Studio Tour

The Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador held their annual AGM in Corner Brook this year, and part of their agenda was to do a few studio tours en route to break up the meetings and to see how we were doing out here on the Best Coast. The house got cleaned, the laundry done, and even the flowers in the garden were standing at attention for the insepction!
All kind of primroses, showing off for the ladies-and-one-man...
Tulips... and more tulips! They are the best spring flower! Greenhouse framing getting started in the background...
Even the sun came out to impress and warm up the crowd from the foggy country of St. John's.
It was great to meet the people on the board, and to have them get a better idea of where I work, and what I am trying to accomplish. Stronger ties are always important!



Last weekend, we had very windy weather but the sun was out (wow!!) so we decided to go for a short trip in boat to our favorite picnic beach. Shep got to really race along shore...

... it was a bit more sheltered in the coves, and look at the green that is spreading in the hills!! There goes Mr. Wooden-Box-Head, down the beach ...
...and here we are, loaded to the hilt, en route home. My brother got the perfectly great barrel as a gift (don't laugh, it was appreciated)-- excellent for burning things in and keeping fires contained!! (Also much better than having it bop around the beaches as the tides and winds rise and fall).


Hiin Explores his Creative Side

We had to take down our funny old spruce tree that was smack in the middle of the front yard-- it had been struggling since before we first moved here, and unfortunately, this winter did it in. Perhaps it was too mild and the bugs managed to get it. In anycase, it was completely brown, and when we took it down, bone dry. Just before we cut the final stump off, I thought maybe we should carve it... too bad we didn't leave more height, that would have been fun too... so Hiin got out his fine woodcarving tools and went at it.
I'm not sure yet whether I will fill the bowl with a bit of dirt and moss, or seal it with something and create a birdbath.


Church Window Restoration

The starting point: box of salvaged glass bits and part of the original window frame from the church that burnt near Daniel's Harbour many years ago.
I stripped the paint, did a bit of sanding, and then worked out what to do with this window.
I used the photograph of a painting of what the church looked like to create a centre panel for this window, fusing the glass to create the image.
After using up almost all the salvaged glass cut to the shape of the frame, I was able to lead the image of the curch into the panel.
What a nice memory of the church MB grew up with! Even the side panel with the broken glass was salvaged by using a few of the shards-- mixing and matching-- in a leaded structure. Very enjoyable project!


Meet Olga

Our story starts here with 'Olga'. She, however, has her own story to tell...

I bought this old dresser at a yard sale, agreeing that it probably was a home-made piece from the island, made some time ago. When I started to strip the paint though, the wood seemed to have more of a story to tell. Yes, it had been through some battles for its life, but I don't think that it started out that way; the tapered legs gave way to carefully dovetailed ends in some spots. Two back legs had been removed at one time, and put back together again with their insides facing out-- I think that a 'new' backing had been put on. Glossy varnish underlying the thick coats of paint (cream, robin's egg blue, and brown), had protected the true nature of this wood-- perhaps an oak, or a walnut. The top had been replaced with 'new' wood, which was not of the same type nor of the same quality of craftsmanship that had been apparent in other places, which is probably what helped to disguise Olga's grander days. I decided to go for it, and ordered nice 'manly' hardware for her, as this lady is now my husband's dresser... will post when they arrive!
Some of the drawer bottoms had been replaced as well, with what could have been wall board from an old kitchen-- panelling that children had drawn on too some time ago.
I think that this dresser may have started out in Nova Scotia--possibly had been made there... and at some point, came to Corner Brook where it had been fixed, or sent to someone at the pulp and paper mill...

Olga was here.


Big Eyes

Everybody in the garden has their eyes open wide again, the sun is back!


Springing into Spring

I realised that although the winter was mild, it still took a long time to turn into spring-- and don't get me wrong, we're actually about three weeks ahead of where we were last year in terms of garden flowers blooming (which is so nice), but months of inactivity are months of inactivity none-the-less. Busy in the studio or working at school, I rarely was able (or willing) to take time for anything other than work. My spring plan is to ensure that I get out for some movement everyday-- it started with a walk in the rain with Shep, and has been great fun to keep up with-- making sure I have someone to meet for a bikeride (so taht I actually go), paddling when the weather allows, and walking in the woods any other time. Like my little solar firefly lamp, I too get energised from the longer hours of daylight, and am feeling so much better for it!
In the meantime, here are my beautiful yellow and cream tiny tulips who come back every year, and new Northern Gannet bowls and plates. Hope they make the flight up here from the oil spill.


One Hour in the SUN

We decided to just do it... Shep runs along shore, I paddle, and we race. It was low tide yesterday in the SUNSHINE (did I mention we had a day of sun?), and that makes Shep the winner. At high tide, he has way more swimming to do, and I am the faster of the two.
The snow is once again melting off the mountains across the Bay...

... sunglasses, sun hat... (wow)...
Sunset at the end of the day-- I love how long the days are right now!
My little jar of sunshine glowed like crazy last night for the first time in a long time... it picks up energy all day long, and, like a firefly, as soon as darkness settles in, starts to emit this same energy in the form of light. Love it!



Finally the sun started to come in the house...

...and, my blooms were nicely spot-lit...
...these tulips with their green bottoms became...
...a rich red, with barely the green showing! Can't wait for the rest of everything to wake up! This weekend will be an outside one, I hope-- at least part of the days... going for more of a balance right now, I found that the winter was too much indoors, too much inactivity (although I was more or less flat out the whole time-- interestng how that happens!).


Salmon Run

Getting set up...
...first segment of river and salmon...
...Going Upstream (6' x 6')...

...Seasons of the River (6' x 6')

...section of Salmon River set-up (close to 23 feet of glass river on forged and hammered steel stands, 99 glass salmon swimming upstream)...

...detail of salmon...

... the Hunter soaring above the glass river.

See all of Salmon Run at the Craft Council Gallery, Devon House, St. John's until June 13th.


Big Long Week

My Big Week in St. John's is now coming to an end; the Salmon Run exhibition at the Devon House Main Gallery was very well received by those who were in attendance, which of course has me feeling very good about the whole affair. I am very grateful for being given the opportunity to show my work in this public space, and hope that more people will be in to enjoy it before dismantling happens on June 14th. It certainly has been a great learning experience, from day one to today, and I am sure I still have many lessons to learn about the process long before I take the river apart. I am very grateful to Sharon LeRiche and her staff at the Craft Council Gallery for their help and support throughout the set-up, and certainly appreciate that they will continue to work hard at keeping the Run alive even when I am at home! Slowly I will begin my journey homeward, first having a get-together with Doug Clouston-- another glass person-- and then a short visit with Jason and Roz in Amherst Cove, then... Gillams and Hiin and Shep and the osprey and my garden!


Hole in the Sky

There was a hole in the sky last night, and some sun escaped... but none today over here, rats.


Preparing for Migration

Starting to set up my rivers and fish...
... the beginnings of a 22-ft journey-- eight fish on, ninety-one to go.