Monday, 7 October 2013

Craft Ontario '13 & Nocturne

I am so very excited to announce that some of my work will be on display at the following exhibitions: 

First, I am sending some work to the beautiful Fireworks Gallery in Halifax to be on display during Nocturne.  I wish I could be there to see it myself (because Nocturne has been a lot of fun the last two years while living out East) so my Halifax friends better stop in and check it out!

Some details!

Where: Fireworks Gallery, 1569 Barrington St
When:  Friday October 18th - Monday October 21st
(Nocturne, Saturday October 19th, 6 pm - midnight)

Second, I am so lucky and extremely excited to be sending my milkweed earrings to the Ontario Crafts Council gallery for Craft Ontario '13.  I have double the amount of earrings to be installed on the wall than I did for my show at the Anna Leonowens gallery, so my plume of milkweed will be even more glorious! 

Some details!
Where: Ontario Crafts Council Gallery, 990 Queen St. West
When: October 17 - November 30
Opening Reception:  October 17, 6:00 - 9:00 pm

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Glass Love

This blog has been so neglected, but at least this time it's for a good reason (i.e. not out of laziness).  So a few weeks ago there was this wonderful event in the Glass Studio at Sheridan College called the "Glass Gathering".  There were a series of shorts lectures, demonstrations all leading up to the glory that was the glass olympics.   I gave a short lecture on my time at NSCAD, and I gave a short demo in the flameworking studio as well.  

Having felt a lack of community for so long (I loved NSCAD, but it lacked the kind of amazing community that I found at Sheridan) it was so nice to be around old friendly faces and to meet some new ones as well.  Hopefully it will turn into a yearly event, because it was a blast.

Some glass olympics photos!  The green team:

The purple team:

The pink team:

and the blue team: 

What made the day even better?  Getting a job!  I'm now one of the studio monitors and artists in residence at Sheridan for this semester.   It's been over two weeks and my brain is still trying to fully comprehend what this means.  I have gone from renting the occasional torch time to having a torch at my constant disposal and also being able to blow glass again.  That really, was what made my brain go kablooey.  

My first blowslot went pretty well considering I hadn't blown glass with any kind of consistency for about four and a half years.  

Flameworking, I missed you most of all.

While still being completely overwhelming it has been amazing so far.  The students are great and were so welcoming to a new face, which has been a really refreshing change! 

Monday, 9 September 2013

Hot Mud Exhibition

I had to do a quick post of this show because it's wonderful!  I'm lucky enough to know a few people that are part of this exhibition too.  I have a huge appreciation for ceramics because I don't have the patience for it myself.

If you are anywhere around Burlington, go check this show out.  The show is open now until November 4th at the Burlington Art Centre.  Gorgeous work by Canadian artists, in a gorgeous space. 

The lovely Marianne Chénard's piece Silver Rose remade

Robin Lambert's installation:

Eliza Au's Twist

One of my Sheridan classmates: Zimra Beiner's Grey Alphabet

Carole Epp's To the best of their knowledge

Maja Padrov's Duets

Alysse Bowd's beautiful bells

 Two of Magdolene Dykstra's beautiful torsos

Denise Smith's The Wanderers

Denise Smith, Endangered (detail)

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Upcoming This Fall

It's hard to believe that summer is almost over.  It's even harder for me to believe that I won't be driving two days back to the east coast for more school.  What's exciting about that?  Well I get to do a few shows this fall!

The first one is:  

Dundas Art in the Park

It'll be nice to do an outdoor show when it's not too hot like all of the summer shows.  Plus Dundas is a beautiful little town!

The details: 

When: Sunday September 22
Where: "The Cove"  Dundas Driving Park
Times: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm 

Next on the docket is: 

Mississauga Artisan Studio Tour

I participated in this show a few years back before I headed out to NSCAD.  It will be nice to be back, especially in a studio with two other lovely ladies.  Join myself, Noelle Hamlyn and Alison Syer of Eyespot Designs in Studio #4 for a great weekend

The details:

When: Saturday October 26 & Sunday October 27
Where: 2 Carlis Place, Port Credit, ON (see map above for details on all of the studios you can visit) 
Times: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm (both days)

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Crochet Obsession

You may remember my last foray into crocheting, which also happened to be my first.  It started with one crocheted flower, and quickly multiplied into a blanket with 320 flowers.  Click HERE for a quick reminder.

Well I have been doing a lot of cleaning and organizing lately and getting rid of all kinds of stuff I don't need or use anymore.  I de-stashed a bunch of awful yarn that I was never going to use and rediscovered some other fun yarn. 

This is what started it all:

I naively thought: "Oh I will just make a few squares."  Within three hours that turned into a trip to Michaels to get more yarn, and photoshop planning of what my new blanket will look like. 

I told myself that if I was going to obsess about this, then I was at least going to learn something new.  So one of the block patterns I picked had the little bobbles!  To my surprise they weren't all that difficult either.  

