Heirloom Spoon

I have a huge appreciation for skilled craft and for unique approaches to materiality.  I’ve always supported emerging/existing artists and artisans and when I first saw Adam Weaver’s spoons, I knew that I wanted to invest in a spoon each month for a year, so that I would have a beautiful collection to enjoy for a very long time.

While attending the University of Lethbridge, my friend, Brian, carved me a beautiful wooden spoon and I treasured it for as many years as I could, when at some point, the spoon split and it was no more.  The idea of hand carved spoons has been nostalgic ever since.  Sometimes I think that with mass-production, we have lost touch with some of these hand crafted items.

This morning, Adam Weaver (Heirloom Spoon) came to my place in order to deliver January and February and so that I might select, from a collection of other carved spoons, March and April.

We shared a coffee at the feast table and I had the chance to look at and hold the spoons as he set them out in front of me.  They were all so unique and so lovely.

I’m very grateful for the new friendships, Adam and Pascia.  Thank you for taking the huge diagonal across the city to meet with me and to visit about travel, tools, art and life.  May you be richly blessed on your journey.

If interested, you can access Heirloom spoons via Etsy, as well as through various artisan events.

January: carved out of maple…a beautiful long-necked spoon with a leather toggle at one end and a beautiful scooped bowl on the other.  The wood was gifted Adam from Brampton, Ontario…so, given my family history and my connections with Ontario, this one sings to me.


February: carved out of a piece of knotty birch wood, found right here at the edge of our beautiful Bow River.  It was harvested from trees cut down by some city workers.


It turns out that I couldn’t resist May either…picking up a coffee scoop as a gift for my own birthday. The scoop is carved from Applewood, harvested right beside the studios at Artpoint Gallery.  They’re demolishing everything around there to build the new C-train line. :0( I love the many concentric circles that draw the eye into the depth of the bowl of the spoon.

The smaller lighter spoon is made from a piece of Ash (Latin name: Fraxinus Excelsior!) found in a small village called Clare, in England.  I like the feel of this spoon in my hand…it’s flat and seems to have some sort of interesting weight/balance thing going on.  I just like it so much.

The big ladle…I chose for March…it felt the most womb-like to me and I was thinking about the birth of my son on March 17, 1990.  Adam used the natural curve of the wood.  This piece was from an arborist-friend of Adam’s again, harvested in Calgary.  I’m wondering if this would be my favourite arborist who trims up May (Mayday) every year for me, before the spring.



When Adam puts his tools down and stops carving, he plants and tends gardens and fits in a lot of travel… as well, he enjoys his authentic relationship with wood and beautiful objects.


Sumac and Cedar

I was so excited to see the new gallery that gifts Bridge Street and Belleville.  Friends, Peter Paylor and Lisa Morris, took me under their artistic wings on my last visit in 2013.  Since then, they have opened a spectacular and vital space on Bridge called Artists & Artisans Studio and Gallery!  Whoot!  Love the sensibility and the openness to emerging and practicing artists of every variety.  These two are Makers and Shakers!  I’m so glad to be able to reconnect.

Peter Paylor’s art, both wood carvings and prints, was featured in the recent opening, Sumac and Cedar.  The artist harvests fallen and cast off wood and creates uplifting pieces of sculpture that are exquisite. Lisa’s jewelry and paintings are also exhibited throughout the well-loved space.  At the opening, hospitality was extended to this Calgary chick, by every one I met.

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Alvise Doglioni Majer’s Studio

I was excited to be invited out to an open house gathering, just outside of Bragg Creek. Thank you, Randy and Jane, Alex and Colton, Emma and Sophie!  Your home spilled over with that community love that sings!  What a magical place. These types of gatherings are what make the spirit of the season.  As if that wasn’t enough,  then I received the gift of this wood sculpture of a salmon!  WHAT?? The next day, I decided to roam through the website created by the artist, Alvise Doglioni Majer.

Juno and Salmon

Kath's Canon, January 6, 2016 Salmon gift, Franks, Hibernate 3 005

The New Year was just slipping upon us and I decided that I wanted to commission Alvise to participate in a year-long project with me and to design an angel for each month.  This would mean a monthly visit to his studio and wood shop located at the end of the drive way at Folk Tree Lodge (a beautiful get away) that my readers really should check out if you want a respite from the city.  No longer owned/managed by Alvise, the lodge is teaming with sculpture, furniture and crafted objects made with love, by Alvise.  Please adventure through his website to catch a glimpse of some of his projects!  You might also want to preview his Blurb publication to get a more in depth look at his work.

Yesterday, my daughter and I enjoyed a drive out to the Folk Tree Lodge.  I liked having time away from home and responsibilities.  It doesn’t matter how old you get, you need time away to ‘just be’.  For me, the child of a military father, road trips are always the best.  I’m not one to be found on a bowling lane, if you get my drift.

We had a tour of the lodges upon arrival and then stepped into a place of magic and creative energy.  And…I met February…the first of the angels.  I love the smell of a wood shop and have treasured two different visits to Al Gerritsen’s wood shop.  I like the lined up clamps and bins of nails.  I like the schematics and plans and abandoned projects.  It’s all so beautiful.  Thank you, Alvise for our first visit.

