My “Funktional” Art was born from the desire to build a better Pizza Peel. My wife and I are self proclaimed gourmet cooks and love Italy. We have a fondness for, among many other things, really good thin crust pizza. We love making it from scratch and having pizza parties. Many years ago when I shopped for a decent pizza paddle I was stumped. Nothing of interest on the market. So I made my own. Then friends and famliy wanted them. Then, try and find a high quality, End Grain Cutting Board. Tough to do.
I make a variety of End Grain & Edge Grain Cutting Boards, Pizza Paddles or Baking Peels, Serving Boards, French, Italian & American Rolling Pins, Knife Blocks and more. My gallery is open for tours and by appointment.
When I was a child I used to run down to the beach, gather cedar bark and kelp, tease the materials into long strips and spend happy hours weaving the cords into wall hangings and baskets. Later I'd follow trails through the cool forest and cut panels of alder bark to make tiny canoes for floating down the creek. My imagination was alive with stories and my first works of craft were props for playmaking. My childhood freedom gave me early training for my current work.
My muse awakens again whenever I walk on the seashore or in a rainforest. The west coast environment envelops me in a creative cloak tinted with muted, misty colours and undulating textures. The sound of the waves and wind in the trees inspire mood and rhythm as I sketch my ideas. I capture colour combinations with my camera and fill my pockets with glorious collections of stones and inspirational tangles of organic materials that I use to stamp or weave into my work. I use inked polymer clay as my primary material for three dimensional expression and I include pieces from my collections for connections and texture. My objective is to incorporate influences from my landscape to create pieces that inspire the viewer to celebrate their own sense of play and in turn find joy in creating their own stories.
Tobias has been a working artisan for over 40 years. Some of his ceramics instructors include Harlen House, Hal Regar, Jack Surs, Marylin Levine, Roy Kiyooka, Santo Mignosa and Léopold Foulem.
Tobias also weaves, fuses dichroic glass, produces torch-work beads, and creates sterling jewelry. He has taken courses in “Hollowware” in London, UK, and Canadian metalsmith Crys Harse. Tobias has taken repoussé classes with Valentine Yotkov of New York, and Nancy Corwin of Calgary, as well as several local instructors in silver jewelry. His degree in Fine Arts was a major in Printmaking, and a minor in Ceramics.
Several years ago, Tobias discovered that his great-grandmother had Chickasaw Cherokee roots, and he has been exploring his First Nations heritage through his art. Much of his work reflects; ceremonial, medicinal, herbal, and food plants Chickasaw Nation, including traditional and historic depictions from the medicine wheel to sacred motifs symbols like the World Weaver Spider, Weeping Man.
Tobias has always been interested in textiles, the use of natural fibres and plants used for dyes. He has raised sheep, sheared wool, spun, and created woven material from “scratch to finish”. Today, the main fibres used are rayon, silk, linen, cotton, viscose, and rayon chenille. With these, rugs, shawls, and scarves are lovingly made. Colour and texture, forms and function, this is the historical essence of humanity and craft history, as well as ingenuity combined with practicality. Like the myth of the girl, the womyn, and the crone, weaving the threads of Life.
Hardwoods include walnut, cherry, western and fiddleback maple, Garry oak, arbutus, sapele, and purple heart. Several species are often integrated into a herringbone pattern on the lid. Many of Dean’s boxes have adjustable or lift-out trays. They are lined with felt, signed on the base, and come with their own padded, protective bag.
Krys incorporates leather into many of her bags. Adjustable straps and well-designed pockets are important. The travel bag, for instance, has 12 pockets including one designed for a water bottle. This bag is made from water repellant microfiber which is also machine washable.
Krys and Dean both do custom work. Dean, for example, had made a box featuring a bagpiper inlay on the lid. Krys has often sewn a bag in the customer’s own family tartan. A selection of her tartan bags is on display at Freedom Kilts in Fernwood, Victoria, and also at the Caledonian distillery. These bags feature registered tartans and the design elements come from kilts and sporrans.
In 2017, you can find us at the following venues;
May 20-22: Victoria Highland Games, Topaz Park
June thru Sept: Occasional Saturday markets on Pender Island; Sunday market at Bastion Square, Victoria
July 1: Gorge on Art
Nov 24-26: Out of Hand, Victoria Conference Centre
Dec 1-3: Touch of Saltspring, Panorama Centre, Sidney.
We also sell our products from our two locations on Pender Island and in Victoria. We’re open to our customer’s wishes, whether wholesale orders or custom work. For boxes, contact Dean at email@example.com. For bags, contact Krys at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“A four year olds perspective: the best thing about going on a clay dig is sliding down the slippery bank into the river.” My memories of perfect southern Alberta summers spent playing with clay in my Grandma’s studio.
“When a skill is something we learn through play as a child we are not aware it’s a skill, it’s just an intuitive part of us.”
My current work is organic, and spontaneous sometimes with a metaphorical intent and sometimes it has a hey wake up message. The world we live in has become one of bombarding messages as we all try to make sense of it and find our peace. Where is the truth and where is the fiction in the messages we receive, its a documentation of my sorting through it all in my own way. It’s about life, memories, re-birth, letting go, relationships, balance, and contrasts.
These pieces are just a sampling of my extended body of work.
I do functional pottery, it is like meditation with a bit of an uneasiness wrestling below the surface. It's the place where i can process and think about a lot of "stuff". We all have a lot of "stuff" we are trying to sort through these days.
I have been commissioned to make dinnerware, and my dinnerware has been in shows by invitation as far away as Louisville Kentucky. I enjoy the peaceful feeling of making bowls, mugs and plates.... for a little bit. Then I dive back into the deep, and who knows whats going to happen next time.
As a child growing up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Deb Thurlbeck was continuously surrounded by art and music. With creativity and inspiration drawn from her family and her big brother and mentor Ken, a successful and award winning New York photographer/commercial artist, there was no shortage of innovative vision in the Thurlbeck household.
As a young woman, Deb attended the Winnipeg School of Art and spent many hours drawing and painting in oils and acrylics. Drawn by the call of the West, she moved to the rugged interior of Northern British Columbia. Deb now calls beautiful Vancouver Island home.
Over the years, Deb has enjoyed travelling and sharing her artistic visions though painting, photography, cake decoration and costuming. The combination of her talents focused through the medium of hardened fabric has resulted in a variety of spectacular creations.
Her works, created with non-toxic fabric hardener and repurposed natural fibres, can be broadly classified as home and office décor with a number of pieces well suited to accent outdoor gardens and landscaping. From wine collars to figurines and statuettes, Deb's creations range from elegant to playful - each detailed and unique. Many pieces are inspired by beauty of the West Coast and often include natural items such as driftwood and sea glass.