designer

Final Call for our Art World Expo Christmas Fair Vendors! 

Are you an artisan or independent rep looking for a holiday event to participate in this year? Look no further and join our exciting Christmas Fair this year! 


We have a limited number of tables left for vendors at our Christmas Fair on December 16! Submit your registration today here: https://theartworldexpo.com/exhibitor-information/ Questions? Call Monika Blichar 6049996177 

We love to small businesses and Artisans and our Christmas Fair will be no exception to sharing the love for all things unique and local this December! 


Thank you to Two of Hearts boutique in Kits for donating $5-$25 gift cards to spend in store! Lots of raffle prizes every 30 minutes! 

Preview products, join the convo and connect with participants on our Official Facebook Event Page

When you attend this COMPLIMENTARY ENTRY EVENT, you’ll find: 
-Over 50 vendor tables including art, jewellery, fashion, hand knit goods, make up, skin care, chocolate, baked goods, kids accessories, essential oils, dog accessories, home decor, and health and wellness products and services and much more! Everything you need in one venue to complete your holiday shopping and networking! Ask our vendors about collaborations, participating in your events or if you’re a gallery or boutique owner, come browse to see if you could work with one of our Artisans in 2018! 


-Fashion Shows by John Pfaff, Carolyn Bruce Steampunk Jewellery, and West Coast Hatters on models provided by award winning female body builder fitness models from Team Fitness! Yes! Exciting! 


-Cheeses Crust Food Truck-Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Drinks! Really good sandwiches! 


-Raffles every 30 minutes-Prizes from local vendors and of course, many of our sponsors from Art World Expo! Tickets sold on site! 

-First 100 people through the doors receive a complimentary goody bag! No purchase necessary! Just be one of the first 100 people at 11:00am sharp! 

-Face Painting for kids and adults by award winning body painter and visual artist Francoise Boise ($10/person) She’s amazing! Don’t worry, she will do Holiday themed paints too! 


-Silent Auction Benefiting Make and Break Arts Foundation-all proceeds support independent Artisans and Arts Programs and Exhibitions in BC. It’s a win win! (Huge line up of awesome stuff to bid on-great for holiday gift ideas and of course-gifts for ourselves!) 

-Arts & Crafts Station for Kids-leave them at the craft station and go shop and mingle! We have you covered! 

-Finally, when you’re all done, take a photo at our photo booth with visitors from the North Pole! Capture a memory and celebrate Christmas 2017 with us! 

Current vendors: 

Monika Blichar

Art by Edy

Carolyn Bruce Designs – Steampunk Jewelry**FASHION SHOW**

West Coast Hatters**FASHION SHOW**

John Pfaff Art & Fashion**FASHION SHOW**

Fashion Show models sponsored by Team Fitness-Award Winning Female Body Builders from BC! 

LumberJax Custom Wooden Jewelry 

Karolyn’s Tupperware

Inner Harmonious Peace

Kathline Essential Oils Accessories

Jennifer Haase, Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant

SPOIL YOURSELF, Cristina De Vellis

Jessica’s Homemade Alfajores-Baked Goods

Fifth Avenue Collection by Pardeep

Younique, Amanda Cherewick

The Sweet Doodle

Whisk Premium Matcha

Copper Paw Designs

Coastal Storm Gallery

Dagmar Doubkova Herbal Life

Bodacious Butterflies

Scentsy Kristi Weaver

SweetLegs Vancouver with Julia

Love Eco Jewels

Spain Gourmet Canada

Radiant Life Hoops & Styles 

Petite Hippo

Earth Meets Spirit

Boise Art Works-Face Painting for Kids On Site $10/each

Deanna ArtFORMS

Diamond Movement

Andrea Renée Blackett MONAT

Diva’s Niche

All Day Shine by Julie SeneGence Independent Distributor # 384814

Crafts By Julia

Bryce Musil Azrael’s Forge Gems and Fine Jewelry

Taylore Mcmanne Jewellery
 

Advertisements

Being a Pirate and a Gypsy

By Monika Blichar 

When it comes to daydreaming and thinking up creative ideas, most artists can say that deep down, that’s all they ever really want to do. Being an artist is often like being a pirate and a gypsy; searching for that golden idea while striving to keep it secret until it is time to unveil. 