I love this pattern:

This one is really simple, and I love the nice spring green:

In trying to remember how to crochet and getting back at it I have a better appreciation for how much easier crocheting is than knitting.  I remember when I had learned how to knit how impossible I thought crocheting was.  This attitude may have been helped along by the fact that my mum almost gave up trying to teach me because I was "too neurotic and fingery" for crocheting.

This blanket will be a little bit more simple than my flower insanity.  Only 48 squares!  I already have thirteen and a half done too!  By the time I am done it may actually be cold enough to use the blanket too! 

Sunday, 11 August 2013

July Shows

Seems I have been neglecting this blog again.  I'm going to go ahead and blame Instagram for that.  Let's blame Candy Crush Saga while we're at it.  Oh and the four shows I did in July, that'll do it too. 

Show # 1:  Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition!

It was a refreshing change to be showing some of my new work and not my candy line at this show.  Although it was sort of strange having completely different conversations than I was used to at shows it was definitely a welcome change.  

People seemed to like my set up and despite being a little bit MacGyvered, it worked really well.  One lady even told me I was a genius!  I don't know if I would go that far, all I did was drill some holes in some dollar store cups and turn them upside down and attach a plexiglass sheet on top to create a pseudo jewellery case.  If that lady wants to think I am a genius though, who am I to stop her?

Loving the design of the signs this year!

As well as all of the other amazing art to see in the square, Ai Weiwei's beautiful bronze zodiac sculptures circled the pond.  

And then there was the weather... Of the four years I have participated in this show it has rained during set up three times.  At least the rain this year wasn't the torrential downpour thunderstorm of the other two rainy years.   Mother Nature graciously waited until tear down for the thunder and the monsoon. 

After hearing some horror stories of tents collapsing because of rain I invested in some hula hoops to keep the roof of my tent braced so that the water didn't collect and build up on the roof.  Take that rain! 

Despite the hula hoops there was still one problem corner.  Instead of constantly poking at it like the people in the tents surrounding me, Dad came up with this solution.  Genius! 

Despite all the rain it was a nice weekend and it was so nice to catch up with old friends and make a few new ones along the way.  

Show # 2:  Guelph Art on the Street!

Then we switch to completely opposite weather!  Mother nature really came through for this one.  It could not have been a more perfect day: sunny, nice breeze, not too warm.  Guelph is one of my favourite shows to do just because the people are such characters.  One of my first encounters during the day was a man rolling around in his scooter loudly proclaiming "Ahh a junk show! People sellin' junk!" 

I would have preferred a quieter show though, this fellow played some combination of a banjo, a guitar, his suitcase as a drum and a kazoo for hours.  I think he knew about 5 songs that he played on repeat.  My favourite part of the day was when one of the other artists came up to me (after he had moved across the street and only slightly further away from me) and asked me why it was "honky tonk time" in her booth?   In conclusion, kazoos are the worst. 

Show # 3:  Jewellery Pop-Up Shop!

Then I did a little pop-up show at the Port Credit Emporium in Mississauga.  It was about 500 degrees when we were first setting up.  I have actually never been so happy for a big thunderstorm to cool things off.  It really made a huge difference for the rest of the weekend, especially because there was no heat related crankiness!

It was sort of strange to be doing a show inside in July.  It's just not what I am used to I guess but it was a refreshing change, especially because it involved significantly less stuff and therefore less schlepping. 

Just before I left on the opening night I took this shot of some mammatus clouds!  I have a bit of a Pinterest obsession (Seriously, it's a problem.  Follow me if you dare) and I was so excited to see these clouds for myself and not just over the interweb!

Show # 4:  Haliburton Art & Craft Festival!

My favourite show and mini vacation!  The weekend became Dirty Dancing themed after a conversation about "carrying a watermelon" (this is my new favourite term for doing something awkward).  

It wasn't uber hot this year like it was the last two so there wasn't a prevalence of bikini time but there was definitely some swimming involved and maybe even a little dancing on the bridge!

The vendor dinner was wonderful as usual, such a nice way to catch up with old friends at the show and a chance to meet some new friends at the same time (and spread the Dirty Dancing joy!)

And because sleep after all that clearly wasn't important I have been working on some new things, hopefully I will have some photos in the next few weeks.  I absolutely love working in Sandra's studio.  Such a bright and welcoming studio, and no empty promises!  Even better!  

I was playing around with a muted down colour palette last week.

Here are some of my crystal colour tests.  I am painfully aware that they sort of look like popcorn, apparently everything I make resembles some kind of food!  Some of the colours may be cut from this palette, but it's nice to see a big variety before you pare it down.  I kind of like a mix of the pale transparents and the opalline ones.  I was trying to find a way to get some of the fine veins like in some gems and minerals and the solution was kind of hilarious and counter intuitive to everything I am used to.  Burn the glass.  All the awful scum I generally try to avoid, well now I can do it on purpose to create exactly the effect I want.  Go figure.

I am also doing some electroforming tests with chainmaille.  Those photos are definitely for another blog post though. 

