Thursday, December 6, 2018

Vendor Profile #15 - Wild Blue Yonder

I began crafting jewelry from wood back in 2014 - simply because I wanted a wood pendant and couldn't find anything I liked. So I began experimenting with found wood, lichens, and epoxy resin. As I wore my handmade pieces, friends and family began asking for similar ones, so I happily obliged. Pushing my craft and expanding my networks has allowed my to begin my own company, Wild Blue Yonder, in the spring of 2016. Based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, my jewelry is available in several stores, and is displayed regularly at events throughout the region.

WBY jewelry is created using reclaimed materials, unused lumber scraps, or fragments of wood, bark, and lichen found on hikes and travels through the forest. Little details, often unnoticed in nature, are readily on display in my pieces. My jewelry is designed to inspire its wearer with a love for nature, and all the intricacies that lie therein. 

Amber, founder of Wild Blue Yonder.

Vendor Profile #14 - Frances Ward Ceramics

 Frances Ward (visual artist, poet, editor/publisher) was born in Manchester, U.K. but has spent most of her adult years in Hamilton area (Ontario, Canada) where as a mixed and multi-media artist she has created 2 & 3 dimensional works with paint, collage, assemblage, printmaking, photography and, most recently, clay. 

She has participated in many solo and group exhibitions over the years and her work is included in numerous private and corporate collections. In addition to being awarded several Ontario Arts Council grants, she is also winner of the 2015 Emerging Ceramic Artist (Kaleidoscope, Art Gallery of Burlington 2015), 2014 Fusion Award for Best in show (Kaleidoscope, AGB 2014), Agnes Tassie Award for Sculpture (2012, DVSA Annual Juried Show, Dundas), First Prize Winner in the Wegway International Juried Show (2005, Fran Hill Gallery, Toronto), and a Purchase Prize winner for Scarfone Hawkins Law Firm (2004, Hamilton). 

The author of three solo collections of poetry, she was also publisher/editor of “Hammered Out” (a literary journal, 2003 to 2008), “road work ahead” (an anthology of poetry & images, 2010) and “Travelling Light” (haiku & paintings, 2012).

Vendor Profile #13 - Frayed Knot Fibre

Tell us about your work and what we can expect to see at this years Handmade Hamilton?

        Frayed Knot Fibre is all about fibre, some of which is from our own alpacas. We love colour and yarn and the fibre arts. We will have a big range of handpainted luxury yarns and spinning and felting fibres as well as our new focus on unique handspun yarns that are easy for you to use to create one of a kind items.

What are your inspirations?

           My colour inspirations come from everywhere, nature astounds me, so do the little things and it all comes together in the way colour and texture can convey emotion, identity and comfort. I am also a visual artist and I use my         studies and finished work as inspiration for colourways as well. I am also inspired by potential, and I find that creating these things which are intended for creations themselves, inspiring and a good reminder of my own         potential. 

What are your favourite books? Movies? Music?

        I have a thing for good Sci Fi books and the occasional mystery. Some of my favorite authors are John Scalzi and Lois McMaster Bujold. I love music that takes me somewhere new, like Kishi Bashi and Andrew Bird, or bands that remind me of good times like Throwing Muses or Forest for the Trees.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Vendor Profile #12: ALTR Soaps

ALTR creates hand-made bar soap with local, wildcrafted botanicals.  We seek to change popular soap culture by offering products that showcase only local plants, and, in this way, elevate the seemingly mundane task of washing oneself into a ritual reconnection to the land that sustains us all. 

All of the main botanical elements are wildcrafted by us from local wild areas and are then brewed into a nourishing infusion that acts as a base for each bar. 
Our soap is 100% natural, made with organic ingredients, palm oil free and vegan. We make each product with great care and hope that our soap will inspire people to take care of themselves and reincorporate the natural world back into their daily rituals. 

Vendor Profile #11 : Little Love Birds

 Tell us about your creative work and what we can expect to see at Handmade Hamilton. 

