Darcy Epp began her pottery career in 1993 by taking 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)..
Not limiting herself to one medium, she has learned and crosses over between traditional thrown pottery to slab work, Raku and porcelain, often incorporating the theory of one discipline to another.
A passion for nature and ocean themes, her attention to the intricate details of Orcas, Starfish, and Maple leaves 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's Raku kiln designed by Randy Brodnax who lives in Texas and still teaches pottery. Randy brought the kiln up to Metchosin and gave Raku lessons and left the kiln behind as it had to welded on site after he brought it up. Darcy bought the kiln from Sandra Dolph bought the kiln home to her studio in beautiful Black Creek on Vancouver Island
Lois Thompson was born and raised in rural British Columbia, Lois grew up with a strong creative spirit nurtured in BC Wilderness. Lois has always been fascinated with the colours of nature and the textures of fibre.
As a young child her art included the use of lichens and birch bark in her paintings and when she began sewing and designing doll clothes she experimented with the use of colour found in scraps of fabric, lace and ribbon.
Schooled as a fashion designer her creative pursuits lead her to painting on Silk where she could create her own fabric colours on a variety of silks including satin, chiffon and crepe.
All Lois” work is hand drawn and painted using high quality imported dyes. Many of her designs are inspired by the beautiful Oceans, Mountains and wildlife of the B.C. coast where she lives.
B C COAST DESIGN SILK SCARF
Her easy care silk are lightweight, luxurious, washable and colour fast. www.sidestreetstudio.com A World Made By Hand
Stuart Clarke Wildlife Photographer writes;
After graduating from Trent University with a degree in Biology in 1994, I made my way to the West Coast and Victoria to pursue my dream.
After a number of years in the Outdoor Industry I have finally found my true calling as a wildlife photographer. As a life long birder it wasn’t a stretch to trade the binoculars for a camera. As a wildlife photographer you often get 2 comments “you must be really patient” and “you must have a really good camera”.
The first one I always find so interesting, because for me, sitting in the woods observing and recording bird behaviour in one the most beautiful places on the planet is something I used to do on my days off and the excitement of capturing a rare or difficult species more then offsets the patience needed. The second, kind of goes without saying, to photograph small fast moving birds in dark forests requires top quality gear just to make it possible, but, it most certainly doesn’t make it easy or guarantee you’ll get the shot.
It is this challenge that keeps me inspired and has led to my specialty of capturing birds in-flight. Two of my favourite images, one of a male Barred Owl as it has left its perch looking for a mouse and the other is a Bald Eagle as it came in for a fish. The owl shot came from a lot of hard work, perseverance and wet rainy days in the rainforest, watching and observing this owl as he fed his mate and their offspring. After I captured this image, I zoomed in on the LCD screen on the back of the camera, when I saw that it was sharp it was like getting a hole in one and well worth all of the soggy mornings.
The eagle photo on the other hand was all about being in the right place at the right time. While having lunch with my girlfriend at the Oak Bay Marina I saw all of the gulls take flight, a sure sign that an eagle is patrolling the area. I grabbed my camera and ran down to the water just in time to capture this bird as it came in for a fish. This incredible pose as it came directly at me is a once in a lifetime capture. These images and many more are part of my ever expanding Card Collection. I currently have over 100 species of birds and wildlife plus a large collection of nature and park images from all over Vancouver Island.
My cards are unique in that the backs have information on the species and where it can be found in North America. The images on the cards are actual photographs and are suitable for framing. All of the images in my card collection can also be purchased as Prints – (framed or unframed) as well as giclee canvas prints (stretched or rolled).
You can find all of Stuart’s superb cards, prints, mugs etc at www.sidestreetstudio.com
Stuart Duncan of Wren Silverworks produces some of the finest Silver jewellery on the Pacific Northwest West Coast!
Engraved sterling silver jewellery of animals, birds, flowers and sea life – From herons, whales, cedar trees, frogs, eagles and bears to cherry blossoms.
As a child, Stuart was always drawing, deriving inspiration from the natural world around him. His ability to draw the world around him led Stuart into a career as an illustrator. He also co-owned an art gallery for a few years. In the early 90’s he apprenticed with master First Nations silver engraver Harold Alfred.
In 1997, Stuart was inspired to produce a line of jewellery that carves realistic lines onto silver. Wren Silverworks jewellery celebrates of the beauty and strength of nature and our connection to it.
Stuart also continues to draw and paint. He lives, surrounded by wildlife, on the outskirts of Victoria, B.C.
Wren Silverworks jewellery is individually engraved, each line separately carved, and each open area cut out with a jewellers saw. Every piece is handmade – an individual piece of art. On the back there is a sterling stamp, and the artist’s signature.
The first step is to create a detailed line drawing of a plant or animal. Then, the drawing is transferred onto a flat sheet of sterling silver. 22-gauge silver is used for earrings and brooches and 16 or 18-gauge silver is used for bracelets.
Next, the silver is engraved along the design lines, each line individually carved with a variety of gravers (very sharp chisel points). Using a tiny saw, the silver is cut out, following the periphery of the design as well as cutting out any pieces from inside the design (piercing). The edges are filed to a smooth finish. The piece is shaped: this involves using a hammer to bang the silver from the back into a pre-carved shaping “holes”, giving the flat silver gentle curves. If needed, any findings are soldered on, and it is then polished with a buffing wheel and tripoli (clay) compound. The silver is then washed in an ultrasonic washer, dried, polished with rouge (a finer clay) and washed again.
All earring hooks and studs, and brooch pins are sterling silver. Chains are also sterling silver. Brooch backs have a locking clasp. Brooches and earrings are made in 22 gauge silver, and bracelets in 16 gauge and 18 gauge silver.