Saturday, September 30, 2017

Across Canada by Train

Across Canada by Train: The Whole Story
This post has absolutely nothing to do with my jewellery production. 
It's a collection of photoessays on what I did on my summer vacation. 
I hope to have a jewellery post ready soon!

Chapter One: Vancouver to Edmonton

Chapter Two: Edmonton to Winnipeg

Chapter Three: Winnipeg to Toronto

Chapter Four: Toronto to Montreal to Halifax

Sunday, October 23, 2016

A quick update on my upcoming craft season is due!  I've been working furiously to have sufficient inventory for the upcoming fairs.  Because I have decided (yet again!) to go back to school I've been juggling my time in ways I hadn't thought possible.  As I'm sure fellow craftspeople will appreciate - there's nothing like a time crunch to light a fire under your productivity!  Below is my calendar of events.  I will update this post with the relevant links as promotions for some of these events is not yet underway.

I have managed to make some old favourites as well as new work that I'm excited to launch at my first big event, the Craft Council of Newfoundland & Labrador's Christmas Craft Fair, November 9-13th.  I hope you will join us for our second year in Torbay at the Jack Byrne Arena.  If you missed last year, I'm sure you at least heard the buzz about what a successful change in venue this was for us.  Tons of parking, all the shopping on one level - it promises to be another fabulous event this year.  You'll find me in booth #105.

On November 20th you'll find me at The Printers' Fair held upstairs from Rocket Bakery, in the Rocket Room.  10-4.  I have notecards made this year!  As well as a couple of new prints, exploring new techniques I've learned.

The Quidi Vidi Plantation Christmas Open House is always a fun event for me.  And it's a hit with the public too!  If this year's event is anything like previous years' you won't want to miss this festive day of music and treats and fine craft!  Drop by November 26th to see what the resident studio artists have been working on, as well as a select number of invited artists like myself.

My final event of the season is the Anna Templeton Tea & Sale, December 9, 10, & 11th.  Another great event that makes a fine day out.  Plan to come and shop three floors of fine craft, and break up your browsing with lunch in the tearoom.  The food is homemade and delicious!  You'll find my booth, as in previous years, at the back of the second floor.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The best event of the summer!

I'm looking forward to next weekend with great anticipation! 

The Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival is my favourite event of the year.  This year is the festival's 40th anniversary, and they are celebrating it in style with a focus on the phenomenal local musicians we have in this province.  There is also a commemorative limited edition lino-cut print by Caroline Clarke

I've been working on some new jewellery for my booth in the craft tent.  

I wanted to make something a little more whimsical and fun, and so I've created this series of "pick-your-own-pair" floral earrings.  I hope people like them - the flower-shaped buttons are so sweet!  I just have to figure out how best to display them - I'm thinking it should somehow involve a flower pot...

I also put a good deal of thought and time into this fancier necklace - it is made from sterling silver, bronze, and heat-coloured copper.  And it is adjustable!

I hope to see lots of folks in Bannerman Park, August 5, 6, & 7th!  It'll be a time!  Keep your fingers crossed for good weather!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The months sure fly by! Which means that I can now show you some pictures of metal work and jewellery that has already been in exhibitions recently, instead of just being able to post the teaser shots beforehand! (How's that for a positive spin on procrastination?!)

In my last post I talked about the sculpture (pictured above) that I was submitting to ArtsNL. They did not in fact chose my piece, but it will be in the Annual Member's Show at the Craft Council of Newfoundland & Labrador Gallery. The exhibit opens Saturday the 25th, and is on all summer on the second floor.

The set of brooches above was recently in the Metal Arts Guild of Canada's 70th Anniversary exhibition, Innovation. I incorporated 3M reflective fabric into a decorative set of brooches that can be worn any number of ways on an outer coat for going out at night, staying visible, and still looking stylish. They are titled, "Spotted!"

These works along with my neckpiece that was part of 18Karat's 2015 Great White North exhibition have all been submitted to the Craft Council for the Annual Member's Exhibition. So if you didn't see them in Toronto, then here's your chance to see them in St. John's!