I take vintage and thrifted fabrics and notions (buttons, trim etc) and turn them into timeless children’s goods. This year I will be bringing children’s coats made from classic wool blankets, holiday and cozy winter outfits made from reclaimed fabrics, and vintage inspired jumpers, pants and vests made from 100% wool suiting materials sourced from antique vendors and tailors. 

What does your creative process look like?

I spend a lot of time searching vintage/thrift stores and Etsy for vintage children’s patterns to get inspiration .  Then I let my fabric finds and the seasons dictate where I go from there. In the summer I had light floral dresses, bloomers and reversible rompers. For the fall I transformed vintage flannel and wool blankets into cozy bonnets, pants, and coats. Currently I’m creating holiday dresses with accents of vintage lace, and wool separates from a cache of suiting materials that were reclaimed from a tailor. I do all my sewing on industrial machines in my home studio while my 3 kids (aged 4.5, 2 and 2) are sleeping.

What inspires you to create the work that you do?

As a lover of all things vintage I’ve always been inspired by the well made, tailored pieces that stand the test of time. I want to create heirloom clothing that will be passed on to friends and family members for ages. By using reclaimed fabrics we can divert textile waste from landfills as well as reduce the heavy burden that creating new textiles have on the environment. 

What are some of your favourite podcasts or music to listen to when you create?

I find podcasts and most music too distracting to listen to while working, so I will often have Netflix playing in the background. Usually something that I’ve watched a million times, like The Office or Star Trek

What are your favourite books?

I’m a big fan of classic science fiction and fantasy novels like Dune, but since I have 3 small children at home I’m currently reading a lot of Dr. Seuss.

What are your favourite films?

I love campy classic movies and musicals. White Christmas and Meet Me in St. Louis are in heavy rotation right now!

Do you have a quote that keeps you going when you get discouraged?

My favourite quote is a lyric from Astrud Gilberto’s classic Samba hit StayFor time is running, take everything life can give you. You know it's there so take it, even fake it 'til it comes true.”

If you have any advice for any emerging artisans what would it be?

Soak up every piece of advice you can, don’t let your ego get in your own way, plan for your successes, and take your failures in stride.

Vendor Profile #10: La Villa Goods

We are an ethical brand that aims to create positive social impact in El Salvador by partnering with artisans and connecting them to international markets through thoughtfully designed and curated hand-made goods, all produced under ethical standards. We are deeply involved in the production process of every piece that has been designed by our team.  

Our coconut collection includes earrings, bracelets, bangles, chokers, and necklaces, all made in partnership with Callotl Artisans, an environmental project that targets sea turtle conservation, responsible fishing and sustainable development. Thanks to Callotl, coastal communities in violence ridden areas have found new hope through work and commerce using local renewable resources that would otherwise go to waste. La Villa’s exclusive coconut collection is hand made in Costa del Sol, whose locals have limited fair employment opportunities.

Our textiles are hand-woven on traditional wooden foot looms by master artisans thus conserving cultural heritage and promoting productive activities in an at risk rural area. They include, scarves, kimonos, throws, blankets, tea-towels and placemats.  It is our goal to grow together with our partners in an on-going, fair manner.

Vendor Profile #9: Laura K Watson

Tell us about your creative work and what we can expect to see at Handmade Hamilton. 
    I am a drawer, writer, embroiderer, and printmaker. At Handmade Hamilton, I’ll be selling cards, postcards, zines, paper dolls, and prints, made with digital printing as well as more traditional forms of printmaking like silkscreen. In my writing, drawings, and prints, I tend to focus on the minutia of my daily life, but I like to mix it with elements of folklore or magic.

What are some of your favourite podcasts or music to listen to when you create?
    If I’m struggling to get through a print run when I’m screen-printing, I like to put on Kate Bush’s album, The Dreaming. It has so much wild energy and I love picturing Kate Bush making that when she was so young with this incredible level of confidence.

What are your favourite books?
    I couldn’t choose just one or two so I made a list of ten.

