Sunday, October 26, 2014

Practically Perfect Weekend - Part II

After the events of Friday evening, could the weekend get better?

Maybe not, but it certainly kept it's loveliness through to Sunday evening.

Saturday a.m. I accompanied my daughter to her "On the Spot" 'pop-up' sale at Latitude 53, just a block or so away from the Alberta Craft Council galleries and shop, downtown Edmonton.  She's selling her beautiful photography in a variety of formats: printed on canvas, framed under glass, as note cards, bookmarks and now, a stunning gift book.  I helped her set up her booth for the day, and then wandered around.

The gallery space, divided into three rooms, was crammed with displays by makers of art and fine craft.   The vendor right across from Gina's booth was a preserver of dried/pressed flowers and grasses in frames made from recycled old windows.  Next to her was a young woman selling beautiful blown glass jewellry.  We talked for a bit about her work, and I suggested she think about topping both knitting needles and wooden shawl pins with her glass adornments.

Next to her was a painter...and farther down, a young woman almost completely enclosed in a jungle -- she creates unique arrangements of sedum, mosses and 'air plants' in glass balls and other unusual containers.

In the second room (I never got to the third) I found three artists that Gina recommended I visit.  The first two are sisters -- their booths side by side.  The first was Allison Findlay of Nomad Fibreworks -- handspun yarns, batting/roving and spinning supplies.  We talked about my recent adventures in felting, and she told me about her being contracted to provide batting/roving for an up-coming class in Nuno felting in Edmonton.  Next to her sat her sister, Chloe Findlay-Harder of Painterly Art Works,   She is a crocheter, maker of textural scarves and cowls, and also a creator of studio art quilts in fabric and mixed media (wool, felt...),  We too had a great chat, and I told them both about seeing The Yarn Harlot the evening before.  I felt very at home with these two young textile artists who, like me, share a love of all things fibre.

The other person I was meant to visit was across the room from the sisters.  Lynne Fortowsky is a woman closer to my age who is a skilled seamstress and embroiderer, specializing in sashiko.  She combines traditional sashiko stitching with recycled wools and cashmeres to make fingerless gloves, scarves, purses and packets of quiet beauty and high quality.   We had a lovely chat about embroidery, recycled textiles, the properties of cashmere, sashiko...another soul sister in textiles.  :-)  I purchased a gift of fingerless gloves for a friend, and a pair for a scrumptious periwinkle blue.  Wore them to drive to church this morning...mmmmm.....

Across from Lynne was a booth with two young women selling soaps and bath products from The Red Elephant Project.  The price was right, I love handmade soap, and the cause is a good one, so I selected a bar of lavender soap as a treat.  Can't wait to try it out after my next long jog!

It was time to go...before I got into more "trouble"!  ;-)  I skipped the chocolatier, the jewellers, another knitter/spinner...and, bidding Gina good-bye, headed out for a visit to the Alberta Craft Council galleries and shops.   The current exhibit in the Discovery Gallery on the main floor was a blend of pottery and textiles.  It was the latter - "21 Konstruktions" by Brenda Raynard -- that blew me away.  Cross stitch at such a fine level I was breathless:

These are but three of the series displayed on the walls of the Discovery Gallery.  The blurb in the accompanying issue of Alberta Craft (Fall 2014) describes Ms. Raynard's work thus:
To create these works sepia images of the 'konstruktions' were uploaded to a site that translates photographs into cross-stitch patterns.  From a distance these 4" x 6" artworks look like the photos they're based on but upon closer inspection the pixels are actually 4,050 tiny cross-stitches finely crafted by hand. [emphasis mine]
Though actually under-priced for the work involved (reported at over 125 hours per piece, or over a year for the collection), I couldn't manage to purchase one to have after the artist's tour finishes.  Ah...but one can dream...

After such richness?

I went home, pondering.


els said...

You definitely had a wonderful and inspiring weekend and you enjoyed it to the max. Don't we all need that once in a while?

Judy Warner said...

What a trip!

elle said...

Great stuff. So glad you had a wonderful weekend!

Susan Lenz said...

I love handmade soap too! Lovely post!