I caught up with Paula Godden owner and designer at The Pirate and the Gypsy and asked her to give us a few insights into her world of wonder. 


1-A lot of your inspiration to create a company came from your travels as a young girl. Do you have a favourite place that you have visited? 
Jerusalem, a place so rich in history and culture. As a young girl, I was wide eyed with wonder walking through the streets of the old city, visiting historic churches and sites, places I had heard about in stories and later read about in books. The lush greenery of the Mount of Olives, the beautiful beaches, floating on the Dead Sea, touching the spot where the Star of Bethlehem landed when it fell from the sky. The market places were always so filled with color and the hustle of merchants with their beautiful art work and jewelry. It was magical, like fantasy had come to life, especially after watching movies like Indiana Jones which romanticized the Middle East with all its natural treasures and mysteries. My imagination ran wild and it was at that time my writings and drawings really began to develop.

2-Is anyone else in your family creative? 
Yes, I have a lot of creative family members but the person that stands out the most for me is my Father, he was an amazing artist. I remember when I was little I would watch him, I was mesmerized by his drawings. I would constantly be bugging him to draw things for me and then as I got older he was the one I would go to when I wasn’t sure on how to draw something. He really helped me develop and hone my artistic skills.
3-Your work is made from many natural materials and stones. What is your favourite material to work with? 
I love working with all metals and stones but if I had to choose one of each I would have to say that copper and Larimar are my favourites. Some think of copper as a “poor man’s” metal, a dirty metal, but its not. Copper is such a wonderful easy metal to work with and has amazing healing and conductive properties. It has the ability enhance the properties of all other metals and stones that are in contact with it. Copper also has such a rich, vibrant colour it reminds me of the sun setting on the water; those deep reddy orange hues shimmering on the waves of the ocean. Turquoise is usually the favourite for natural blue stones, but Larimar has my heart. It reminds me of horizon where the ocean meets the sky, blue seas and white pillowy clouds. As you can probably tell I have my head in the clouds and my heart at the ocean.

4-What’s the most memorable design you have created? 
I’d have to choose the custom engagement/wedding ring remake I recently did. Working with a customer to bring their vision, their story to life was an amazing experience for me. This was definitely a challenging piece for me to do. I took on the project not just because of the story behind it, but for the opportunity to push my boundaries of creativity and increase my skill level. This customer hadn’t worn her wedding ring set for 15 years, saying the setting was too high and that it would get caught on things and scratch her children when carrying them. She gave me her vision and trusted me to take it and put my own creative twist on it and after 15 years she is now able to wear the expression of love and her family on her finger once again. The joy I experienced when I saw her face as she put her new ring on for the first time was overwhelming and I was even more moved but the testimonial she posted on my website. The process I went through on this custom piece brought my skill set to a whole new level and confirmed my love for the process of discovery, design and creation, this is why I hand pick all of my materials. My husband and I believe that in every piece of wood, glass, metal and stone there is a story and it is our joy to translate that story into the unique piece of art it becomes.

5-Where would you like to see your business and collection be in 5 years? 
I see my husband and I doing this full time. The Pirate & The Gypsy will have moved out of our home studio into a small local store front in New Westminster on Front Street with personal studio space for the two of us. Our online store will have expanded and flourished, going from a largely local audience to more expanded national audience. I see us growing and evolving. As the business grows so will our skills and possibly our creative direction. The Pirate & The Gypsy has grown so much in the past year with the addition of my husband’s woodworking and stained glass art. I am blessed to have him with me along for the ride, to be able to share our ideas, methods, and dreams for the future. I see some stained glass pendant collaborations in the future and maybe even some wood and metal pieces. In 5 years we will still be sailing the seas of our imaginations and creating form the heart. We want to create a culture where people come to us from all over the world when they want unique custom designed pieces that tell a story or that celebrate their life and their journey.  

6-Will you have any specials for Art World Expo attendees this year?
I have a few surprises up my sleeve for Expo attendees. I will be debuting a new limited edition collection at a special Art World Expo pricing. We will be giving away a complementary gift to the first 25 customers who visit our booth and while they are there they can enter our draw to win one of our necklaces.


