Meet The Crafters // Fresh Catch: Grindhouse Blade Care

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Grindhouse Blade Care, a local company specializing in knife, shear, and straight blade sharpening, employs methods that are based firmly in heritage craft. Joshawa Lamkey, the master of all things sharp, uses techniques that are hundreds of years old to restore and customize blades that are equally as old. “I believe that nothing can replicate or replace the quality of work that is done by hand,” he says. “In fact, there is no machine that can do the type of delicate restoration I do without destroying it”.

While Joshawa says he does introduce some modern materials and stylized designs, his personal mark will always remain true to a classic sensibility.

Tell us a bit about your background.

I began creating through Grindhouse Blade Care in 2013, edging and restoring bladed tools: knives, scissors, and straight razors, etc. My work was well received, and through the enthusiastic clients and a very supportive community that I’ve found in Halifax, I’ve been able to immerse myself in my trade and grow my endeavor in a very organic way. Words cannot describe how thankful I am!

Why did you choose the elements you did?

They really don’t make ‘em like they use to! I find it very rewarding to bring something gone back to life, and to put it back into service. Whether, it’s in service of a classic shaving experience or a unique ornamental piece. I’m not interested only in creating useful tools, but something more; something with soul and something that will become a vessel for nostalgia. I like to think that what I create aren’t just useful objects, but heirlooms, and that what I do isn’t simply applied skill, but a manifestation of a mindset and personal values.
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What makes Halifax Crafters different from other shows?

Halifax Crafters Society shows are different from others in that they’re are much more accessible to new crafters, and connected to the community of other craft fairs. The jury always does an impeccable job of picking crafters who have something to show that is not only unique, but has personality and integrity. These are part of a product. The biggest part!

When not at the Halifax Crafters Market, where can we find your work?
Outside of craft fairs, I can be found with my work at the Historic Farmers Market in the Keith’s Brewery every Saturday or at my North End studio. As well, a web store is in the works to make my works more readily available to people who are not local to HRM.

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What inspires you to create?
I create in my North End studio with CBC Radio 1,2 or 3 in the background (I’m not even sure if my radio shuts off).

When you’re not creating, what do you like to do?

If you see me around I’ll have my best friend with me; a gorgeous puppy named Jetson. We go everywhere together. It’s very fortunate that I like doing puppy things, playing in the dirt and running around just for the sake of it!

When we’re not working, we’re probably camping.

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The Fresh Catch Category is Sponsored by Made In The Maritimes

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Meet the Sponsors: Made in the Maritimes

Made in the Maritimes is the sponsor for Halifax Crafters’ “Fresh Catch”category this spring, our section of the show that gives new and emerging crafters who have not previously participated in Halifax Crafters the opportunity to get their start. That’s appropriate, because Made in the Maritimes is a fresh catch all its own.

The store, located in the Sunnyside Mall in Bedford, isn’t open yet. But co-owner Joel Kelly said they are hoping to open by the time the spring market is over.

Kelly is originally from Australia and has taken pottery courses at NSCAD. He started the business with Mark Smith.

“It’s taken a year or so to get organized,” said Kelly. “A lot of research on choosing suppliers and who we wanted in the store.”

Many of the products available at Made in the Maritimes are made by members of the Halifax Crafters Society.
Many of the products available at Made in the Maritimes are made by Crafters who have vended with Halifax Crafters Society.

Kelly said the goal of the shop is to sell handmade products which still fall under a contemporary style.

“Obviously, Halifax Crafters is a really good fit for that, because there’s some amazing crafters that come through there,” he said.

Kelly added that they chose to sponsor Halifax Crafters not only for established artists, but new artists who don’t yet have their own space to show their work.

We’re happy to have Made in the Maritimes participating, and we can’t wait to check out the store when it opens!

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Meet the Sponsors: J&R Grimsmo

Have you every wanted a T-shirt with pineapples printed on it? What about a blazer that looks like a map?

You can find both of those things at J&R Grimsmo on Barrington St. However, owners Jessy Lacourciere and Rachael Grant usually only order one size of each item, so once someone buys it… it’ll be hard to find another one like it!

“The store has turned over from its dark, fall sweaters to lighter things,” says Grant.

In May, J&R will be releasing its own spring collection.

