My creative instincts have their roots in my family home in Port Townsend, Washington. My father is a writer, and our house was always filled with artists. I grew up surrounded by painters, musicians, writers, and ceramists. That early exposure to a wide variety of creative disciplines had a strong impact on my aesthetic sensibilities.
I first studied Art History at Western Washington University, and then moved to Victoria, BC to continue my education at the University of Victoria. Later, I made the decision to move to Toronto so that I could attend the Ontario College of Art and Design University. I completed four years of studies in art.
I didn’t find my passion for metal and fire until years later when I took my first silversmith course. The inherent dichotomy of metal work remains deeply satisfying. The sterling silver is rigid, but with the right tools and techniques it becomes very malleable. Creating handcrafted jewelry requires strength, sometimes brute force, and delicacy of hand. The masculine of fire and hammers becomes the feminine of the jewelry itself.
Although I am an emerging silversmith, I have participated in a number of art festivals and markets in British Columbia including the following:
My work may be found at Side Street Studio in Oak Bay B.C.!
I live and work in Richmond, BC.
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.
Monica Bennett writes: “I love colour. It is always what interests me first, what my eye sees first. Texture and pattern combined with colour inspire me and get the creative ideas flowing. My hand felted, wearable art pieces showcase colour, texture and pattern in a pleasing balance of form and function”.
“My wraps may look delicate but they are very wearable. Made mostly from Merino and Corriedale wools felted on to iridescent silk chiffon, they are soft on the skin, lightweight but warm, easily draped around the shoulders on a cool summer evening or wrapped around the neck, tucked under the chin and into a winter coat.”
“I was born and raised in West Vancouver. I received my Bachelor of Applied Arts in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Ryerson University in Toronto in 1988. In 1991, I took my first quilting class and from that moment on, fiber became my creative outlet”.
“Throughout the 1990s, I studied embroidery, hand and machine stitchery, fabric dyeing and surface design with a variety of international teachers. I started teaching quilting in Vancouver in 1995 and continued to teach even after my husband, Trevor, and I moved to Pender Island in 1999. When I started learning to hand felt in 2001, I knew I wouldn’’t be working in fabric arts anymore”.
“Once I saw how my hands could get into the creation of the art – literally – I was really excited”.
“Everything I make is done by hand. I lay out the unspun fibers then felt them – gently rubbing them with warm, soapy water, then rolling them in bubble wrap over and over, constantly checking and adjusting as the work progresses. My hands tell me when a piece is felting, where it needs more attention and when it is finished.”
Monica’s beautiful, handcrafted work makes a magnificent gift and all represent outstanding value.
Inspired by the love of Nature. Created by artist Sharon Beatch.
The studio was started when we purchased our Island cottage in 2010. It is located a stones’ throw away from Beachcomber Marina in Nanoose Bay on the beautiful West Coast of Vancouver Island.
Our family enjoys time strolling the secret beaches in the area and playing along the shore. It is fun to find the interesting pebbles, sea glass, shells and driftwood and it’s great exercise to walk then carry the treasures back to the cottage.
I have always loved doing crafts and creating things from almost nothing. Setting beach treasures out after we got them home and washed quickly turned into visions of art.
Some pebbles have been tumbled in a rock polisher to bring out their colors, others have been left natural to show off their powerful roughness designed by mother nature. I create simplistic and unique shadow box pictures which to me represent love, life, family, friendship and caring- all the values we hold dear in our hearts.
Some of the ideas were inspired from family and friend events like the birth our grandchild, weddings, boating, camping etc
I hope you enjoy them. You can see more of Sharon's beautiful work at www.sidestreetstudio.com
A World Made By Hand
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.