Lastly I will give you a couple of process shots of two pieces I will have on exhibition at Salmonier Nature Park as part of their 40th anniversary celebration, Spirits Sheltered.  From my research trip to the park I settled on the caribou as my subject, and cut a printing plate out of sterling silver. I made dry point prints from this plate, had one framed for the exhibition, and then also turned the sterling caribou into a brooch/shawl pin. Spirits Sheltered opens at the Salmonier Nature Park Pavilion on Saturday July 9th and runs until October 7th.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Swept up by a new project!

Hello! Despite my lack of news here on the blog, I have been quite busy with various jewellery projects since the beginning of 2016.  The trouble is that the most exciting projects are often ones I'm not allowed to share with you because they are being submitted to juries for consideration for exhibitions and such.  It is a conundrum - I'd be thrilled to share images of what I'm working on with my readers, but I don't want to jeopardize my eligibility for my work to be selected by a jury.

As I mentioned in my last post, I did submit a sculpture to the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council for their call for proposals to create the awards for their annual awards show.  I really enjoyed making the piece and I'm thrilled with how it turned out.  Unfortunately my submission was not selected by the jury.  I would share it with you now except that I plan to submit it to the Craft Council's Annual Member's Exhibit!  Sorry!  But I will share this sneak peak with you.  The overall sculpture is approximately 4"x 4 1/2"x 3".  Familiar imagery for me to be sure, but this sculpture is curved - and I see great potential for taking this idea further.

I also submitted a set of brooches to the Metal Arts Guild of Canada's 70th Anniversary exhibition, Innovation to be held in Toronto, hosted by 18 Karat Gallery.  Again, I can't share images with you of the finished pieces, pending my acceptance/rejection for the exhibition.  I can tell you I decided to make work that incorporates 3M reflective fabric, with the thought that when you dress up to go out on the town, you might also wish to choose classy adornments for your coat that have the added bonus of being reflective at night.  No need to resort to the less than classy arm bands or *gasp* vests!

The images I will share with you now are from my current project.  Salmonier Nature Park is celebrating their 40th Anniversary with brand new facilities that will open to the public this spring.  The exhibition, Spirits Sheltered, will be a fundraiser for the Park.  It's a very exciting project to be involved with, and I will keep you updated as the preparation for it continues.

We (the participating artists) were invited out to the Park a month or so ago for a tour of the new buildings, and a comprehensive presentation on all the rehabilitative, educational, and tourism-focused programming they do there.  We visited the animals currently in residence, and were invited to come back in our own time to do further research as necessary for our artwork.  This is what I did over Easter weekend.

The Park is not yet open to the public, and the staff onsite is the skeleton crew necessary for animal care and administrative work.  There was a cabin available for me to stay in, and I had the freedom to wander the trails at my leisure observing the animals.  I accompanied Karen, the animal care-person, on her rounds one morning as she distributed food and water to the animals.  That was fantastic!  

Based on my initial visit to the Park, I decided I wanted to do a print and a piece of jewellery based on one of the white animals.  I'm still pondering this whole idea of "home", and how we feel "at home".  My plan is to make an embossed print of a mostly white animal, on white paper, with just enough ink to highlight the dark areas of the animal: its eyes, nose, and any dark markings on its coat.  Once I've printed the edition I will turn the printing plate into a brooch.

Based on this idea, the animals that were the main focus of my sketches and photographs were the snowy owls, the caribou, and the taxidermied ptarmigan and least weasels they have on display.  I had thought before I went out for my 3 day stay, that the snowy owl would be my primary focus, but because of his elusive nature I wasn't able to study him as well as I'd hoped.  The caribou, on the other hand, were incredibly engaging.  There are three; a mom, her yearling son, and an older male.  He became a resident of Salmonier Nature Park after becoming a nuisance animal in a community.  Because of this he is exceptionally friendly, even playful.  I must admit I was little smitten by the time I had to leave.  So he has become the focus of my primary sketch for the print.  I may well go on to do a series of these using the other white animals, as I really like the idea.
Hope you enjoy the photos!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

A brand new year.