“We get a lot of inspiration from the women who we see every day,” explains Grant. “We definitely have our own aesthetic when it comes to design – easy elegant, I’d say.”

These butterfly earrings are by Miss Foxine Couture - a local, independent jewellery business.
These butterfly earrings are by Miss Foxine Couture – a local jewellery business.

In addition to clothing, customers can find plenty of accessories at J&R. Lacourciere says a lot of the jewellery is locally made. Artists include Angela Grace, as well as Theresa Lee Capell of Miss Foxine Couture.

“We like to focus on quality-made, well-made things that are beautiful,” says Lacourciere, “mostly made by the hands who designed them.”

Halifax Crafters is excited to have J&R on board as a sponsor.

“We’ve always been admirers of the show itself,” says Grant. “We’re always aware of what’s happening in the local, hand-craft scene.”

This scarf is by Calica, a collaboration between Rebecca Horwitz and Meghan Macdonald. Calica will be at the spring market.
This scarf is by Calica, a collaboration between Rebecca Horwitz and Meghan Macdonald. Find Calica’s designs at the Spring Fair, April 18 & 19.

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Meet the Crafters // Kiriki Press

While many of the vendors at the Halifax Crafters offer the fruits of their creative vision for consumption, Kiriki Press’s delightful embroidery kits do something a little different: they involve you in the process.

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“I learned I like to embroider when I made a present for my niece’s baptism,” says the creator, Michelle Galletta. “As a one-year old, [my niece] liked faces and textures, so I thought embroidering a set of dolls would be perfect”

Michelle says that what makes Kiriki Press unique from most store-bought embroidery kits is a desire to challenge people with her patterns in a way not often seen. “My patterns teach a range of over 20 stitches, and I keep adding new ones every year.”

About Kiriki Press

What is your process?

My embroidery patterns start with lots of sketching. I scrapped the idea of keeping a sketchbook, since inspiration strikes wherever, so I have a clipboard full of scrap paper and napkins. I’ll sketch the same animal in different ways for months before committing to a final design.

Once I like a design, I’ll tweak it with Adobe Illustrator. I make a stencil from the file and screen print it onto fabric so that I can start to experiment with different stitches and floss colours to see what works. I scan the fabric and lay out the embroidery stitches in AI. I end up embroidering the pattern at least 2-3 times and make changes along the way. Then I have to make the instruction sheets, packaging, etc. It’s a long process from beginning to end, so I aim to make 3 new dolls a year.

How long have you been creating in this way?

I started working on the business 3 years ago, and launched 2 years ago.

What is your background/how did you get started?

I studied Fine Arts (printmaking) at OCADU and worked at a print studio after graduating.

How did you find your business niche?

It was purely by chance. I wanted to find a cleaner approach to making embroidered dolls and my printmaking experience led me immediately to screen printing the pattern onto fabric. I figured once I was already printing one, I may as well make multiples.

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If you were to describe your work’s personality in 3 words, what would they be?

Charming, modern, playful

When you’re not creating for the Crafters market, where can I find your work?

My Etsy shop  or website.

What makes Halifax Crafters different from other shows?

I’ve never been to Halifax Crafters, so I’ve yet to see what it’s like – but I’ve been following the show’s social media for a few years now, and the vendors are always top-notch. Besides, it’s in one of the most beautiful cities in Canada, so I’m super excited to make the trip out east!

What inspires you to create?

Experimenting with various media. I love picking up new skills (my most recent is quilting), because it opens up new channels of creativity. A lot of my projects start with a trip to the thrift store and finding some weird object, craft supply or how-to book that sparks an idea.

Where do you do your work?

In my “studio” (a.k.a. living room)
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A place you love?

Georgian Bay

An artwork or artist you love?

Sophie Calle – I wish I had her courage and creativity. As of late, Donna Wilson for her incredibly darling and cheery designs.

Favorite time of the year?

Summer for the days at the lake and biking through Toronto on hot nights, Autumn for the changing leaves and the return to wearing sweaters

Three things you need in order to create?

A deadline, stress, adrenaline!

What’s your favorite way to procrastinate?

As soon as I have an upcoming craft show or a big order, all I want to do is try out new recipes in the kitchen or reorganize some room in the house.

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What do you do when you’re not crafting?

Travelling, eating, making art that’s not necessarily connected with my business.

