Flora & Fauna: Featuring Christina Obuch

 
Christina Obuch
 

Christina currently works out of her home studio in Hamilton, Ontario where she focuses on silk-screening and natural dying.  Christina completed her studies in Textile Design at Sheridan College in 2012. Through her education she explored flora and fauna, imitating texture and colour that the earth provides.  Some of her work has been displayed at Gallery 1313, Propeller Gallery and the Sheridan College Gallery. Christina has been creating home decor and accessories under the design studio Hatchet Made. 

Bento Bag
Bento Bag

Hatchet Made is a textile studio that creates handmade production for home decor and accessories, in Hamilton, Ontario. The company was founded in 2012 to provide a creative outlet to make functional pieces. All by using aspects of nature as inspiration - focusing on shapes, colours and textures when designing new collections. Hatchet Made strives to create environmentally friendly products for sustainable living by using plant based fibres and dyes & solvent free inks. 

Flora & Fauna: Featuring Thea Haines

 
Thea Haines

Thea Haines

 

Thea Haines is a textile designer, artist, and educator living and working in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.  Currently an instructor in textile design at Sheridan College, she was previously an artist-in-residence of the Craft Studio at Harbourfront Centre, and a member of the Contemporary Textile Studio Co-operative, Toronto.  Her research, practice and consultancy is focused on the use of natural colourants in surface design, printing and small-scale production, including the cultivation and harvest of colour-producing plants. Current projects include a study of colours produced from food waste, and a regional survey of dye plants in Hamilton. She received her MA in Textile Design from Chelsea College of Art and Design, in London, UK.

Primary Colours: Red
Primary Colours: Yellow

My work investigates narrative, historical and landscape themes from the Canadian vernacular. In my daily life I travel the same corridor along the shores of Lake Ontario; the waste places along the highways and rail routes are my accompanying panorama. All the scenes are fleeting because of the speed of travel, but as blurred images sweep past, I absorb the scenery and I wonder how the landscape might look without the last two centuries of human touch. I imagine myself a lady geographer, Miss H., traversing the landscape and history of this country, recording the terrain and documenting gathered specimens with dye, needle and thread, the land shaping my character and leaving its traces upon me as I traverse it.

Miss H. is a lady explorer, scientist, cartographer and prospector of the sometimes uninviting Canadian landscape.  In the tradition of Lady Simcoe, Catherine Parr Traill and Anne of Green Gables, Miss H. is an intrepid student of history, botany and geography.

            History is a study subject to interpretation, in which narratives become scattered and muddied, skewed and biased, altered and embellished, strewn and gathered, unpicked, and patch-worked back together. Maps, charts and landscape sketches form a part of the writing of this history, tracing our intimacy with the pathways and geographies they seek to explain.

My work also investigates the connection to the landscape to food. Every year, I can jars of fruits, pickles and jellies. This is an annual activity of mine that takes place both within my kitchen, and consequently in my studio.  The relationship between gardening, harvesting and preserving to my studio practice has become intrinsic, as food wastes become dyes, and the activities of the kitchen feed my creative impulse. With natural dyes as the chief colourant of my work, my work is made of, and in the landscape.

Flora & Fauna: Featuring Jenny Pulling

 
Jenny Pulling
 

Stray Stones is the work of designer and metalsmith Jenny Pulling, of Kitchener, ON. Using a variety of techniques, and drawing inspiration from nature and geometry, Jenny creates bold, one-of-a-kind jewellery and accessories from copper, brass and sterling silver.

Her favourite techniques include piercing, riveting, etching, and reticulation.

Woodland Fox Necklace
20180612_111243.jpg

“The early stages of StrayStones began during the semi-nomadic years I spent in Latin America, where I was inspired by the many talented and resourceful artisans I encountered. Through these artisans I began to explore creating jewellery from waxed linen, wire, gemstones, and found objects like shells and seeds. Born from these creations was StrayStones; named for my early pieces that incorporated the 'stray' stones I had collected on my travels.

In 2011 I returned home to Canada, driven to expand on my skill base. I signed up for an introductory metalsmithing workshop, which introduced me to a number of basic tools and techniques, giving me the foundations to begin exploring the world of metalsmithing on my own.

Since then my skill base has continued to grow, and many of the techniques I now use have been self-taught.  There's been a lot of trial and error, but I love the excitement of experimenting with new designs and techniques.”

Jenny is one of nine Canadian artists invited for our Spring Exhibition Flora & Fauna. Come see her works in person during the opening reception on April 13 (7-9pm). Exhibition runs April 12 - 26, 2019

STAY TUNED FOR FEATURES ON MORE ARTISTS INCLUDED IN FLORA & FAUNA

 
Jenny's studio
 

Flora & Fauna: Featuring Amber Aasman

 
Amber Aasman
 

I began creating jewelry from wood and epoxy resin in 2014. But my exploration and education in the arts prior to this had much to do with this new venture. In my emergent painting practice, I was exploring fluid paint media and epoxy resins, bridging the worlds of painting and sculpture. In my developing craft practice, woodworking, sculpture, found object art, and environmental arts all merge to inform the pieces that I make.

