April 2014

Bay 12 Gallery, Village at Pigeon Lake, Alberta

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The Village at Pigeon Lake is one my favourite places to visit and only half an hour’s drive from where we live. Between the Village Emporium and excellent Eco-cafe is the lovely Bay 12 Gallery, where we are lucky enough to have some of our pewter for sale. They have a nice mix of paintings, woodwork, jewellery, handbound books, ceramics and glass along with our pewter, and some slate art which I just love, plus lots more. I was at the gallery today, delivering some new pieces, including the one pictured above. It is one of our largest bowls – platters we call these big pieces – and is shown above holding my attempt at Easter crafts for this year. I think the platter and colourful eggs compliment each other nicely.  The platter weighs 1 pound 12 ounces ( a lot of pewter!) and I think it was 14 inches across. A unique lovely big handmade pewter bowl.

Comments and compliments we received at the recent Make It! Show

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It’s a week now since the Make It! Edmonton show ended and we thought we would share some of the lovely, positive comments we received. Above is a photo of some of our booth display, including our lovely new business cards.
“Beautiful” was the most common adjective used by visitors to the show, closely followed by “Wow, they are heavy” once they picked them up. Our Pewter is lead-free has a beautiful shiny silvery  colour which will not tarnish, and is deceptively heavy. Our bowls look delicate and in some ways they are – they will scratch, will melt at lower temperatures than other metals, so don’t put on or near a heat source – but we encourage people to pick them up, feel the textures on both sides as it is quite different, look at the inscription on the underside as each one has been carefully hand-engraved by us.
“Raw” and “Organic” were some other words used to describe our pewter. They are indeed raw. Once we have poured them, and the metal has cooled, the only finishing we do is the engraving and sometimes adding colour depending which design we are creating. There is no polishing or buffing. Very rarely we may have to lightly file away a sharp point in the metal but otherwise, what you see is what we poured. Embellishments or pressed patterns are added while the metal is still molten in those critical few seconds after creating the bowl, using original patterns created by us.
“They look like shells” and like “mother-of-pearl” are some further comments. And they do. It makes people want to pick them up, then note how heavy they are. I was especially happy when some people recognised our Scottish Rose design as a nod to architect, furniture designer and artist Charles Rennie Macintosh whose style is well known in his home country ( and mine) of Scotland and around the world.
Some people recognised our pewter after seeing it in Bay 12 Gallery at the Village at Pigeon Lake, and several asked if we do studio tours. We hope to in future but are in the middle of finishing our studio at the moment. Watch this space! And watch our Facebook page…

Sore Feet, Tired, but Happy!

Our first Make It! Show is over. It was a great experience, met lots of lovely people, both vendors and visitors to the show. Tasted lots of yummy food, in particular Buffalo Stix which our 2.5 year old daughter loved, and Dave’s hot pepper jelly. Yum. Lots of great products to see and buy, and sounds like we will be back for the Christmas show! The only downside for me was having to leave our daughter for the whole day for the first time. She had a good day at her auntie’s on Day 1 though. She was amazing at set up, when she came for the latter half of Day 2 and all of Day 3 plus tear down. Note to selves for next time – bring some anti-fatigue mats for the cement floor we stood on for 3 days!
Our new bowl designs for the show – the Trinity Knot and Cherish were well received. The “Trinity Knot” is a triquetra  symbol commonly carved in ancient times into standing stones by the Picts, who had lived in the Angus area in Scotland where I grew up. Many standing stones still exist today in local museums or still in their original spots. No one knows exactly what the triquetra or Trinity Knot means, but in recent times it has been adopted to represent a “Trinity” or threefold of choice, for example mother, daughter, grandmother or earth, sea, sky, hence the name we chose for this design.
Our “Cherish” bowl has two simple forms curved into a heart shape. To us, they represent two people very important to one another, either mother and child, father and child, best friends, lovers. In other words, whomever you wish it to represent. We swithered between naming this design “Devotion” or “Cherish” for quite a while.
With these two bowls, I have also begun engraving the design name on the base, along with our usual “Handmade in Alberta, Canada by Innovative Artisans” the year of making and “Pewter”. We haven’t named all our designs in the past, but we will do so from now onwards. I started engraving “Pewter” on the base for this show too, which I will also continue to do.
We are already tossing around new ideas for the Christmas Make It show and other future shows. I always keep a notebook nearby to record our ideas, and we have more than a pageful already!