1. We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson
2. Here - Wislawa Szymborska
3. Everything by Jane Austen
4. Everything by Kazuo Ishiguro
5. Tess of the D’Ubervilles - Thomas Hardy
6. The Gorgeous Nothings - Emily Dickinson (a beautiful collection of her handwritten poems on envelopes and scrap papers)
7. The Witch’s Handbook - Malcolm Bird (a children’s book from 1984 with no narrative or real information but amazing, amazing illustrations)
8. All the Harry Potter books
9. Everything illustrated by Arthur Rackham
10. The Colossus - Sylvia Plath

If you have any advice for any emerging artisans what would it be?
    I think that if you want to be able to make things as your full-time or part-time job, you need to treat it like a job. Keep a regular work schedule. Have a designated work space. Set deadlines for yourself. But I also think this has to be balanced with a certain level of flexibility that allows you to be creative. You don’t want to become a production line. You want to make things that are exciting to you. Sometimes this means getting an idea at midnight, working on it all night, and throwing off your whole schedule.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Vendor Profile #8: Island Joy

Island Joy is an artisanal green skincare line that captures the essence of the Caribbean. A collection of luxurious sugar scrubs handcrafted in small batches using natures's finest ingredients and backed by science. 

Founded by a mother-daughter duo, that believes skin care is a ritual through which to indulge, Island Joy creates a sensory experience reminiscent of family memories and life by the beach. Born from the philosophy that exfoliation is key to achieving and maintaining healthy skin ,Island Joy is specially formulated to gently exfoliate and nourish the skin, leaving it glowing and incredibly soft and smooth.

Based on the principle of being kind to your skin, Island Joy uses carefully sourced ingredients and does not contain any fillers, petrochemicals,, toxic chemicals,, phthalates, or dyes.  Mindfully made in Canada, products are formulated with respect to the environment and through methods that are cruelty free. 

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Vendor Profile #7 : Eleanor Rosa Felt

Tell us about your creative work and what we can expect to see at Handmade Hamilton. 

We use a high quality wool blend felt and 100% felted products to create unique botanical felt flowers, felt succulents, and home decor.   We also have a line of fun and whimsical felted pet "rocks" called "Stone Softies" where we let our creativity and imagination run wild.

What does your creative process look like?

Suzanne loves to garden and is a self-professed plant nerd.  From this perspective, we try create botanically-correct plants in the medium of felt.  We have two daughters who provide a huge source of wild and crazy ideas for our Stone Softie friends.  The whole creative process is a family affair, and we all share a lot of laughs as our creations come "alive"
What inspires you to create the work that you do?

We are environmental scientists and this is an excellent outlet to allow our creative sides to flourish.  We love to see the joy that our products bring to the faces of so many people. 

What are some of your favourite podcasts or music to listen to when you create?

Suzanne is currently listening to a podcast called Serial by This American Life and Mike has A Charlie Brown Christmas by the Vince Guaraldi Trio on a constant loop.  We also love Ray LaMontagne, The War on Drugs, Tom Petty and George Michael.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Vendor Profile #6 : Glib Designs

Tell us about your creative work and what we can expect to see at Handmade Hamilton

I’m excited to be a first-time Handmade Hamilton vendor! I make greeting cards, both by ‘hand’ and designed digitally. For the holidays, I love getting out stamps and watercolours to make one of a kind cards. For this show, I’ll also be showing some 8x10 prints, an easy gift - just add a frame! 

What inspires you to create the work that you do?

I am always looking to spread positivity and seeing the smiles people have when they browse my cards is super motivating! I am constantly inspired by other stationary designers, artists and book covers. Even window displays can get me thinking. 

What are your favourite books?

As a librarian, this is a very difficult question but let me try to give you a couple really good titles I’ve read this year. My usual read is fantasy/sci fi and I loved Cruel Prince by Holly Black. If you’re a creative type, I’d also recommend Amy Tangerine’s Craft a Life you Love, part workbook and part motivational book. 

If you have any advice for any emerging artisans what would it be?

