Community Papers

Taking a rewarding change of course

Kate Enewold at work in her Thrums shop, turning special metal into something extraordinary.                                            - Submitted
Kate Enewold at work in her Thrums shop, turning special metal into something extraordinary.
— image credit: Submitted

At a time of life when a lot of folks are looking toward a drastic reduction in activities, Kate Enewold of Thrums chose a drastic change of direction.

“I had been working as a computer systems administrator (at Selkirk College) for many years,” says Enewold. “I did some beadwork as a hobby in my spare time.”

When Kate hit the 60-year milestone she figured if she was to take any other path in life she’d have to decide on one quickly.

“I decided to leave my job at the college and went to the Kootenay School of Art (in Nelson). I took the two year program.”

Kate’s interest and abilities snowballed as the course went on. Originally thinking of picking up some skills to enhance her beadwork, she soon discovered a thirst for working with metal.

“I fell in love with being a silversmith,” she recalled on Dec. 27. “I did the whole program… it just became a passion and I thought ‘okay, I’ve got a new career.’ ”

The timing worked out quite well for the avid student who completed the two-year curriculum and is quite pleased to have done so.

Kate described how nowadays a similar course has a duration of just 10 months. She fully values her two-year stint because, along with the hands- on artisan’s training she got a lot of pointers in the way of  marketing and promotion.

These days Kate is fully immersed in what amounts to a new full-time career, something she’s quite confident she can pursue for the next 20 or so years.

“My husband helped me to build a studio,” she explained, “and I kind of never looked back.”

It should come as no real surprise that Kate has shown such proficiency with this new direction her life has taken. Her father, Zeljko Kujundzic, after all, started the Kootenay School of Art back in the early 1960s.

“He always told us that our name, Kujundzic did mean ‘goldsmith,’” she said, “so I think maybe it was just in my genes.”

Kate happens to have some artistic versatility going for her as well, having the ability to express herself musically on the violin thanks to lessons from a local teacher by the name of Brie Faulks, now Brie Hurlbert.

In a typical week Kate will now devote 25 to 30 hours in her shop, complemented by about the same amount of time on the business end of things. Again, she credits the related training received in year-two of her course for the seeds of the business savvy she continues to develop.

Kate Enewold does not have excessively high ambition, like a high-volume web-based enterprise, although she does maintain a Facebook page: “Thrums Logic Art and Design.” Examples of her work may be seen at Avenues Hair Design and the Kootenay Gallery, and the SculptureWalk headquarters in Castlegar, along with possible locations soon in Rossland, Nelson and Kaslo.

 

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