September 2008
from "As the Rooster Crows" newsletter of the Gravenhurst Farmers' Market

Things you didn't know about Peter + Mi-Shell Jessen from Bearpaw Jewellery:
1985 alaska
1985 Alaska
  • They fell into love with each other more then a quarter of a century ago
  • They travelled with their VW-bus for more then 6 years continuously between Alaska, NWT and Labrador in the north and Mexico/Guatemala in the south and also visited everything in between
  • They started Bearpaw Jewellery in the mid 1980, inspired by jewellery in USA-Southwest and Mexico and after making their first pair of earrings, people got interested in their designs and Peter+Mi-Shell were asked to create pieces for them.
    1986 mountains of no return1986 Peter makes jewelry in the Mountains-of-no-Return

  • In the beginning Bearpaw Jewellery was a nightly fixture at Mallory Dock, Key West, Florida, where they sold their creations during the Sunset Celebrations. Visitors from Canada loved their wildlife designs and often by the end of the night, everything they had was sold! 
    1988 key west1988 Mi-shell makes jewelry in Key West Florida

  • Mi-Shell has a long history of "beading" she started to create small beaded jewelry projects as therapy with her patients at the psychiatric hospital, where she worked as a nurse and therapist.
  • Mi-Shell is a registered nurse by training as well as a Jungian analyst. After getting her degree at the University Hospital in Hamburg,Germany, she upgraded her training to Canadian standards at the University in Ottawa, Ontario
  • Peter has a degree in environment engineering from the University in Hamburg,Germany
  • For many years Peter worked as a hospital engineer in Saudi Arabia
  • Peter+Mi-Shell immigrated to Canada in 1989
  • Peter+Mi-Shell are living in their log-house near Fraserburg,Muskoka since 1992
  • and yes they both have a accent, Peter grew up in North Germany and he has a German-Danish ancestry. Mi-Shell's ancestry is more colourful: from her father's side she is Urianchai, an indigenous tribe from Siberia and from her mother's side she inherited the Romany = Gypsy blood
  • Mi-Shell works as a Shaman / healer in Muskoka.She is following in the footsteps of her Grandmother, the healer-shaman of her tribe, the Urianshai in Siberia. Mi-Shell has practiced, taught and used shamanism and shamanic healing pathways with her patients, clients, in schools and the health care system. As an educator she teaches in schools and adult education facilities as well as during public events. She leads circles and gatherings that focus on cross-cultural understanding, healing, ritual, drums and drumming ,human growth and well-being. As a healer she works with groups, families and individual clients and consults in the health case system.
  • Peter’s work as a jeweller seems to never end. There is always the next order to fill, the next idea to transform into wearable reality.....However, when the lights of the workshop are finally out, Peter loves to take hikes into the bush, care for a variety of wildlife, meet with friends or read. His main interests are Anthropology, Pre-History and most of all Rupestrian Art = Petroglyphs and Pictographs from around the world.
  • and yes Mi-Shell and Peter love winter and snow
    2007 our house
    2007 our house during the winter months
  • and if you want to know even more about Bearpaw Jewellery and their creators check out their website: