Slashpile Designs Blog
Snowboarding in Terrace, BC! April 29 2014
In February of this year, I got the chance to go on an amazing snowboarding trip. After a wonderfully busy holiday season, it was great to be able to take some time away from jewellery-making to do something else that I love--snowboarding!
The trip was a great source of inspiration (you may have seen some jewellery on our Facebook page, made with alder catkins that I found on the mountain!) and I thought it would be cool to share it with you! I'll try to keep my explanation brief...
Dave and I lived in Terrace for a winter a few years back and it was about time we went back to visit all the amazing people we met there. I've also been working on my snowboarding skills, so I was excited to test my skills at Shames Mountain and in the backcountry. We lucked out with amazing and plentiful snow, that came just in time for our arrival!
We started out our trip with a few intensive 'warm up' days at the ski hill. It was lovely to see all the familiar faces and to be snowboarding in familiar territory (I worked at the bar in the lodge when we lived there, so we were literally at the mountain everyday!)
Cool Fact: Shames Mountain is now My Mountain Co-op--Canada's first non-profit ski community co-operative.
We took a few days off riding after our initial shock-to-the-system ski hill days to catch up with friends and prepare for our second week, which we kicked off with a trip to the back country. We spent 2 nights and 3 days in a cabin way up in the mountains. We hiked in with all our gear using split boards (snowboards that split into skis for climbing). I had the best run of my life from up in the alpine, pretty much straight back to the cabin. It was cold but beautiful and sunny and the snow was light and fluffy. We got back to town exhausted, but exhilarated. We spent our last few days in town, at the ski hill and hanging out with friends. Oh yeah--and we also managed to sneak in a trip to Prince Rupert where we went kayaking on the ocean. Thanks to all the wonderful people that hosted us while we were there! What a trip!
Here are some photos:
The Slashpile Story June 26 2013
In 2006, we went treeplanting for the first time. Treeplanting is known to be an extremely difficult summer job. When we first arrived in the bush camp, people looked at us and thought there was no way we would last more than a week. But we did—we stayed the entire season, and were even top planters at our camp.
When you decide to do treeplanting, you commit to living in the bush for 4 months of the summer, living in a tent in very isolated camps in northern Canada (we planted mostly in Alberta). Everyday, you wake up super early to start planting trees, which you carry around with you all day over rough terrain, planting between 2000 and 4000 trees per day. You get paid per tree, so you have to work hard to make it worthwhile. There are bugs, swamps, extreme weather conditions, bears and many other challenges. That's not to say we didn't enjoy it--on the contrary! We had an amazing time and met such incredible people. We even went on to do more seasons, Tara as a tree checker (she had to have surgery on her shoulder after a year of planting) and I did 4 more seasons as a planter.
So back to the story--
In the clearcuts, there are these giant piles of sticks and logs, called Slashpiles. During the season, they kind of get in the way of planting, but at the end of our first season, we climbed them to photograph our ‘victory pose’ (see above, photo courtesy of Fabienne Good). After the season, we created a silver jewellery piece based on the slashpile, that was designed to be a medal for finishing the full season. This piece gave us the foundation of our branding for Slashpile Designs—every one of our pieces reflects a story, concept or achievement. And this piece is a prime example of how we do that.
We create jewellery, mainly in sterling silver. Unlike most jewellery, which is purely aesthetic, every piece has a story or concept behind it. Our products are designed to be personally significant to individuals, while at the same time, understood by a large audience. We get the inspiration for our pieces from our own lives, which we like to pack full of various activities, such as karate, snowboarding, roller derby…the list goes on. We are driven to create pieces that are both meaningful to the wearer and pleasing to the eye.
I hope this gives you a clearer insight into who we are and why we do what we do! If you take a look through our collections, hopefully you can even relate to some of our products with your own stories. We are constantly working to come up with new and exciting products that our customers can relate to with their own stories.
And now, a couple more treeplanting photos....