For more information, be sure to visit The Pirate & The Gypsy Facebook Page

Lumberjax Custom Wooden Jewelry

by Monika Blichar
This year, we are pleased to be exploring the theme of “Eco-Sustainability” within the theme of the 8th annual Art World Expo in Vancouver. Noting all that is happening in the world environmentally and politically, it is excellent to see artists and designers being sustainable in their production of unique accessories and art work. A new-comer to Art World Expo but a past guest, we welcome Volkert Bobeldijk for Lumberjax Custom Wooden Jewelry to our annual event and showcase. Volkert has truly done something unique while thinking of nature and the ecosystem. We caught up with Volkert about his work and the upcoming event-be sure to check out his Facebook page at the end also!
1-When did you start making jewellery?
I started to make jewelry about four three years ago after my wife asked me to make a ring. Her diamond clasp would get caught on the linens at the hospital where she works and a wood ring could just be worn for work. Then her colleagues and friends started asking me to make them one which helped me to move forward in my woodworking.
2-What inspired you to start incorporating natural elements into your designs?
Being that I have been carving spoons for longer then the Jewelry making, I took to wooden jewelry quite easily. I have always had the love of wood and creating with wood my entire life but this has opened up my creative side. It also gives me the ability to use woodworking as therapy.
3-What has been the most exciting aspect of launching your own company?
The most exciting part of starting my own company is the ability it has given me to spend more time with my family. I went from a high stress, long hours and away from the house type of job to working a part-time job and working my business. This gave me the pleasure of being around my children and spending the quality time with my wife.
4-How have you transformed as an artist since you began?
Since I have started I have had the amazing pleasure of meeting more artisans and creative people that inspire me to grow and be who I really am. My transformation began when I saw the people who stop by my booth look in awe at the creations I have made for them. It gave me more drive to further my company and start making more products to suit all types of styles.
5-What do you aspire to do in the next five years?
I wood love to see my company grow to a point of not needing to have a part-time job. This way I will be able to take care of my family full time and become more self sufficient. To work my passion and spend the upmost quality time with family and friends is my goal that I will achieve.
6-What kinds (if any) specials or promotions will you have at Art World Expo 2018?
At this art show I will be giving Wooden keychains designed to put essential oils on to each client that purchases from my table. In addition, I may come up with a draw to win a wooden earrings and necklace/pendant set.
To learn more about Lumberjax, visit their Facebook Page.

Founder Monika Blichar-Solo Show June 30, 2017

All artists have their thing.
Picasso had his funny people. Dali had his crazy ideas. Monet had his garden.

soloshowmonika

Monika Blichar has many things and not just one. A leader on the Vancouver Art Scene since 2009, she has been working with vigor to create community through art by way of events, classes, workshops, art tours and her own work.

Since 2009, she has produced Art World Expo successfuly seven times at Science World in Vancouver and Hard Rock in Toronto. She has taught thousands of students via MAB Art Studio & Boutique Gallery including adults and kids. For kids who haven’t been able to pay, she also set up a foundation where funds are raised to help give opportunities to kids who wouldn’t normally be able to join in. The foundation also supports Art World Expo and hundreds of artists annually gain a platform to show and sell work, auction off their pieces and for artists in need, the foundation pulls together resources to support them during times of difficulty. She has also founded local and international art retreats in British Columbia and Europe and has taken amateur and experienced artists to places like Paris, Bergerac, the Dordogne River, Amsterdam, Wroclaw, Gdansk and Warsaw. In addition to all of this, she creates her own work. 

On Friday, June 30, you are cordially invited to step into the world of Monika Blichar. Attendees can view and purchase paintings, prints, photography, jewellery and accessories by Monika. (Prices range from $10-$5,000.00) This will be Monika’s first official Solo Show where she will share works created over the last 20 years-some never before seen pencil drawings, sketches, and paintings. Further, the solo show will kick off a year long exhibition nationally and abroad at partner locations. If you’ve always wanted a Blichar piece or are looking for unique gift ideas, be sure to swing by on Friday evening.

