Adea Chung: a new life for scrap

Adea Chung: a new life for scrap

The Craft Council of BC is joining the #5WomenArtists movement, started by the National Museum of Women in the Arts, once more in March. This campaign calls attention to the fact that women have not been treated equally in the art world, and today they remain dramatically underrepresented and undervalued in museums, galleries, and auction houses.

We are featuring some of the talented women in craft – follow us on Instagram where these artists will be taking over to share a glimpse of their practice, and everyday activities. Can you name 5 women artists?

Meet Adea Chung, our first featured artist! Since 2007, Adea Chung has been creating reclaimed wood jewellery and accessories under Billy Would Designs. Recycling skateboards and other hardwood bits in her North Vancouver workshop, Adea designs pieces with a west coast influence and strong focus on sustainability.

Look at materials and our relationship with them differently, ask questions, demand quality, and feel good about purchases.

Creating something completely of your own design and energy to share with the public is such a vulnerable feeling. I need to be proud of each step in the process, the impact it has on the environment, as well as on the collector. As a business that relies on creating a product, it is important to me that I am not contributing to this huge waste problem. The decision to use only reclaimed wood in my work was not a choice. I was not able to guarantee that the woods I initially started to use were ethically and sustainably harvested, so using recycled materials made it necessary.

When I think about women artists I think of all the amazing women I know. Pioneering their own way, giving the next generation mentorship and inspiration while tirelessly hustling at their craft.  Being an artist is a lifestyle. Combine that with being a mother, a caregiver, a volunteer and the many other roles women hold, and you will get a unique and very skilled artist.

Through Billy Would Designs, I have gratefully been a part of the artist community for over 10 years. It has given me the flexibility required to be a mother, tools to cope with isolation and identity, as well as a supportive network of ‘co-workers’ in other women artists.

Getting to connect with other artists and woodworkers for their ‘scrap’ has lead to lasting relationships and sharing ideas. Women in art often support and welcome each other in; there is an unspoken kinship that spans across ages, mediums, geography, and experience. By encouraging young kids (particularly girls) to try woodworking and art with recycled materials, I see the impact these relationships have.

By using as much diverted and recycled materials as I can I aim to not only give new life to scrap but also to inspire its wearer to expect more. Look at materials and our relationship with them differently, ask questions, demand quality, and feel good about purchases. Changing habits, learning, inspiring, and striving to do better is ongoing – both through Billy Would and in my own daily routine.

Adea Chung | Designer/Maker Billy Would Designs