2016 still smells new and fresh, and I'm looking forward with anticipation to having some time to explore the new projects that have been waiting too long on the back burner.

While a couple of them are jewellery related, most are more sculptural in form.  I also have some print making ideas I'd like to try out.  I know from past experience that the long slow winter months when I can work on these ides will pass all too quickly. So I'm eager to get started!

One idea further examines the theme of habitat encroachment, that I have explored in previous sculptural work.  And it requires me to order a new tool - that's always a bonus!  I want to create a bunch of metal spirals that depict a variety of silhouetted landscapes. These spirals could then be interconnected in a variety of ways to depict different natural vs. manmade environmental scenarios, and the degree to which they intermingle. The tool I'm going to order will be a deeper throated jeweller's saw, as the one I have now only has a 6" throat and that will limit how long I can make each spiral.

I'm also thinking of submitting a proposal to the Arts Council, who currently have a call for proposals out for the creation of their annual awards. I've never submitted a proposal like this before, but I have an idea for some small sculptures that I think would be just the right form for an award. They would be similar to the silhouetted tree shadow boxes I've done on the past, but triangular shape to give them a more three dimensional form.  The trick will be to compose a proposal that adequately conveys my idea!  It will be be a learning experience, whether I'm granted the project or not.

The third sculptural series I'm keen to make I've had on and off the back burner for some time. It is a series of rocking birds - pierced and etched to give them visual texture. I had started one of them, hoping to have it ready for the Craft Council's annual member's show this past summer, but production work and life got in the way. At
least it is started though, and that can sometimes be half the battle!

In terms of prints, I have designed a couple of art books, but I've gotten no further than that with them - yet. One is an autobiography of the moon, and another is a three dimensional mushroom shaped book incorporating felt. I've also been photographing beaver lodges with the thought of making a series that explores the idea of "home".

So I have no shortage of ideas, and for that I am grateful! While I do wish I had more time to execute them all, a worse fate would be to not be able to think of what to make next!  So, as I wish for myself, I wish also to all of my readers - a brand new year full of inspiration that pulls you in exciting new directions. Find the passion in 2016 and grab hold of it!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Big Fair Season!

I'm kicking off this Christmas fair season with my biggest event of the year: The Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador Christmas Craft Fair!  This year is exciting because we're in a new location.  The Jack Byrne Arena in Torbay has TONS of parking and is an easily accessible building for those with mobility issues.  We have outgrown the cozy and comfortable Arts & Culture Centre, which is fantastic as it means there are more and more fine craftspeople who are bringing their work to market!  Yay for local craft!
With my local antique map earrings winning Best New Product last year, they were used as the image on this year's poster and other promotional items.  Such an honour.  With so many new craft vendors at this event, I can't wait to see what new products might rise to the top this year.

Some sneak peeks of new work to entice you, at the top: earrings and a necklace I'll be bringing to the CCNL Fair, and at the bottom: submissions to the Comfort & Joy exhibit at the Craft Council Gallery, opening November 28th.

I have three fairs back to back over the next three weeks, then a week off before my final event of the season.  Here's where you'll find me with my jewellery and/or prints in the coming weeks:
  • November 22nd: The Printer's Fair will be happening in the Rocket Room above Rocket Bakery. Here's a look at one of my newest prints that I'm absolutely thrilled with!:


  • November 28th: Quidi Vidi Plantation Christmas Open House: I'm thrilled once again to be invited to bring my work to this fantastic event.  It really kickstarts my Christmas spirit!  While you can (and should!) visit the Plantation anytime to see the artists at work and to purchase unique gift items, their open houses really bring a sense of festivity and celebration to act of making.
  • December 11th, 12th & 13th: The Anna Templeton Christmas Tea & Sale.  As a craftsperson this event is really like a family gathering.  Familiar, and new faces of craftspeople and customers congregate here to enjoy three floors of handcrafted goods, as well as the unparalleled inhouse cookery stylings of Katie Parnham and her crew in the kitchen, serving up soups, salads, and sweets, along with tea & coffee in the Tea Room.