Meet the Sponsors: KEW

These days, stores in any major business park sell furniture — but few can do it well.

KEW, Halifax Crafters’ Spring Fair presenting sponsor, set up shop on Granville St. in December 2013.

Co-owners David Mc Quaid and Ray Frizzell wanted to open a furniture store which sold items you couldn’t find elsewhere in Halifax.

“With the winter we’ve had, it’s really hard to feel like spring right now,” says Frizzell.

Currently, KEW is anticipating the spring line of Gus* products. Frizzell says the line should be released within the next two weeks.

KEW is the exclusive retailer in Nova Scotia for Gus*
KEW is the exclusive retailer in Nova Scotia for Gus*

“I don’t think there’s a TV show on HBO where you won’t see a Gus* product, or a film,” says Mc Quaid. “It’s in everything.”

Mc Quaid says it’s important to them to have appropriately-priced furniture of high quality. The style of the product matters, but there’s no point in having pretty decor if it doesn’t last. They also try to sell furniture from Canadian companies as much as they can.

As far as unique pieces go, KEW has everything from brightly-coloured sofas to a coffee table shaped like the prairie provinces.

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“Our furniture’s pretty universal and classic,” Frizzell explains. “We’re not the kind of store that will fill it full of pretty pastels and flowers for spring and then red leaves for fall.”

Frizzell says KEW seemed like a natural fit to sponsor Halifax Crafters.

“It’s good design, well made, unique product,” he says. “We believe in that kind of approach for our product.”

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Thanks to KEW for their support!

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Meet the Crafters // Humble Burdock Farms

Amanda Muis, the florist and creative force behind Humble Burdock Farms, did what many Nova Scotians do when they leave highschool: travelled the world. Making her way by ship and plane, she settled briefly in Toronto to attend the Ontario College of Art, before returning to Nova Scotia. “Of all places that I have been, the same things still called to me: flowers, color and a sense of home,” says Amanda. “I was happy to return. We may not have a tropical climate, but so many colors and [so much] variety can still be grown here.”

Amanda is a third generation farmer with 4 years under her belt, the last two years concentrated on perfecting her flower growing. Though she is new to the Halifax Crafters, her business has been growing over the past few years with her now proudly providing wedding flowers, and a CSA.

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About Humble Burdock Farm

If you were to describe your work’s personality in 3 words, what would they be?

Seasonal & unmistakably pretty.

What is your background?

I am a third generation farmer that is still on our family farm.

What is your process?

It starts in early Spring with growing flowers from seed, then transplanting them into the fields. Nurturing the plants as they grow and finally cutting them. Once the flowers start blooming, I cut almost every day. Then I spend happy hours making bouquets with the color palette laid out before me; my fingers itching and excited to create crazy, colorful combinations.

How did you get started?

By cutting flowers from my mother’s garden. I always used to take bouquets as gifts to friends when visiting, but there became a point when I was able to start growing them too. I started taking bouquets to the farmers market and began to connect with customers who loved flowers as much as I do. Flowers give people of such fond memories, from the beloved sweet peas their grandmother used to grow, or the joy of yellow daffodils. I’ve been so fortunate to be a part of and share those stories.

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How did you find your business niche?

My customers have really been the driving force behind my business. Nothing is nicer than having them appreciate and enjoy my bouquets each week. It fuels my passion. Every year I grow and sell more flowers; It is a symbol of people’s love and need of nature – to connecting with the seasons.
Once I was confident in my flower growing and production, I started creating wedding bouquets, and even loose flowers for DIY Brides. This upcoming year we rolled out with our Floral CSA, weekly bouquets of flowers over the growing season.

Why flowers?

When I was attending art school I realized I felt a disconnect to nature. I needed to get outside again. Embrace the weather & seasons, like I had while farming and sailing. I missed it, being inside of a studio/classroom all of the time. Farming gives that balance for me, and flowers are my colorful paint palette.

 

What makes Halifax Crafters different from other shows?
It is my first show with Halifax Crafter’s Society and I am so excited to be beside so many talented creators! What is amazing about the Halifax Crafter’s is that it really comes down to the community surrounding it. Being able to connect with people who are interested in local, handmade endeavours and getting to know them.

Where can I find your work?

