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
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.