The landscape of Orcas Island is full of places to stop and gaze at its beauty. Material Wit is certainly one of these stops. It’s a destination shop that showcases four jewelry collections by owner Jessie Morrow and lifestyle products collected from years of involvement and networking with fellow makers.
Wandering around in Material Wit is a feast for the senses. Clean, white walls and a dark gray concrete floor, along with artfully stocked shelves and tables, allow the jewelry and other products to be the main attraction. The interior is reflective of the Scandinavian minimalist aesthetic that has heavily influenced Morrow. She displays a few of her jewelry pieces in small piles of sand on a table to emphasize the relation to its natural surroundings.
On a recent trip to the island I spent some time ooohing and aaaahing and happily left with a candle, tinted lip balm, and a necklace from Morrow’s Mechanism collection.
Jessie Morrow has a degree in ecology and moved to Orcas Island to pursue organic and sustainable farming. Seems like a logical path to jewelry, right? With a full-time job as an organic farmer, she also had what she calls a “side hustle” making jewelry and selling it at local markets and maker shows. She’s a self-taught jewelry designer, creating pieces she liked that weren’t available in jewelry stores. Initially, she repurposed hardware parts into designs. It’s glamorous with a gritty aesthetic.
WHAT YOU’LL FIND
Morrow has created four different jewelry collections, all available in her store. The topography of the island, sense of place, and how the land meets the ocean are dynamics that inspire her creative process, but she allows herself to be inspired by everything.
The Hiyu collection is inspired by the juxtaposition between the industry of the city and island life. The Found collection represents the beautiful forms that nature can create, like the hand-forged brass and sterling silver Shoreline necklace ($70). Mechanism is created from hardware pieces like the modern industrial earrings ($28), made with repurposed brass and steel. Signature is her line of clean, minimalist creations.
Morrow has carefully curated her store with clothes, candles, housewares, and art she’s found mostly by bringing in American-made items from artisans like herself.
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