In addition to Monika’s work, guests will also have the opporutnity to purchase works from local artisans featured at Art World Expo and at the gallery on an ongoing basis including Art by Edy, Carolyn Bruce Designs, West Coast Hatters, Coastal Storm Gallery, Deanna ArtForms, Danielle Rondeau, K-OME, Chelsea Sinclare, Art by Elizabeth Hill, Mojan Nejati, Bellessence Cosmetics, The Copper Kat, OddMint Designs, and Slate Jewelry.

For more information and to see a preview of the works avaialable, be sure to visit the Facebook Event Page HERE

Feature AWE Artist at MAB Art Studio-Marilyn McKee

by Monika Blichar, Owner and Producer Art World Expo

I first met Marilyn Mckee in 2010 when producing the first of a series of events; now known as Art World Expo produced in Vancouver and Toronto. Drawn to her talent in jewellery making back then, I knew that she was a treasure and kept my eyes on her.  I think back to all those phone calls I made to check in over the years and wonder at how she could stand me asking about her art and progress. I wasn’t a customer after all; just an agent and promoter keeping tabs on her. Through my eyes, I knew that she was something special.  I am really pleased that I kept in touch as today, she is the first feature artist of 2016 in my studio and gallery in North Vancouver.

12494426_10156363239810324_93575978_o

If you haven’t met Marilyn, I will tell you that behind the stunning pieces is a truly wonderful woman who is not only a talented artist but an accomplished professional, mother and community member. Marilyn McKee is a member of the Tsit Gitanee (Eagle) clan of the Haida Nation, whose roots are from the islands of Haida Gwaii; world famous for its natural beauty and talented artists. Aside from creating, Marilyn is an active mother and grandmother and contributes to the community regularly. She is currently the President of Raycam Community Centre; the only community center in the Lower Mainland to offer free programs for kids and adults. She has been with the organization for over 10 years and has done everything from leading art projects to sewing 50 Halloween costumes.

12511178_10156363240255324_1895513854_o

Since a child, Marilyn has always had an artistic ability. Even when asking her about her work and photographing her for this article, her childlike joy and wonder shine through in her smile and in the way she talks about her work. She is at ease with her imagination and an innocence about her talent has stayed within her spirit. She is inspired by traditional stories and moulds them into her art with a modern twist, incorporating Celtic design, Fairies and mermaids amongst more traditional Northwest Coast elements. Her most popular are the Fairies; which are breathtaking in both jewellery and paintings to say the least.

12494045_10156363240005324_1840457839_o

As an artist myself, I feel privileged to have seen her art evolve into an array of beautiful works ranging from jewellery, drums, and paintings. I look forward to sharing our space with her essence this month; not only because of the beauty of the works but also to see an another artist’s work through my eyes and through those of our visitors.

Unafraid and experimental with her work, MAB Art Studio & Boutique Gallery is pleased to have Marilyn McKee as the January 2016 feature artist. Her use of many unconventional methods in her artwork result in a fresh look at the knowledge and richness her Haida culture.

12510779_10156363236455324_258746599_o

12490319_10156363236850324_1831513668_o (1)

12510941_10156363239385324_346060181_o

For more information, please visit Mab Art Studio 

All pieces featured are listed in the Facebook.

 

Thank you to our sponsors BLUSH Vancouver Magzine and Twin Peaks Construction.

12509268_10156366398325324_7014789495517426742_n (2)twinpeaksconstructionlogo

Free Spirit & Whimsy An Interview with Cyrena Jean Riches of Gypsy Jean Jewellery

gypsyjean1
By Alyssa Laube

About: Cyrena, owner of Gypsy Jean Jewellery, lives in the Greater Vancouver area with her husband Rob, young son Carson, and cocker spaniel Eddie. She has been making jewellery since childhood and launched her brand, Gypsy Jean, about three years ago.

gypsyjean3gypsyjean2

Can you explain the name of your company, Gypsy Jean?

 

It was a nickname I was given way back when I tried my hand at tarot card readings! My Irish gran was Jean, and my mom and I share the middle name Jean, so it’s definitely a tribute to the women that have inspired my creativity and jewellery making.

You first started making jewellery when you were a child. Can you recount how that began?