PROCESS

My work always begins with materials: unusual wood, bark, lichens, moss, and other natural fragments. After finding these little treasures on hikes and travels, they need to be dried for a period of weeks, months, or up to a year. When ready, I carefully arrange them in large molds, which I then fill with epoxy resin. This often takes several pours, allowing the resin to dry and seal the natural elements more slowly (for better clarity, multiple colours and layers). After several days I remove the block of resin and wood from the mold. Using woodworking equipment and tools, I cut out each pendant, earring and ring, making decisions as I go about where and how to cut, to get the most interesting effects. Then each piece is sanded up to 3000 grit, oiled, finished, and assembled into its final form.

Sandy Shoreline Amber Aasman
Dutch Moss Amber Aasman

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN

I create and market my jewelry under the name “Wild Blue Yonder,” a common phrase which deeply informs my work. The philosophy of “Wild Blue Yonder” represents an embrace of Canadian wilderness, natural beauty and endless possibilities. Each of my pieces are unique experiments, with undetermined outcomes and intrinsic wildness; microcosms of flowing water, moody skies and windswept landscapes. They celebrate endless possibilities, high horizons, and looking beyond what you can see.

WHY DO I DO IT

I have always been a bit of a scavenger. On trips or hikes, even as a kid I have always been compelled to find something interesting or different to take home with me as a keepsake. There is something very special about an object you find while travelling. It signifies a sense of adventure, specific memories, relationships, and a finite period of time. This sentimentality is what leads me to forage for unique bark, wood, and other natural items. While not always found on epic travels, even a locally-found object or reclaimed wood from local woodworkers is transformed and celebrated in my work. Paired with epoxy resin, which acts as a perfect preservative, these small fragments defy their own fragility, take new form, and can last a lifetime.

 
Amber Aasman Studio
 

Flora & Fauna: Featuring Olga Wieczorek

 
Olga Wieczorek in her studio
 

Olga Wieczorek graduated with a BFA from OCADU in 2011, specializing in printmaking. She has since founded Kiss The Paper, a letterpress print shop operated from her home studio in Caistor Centre, Ontario. Apart from producing letterpress stationery and custom work, she produces limited edition woodcut prints. These prints are carved by hand and printed with one colour and one sheet of paper at a time. Her work is inspired by nature's bounty; whether plant or animal, and the natural habitats they find themselves in. She teaches workshops on letterpress and relief printing in Hamilton and Toronto, and hopes to keep this antique form of printing alive and thriving. Follow Olga online by following @kissthepaper

Birch Trees Olga Wieczorek
Chamomilla Olga Wieczorek

Olga is one of nine Canadian artists invited for our Spring Exhibition Flora & Fauna. Come see her works in person during the opening reception on April 13 (7-9pm). Exhibition runs April 12 - 26, 2019

Olga Wieczorek Studio

Flora & Fauna: Featuring Lesley Bergen

 
Lesley Bergen

Lesley Bergen

 

When describing Lesley's artwork one might use words like energetic patterns, lively colour and detailed dot work. Lesley's subject matter varies, but mainly consists of creatures of the forest, both feathered and fur.

Lesley's love of nature came to her as a young girl living on a hobby farm surrounded by acres of forest in Northern Ontario. She often would forgo Saturday morning cartoons to instead explore the woods around her home. In those early years drawing and art were always a favourite pastime and have continued to be till present day. Today living with her husband in Calgary, Lesley still finds the same inspiration from frequent visits to nearby Banff and Kananaskis regions of Alberta. 

LesleyBergenGreenBird
LesleyBergenBirdPurple

When creating her dotted acrylics Lesley enjoys working with different support mediums, not limiting herself to any one type. These include canvas, paper, wood panel, wood cut-outs, carvings and most recently papier-mâché. Influenced by the bold, bright cartoon colours of her early animation years after art college in Vancouver, Lesley likes to think of her current work as a fusion of folk-art and contemporary-pop. Her other artistic interests include sketchbooking, digital drawing, and the needle arts. She enjoys swimming, running, hiking and spending time with family and her dog Scarlett. You can follow Lesley and her studio practice online @lesleybergen

Lesley is one of nine Canadian artists invited for our Spring Exhibition Flora & Fauna. Exhibition runs April 12 - 26, 2019

 
Lesley’s studio space in her home of Calgary AB

Lesley’s studio space in her home of Calgary AB