Halifax Crafters Winter Market

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The Halifax Crafters Holiday Market happened back at the turn of the month and it was a pretty darn hopping event, I tell ya.  What a great weekend.  The Olympic Center was packed and bustling and it was such a pleasure to be out and amongst it all.  So much work goes into pulling those shows together…from the crafters, each making their magic, to the organizers and vounteers who pour their time and energy into all the behind-the-scenes, and of course all the lovely people who come and fill the space out with their good energy and support for hand-making.  Good stuff all around, THANKS EVER SO MUCH!

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(Arsenic & Old Lace Table)

Of course, the place was so packed with incredible work…temptations abound!  I kept returning to Arsenic & Old Lace’s table (they were Fresh Catches this time round) with their lovely carved ceramics, tattoo-ed oranges and glass curiosity boxes. I eventually came away with a couple of pieces, one from each of the two makers (Anna Bald & Andrea Thorne).  Here’s a couple of snapshots of the collection of goods I came away from the weekend with, happy to be supporting makers and ever appreciative of trading wares:

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Handmade knickers by Hanna Broer Design, big ol’ beeswax candle by Mike Bienstock of Medway Candle and Essentials (who was my neighbor at the Crafter’s Market…what a treat to have that smell wafting around all weekend!!), ceramic ornament and curiosity box by Arsenic & Old Lace. (I can’t track down any online info for these lovely folks, so I can’t provide a link, but I noticed that some of their work is available in Plan B, on Gottingen Street in Halifax, NS).

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These playfully solid ceramic cups are by Bridget Fairbank ofBPractical Pottery.  She had a great display set up right across from me so her work had been flirting with me all weekend—-I am now so thrilled to have these cups as a part of my days, especially in this season of tea drinking.  Bridget seemed like a stand-up gal and has a great blog worth a peruse.  As someone who spent a while dug into ceramic work, scrolling through her blog is inspiring, stirring up urges…but for now I must stay focused, and maybe drop by the Lingo section of her blog on occasion for small tastes of the language, at the least.

MId-Summer Grind

What?!  August???!?  

This summer has been a runaround.  An unpredictable and chaotic whirling together of all the facets.  So be it.

A few snippits of jewellery shennanegans…

You can now get your hands on Fervour’s Own Jewellery at Lady Luck Boutique in the Hydrostone (Halifax).  This lovely shop is owned and run by two charming sisters who sound remarkably alike (my ears are sharp), and is full of all sorts of jewellery and an impressive selection of hats.  Drop in for an eyefull.

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Also, I sent a small collection of FOj earrings to Salty Rose’s Local Art & Craft Shop in Ingonish, Cape Breton.  This sweet little craft shop along the Cabot Trail, is owned and operated by Caitlyn Purcell of Caitlyn Rose Jewellery with whom I had the pleasure of sharing my studio space over the past winter.  If you happen to be hitting up the Highlands this summer, this would be a great place to stop and check out some local craft talent.

I’ve been busy at my bench this summer designing and working on a couple sets of wedding rings.  This has been quite a pleasure, mostly as a result of getting to work with such lovely people.  In each of these cases, I’ve been given old family jewellery to work with for materials, which is one of my favorite things…  Being able to produce new pieces that are designed specifically for and with the clients, with materials that are being re-purposed and which carry with them their own stories and histories. I will be posting photos of the rings (before and afters!) soon, so you can see the transformations.

July brought with it an unexpected trip to Toronto (during the heatwave) to spend some time with family there.  It was both a sad and precious visit, as we soaked up some time with a passing grandparent.  Good visits were had by all, and a few adventures out into the city streets were made.  I was ABSOLUTELY THRILLED to discover that Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller had an exhibition, Lost in the Memory Place, up at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). During my last stint of studies at NSCAD and in the years after graduating, prior to returning to jewellery making, my interests and personal art practice focused on sound/installation work.  These two artists and their work have been so influential to me over the years and this was the first time I have had the opportunity to visit an exhibition of theirs in person (other than Janet Cardiff’s 40 Part Motet at the Saint Mary’s Art Gallery some years back…).  What a treat. I was just blown away.  And, though my creative work is taking on a different form these days, I hold strong to the idea of someday diving back into sound and installation exploration.  In the meantime, seeing work such as this serves as much savoured fuel for the (general) creative fire that heats up my everyday, and I eagerly soak it up. 