I was first introduced to jewellery craft at summer camp when I learned how to make friendship bracelets. It evolved from there when my mom bought me some tools, wire and beads. I started selling them on my street corner just so I could go buy more supplies! Also, I’ve always been a bit of a wondering soul, and my first designs were inspired by my set of aura rocks.

gypsyjean4

How did your grandmother influence you?

With a walk-in closet packed full of colourful outfits and tiny shoes, my Irish gran (Jean) talked to me about my dreams and my future Prince Charming while she let me play in that little girl’s fashion wonderland! She had new accessories for every single dress! Actually, both of my grandmothers were also artistic and crafty. They inspire me to follow my dreams and heart every day.

Can you explain how Bohemian style is a part of your work?

Free spirit and whimsy inspire my unique designs. I like to use eye-catching charms and gemstones that are thoughtfully put together, but with no rules! I just go with what I love and hope that others will love it too.

Where do you find your materials?

Everywhere and anywhere! I can’t use just one supplier because part of the fun is the hunt, and it gives each piece it’s own story. From taking apart and up-cycling pieces of vintage jewellery, to online finds and boutique treasures, I want my jewellery to make you feel good!

What is your favourite type of jewellery to make?

Because i’ve worked in many different styles and mediums, I go through stages. Right now, i’m loving my “convertible necklaces” featuring colourful semi-precious stones, charms and Swarovski crystals. They are one-of-a-kind and can be worn as a bracelet or necklace. Actually, every piece I make is my favourite until I make the next…Then it’s my new favourite!

On your website, you’ve said that you’re inspired by your travels. Where have you travelled that has inspired you artistically?

I have been across the United States and to England, Ireland, and Scotland! I have watched glass beads being made beside a canal in Venice and an old woman hand beading intricately (and at record speed) on the streets of Mexico! Finally, being a tourist in my own beautiful city inspires me every day.

At Gypsy Jean, you pride yourself on being unique. What is it about your jewellery that is so different?

I want to keep my jewellery one-of-a-kind, versatile and good quality, but also at affordable price points. I also like to make pieces that you can wear in different ways. If you can’t can’t have fun with your accessories, what’s the point, right? When you love what you’re wearing, you feel good, and that gives us confidence. Overall, I love to make women feel confident and happy!

Take a closer look at Gypsy Jean Jewellery at:
http://www.gypsyjean.com/

 

twinpeaksconstruction

Thank you to our Platinum Sponsor Twin Peaks!

www.twinpeaksconstruction.com 

Picture to People

Are you looking for an easy, fast and free designing tool? As artists, we know it can be difficult and expensive to create graphics quickly and efficiently to help you with your branding and marketing. Afterall, good branding and marketing is the key to success not only as an artist, but as a business owner.

Whether you are an artist or creative entrepreneur, we recommend trying Picture to People, http://www.picturetopeople.org for your next graphics project. They have thousands of text generators, a huge collection of creative photo effects perfect for flyers, banners and posters; some are even exclusive to their site and can’t be found anywhere else!

Best part, there is NO SIGN-UP needed and it’s totally free!

Be sure to check them out!

flamesfirephotoeffectcreatedonline (2)

An Interview with Diva’s Niche Designer Rebecca Fisher

Interview With . . . Rebecca Fisher

by Alyssa Laube 

 

A Quick Autobiography

Throughout my life I have been many things – a daughter, wife, mother, llama farmer, business owner, teacher and now student. And now, as a recent breast cancer survivor, I find the experience of mastectomy, chemo and radiation to be a catalyst to many life changes. Now I am enjoying, with renewed excitement and appreciation, the preciousness of life. Divorced and with a decidedly different external landscape, I find myself drawing on my creative side with much more intensity, truly believing in the power of healing through art. I am recent graduate Capilano University Textile Arts Program where I spent two blissful intense years honing the skills I have garnered over a lifetime. My current work involves explorations in millinery and accessories finding these small canvasses the perfect venue for my creative energies.”

Image

 

When and how did you first get started in textiles? 

I remember using my mother’s sewing machine when I was 5.  I also remember taking my sister’s clothes and cutting them up to sew into Barbie clothes. I’ve been doing it since then.

 

Did you know you would want to do it as a profession?