What was my reward for this busy month you ask?  I got my wisdom teeth out!  I've only heard horror stories from other people about how much pain they were in for days afterword.  By some miracle, I was completely fine.  I didn't even get super puffy chipmunk cheeks to show for it.  I was moving boxes around and running errands the next day.  This may have something to do with the fact that I only had my top wisdom teeth.  I went to a dentist once years ago who asked me if I had had my wisdom teeth out.  When I told him that I hadn't he asked me in a condescending tone if I was sure.  He then asked me to explain the absence of the bottom wisdom teeth.  I told him that I must just be lucky. Well Dr. Jerkstore, this is an experience I definitely would have remembered.  

Speaking of that, hopefully I will remember to update this a little bit more frequently! 

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Electroform All The Things

It's probably pretty obvious what this post is going to be about...  Over the last month I have slowly been acquiring the parts I need to set up my own electroforming bath!  The first step was getting a rectifier!  I absolutely love the digital read-out.  It's going to make my life so much easier. 

Step two:  Get giant plastic tub to hold the solution.  Mine is the same at the one at NSCAD, 7 gallons! 

Step three: Get the ingredients for the bath. 

Now, this is where I ran into some (hilarious) issues.  I suppose it is a good thing that sulfuric acid is so difficult to come by, but a few weeks ago this was the bane of my existence.  I was told it would be simple and straightforward.  I was told to go to CarStar and walk in and ask for sulfuric acid.  Simple, right?  I knew because it's me that there was no way it would be that easy.  

So when I showed up at CarStar and asked them for some acid the woman looked at me like I was completely insane and told me they don't sell anything like that.  Slightly dejected, I went home and called the other CarStar location in Burlington thinking maybe I had just gone to the wrong one.  I even explained to this man on the phone what I was doing (to avoid sounding insane) and the man rudely asked me if I knew who I was trying to call.  I told him yes, CarStar.  I explained that I was told specifically that what I needed was available there.  He told me I must have misheard.  I explained that since this information was given to me all via email it was highly unlikely that I would have misunderstood.  The rude man grumbled a little bit and then we disconnected. 

I then called Napa Auto Parts and spoke to a lovely man who understood what I was trying to do and was not incredibly rude to me.  So I was off to a good start.  He told me he did have sulfuric acid, a whole 20 litres of it.  I explained that it was literally 20 times what I needed and asked if there was any chance he sold it in smaller quantities.  Unfortunately he didn't but he referred me to a company that they supply and told me to give them a shout because they were likely to sell me a smaller quantity. 

So the next day (when Peak Powersports was actually open) I gave them a call.  The first man I spoke to thought I was insane and suggested that maybe I should speak to someone in the service department.  I told him that was probably a good idea.  After a quick conversation explaining once again what I was trying to do, Mike in the service department did me a solid and told me he would sell me a litre of sulfuric acid. 

So I went the next day.  I was told to go in the showroom (where I totally didn't belong surrounded my camo gear and ATVs), ask for Mike and I would be lead to the service department.  It sounded a bit like a covert operation to me, so I was all over that.  Except when I went to the showroom and explained what I needed and that I should ask for Mike the guy at the desk looked at me like I was insane (something I started getting used to) and told me how to get to the service department. 

The adventure isn't over though!  It didn't occur to me that I should bring something to carry the acid home in since the 20 litres of acid comes in this sort of bladder thing in a box and there were no other little containers.  So I went to Canadian Tire (where I had just come from) and bought some mason jars, came back and got them filled up.  Only true NSCAD students keeps their sulfuric acid in a mason jar... 

The best part of this was Mike asking me "Is this stuff hard to get or something?"  Another thing that made me happy was that he seemed to know exactly what I was doing with it, he even asked me if I was using it for jewellery! 

Copper sulphate - super easy to get at Pottery Supply House in Oakville.  No one even looked at me like I was from outer space either!  

Distilled water - This wasn't even all I needed to fill my bath... If you need this much distilled water get it in bulk! It's only $4.50 for 20 litres! 

Step four - Do the math.  I had to crunch some numbers to figure out exactly how much I needed.  Turned out after doing the mix that I needed about 3 litres less than I calculated so there was a little bit of improvising at the end but what can you do? 

Step Five - Mix it up! One sunny Sunday I mixed my bath.  I am pretty sure pedestrians in the neighbourhood thought that I was up to no good in all of my safety gear.

Step Six - neutralize the excess and the cleaning bin. 

Step seven - Anodes!  I had to be so patient waiting for these beauties but they were absolutely worth the wait.  This was the last piece in the puzzle...

Step eight - Electroform all the things!  I started my first test about two hours ago.  I had the amps a little bit too high at first but now it is working perfectly! 

Love my little rectifier! 

Hopefully soon I will be posting some pictures of what I am working on now that I have something that resembles a studio again.  My next show is the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition and I will be swamped in prep for that over the next couple weeks.  Maybe somewhere in there I will find some time for another update!