A 9 Point Guide to Essential Wood Care
1. Oil your wooden bowl or utensil on a regular basis. We recommend doing it on a monthly basis.
2. Ideally, we recommend mineral oil. Food grade mineral oil is tasteless and odourless. It does not get sticky and does not become rancid with time. This is available from most local supermarkets & hardware stores. However, many of our artists recommend using Walnut oil or Olive oil as an alternative – both of these are excellent.
3. Rub on generous amounts of the oil (warmed just to room temperature) and allow to soak in. Repeat the process about 6-8 hours later, and repeatedly if necessary, until the oil is no longer being absorbed. Then wipe off any excess that remains on the surface.
4. Wash your wooden utensils without worry after oiling. But...
5. Do not let wood utensils soak, and never wash them in a dishwasher!
6. Dry wooden boards and utensils thoroughly after washing. Wood dries faster than plastic and is less likely to harbour bacteria on its surface.
7. Bowls that you regularly use for salads can just be wiped clean with a paper towel or J cloth. It will soak up any excess oils and be ready for your next salad.
8. Cutting boards should never be used interchangeably with meat (including poultry and fish) and other foods (like bread, salads, etc.), to avoid possible cross contamination from bacteria in uncooked meat products.
9. The USDA recommends that you wash wooden utensils (especially cutting boards and utensils used with uncooked meat products (including fish and poultry) with hot, soapy water, then rinse and dry. If you follow their instructions, first make sure the wood is well oiled before using it, and that the utensils have been at room temperature, not out in the cold. Follow with a generous oiling, since soap will remove much of the surface oil.
You can see many superb wooden bowls, platters & vases – all hand crafted in British Columbia at Side Street Studio’s web site https://www.sidestreetstudio.com/collections/wood
Patsy writes, "I turn stories into metal. Making jewellery allows me to transform life's amazing moments into wearable art pieces. Using contemporary techniques in the ancient art of enamelling I get to explore colour, pattern, and love stories through intricate metalwork".
"My inspiration is all around me - the vibrant colours of blooming flowers, the detailed patterns on a swatch of fabric, and that moment when your breath escapes you because you see something you love".
"My absolute favourite thing to do is to be at my bench designing and making jewellery with my two hands. I am invested in the art of handmade, and in adding beauty to this world"
"My jewellery work is heavily focused on pattern and colour. In 2012 I was invited to do a 2-month artist residency in Renkum, Holland".
"Since then my work has been very influenced by the bright colours of the gardens that bloomed outside of my workbench and the sea of jewel tones that captivated me when I biked through the tulip fields. I use a process of silk-screening to get the detailed patterns onto my pieces with enamels".
"Silk screening is usually a technique used in textile work and has taken me great patience, practice, and time to perfect in metal work. In the spring of 2014, I was the Touchstone Center for Crafts scholarship recipient, which allowed me to attend a 3-day workshop at Touchstone on Imagery in Metalwork".
"It was there that I learnt how to use decals in my enamel work and have since been able to combine vintage floral decals with my ornate silk-screened patterns. My copper line is also inspired by my time in Europe. I fell in love with all of the rusty metal and red brick architecture".
"I use my favourite hammers to get the texture onto the copper and a process of heating and quenching the metal to achieve one of a kind colours".
Patsy’s lovely work may be found at;
Side Street Studio. http://www.sidestreetstudio.com/collections/patsy-kay-kolesar-design
Beautiful Hand Made Silver Jewelry from Saltspring Island
Alvaro Sanchez was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he studied design, music and architecture.
Since leaving Argentina he has lived in almost every country in Latin America until 1990 when he established residence on Saltspring Island, British Columbia. As a self-taught silversmith Alvaro has gathered influences, techniques and inspiration from the ancient and contemporary art of the many cultures he has been immersed in.
His artistic jewellery style has an urban Latin flavour. Using precious metals and natural gems, Alvaro creates beautiful, fine jewellery that is both stylish, unique and very comfortable to wear.
You can see much more of Alvaro's beautiful work at Side Street Studio.
One of the great pleasures of owning a studio is that just occasionally you meet an artist who produces some really creative and beautiful work. Darcy Epp is a perfect example. Her Raku is stunning and very well worth viewing.
Darcy began her pottery career in 1993 by taking some night classes with a studio potter. She immediately realized that working with the magic of clay on the potter’s wheel and individual hand sculpting was something that would be immensely fulfilling.
She has taken many workshops in both functional and decorative pieces at North Island College and Metchosin International School of the Arts, as well as specialized workshops and seminars from Gordon Hutchens (Denman Island), Siegele and Haley (Arkansas), Alan Burgess (Courtenay) as well as many others.
