Sykarri is a Deep South woman turned Utah local who proudly pays homage to wild Utah through her jewelry business, Ramblers Relics. Made of stones, bones, wood, and other natural findings, her jewelry pieces are as wildly beautiful as the places that inspire them. We spoke with Sykarri about her creative process, her inspiration, and the message she wants to send through her art.
When did you begin making jewelry? What inspired you?
“I was commissioned for my first piece before I made jewelry! That was in 2012. It was a gray fox caudal vertebrae necklace. My mother and my papa were my main influences. Throughout my childhood I watched as Mom would take people’s trash and turn it into treasures. Her creativity in all aspects of life was a major inspiration.
“My grandfather and I had a hobby of wandering the shores of Castle Rock Lake, Wisconsin, in search of dead fish. He would recycle the old found lures, while I took interest in the complex, and oddly beautiful anatomy of the fish. The attraction to bones began when I was four, and the interest is no less 21 years later.”
Your materials are sourced locally. Tell us more about your creative process.
“Everything—bones and bugs, stones and wood—is ethically sourced. I adhere to state gathering guidelines and laws, and all animal remains are sourced by yours truly. I do not accept the remains of animals that have been purposefully killed. Many of my materials are gathered during general exploring of the wilderness. I am never in search of anything particular, but like a crow to a shiny object, little pieces of nature catch my eye and end up in my pocket.”
How do you make such beautiful pieces out of very delicate materials?
“Trial and error is the name of the game! I am self-taught, so I have learned from the many mistakes I’ve made over the years. That said, I have spent numerous hours educating myself on the materials I use. I have learned safe and proper preservation methods of bones and insects. Understanding the makeup of wood, rocks, and minerals I use, is essential in tool selection, and Epoxy is my go-to for all things fragile.”
What’s the most interesting material you’ve worked with?
“Human molars are definitely the strangest material I have worked with. I was approached by a friend, whom upon having her wisdom teeth removed, requested I make her a ring and necklace set. Odd, no doubt, but I do love when people embrace the weird.”
How do your creations reflect the spirit of Utah?
“From the San Rafael Swell to the bottom of Pipe Springs Canyon, to White Pine Lake and the summit of Lone Peak, Utah’s beauty knows no bounds. With respect to each natural item I collect, my goal is to showcase each piece in its true natural state, representing the raw beauty that so many seek here in Utah.”
What else will you craft and where do you see this business taking you?
“I rarely have a preconceived plan of what I am going to make next. I often find that I am inspired by each individual item that draws my attention. I may find a log and think, “This would make a great lamp!” Or “This stone would make a perfect pendant.” I have been dabbling in skin products with a natural flair, of course. I hope that one day Ramblers Relics will allow me to work remotely while perusing a field in humanitarian and environmental work.”
There’s more to Ramblers Relics than just beautiful jewelry. Sykarri hopes to “…bring an appreciation and a new view for the natural world, that I hold so dearly… I aim to educate and encourage others to respect and understand the land we inhabit, as well as the animals we share it with.”