5 NB designers
I have been sitting on this for months, and am so excited to be able to finally share about it! One of my braided rugs is in Toronto as we speak at the Toronto Design Offsite Festival, along with pieces by four other NB artists/designers. Geof Ramsay, a designer from Saint John was asked to curate a banker’s box of items made in the area that would be shown at “Outside the Box”, an exhibition meant to build “a map of design in North America”, showing in Toronto, January 17-21 and Brooklyn, NY, May 17-20. Participating cities include Boston, San Francisco, Portland, Vancouver and Montreal – and of course, Saint John!
How did I come to be a part of this? Me who has been, at best, a hobby artist who makes one thing every few months? It was last August, when I was setting up for Third Shift, as I was warping my tapestry loom getting ready for the event, sitting on my big blue braided rug, that Geof Ramsay walked by and stopped. He asked me about my rug, wondered if I sold them (not yet)… Then he told me about a project he was working on, and would I want to be a part of it? After the event we corresponded through email, I dug through my stash of fabrics and we came up with a colour palette that would jive with the other pieces in the box. It was neat making something to order, so to speak, it made me pay attention to detail more than I have in the past – considering I’ve mostly been experimenting! I was happy with the finished product, and the whole group of items came together beautifully.
I have to say that I feel really honoured to have my work placed beside such stellar artists. Darren and Jeneca were among the very first artists I interviewed at the beginning of CreatedHere, so there is a symmetry to it for me.
Here are the pieces included in Saint John’s box at “Outside the box”. Thanks Geof, for elevating the art that is created here and showing that it is on par with that of other great creative cities!
Doris-Ann is a basketmaker whom I met at my workshop “Growing your creative business online” about a year ago. She makes beautiful baskets, and I especially love this stair basket. Although in my home it wouldn’t last five minutes before getting thrown down the stairs…
Darren Emenau’s work looks good no matter what. This piece stands out with its blue, flaky lichen glaze, like it grew out of the earth it came from.
Jeneca Klausen has been branching out from her classic style of clusters of silver and crystals and making these lovely and interesting talisman-like faces. A piece to keep as a family heirloom. (Who does it look like??)
Geof is a designer who was named one of Canada’s top 10 emerging designers by Azure Magazine, who is passionate about taking traditional craft and translating it into modern design that reflects a unique Maritime aesthetic. Geof’s mugs were inspired by the mooring of a boat, slipping your hand around a mug like you would slip the rope around a mooring coming in after a sail. Simple, elegant, timeless.
A little rug to lay by the door, or beside the bed. Made with upcycled fabric from Value Village, my favourites are the mint green and the terra cotta/white print near the edges. These colours make me think of a picnic in summertime.
For more information and a great write-up, check out Julia Wright’s article for CBC here.