Saturday mornings at the Historic Farmers Market at the Keith’s Brewery 7am – 1pm from Late April until Dec 19th. Fresh cut flower season is from May- Late October, with Dried and Seasonal wreaths until Late December. We also have our mid week Floral CSA pick up in downtown Halifax. Find us at our webpage, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

THB33 things needed in order to create:

A large cup of coffee, my camera and inner peace. I love what I do, so I want to enjoy it, and not feel stressed out by the busyness on the farm.

Where do you do your work?

The main space is in the barn, close to the cooler. A busy flower day would have 5-6 large tables filled with flowers and foliage. For planning sessions and dried arrangements I migrate to the design studio- a sweet space with shelves of vases, dried flowers and decorated with beautiful elements.

An artist you love: 

One of my favorite farmer florists is Jennie Love from Love & Fresh Flowers. She has an urban farm in Philadelphia, and what she does is amazing.

A favorite time of year:
Spring has always been my favorite season, as it is the awakening of life again. Nothing is more cheery than the birds singing, starting my seeds and admiring the resilience of Spring flowers after the cold winter we’ve had.

How do you begin a new project?

Creating lists, daydreaming and playing around in my studio. I like to be organized, but I always leave possibilities open for the magic to happen in the studio.

THB4What makes your work unique?

My love of nature, color and texture. I am willing to try anything in a bouquet or design and that is what makes them so visceral.

Favorite book?

The Surprising Life of Constance Spry by Sue Shepard. She was a floral designer in London during 1930’s- 1960’s. A fascinating read about her revolutionary techniques and the floral history of the time.

Favourite way to procrastinate?
I don’t, as it stresses me out. I’d rather get the job done and relax afterwards!

 

What do you do when I am like to procrastinate not crafting?

You would find me working on the farm somewhere or spending time with my Husband and our Five year old. We like to take a break by heading to the shore, especially Huntington’s Point.

What inspires you to create?
My flowers. Starting them from seeds and watching them grow into flowers creates an elemental connection. What is available changes from week to week; season to season, so it gives me the challenge I need and love. The variety of colors, line and texture can be made into endless combinations.

Meet the Crafters // Fresh Catch: Goldfinch and Thistle

Goldfinch and Thistle describe themselves as a “two part collective with a passion for old-time remedies”. While new to the Crafters Market, Sarah-Jean and Najet knew each other all the way back to high school and recently reconnected after over their shared love of the outdoors and plants.

Goldfinch and Thistle prides itself on offering natural, chemical-free cosmetics, as well as advocating for what they call “nature intelligence” as part of a healthy lifestyle. “This is as much about taking time to build our relationship as friends, as it is about building a relationship with the area we live in,” they say. “We take a lot of time to make our product and we strongly connect with the Slow Movement; our focus has really been about the process and not taking shortcuts.”

About Goldfinch and Thistle

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Why did you choose the elements you did?

“We love being outside and going for hikes. We are always trying to test ourselves to identify more native plants each year. We started taking samples with us so that we could sketch them and learn more about their medicinal properties and uses. “We love the fact that our products are made from ingredients we have harvested ourselves.”

What is your process?

“Our practice follows the shifting seasons. In the spring and summer, we harvest herbs from trips to walking trails within Nova Scotia, and elsewhere across the country. In the fall, we dry our collection for use in herbal preparations such as infusions, decoctions and tinctures to be made in the winter months. By starting our process at the source, we make a connection to our home by seeing our ingredients alive and growing. This slow, seasonal method gives us the satisfaction of knowing the life cycle of our products. From hiking journal entries, we record where each ingredient was harvested and offer that information to our consumers. On the occasion that we run out of our harvested material, we substitute with organic dried herbs from local small businesses.”

How long have you been creating in this way?

“We have been experimenting with ingredients for 2 years, but we only just started our branding and defining our product line within the last 6 months.”
How did you find your business niche?
“We really lucked out. We just started posting things we were doing on social media sites and giving out samples as gifts. So far it has been pretty well received and we feel really excited with all the support and feedback we’ve been getting.”

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If you were to describe your work’s personality in 3 words, what would they be?

“Honest, responsible, patient”

What inspires you to create?

Nature

How do you begin a new project?
“We look at the plants we’ve collected and review their medicinal properties. Then we narrow down possible combinations a bit further by experimenting with their fragrances and how they interact with each other.“

Where do you do your work?