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New Collection riding the Spring breeze

Over the winter some design ideas have been percolating, and the recent bursts of spring have edged me into the production of some of these new pieces.  I love this phase.  It’s thrilling…pulling muses into matter. My hands are loving it.

The starting point for this small collection was having stumbled across the wonderfully strappy, bondage-inspired collection of handmade lingerie, Hopeless, by Gabrielle Adamidis of Melbourne, Australia.  I have been loving these pieces—-the minimalism, repeating lines, hints of kink.  Sexy.

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Taken with this aesthetic, I’ve been digging up other images of architecture, garmentry, leather work, bondage gear, horse tack, and rigging that are of a similar nature.  Check out the inspiration board to which I’ve been pinning on Pintrest, to take a look at some more of the visual inspiration behind this new collection of work currently in bloom.

Sneak peaks of some new pieces will be popping up over the coming weeks as I gear up for the Halifax Crafter’s Spring Market coming up on May 4th & 5th.  I’m aiming to have some of this new work ready for release by then…Keep your eyes peeled.

Just before the turn...

Spring is bound for us. It’s true. There were two days last week that shone with a different sorta sun…I heard a new birdsong in the morningtimes, and I could smell the mud (conjuring bittersweet treeplanting nostalgia). Sure signs…

I thought I’d post a little winter catch-up before Spring truly is upon us. Though life seems ever full and brimming, I have been seizing the opportunity in the slower-moving January and February days to soak up time with my family, catching the inspiration that comes of watching little ones discover and unravel their own version of the world around them. Catching those glimpses…

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I certainly struggle with trying to maintain a semblance of balance between the constant pull of my worker/artist-self to my independence, my creative process, the studio, the absorbing and focus-necessitating mess of it, and tug of my heart strings in the direction of my home and wee ones blooming there. Thankfully, my little companions have been quite content to be brought along, strapped to my back, while I attempt to make mixes of the two. Gettin’ it done. (just a bit more slowly)

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And so, I have been spending time with my family, I have allowed myself to fall into some books, I have been planning, I have been dancing, I have been sitting by our woodstove, I have been attempting to post semi-regularly on this blog (new addition to the work flow), and I have been working on designing a new (small) collection that I hope to have ready for the Spring/Summer. I am aiming to have some of this new work available at the Halifax Crafters Spring Market coming up in early May. Keep your eyes peeled: things are looking strappy, lighter more air-y versions of some of the good old rock-like textures in combo with some smooth action. We’ll see, still scheming and sketching…

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Aflame

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I’ve recently come across a series of work by French photographer Laurent Chehere, Flying Houses.   At once both glorious and tragic…I am attracted to this conflict-at-play.  They are definitely all worth a gander, though I chose this photograph to post here as it called to mind a poem that I so love, and jump at the chance to share:

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From Parasites of Heaven, by the one and only Leonard Cohen, this poem similarly reeks of both darkness and hope.  Rounding the bend from calamity to blessing.  I fancy these sorta oscillations.

Fervour's Own name game

I’ve had lots of folks ask me about the name for this line of jewellery.  Fervour (it’s the Canadian spelling) is a word I’ve always had a fondness for…it’s rich, it’s descriptive, it’s full of juice, and we don’t hear it all that often.  For years it has been a word scribbled randomly on pages of my journals and sketch books.  It’s an essential ingredient…   in my life, in my work, in my approach to what I do.  A sense of passion is what makes things seem worthwhile, it is what tips me off that something is right, that it is hitting a mark, that I am perhaps on the right track.  A guiding force.

I hope you can catch the scent of it in my jewellery…