Make use of your community - take classes, go to art crawl, meet people, use the library. Hamilton can be such a great place for artists. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Vendor Profile #5: Curious Oddities

Born in a century-old log cabin in the wilds of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, surrounded by a community rich with artifacts of the early pioneers and settlers, I grew up with the heart of a dreamer and the spirit of an explorer. My intensely inquisitive nature led me to explore many different crafts and trades, absorbing new techniques and inspiration every step of the way.

Since 2008, I have spent my time travelling, collecting treasures and making delightful, fantastic jewelry.

 My work is heavily influenced by the designs of the Victorian, Arts & Crafts and Art Nouveau Eras, in which romance, whimsy and elegance were paired with fine workmanship, quality materials and exquisite detailing. I also draw inspiration from many literary sources including works by Jules Verne, Neil Gaiman, Edward Gorey and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I have always been deeply aware of the balance and beauty of the world around me. Through my work, I love to marry the natural with the mechanical, drawing unexpected beauty from the mundane.

With a rampant imagination, I seek to find a story in everything and seek to unveil the magic in all I touch. The Curious Oddities collection is an ever changing and eclectic mix of salvaged treasures, vintage finds, gemstones, Czech glass, enamel and new, premium quality, traditionally pressed, antiqued, inked or plated brass.

All of my Curious Oddities are lovingly crafted and curated by me in heart of Hamilton, Ontario Canada where I currently reside with my three rather eccentric calico cats.

Most of the pieces that I create are small run (usually less than 10) or one of a kind; there are a few designs of the pressed brass that are renewable and are a more permanent part of my collection.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Vendor Profile: Smith and Tailor

What does your creative process look like?

My design process usually begins by doing research - for example, going on vacation, visiting a museum, or checking out photos from various fashion weeks. That inspiration tumbles around in my mind for a while, and then emerges as colour, pattern, and themes in my work. My mentor taught me that creating a great design is not the end of the process, but the starting point. Having a great idea put down offers you the freedom to expand outward and push an concept further.

What are some of your favourite podcasts or music to listen to when you create?

I listen to so many podcasts. Favourites include, RadioLab, ReplyAll, Ear Hustle, and for a good laugh each week, My Dad Wrote a Porno.

Do you have a quote that keeps you going when  you get discouraged? 

This has been the quote that has fueled my 20 year long career. 

"If you're going to repair a motorcycle, an adequate supply of gumption is the first and most important tool. If you haven't got that you might as well gather up all the other tools and put them away, because they won't do you any good.
Gumption is the psychic gasoline that keeps the whole thing going. If you haven't got it there's no way the motorcycle can possibly be fixed. But if you have got it and know how to keep it there's absolutely no way in this whole world that motocycle can keep from getting fixed. It's bound to happen. Therefore the thing that must be monitored at all times and preserved before anything else is the gumption." - Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

If you have any advice for any emerging artisans what would it be?

Think about who you are as a maker and show that to the world. Find other artists and makers and become part of community. There is no need to continually reinvent the wheel. We are all on similar journeys and we can share experiences that help each other get better. Ask questions, listen, and keep evolving.

Instagram: Smithandtailor
Facebook: Smith and Tailor

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Vendor Profile #3: Gordon Leverton - Artist

What does your creative process look like?

Because my subject matter largely consists of buildings and straight edges, I draw a grid onto the canvas with pencil and use a ruler to sketch out the drawing. I then block in the colour until i've covered most of the canvas - that way I can tell if the composition is working and whether I need to change certain colours. Then, i continue the long process of layering the paint until the painting is complete.

What inspires you to create the work that you do?

In my neighbourhood there are many alleys and laneways, which afford a unique view of people's houses. I love the angles of sunrooms, fences, back additions etc and how they co-exist with their surroundings. 

What are some of your favourite podcasts to listen to when you create?