Not limiting herself to one medium, she has learned and crosses over between traditional thrown pottery to slab work, Raku and porcelin, often incorporating the theory of one discipline to another. A passion for ocean themes, her attention to the intricate details of orcas, starfish, and rockfish has earned her pottery prominence in some of the most exclusive resort destinations venues.
Raku is an ancient type of Japanese firing dating back to the 16th century. Beautiful iridescent blues, violets, copper and crackle glazes are produced on either wheel thrown or sculptural pottery. The pottery is fired to 1800° and then “reduced” in a chamber which catches fire immediately. The fire uses up all the oxygen in both glaze and chamber, thus producing one of a kind results.
Darcy lives in Black Creek on lovely Vancouver Island. B.C. and you can find more of her beautiful work at Side Street Studio, Victoria, B.C.
A World Made By Hand
Charles Van Sandwyk’s Beautiful Books and Cards
Charles Noel van Sandwyk was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1966.
In 1977 he emigrated with his family to Vancouver, Canada. By the early 1980s he was selling his drawings and watercolours in a style reminiscent of the old prints and paintings which hung in the family home.
Van Sandwyk studied graphic design at the Capilano College art programme in North Vancouver. Upon completion in 1986, the wanderlust of younger years sent him travelling to the South Pacific.
He discovered the Fiji Islands, and fell in love with a remote island and its inhabitants. He began to divide his time equally between Vancouver and Fiji, leasing land from the neighbouring family and building for himself a simple home of grass thatch, in the traditional island style.
Van Sandwyk settled into a pleasurable routine of winter seasons in Fiji filled with painting and writing, the results of which were brought back to Canada each summer and prepared for exhibition and publication each autumn. His watercolours, etchings and books are now collected across North America and in Europe.
The National Library of Canada has maintained archives on his work since 1986. Charles Van Sandwyk continues to divide his time between Vancouver and his beloved Fiji.
John Topham writes;
“There is a lot of experience that goes into the crafting of my wooden bowls for fruit and salads . During my 34 years in the explosives industry with CIL/Orica, I have travelled extensively throughout Canada, Africa, the U.S., the Caribbean and South America. Since my retirement in 2002, I have been consulting for Austin Powder Co. of Cleveland. My other interests are photography and guitar”.
“My passion for wood turning evolved from my formal training in Fine Arts. I have been turning for a dozen years and am a founding member of the Summerland Wood turners Group. We meet monthly at a member’s shop; a social time devoted to turning, discussing safe work practices, products, tools, design and finishing”.
“I am a Member of Summerland Community Art Gallery”.
Side Street Studio in Victoria, B.C. has two types of my Salad & Fruit bowls.
“The Silver Maple bowls originated from Nanaimo Street in Penticton. They are from a tree that was planted more than 80 years ago, salvaged and given a new life as a beautiful bowls”.
“The Western Birch bowls originated from a tree from the ‘Carlson property’ on Washington Street in Summerland. This tree was planted more than 80 years ago, salvaged and given a new lease of life as a beautiful bowls”.
“All of my bowls are finished with pharmaceutical grade mineral oil. These historic bowls are food safe and ready for use with fruit, salad and vegetables. An occasional application of oil will ensure generations of service”.
Just occasionally an artist’s work is both genuinely beautiful and practical. And this is the case where Wray Parson’s work is concerned.
For over 30 years, Wray has been making magnificent tools for all needle craft artists. He originally began turning wood when making toys for his children and after an early career in corporate banking focused all of his time in developing his micro-wood-turning techniques.
For 7 years Wray worked at Coombes Emporium, Parksville and then as his reputation began to grow he started working from a new studio built in his home.
The tools that Wray crafts are acknowledged to be amongst the world’s finest. They are heritage items designed to be family heirlooms, passed from generation to generation.
Wray’s scissors are made in Italy from Italian steel and are reputed to be the best that you can find.
Using 4 woods ranging from African Zebrano (Zebra-wood) to Pacific Yew to Yellow Cedar Burl to Cocobolo Rosewood, Wray makes a range of instruments.
Needle Holders, Scissors holders (inc. scissors), Thimble holders crafted in various forms, measuring tapes that roll back into Zebra wood holder, needle holders and sewing holders that use rare earth magnets – strong enough to lift a car! Seam rippers turned in Rosewood designed to last more than one lifetime.
In addition, miniature vases in a variety of woods including Maple, Yew, Oak Burl and Laburnum are turned in Wray’s studio.
Wray lives in Qualicum Beach, B. C. Canada.