Call for submissions: plastics / resins / gloss

Do you use plastics, resins or similar materials in your art, craft and design projects? Do you make things that are shiny and glossy? Share your projects for possible inclusion in the April/May/June 2017 issue of UPPERCASE magazine. The submission form is open until January 16.

This colourful work was submitted by Jo Chambers of Studio Legohead.

Jo writes, "From a love of collage and colour came these Wonky Floral Brooches. There are four in the collection and based around my floral and foliage obsession."

Each brooch is handmade from acrylic and wood and comes in its own limited edition hand-painted gift box.

Looking at Jo's artwork and surface pattern designs, you can see how she has taken recurring motifs and translated them into dimensional objects.


"Through series of collage experiments documented via Instagram," says Jo, "it led me to make some wearable cutouts."


I love the exuberance and confidence of Jo's art! Visit her Etsy shop for brooches, art prints and more.

New Craft Coalition spring sale Friday and Saturday

Please join me and a roster of talented Western Canadian artists and artisans at the New Craft Coalition craft fair this Friday and Saturday. 

Friday, May 22, 4-9pm
Saturday, May 23, 10-6pm

Festival Hall, Inglewood (1215 10 Ave SE, Calgary)
Admission $2

I'll have the current issue (with free printmaking samples while they last) plus back issues, books, papergoods and special offer: subscribe/renew and get a free issue!

I hope to see you there!

New Craft Coalition: Meet the founders

New Craft Coalition was founded by three enterprising women crafters, Kari Woo, Laura Sharp and Natalie Gerber. "We are makers, moms, entrepreneurs and firm believers in the power of art, craft and design to change not only our communities, but the world. Our current mission is to bring a carefully curated collection of independently produced, Canadian art, craft and design to the people of Calgary twice annually, with other plans unfolding all the time!" 

Laura Sharp, above, creates her wares under the name White Owl Ceramic Studio. Her work is distinct with her graphic black and white, hints of turquoise and love of birch motifs. "I mostly attend art and fine craft shows and sell my work to an audience already won over by the greatness of handmade objects. I enjoy meeting all the people who have invested in my work, their feedback, encouragement, and support has been absolutely priceless.  I look forward to many more years of growing, developing and dreaming." 

Kari Woo's jewellery is a study in simplicity and quality. Kari used to co-own INFLUX Jewellery, one of my neighbours in the former Art Central. She has since moved to Canmore with her family and makes things from her home-based studio.

"In 1993 the I found the art of jewellery making, literally by accident," says Kari. "While recovering from a serious snowboarding injury I enrolled in my first jewellery class on a whim. It was love at first make! Now, two decades later, I am still at it and I still love it. My aim is to create substance and meaning through design. Patrons know my work through two distinct collections of sterling silver jewellery that offer the wearer versatility, comfort and simplicity."

Natalie Gerber designs home wares and hand bags using her own surface pattern designs. You might recognize her from the UPPERCASE Surface Pattern Design Guide (issue 21) and I also photographed her and her studio back in issue 13.

"As an artist, designer and maker I am inspired to create functional design for everyday living. While craftsmanship is important to my creative process, so too is function. I combine my love for illustration, surface design, clean lines and hand-printed fabrics with conscious material choices and in-studio practices.

My South African background influences my aesthetic, while inspiration is drawn from styles that include Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Mid-Century Modern design. From detailed sketches to mark making and loose line drawings, I explore the above within my work and transfer the imagery onto textiles through silkscreen printing."


The show opens today at 4pm at the Festival Hall in Inglewood. I'll be there with the latest issue of UPPERCASE plus some good deals on back issues and other print products. See you there!

New Craft Coalition: Sarah Pike Pottery

As you can see from my previous posts, there are some pretty talented ceramicists showing at New Craft Coalition this weekend. Sarah Pike will be visiting us from Fernie—you have to admire artisans who travel to shows with vehicles full of breakables!

Sarah writes:

I am interested in pottery with personality, beauty, and attitude. The marks of process, the slight distortion or off-round from a gentle hand, or the fingerprints on glaze and slip are all a part of the language with which my pots exclaim, "I was not machine-made, I was not mass-produced, I was made by fingers and hands, in a small studio, by an artist listening to music, dreaming and making." Because in a time of mass-production, consumer culture and waste, the handmade object brings us back to the intimacy of human nature.

New Craft Coalition: Kalika Bowlby

Kalika Bowlby is a ceramicist living in Nelson, British Columbia who will be bringing her wares to Calgary for the New Craft show. (How perfect is her name, for a potter?)

"I love living in a small mountain town but visiting big, bustling cities. I wish I could ride my bike every day, make every meal feel like a celebration and that each thing I make would be better than the last.I feel blessed to be both a mother and maker, to use my hands to make and share objects that become part of others lives. Hopefully, these objects will survive the ebb and flow of life because I think that things get better with age, use and understanding."