My grandma came to Vancouver from London, England in 1905. She supported her family by sewing and selling smocked dresses out of her children’s clothing store on Robson. When I was 9, she taught me to smock. It was a very serious endeavor for her and she made me swear on a bible never to tell anyone how to do it ,as one day I would make my living smocking. When I had completed a baby dress, I went back to see her and she went over every stitch, folded the dress in her lap, and said, “It is saleable.” That was the hardest jury I have ever passed! I knew at that point that I had an aptitude for textiles and it was a natural progression.

 

What about working in the field do you like/dislike?

I love the alchemy of marking and colouring cloth – of taking something plain and giving it life. It’s a celebration of colour. I create these textiles with the intention that they will be worn and lived in. The only thing I really dislike is that there aren’t more hours in a day!

 

You use both natural and unnatural dyes. What is the reason for this, and how are they different?

I am by no means a purist as far as attachment to a specific technique goes. Having said that, I love each for their own unique vocabulary. The natural dyes only work on natural fibres and that brings a richness that is unrivalled by anything manmade. I love the smell of the silk and wool in a dye pot of onion skin tied with rose leaves and eucalyptus. The colour palette is soft and deep and reminiscent of an old secret garden hidden away for centuries. I also feel an attachment to the many generations of natural dyers and artists before me when I work in this medium, as if my hands are not the only ones placing and wrapping leaves and flowers against cloth. It’s like a collaboration with the earth and my ancestors.

The manmade dyes have a vibrancy and colourfastness not achievable with natural dyes. There is an immediacy in their usage that appeals to my magpie-like attention span. There is also an element of repeatability and reliability that is missing in natural dyes. The dyes that I use on the printed hosiery are polyester-specific and can only be used on manmade fibres. They are particularly successful on hosiery and poly satins, hence the development of the line of printed panty hose and scarves. 

Image

How did your family influence you as an artist?

As a child, I spent a great deal of time with my grandfather. He taught me about the colour wheel using tempura paints mixed by my mother on a wooden easel built by my father. I guess you could say that my artistic side was recognized and supported. I also spent a great deal of time in my grandparent’s antique store which may account for my obsession with textiles. I remember the thick velvets and laces and today, lace images still find their way into my work. My father was an amazing gardener and I think that influenced my colour sense as well as a love for the intricacies of different leaves and flowers. My great grandmother and great aunt lived on Lasquiti Island for many years and collected many books full of pressed flowers which were put into pictures and cards. I was always mesmerized by the delicate petals pressed flat – like I was looking into the secret domain of fairies – or something equally romantic. I still have a picture over my bed made by my great grandmother with pressed ferns and flowers. The aesthetic is quite similar to the imagery on my fern imprinted hose.

 

Do you have any training or are you self-taught?

I have spent a lifetime exploring textile arts and am a recent graduate of the Caplilano University Textile Arts Program – a wonderful program that was my gift to myself for surviving chemo therapy after breast cancer 5 years ago. This is currently the final term that this 40 year old program will be running – one of the many Arts cuts at Capilano University. It’s such a shame. This program offers students a skill base not found anywhere else.

I was born in Vancouver and have always lived in this area. the West coast imagery is part of my soul. There is never any shortage of inspiration. It can be found on short walk down the road to the river or just out in the backyard. The little fellow that was the model for my raccoon hat was a constant visitor last year. Always by himself, he would come in the evening and hang around in the backyard, watching us with great curiosity. The skunk hat also had a live model although not so cute. He sprayed the dog 4 times last year!

 

Considering the exaggeration of natural elements in your work, how does living in B.C. affect you? 

Nature has both a fragility and a great strength. It has beauty that is constant and changing. I am always collecting rocks and twigs and leaves whose designs speak to me. My china cabinet is full of skulls collected from under a bald eagles nest. They sit perched on my grandmothers china. Both aesthetics equally precious to me.

 

Why do you feel drawn to nature?

I don’t know that it was ever a conscious idea or decision. You doodle and draw and paint and slop dye around – Some things appeal and some don’t. I very rarely have something turn out the same as the idea had when I began. Designs morph as you go. I have a very free-flow style of working that follows through the rest of my life as well. Sometimes I think it would be easier to approach things in an organized and structured fashion, but I have come to realize that you can’t fight your brain.

