metal | mixed | jewellery
Samonte Cruz is a mixed-gender, mixed-race, Filipinx artist and performer currently living on unceded Sinixt Territory (Nelson, BC). In 2003, Samonte graduated with a Bachelor of the Arts from Western Washington University. Samonte’s interdisciplinary degree combined music, audio engineering, psychology and minority studies; exploring the importance of creative expression as a tool for survival and resistance. In 2017, graduated from the Jewelry program at Kootenay School of the Arts, Selkirk College and in 2018, was hired as an apprentice to award-winning, master goldsmith, Paul Durkin, co-owner of Lauener Brother Jewellery, in Trail, BC where they continue to hone their metalsmithing skills. Samonte is currently offering custom one-of-a-kind jewelry and accessories to clients, while running their own online store. In order to share their passion for metalsmithing, Samonte teaches community education courses in the jewelry studio at Kootenay Studio Arts, Selkirk College.
I am currently making and designing custom jewelry as well as small batch production and one-of-a-kind pieces. I love the balance between expressing myself creatively through design and fashion, and utilizing the specialized technical skills and knowledge essential to working with metal.
I love working with clients to create meaningful, one-of-a-kind, custom jewelry and accessories that they can cherish for a lifetime. Incorporating or re-imagining symbols and patterns that honour my client’s cultural heritage is of special importance to me; as is working with heirloom gold and gemstones.
As a transgender designer, I rarely design with one specific gender in mind. I see gender not as a binary but as a spectrum of possibilities and believe that our individual expressions of gender are unique, diverse, and powerful. Designing from this perspective results in a wide variety of jewelry designs that can be worn by many different types of people, regardless of gender.