New Craft Coalition: Juliana Rempel

Juliana Rempel is another ceramicist showing and selling at New Craft Coalition this Friday and Saturday. About her work, Juliana writes:

Recognizing ceramics undeniable connection to life, the home and to the mundane activities of our everyday, I look for potential in these objects as registers of information and as the archetypes of our lives. We are comfortable with ceramics as both a material and as an object, allowing permission for it to become part of our personal space. This established relationship we have developed, holds the potential to be taken out of a comfortable home context and disjointed, dislocated and to be re-introduced as something other then utilitarian.

In a gallery, ceramics becomes a representation of the objects that are the silent bystanders of our lives, the symbols of our day. By dislocating our expectations of them, questioning our understanding of them and utilizing them for their symbolic value I introduce these objects in a gallery context, ultimately questioning our understanding of ceramics and bridging the gap between art and life.

New Craft Coalition: Cathy Terepocki

These gorgeous ceramics are by Cathy Terepocki, a regular exhibitor at New Craft.


Cathy writes:

From a young age, I developed an appreciation for materials and an awareness of how things were put together. I grew up around handmade objects, in a culture where things were used and re-used. Materials were recycled to create something new. Fences were mended, sweaters darned, old shirts and dressed made into quilts. When I travelled through third world countries I was always struck by the innovative ways things were repaired and everyday materials were re-purposed to extend the life of something that would otherwise be discarded. 

One of the constants throughout my practice has been combining print-making techniques with ceramic processes, primarily pattern and imagery. Recently I have been bringing mixed materials into my pieces, particularly re-used materials. In both cases I am particularly interested in components that have had a past-life or for the narrative quality they construe. In addition they add texture and richness to the pieces. Re-contextualizing these elements also gives them new meaning and elicits new appreciation from the user. 

The forms I use are usually wheel-thrown. The surfaces are developed by building up layers of print including basic mono-printing techniques when the clay in wet, in-glaze or laser decals after the pieces are glazed and repurposed commercial decals to finish off the piece and provide one more layer of complexity, beauty and nostalgia.

I have a 'thing' for following ceramicists on Instagram. I love seeing all the works lined up pre and post-firing. Follow Cathy here.

New Craft Coalition: Carole Epp

More cuteness will be in store for shoppers at New Craft Coalition. These functional ceramics are by Carole Epp, another artist from Saskatoon exhibiting this weekend.

From Carole's website: "Her line of functional work explores narrative and whimsy. Inspired by the chaos, the noise, the blur, the wonder, and the creativity of life with two small boys at home. She started making dishes for her first son as an aside to the functional pottery she was already making and now years later it plays a huge part of her studio practice. The dishes illustrate storybook images that can insight smiles and memories for young and old alike."


New Craft Coalition: Boolah Baguette

How cute is this face? It's a creation by Erin Weiss from Saskatoon, who will be heading to Calgary this week for the New Craft Coalition show.

"I have always been creative — I love drawing, design, painting, rearranging my house, crochet, cutting and pasting, you get the idea. My mom taught me how to sew when I was was young, but I specifically remember balking at the idea of using patterns — I always wanted to make my own version of everything. Sewing machines came in and out of my life, and along the way I made a lot of oddly constructed fabric gifts for friends and clothes for myself. But I was learning to love fabric — the patterns and colours and the fact that a good trip to the fabric store could totally make my day. It all started to come together when I was first introduced to the idea of soft sculpture while in school for a Fine Arts degree. I saw it as the perfect way to bring my drawings of little people and wild creatures into something you could hold. 

After my first child was born I began making and selling children's clothing, and I called my little business boolah baguette — after a favoured childhood doll that was named by my dad and I. With this new creative outlet I let myself experiment once again with cloth dolls and plush creatures of all sorts. I both smile and cringe when I see those original dolls - eyes and arms at odd angles. In my fourth year of doll making I feel like I have come a long way. I take in all sorts of inspiration and the dolls change with the seasons and with my creative needs. It is what I love best about what I do.

I love making these dolls and it is a huge part of my life. At this point boolah baguette is still a one-woman show, and I make each unique doll in my home studio. My time to create is short and sweet, in the middle of raising a young family. I am drawn to natural fabrics like wool and cotton, but I am also quite fond of a super plush fleece or luxurious faux fur. I create by feel and can't stop until I feel like I've finished something that falls into the 'ridiculously cute' category."

New Craft Coalition: Van Charles Art

This Friday and Saturday is the New Craft Coalition craft fair. I'll be there with the latest issue plus other paper goodies! Leading up to the event, I'll be introducing you to some of the artists and artisans exhibiting at NCC.