 

How do you like to use color in your clothing? 

I love colour. It’s all about mood. Sometimes it’s playful with bright colours and other times more subdued and calming. Each day is a new day.

 

You make both accessories and garments. Which do you prefer, and how are they different?

I probably make more accessories than garments. They are a smaller canvas and I can experiment and work out different ideas. If that experimentation is successful, then it often progresses to a garment.

 

How long does it take you to complete one piece, usually?

I don’t really work with things one at a time, so it’s hard to say. If I am doing hats, I’m washing fleece and as it dries I am carding other fleece and felting blanks. While they are drying on hat blocks I am needle-felting the features on other ones. It’s like an assembly line – a skill I developed through years of hairdressing. The panty hose are the same kind of thing. I am painting the designs on paper, while its drying I am collecting and preparing the ferns and leaves, then laying them out in stacks and heat setting them. I do tend to do things in runs. If I am making scarves then its a scarf day or a felting day or a flower day, mostly because each thing requires a different set of equipment and I have a small space to work in.

 

When you are picking which objects to incorporate into the cloths, what do you look for? 

Sometimes on a walk I will discover plants with interesting shapes or in the thrift store i’ll come across some really tacky doily with a lot of texture that is perfect. I feel like mostly, the things find me. Like the other day, I took the dog to the off-leash dog park and he shot off after a duck with me chasing after him. During that little adventure, I discovered the ferns that were growing from the trees – slightly softer and smaller than the ones I had been using. I was curious to see if they would work and how they would translate on to cloth. I loved them so I plan to go back later this week and pick some more.I am always careful to pick gently and not take too much, especially with things like lichens.

Image

Explain the process of making those objects a part of the fabric. Is it difficult?

Sometimes I will paint the actual leaves, others I will make silk screens of the leaf images and screen the dye on. Sometimes I draw the images by hand, or a combination of all 3. It’s not any more difficult than another technique but it does require a fairly in-depth understanding of how the dye works and some specialized equipment.

 

How did you learn to do it?

I learned my basic skills at the Textile Arts Program at Cap U and have actually just completed a directed study to develop this technique. I wanted to take advantage of the last term the program is running to further my experimentation.

 

Where do you find your materials?

With the leaf imprinting, any time I leave the house I usually find something. My pockets are always full of leaves and twigs and seeds. The hats I buy use local specialty fleeces and  I process them myself. The fabrics are often rescued or vintage.

 

Do you ever work with others professionally, or do you prefer to work alone? 

I love collaborations and I love creating in solitude. Sometimes it’s nice to have someone of a similar mindset around to assure you that you are not crazy and to bounce ideas off of.

 

What is your favorite piece to make?

Every piece I make is my favourite piece in that moment. Although I have to say I am really enjoying the panty hose currently.

 

Which fabrics do you use for each garment? How do you treat each one differently?

Each fibre and fabric type – wool, cellulose, and polyesters – all require different dyes and treatments. I use wools for hats, scarves and shawls which may also incorporate pieces of silks or polyester.

 

How do you experiment?

Everything I make is an experiment. I am a messy artist, not by intention. It’s just that when I am working, I am oblivious to the rest of the universe. 

 

How do you get such original ideas? Do you have any ways to encourage yourself creatively?

I think it is important to spend time with other creative types to keep the energy up. It’s also important to give myself time to create; turning off the phone and working undisturbed even if its just to mix dyes and sweep the floor or unroll fabric. I try to do my initial experiments without attachment to the outcome. I fine tune an idea before committing it to a 500 dollar piece of cloth. Sometimes doing something in a completely foreign medium is a great creative boost.

 

Do you have any other jobs or hobbies?

I foster high risk youth in the other part of my life. I like to garden and I like to cook.

 

How does your personal life affect your professional life?

I think the high stress level from my job fuels the need for creative expression. They kind of feed off of each other. Over the last 2 decades I have managed to keep a fairly symbiotic relationship between the 2 sides of my life.

 

What are you hoping for at this year’s Art World Expo?

I am really looking forward to this expo and am excited to be involved in such a creative venture. I am hoping that my textiles will be well received and I look forward to making many creative contacts. Did I mention that I was excited?