The idea to cut a topographical map out of layers of wood first came to me while I was standing at the base of the Black Bank hill, on a bridge overlooking the Black Bank Creek, in Dufferin County Ontario, in June of 2017. I wanted to capture what I was experiencing in nature, and recreate it in a way that would bring back the feelings of awe, wonder, and appreciation that I was feeling at that moment. A few days later I put out a call online, to see if anyone I knew had an old scroll saw sitting around, and on June 21st (the summer solstice) my friends Josh and Allison dropped off a perfectly awesome scroll saw in need of a home. The next day I cut my first topo map, and fell in love with this medium of capturing land and water in a simple, sustainable art piece.
My goals are simple, and threepart: First is to capture the dynamic contours of the lands, in a beautiful and sustainable artform (that creates no unnecessary waste on our already-burdened planet.) Secondly, for this art to connect more people to the lands where they live and play, and to inspire stewardship, by and for future generations. The art is tangible Third, to give back to the land that inspired, informs, heals, and holds me and my ancestors, by planting a tree for every map I sell.
Jenn’s formal education is in Theatre Design and Management, where she worked for 10 years. In 2005, she traded it in for greener pastures, when she and her husband moved to the country to grow gardens and raise babies. After an allergy caused her to close her successful Bath and Body hobby-turned-business in 2015, she “took to the trail” to find healing and inspiration for a new path.
Jenn has always had reverence for nature and love of the outdoors – a childhood of camping and traveling led to an early appreciation of landscapes, maps, and time spent outside. Now the beauty of this country inspires her choice of almost endless subjects. Map making, outdoor spaces, and an eye towards sustainability have always been a part of Jenn’s life.
Jenn lives in a valley nestled by the Niagara Escarpment, near Creemore Ontario, with her husband, two boys, and a small menagerie of cats, rabbits, ducks, and chickens; and a large and amazing group of community and friends.
Jenn believes strongly in giving back to the land that feeds and inspires her. She donates a yearly percentage of profits to the Niagara Escarpment to the Bruce Trail Conservancy, to protect and preserve the trail outside her front door that she uses and loves so much. She also donates to Water First, Canada’s leading charitable organization working with Indigenous communities to resolve local water challenges. Also, for every map sold in 2020, she will be planting a tree
Photo: (top) Three Narrows Lake, Killarney Provincial Park, Ontario
(bottom) Dunedin Nature Reserve avec fam; Lake Metheral avec no one; Killarney Provincial Park avec AJM.