We are honored to feature the copper and silver work of Jennifer Younger! Read on to learn more about her inspiration, heritage and more. Pronouns: she/her
What inspired you to become a maker?
I wanted to carry my Tlingit heritage forward, making contemporary jewelry that speaks to the younger and next generation. I am inspired by traditional Tlingit formline design, Tlingit spruce root basket patterns, nature and Tlingit stories.
What is your favorite piece in your collection and why?
Oh boy. Maybe my favorite right now is a Sterling silver “Chilkat Blanket Pattern Board” cuff, based on a pattern board from my grandmothers hometown of Klukwan, Alaska. I feel like it is a way to pay homage to my grandmothers people and a wearable way to carry that pattern forward.
What is something about your heritage that makes you proud?
The thing that makes me proud is to see the resilience in the Tlingit and in the other indigenous people of the US. I love the sense of community that we build together, across the country. I feel very connected and uplifted, doing collaborations and sharing each other’s art/work.
What is a social justice cause that you are passionate about that you hope people will get more activated in?
I feel very strongly about equality and empowering others, helping others. Recently I got involved with NDNxAZN. The mission of this art project is to use mask coverings to represent our ancestral practices and wisdom. Asian and Indigenous communities and their struggles have historically been overlooked and these two communities make up some of the smallest populations in the Americas. This group of Indigenous and Asian artists came together in solidarity to create an art project using masks to create a conversation about our cultural experience.