqaluit, Nunavut. I graduated from Nunatta Arctic College in 2015 from the Jewellery and Metalwork Diploma program, also when I started my business. As a goldsmith and visual artist I enjoy working with precious metals and stones along side naturally and humanely harvested local materials such as: bowhead whale baleen, walrus and narwhal ivory, bone, teeth, raven claws, the 3 types of seal claws, polar bear claws, sealskin, muskox horn and caribou antler. My work honours these animals, my Inuk femininity, and often I find myself creating pieces of our sea goddess Nuliajuk, mother of all water life. Nuliajuk is important to me because it’s our Canadian right to worship in peace, so we must protect our waters and life that inhabit the waters. I create my work wholistically, sober, and with dignity and respect. My creative process cannot be summed up easily, it ranges from strategic planning to spontaneity and I feel well equipped with the skill set I attain in school and from my mentors at Aayuraa Studio.

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