Van Charles: "I'm an artist with a crazy profound love for nature and being in the outdoors. As a kid I spent all my time running around wandering along the rivers edge, swimming in lakes and climbing mountains. Today nothing has changed. This video takes you on a road trip through the Canadian Rocky Mountains while describing my process as a visual artist."

See this artist at the New Craft Coalition in Calgary. Friday, October 17 and Saturday, October 18.

NCC: Michael Hepher of Clawhammer Letterpress

Michael Hepher is the owner and operator of Clawhammer Letterpress. Michael creates letterpress printed posters, coasters, cards and notebooks using presses made in the early 1900s. 

After working as a graphic artist for a few years, Michael was intrigued by the art of hand-set type, and through a connection with his local printer, ended up with a large press in his garage. After getting his hands on an original operating manual for the press, Michael immersed himself in the world of all things letterpress. In 2011, Michael and his wife Anie opened their shop in Fernie, British Columbia. 

For more information on Clawhammer Press and hand-set type, visit their website

NCC: ceramicist Kalika Bowlby

Kalika Bowlby is a full time ceramicist who lives and works in Nelson, British Columbia. She studied ceramics at the Alberta College of Art and Design and also at Kootenay School of the Arts. 

“I make contemporary pottery to celebrate the pleasures of eating and drinking. Objects to bring more delight, and texture to life, made by hand for your hands. Objects to nourish you as much as the food you may serve,” says Kalika. 

To see more of Kalika’s work, be sure to take a look at her website

New Craft Coalition Spring Show + Sale

The New Craft Coalition in Calgary is having a Spring Show + Sale on May 23 and 24. 

Here’s a little bit of info from the NCC ladies themselves, "At our core New Craft Coalition is a group of three artists working together to make a difference in our creative community. We are makers, moms, entrepreneurs and firm believers in the power of art, craft and design to change not only our communities, but the world. Our current mission is to bring a carefully curated collection of independently produced, Canadian art, craft and design to the people of Calgary twice annually, with other plans unfolding all the time!"

If you’re one of our Calgary fans, come by and say hi! We will have our current issue plus a selection of books, notebooks and lots of back issues for you to peruse. 

There will be 24 artists selling their latests works, so come down to Festive Hall in Inglewood to support local artisans in UPPERCASE’s hometown. 

Friday, May 23, 2014 4:00pm-9:00pm
Saturday, May 24, 2014 10:00am-6:00pm
Festive Hall, Inglewood 1215 10 AVE SE
Admission is $2 per person

new craft coalition: starts tonight!

Kari Woo  will be participating in New Craft Coalition.

Kari Woo will be participating in New Craft Coalition.

We're about to head down to the New Craft Coalition event here in Calgary. Team UPPERCASE will be there along with 26 artists. We've  joined together to provide Calgarians with an opportunity to support local artisans, get a jump on their holiday shopping and spend some time soaking up the creativity of their neighbours. 

If you're in town, we hope you'll be able to join us. 

Friday October 25, 2013 4:00—9:00pm
Saturday October 26, 2013 10:00am—6:00pm

Festival Hall, Inglewood (1215 10 Ave SE)
Free Admission

More information here.

new craft coalition

PLANT terrariums  will be at the  New Craft Coalition  show and sale this weekend. 

PLANT terrariums will be at the New Craft Coalition show and sale this weekend. 

In the spring we were honoured to support the first New Craft Coalition event here in Calgary. It's back and bigger than ever this Friday and Saturday. Most of the artists we profiled last time will be participating along with some new faces. 

At its core the New Craft Coalition is a group of three artists (Kari WooLaura Sharp  and Natalie Gerber) who work together to make a difference in the creative community. They are makers, moms, entrepreneurs and firm believers in the power of art, craft + design to change not only our communities, but the world.

This determined trio recently sat down with Andi of Made By Andi to talk about the event, their businesses and their vision for the New Craft Collective. 

If you're in the Calgary area this weekend, stop by and say hi. We'll have show special prices on back issues, books and subscriptions.

dear pony

Rounding out our participants in the New Craft Coalition Spring Show + Sale are two women's clothing lines. 

Dear Pony

Dear Pony

Tracy Fillion of Dear Pony is inspired by the subtleties found in nature, salvaged objects and contemporary themes such as ethical commerce and ecological materials. She experiments with textural contrasts in surface design, natural dyeing, quilting and screen-printing to create her artistic collections.

Hadija Gabunga of Hipband makes lifestyle clothing and accessories.

She writes,
"I easily fall in love with the process of creating. I find inspiration in everyday life and work to peel away at the layers. The fashion industry is ever changing and I take comfort in my willingness to be open to change."