Gloria Enzoe Shearing
Making art is often about individual expression. However, for Gloria Enzo, making jewellery often involves the whole family. Gloria, from Lutsel K’e, designs jewellery with muskox horn and caribou antler, stirling silver, beads, moosehide.
“My husband and my brothers bring antlers to me,” she says, “from hunting or from foraging from others. Last winter they found me 18 horns and many, many caribou heads. I have quite the collection!”
Gloria, who loves the land and the animals passionately, is well versed in land protection policies. In 2008, she helped launch the Ni hat’ni Dene, an Indigenous land-Guardian program.
“I’d listen to the stories my dad told me about the land and the caribou,” she says. “He’d tell me about the leader of the caribou and how they feed their heard and fight off others who want to take their position.”
Her antler earrings, when worn, are a physical reminder of the indomitable strength of the animal. But, says Gloria, they are very light on the ears. Despite their strong significance, they don’t weigh a thing.
Antlers have a natural grace to their shape, and beautifully subtle colourings, which Gloria sometimes embellishes with other elements and sometimes leaves plain.
Recently she’s been learning about precious stones, and is beginning to incorporate them into her jewellery as well. Turquoise stones, for example, speak to her. “Turquoise is loved by the Navajo and we have a connection to them. The stones can be healing and give good luck.”
The idea of connection runs through all of Gloria’s pieces, and informs her way of working. “When I sell a piece, I connect with the customer. I let them know that this is made out of my home. It comes from a sacred animal that is able to feed us and is beautiful. My parents always pray over a meal – for health, for families, for themselves. They rejoice and pray for a good future. When the jewellery is used and worn, those good thoughts become part of it.” "