Anything from sports radio (when i want my brain to turn off) to This American Life or Democracy Now. My current fave is I Don't Even Own a Television, which is a podcast about bad books. There's also a great WKRP podcast called 
Hold My Order Terrible Dresser, which is about so much more than the 70's TV show WKRP in Cincinatti and has an ex-Hamiltoian as co-host.

What are your favourite books?

I can't shut up about books and music. Besides the classics, I have to say that Angela Flournoy's The Turner House, HHhH by Laurent Binet and anything by Roberto Bolano are my current favourites. 

And music! Currently loving much of the African soul and disco re-issues coming out lately. Also a big spot in my heart for roots reggae. I DJ at the Lounge at Casbah on the last Wednesdays of the month and you'll find me behind the counter at Epic Books on Locke St!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Vendor Profile #2: This and That Design Co.

Tell us about your creative work and what we can expect to see at Handmade Hamilton. 

We will have a variety of different travel and makeup bags in our fall/winter prints. They're each lined with a water resistant lining and are all fully machine washable. We're a mother-daughter team, so we like to choose prints that a wide variety of ages will love.

What does your creative process look like?

Everything is made in our home studio, here in Hamilton. We also like to source all of our notions, fabric, etc as locally as possible. Sydney cuts out all of our fabrics and lining, then the bags get sewn mainly by Marlene.

What inspires you to create the work that you do?

The handmade creators around us and all around the world! The main reason we started this business was because we we're so inspired by all of the makers around us and wanted to be apart of the community. We're also super inspired by the amazing collections that our favourite fabric designers release. 

What are some of your favourite podcasts or music to listen to when you create?

Sydney loves to listen to podcasts when she creates and when she drives (and she spends a lot of time in the car). She loves The Lady Gang, Dear Handmade Life, How I Built This, Off the Vine and Girl Boss Radio. When working in our studio, you can usually find the pair of us listening to One Republic, Mumford and Sons or Coldplay. We also watch a lot of Gilmore Girls while making.

What are your favourite films?
Sydney loves The Town, Clueless, The Intern and The Accountant (to name a few). Marlene loves the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and we both love the Harry Potter movies and My Big Fat Greek Wedding (and quote it often!) 

Do you have a quote that keeps you going when  you get discouraged?
"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style." - Maya Angelou

If you have any advice for any emerging artisans what would it be?
To create wholeheartedly and find something you love, so you can be confident about selling it to the world. If you believe in what you create and love it, then other people will also love it. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Vendor Profile #1: All Sorts Press

For the next few weeks we will be posting vendor profiles. At Handmade Hamilton we believe that the magic of local markets is meeting the people who create all of the beautiful things. Makers spend a lot of time creating and scheming to present the final products that you will see at the Market! We have asked them a handful of questions and we hope that you enjoy learning more about some of Hamilton's finest makers! - Lisa

Tell us about your creative work and what we can expect to see at Handmade Hamilton. 

I specialize in letterpress printing and make small printed matter using my antique press; cards, notebooks, prints, and calendars! I often print from printing plates of my illustrations, hand-set type, or lino carvings using bright colours and patterns, and simple heartfelt messages.

What does your creative process look like?

Everything is printed, folded, assembled, etc, by hand! My machines are old and human-powered, so the work is labour-intensive but the end result is worth it. Once a design is settled, I mix my ink by eye, apply it to the press and print from either a custom printing plate or hand-set type. Only one colour can be printed at a time, so that means cleaning the press and doing a completely new set-up for each colour of each print. I feed each sheet into the press by hand as my food maintains the press momentum with a treadle. 

What inspires you to create the work that you do?

Ultimately I've always been inspired creatively by nature, but in the past fews years I've been embracing brighter and bolder patterns and colours. When it comes to printing, I'm just straight-up obsessed (haha) - everything about the medium is inspiring - the machines, the ink, the paper, the tools, I love it all! :)

What are some of your favourite podcasts or music to listen to when you create?

Music for chill studio nights lately has been a mix of Charlotte Day Wilson, Jennifer Castle, Stephen Steinbrink, João Gilberto.

Instagram: @allsortspress