“We work in SJ’s kitchen! There is lots of natural light, and a cat, and a rabbit, who provide inspiration/entertainment.”

 

What kind of music do you listen to while you work?

“We need to communicate a lot while we are making recipes, so we don’t often listen to music while we work. But this one time we listened to Klezmer music. It worked. Also, SJ plays accordion and drums in a sweet doom metal band and sometimes we’ll listen to new songs while we are getting prepped.”

 

A place you love?GFAT3

“Cape Split”

An artwork or artist you love?

“We like the work of New Brunswick artist Graeme Patterson and New York artist Lori Nix. Basically, we have a mutual love for miniature things. Both people make tiny scenes and/ or stop motion animation sets.”

Favorite time of the year?

SJ “I like every part of every year.” Najet “Fall. The best of everything comes out in the fall.”

Three things you need in order to create?

“Humour, coffee and cheesecloth!”

GFAT1A favorite quote?

It changes frequently, but Najet is pretty into these Shakey Graves lyrics as of late:
“If you value your life, stay off the drugs,
If you value the drugs, stay off the map,
If you value maps, you better travel son,
If you don’t want to travel, then you better run.”

SJ says, “Big sunglasses – cool band.” -Fenriz

A film or book you love?

“We racked our brains for a book we both read and came up with Fall On Your Knees by Anne-Marie MacDonald. We both read it at a young age and it has left a lasting impression.”

What’s your favorite way to procrastinate?

SJ, “I can’t answer this question right now, I need to go make a stew.”

NG, “I get really, really clean when I’m putting something off. There is always enough time for a bath.”

 

What do you do when you’re not crafting?

“SJ is pursuing her degree in Early Childhood Education. She dances Flamenco and plays in her band Sea Witch”
“NG is a sculptor who graduated from NSCAD in 2013. She currently installs work in local galleries and does film set construction.”GFAT4

When you’re not creating for the Crafters market, where can we find your work?

“We are working on launching our Etsy shop and have a few local companies we are in discussions with at the moment. In the meantime, orders can be placed by reaching us through our Facebook Page.”

What makes Halifax Crafters different from other shows?

“We love how it showcases young, local talent and is supportive of new start-up ventures. It helps to put young entrepreneurs on the map and spreads the word.”

The Fresh Catch Category is Sponsored by Made In The Maritimes
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2015 Spring Fair Vendors

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Better Left Said
Birdmouse

Broken Fog Art & Apparel
Goldfinch and Thistle
Grindhouse Blade Care & Ware
Halifax Tool Library

Marmalade Lane Print Studio
Pagan’s Foot

Reclaimed Wooden Treasures
The Felted Fawn

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Anna Ramsay/Ramsay Ceramics
Bennie Allain
Kat Frick Miller Art
Union Studio
Wally & Roops

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Humble Burdock Farms

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Anne Pryde
Arundel Studios
Jason Desnoyers Ceramics
Kara Highfield Ceramics
La P’tite Poterie
Pottery by Laura
Therese Bombardier Designs
Toni Losey Pottery

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BAD MOUTH SOAP
Better Beard Company
Osha Mae
Simply Sublime Soap

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Cocoa and Honey Chocolates
Gold Island Bakery
Halifax Cookie Cravings
Honeyspoon Baking Co.
Lemon Dogs
Little Red Kitsch’n
The General Cafe

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Aflame Creations Jewelry
Berkeley Brown Jewellery
Caitlyn Rose Jewellery
Ebb & Flo Jewelry
Fervour’s Own Jewellery
Gina Comeau Jewelry
lydi of the valley
Ment Jewellery
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TORIXO

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Old Birch Quality Leather Goods
Steady Brook Saddlery

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Cards by Kate
coombes and dark
Double Dare Print Studio
little foible
Mule Mother Books
My Handbound Books
White Raven Ink

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bespoke uprising
Calica Studio
East of Ordinary
Hanna Broer Design
Keephouse Studio
Meversible
Oh Dina! Millinery
Pip Robins Accessories
Poison Pear
Sugar Soul Studio
The Antigonish Bag Company
The Quarrelsome Yeti

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Doak Textile
Keeley McLean
Kiriki Press
Lichen and Lace
Taylor Made
Thea Haines
Woodland Wool

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Fox’s Folly Woodworks
Ravenview Art & Craft
Terron Dodd