By Darren Lum
Published Sept. 26 2017
Like the changing autumn leaves of the Highlands local artist Sophia Tink has been a perennial presence among the diverse artists on the Haliburton County Studio Tour for the past 10 years.
Being on the studio tour for a decade and a professional artist for 35 years are important milestones she said.
The owner of Sophia Tink Jewellery Art and Floral Studio based steps from St. Peter’s Church on Maple Lake said her longevity has enabled her to create countless one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry and floral art.
“I think back on all the ideas I have had and ideas I still have. I have at least another 35 years to keep creating” she said.
She loves it when people come into her Church Lane studio and compliment her work or when people call her after buying her creations and point out how they stand out among their collection of jewelry.
The duration of her art career has instilled a confidence she said. It’s allowed her to work past challenges seeing her failures as setbacks and opportunities.
“Young artists need time to establish their own skill but more than the skill is the passion … for me this is what I love. This is what I absolutely love. That’s why the passion comes afterward. Then your skill develops and you expand [your knowledge]. It’s yours. It’s not a repetition of somebody else’s work. It’s your work” she said.
Even when she is creating chains to hold her pieces there is still an opportunity to make them unique.
“A round link is a round link but how you extend it and treat it [is different]” she said.
She began with the studio tour in 2007 and has always appreciated the diversity of visitors who come to her studio. The tour gives her the opportunity to introduce herself and her work to those who may have never had the chance.
A professional artist and instructor since 1982 her philosophy for her work hasn’t changed. The merging of her two passions of art and nature is at the heart of her work. The desire be an artist started close to 40 years ago out of a necessity to be her best self. None of this she said would have been possible without the support of her husband Brian who encouraged her to pursue her passion.
Her one-of-a-kind pieces are based on the training she received in the Sogetsu Ikebana School in the Japanese Art of Floral Design. She was mentored through the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in Toronto in 1979.
From Tink’s press release she describes Ikebana as “an elaborate and unique art form which symbolizes the elegance creativity and mysticism found in nature.”
She used the training she received to apply it to wearable pieces of art.
Tink said she spends close to every single day from 7 a.m. until dinner (sometimes after) sketching the design creating and refining her work. Everything she produces is her own. There isn’t anyone that helps her. Smiling she admits some of her best ideas come after a couple glasses of wine.
Tink’s work has been showcased in books such as The Artists of Haliburton Highlands 2014 and in galleries and exhibitions such as the 2013 Silver Accessories Exhibition Gallery Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre the 2012 Pearl Jewelry Design Exhibit Ehime Prefacture Japan and the 2011–2012 North American Design Competition to name a few.
Her clients come from all over the world including Germany England Scotland Japan Argentina the Netherlands and Switzerland.
An instructor from the beginning of her professional art career she has taught around the world her own studio and also at the Haliburton School of Art and Design.
Whether it was living here seasonally or year round (now close to 18 years) on Beech Lake the one constant for close to four decades has been her love of art and the influence of the natural beautiful Highlands which has been the inspiration for her work. This area is a place of calmness and inspiration for her whether it is because of the tranquility or just seeing the animals and the blossoming flora. She has cottaged in the area since 1977 and with her husband Brian has had a house since 1988.
It was around the time she was receiving her art training that she and Brian bought a property in the Highlands. This is where they raised their two boys who learned how to swim play baseball and went to school in the area.
“We’ve lived in a lot of different areas but this has always been our home” she said.
There are more than 30 participating artists representing a diverse range of media in this year’s studio tour. This includes visual arts sculpture glass blowing mixed media pottery textiles wood work and jewelry.
The tour is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 30 to Oct. 1 and then finishes on Thanksgiving weekend from Oct. 7 to Oct. 8. Tink’s studio is open all year so anyone in the area before or after the tour will be able to visit her. For more information see her website at www.SophiaArt.com.