Next, Alvise writes, I will be able to share a cup of tea with his wife as she harvests natural elements from their neighbourhood…Achillea, Horse tail , rose buds, wild mint…yummers!  Looking forward to that!

This series of angels (and he has created several series) designed and created by Alvise is titled, the Journey Around the Sun.  I love the concept and this is yet another rich and beautiful life-experience!

When we left, Cayley and I shared coffee, carrot cake and cinnamon buns at ‘The Spoon’ in Bragg Creek.  Thanks, Emma!  A beautiful afternoon.

Kath's Canon, February 16, 2015 Alvise 011Kath's Canon, February 16, 2015 Alvise 010Kath's Canon, February 16, 2015 Alvise 009Kath's Canon, February 16, 2015 Alvise 008Kath's Canon, February 16, 2015 Alvise 007Kath's Canon, February 16, 2015 Alvise 006Kath's Canon, February 16, 2015 Alvise 005Kath's Canon, February 16, 2015 Alvise 004Kath's Canon, February 16, 2015 Alvise 003Kath's Canon, February 16, 2015 Alvise 002

Thank you!  And now, an angel finds her home.

Kath's Canon, February 16, 2015 Alvise 012


Kath's Canon, February 16, 2015 Alvise 013

Finding Art in Belleville

I had several magical encounters with art and artists while in Belleville, Ontario and I’m grateful, especially, for meeting artists Peter Paylor and Lisa Morris. Totally immersed in their artistic community, both are creating wonderful ‘happenings’ at The Core Arts and Culture Centre and beyond.  Their enthusiasm is contagious and it is evident that the arts are alive and well in Quinte!

The Core Arts and Culture Centre

The Core Arts and Culture Centre

I met Peter Paylor and Lisa Morris, along with Kathy Jo Paylor manning tables at the Belleville Market down on Front Street. At the time, Lisa was displaying her art jewelry, reclaiming materials, and Peter was selling hand carved sumac walking and talking sticks.

Photo Credit: Lisa Morris and Peter Paylor Belleville Market

Photo Credit: Lisa Morris and Peter Paylor Belleville Market

Photo Credit: Lisa Morris and Peter Paylor Belleville Market

Photo Credit: Lisa Morris and Peter Paylor Belleville Market

The market, in itself, was a magical place because of all of the fresh produce, the homemade soaps…the local honey products and much more.  But for me, a real gift was meeting up with artists and seeing the sorts of projects and initiatives that they were working hard to build in the Bay of Quinte region.  The meeting also made me aware of an art opening one evening at the John M. Parrott Art Gallery.

As well as exhibiting Stitch Happens, by the Kingston Fiber Artists, there was a collection of local art based on local photographers’ works titled Bay of Quinte Interpreted 2.  19 local artists interpreted 12 winning photographs from the Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan Photo Contest with a Twist 2.  Please follow this link to see a collection of these interpretations.

P1140110 P1140111 P1110790 P1110791 P1110795 P1110796 P1110798 P1110799 P1110803 P1110806 P1110807 P1110809 P1110812Before leaving Belleville, I made certain that I said my good-byes at the market and purchased a piece by Peter titled Under Sail and several pieces of jewelry for my girls from Lisa.  Thanks to the two of you for being so welcoming and passing on so much information!

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Love Art in Calgary: Axis Contemporary Art and The Kite Unfurls!

Director, Rob Mabee, is warm, good humoured and smart!  Stepping into the intimate world of Axis Contemporary Art Gallery is like stepping into a place of discovery.  Welcome to explore and ask questions, a person can always learn things from Rob.  As Art Central winds down in its vibrant life and its unique vision, Axis continues to open its doors and educate the public.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to share in another unique opportunity for the sake of loving art!  Thanks, Rob.

On this visit, there were a couple of things I really noticed and enjoyed.  Norah Borden’s piece, The Kite Unfurls was beautiful!  I captured a quick photo of my friend, Lauraine, in front of the piece…for me both the art and the person describe the very same thing.  Tell me if I’m wrong.

P1120952The thing is…on a Love Art in Calgary Tour, we stop midway through the tour and enjoy a lovely lunch together and given that friend, Jennifer, was not there to enjoy a La Fleur, Lauraine stepped in and shared in a celebratory martini with me at Murrieta’s this time around.  Wendy Lees strategically plans the order of our day so that we can walk to the next location.  And this weekend in Calgary, the weather was extraordinary!

P1120916Back to the art…

I enjoyed learning about Lisa Brawn’s work…her technique and subject matter.  As Rob talked about her prolific practice and the pleasure she has in carving, I felt I understood and appreciated the act of making art, through her experience.  I encourage my readers to spend some time exploring her website and reading Lisa’s blog!  Some very ‘yummy’ projects and inspirations are archived there.

P1120924Of course, I am always drawn to one painting in particular when I check out the ‘stuff’ at Axis…that being a painting by Audrey Mabee.  Conversation with Diva  is both full of fun and vibrant with colour.  I like both!

P1120922We were blessed with this time together…rich…full of conversation…and saturated with wonderful art!

P1120937The Kite Unfurls!  A tremendous celebration of art and human interest!


Gorilla House LIVE ART: April 17, 2013

Bruce demonstrated how to do an image transfer some months back and my cousin, Margy, has been using these techniques successfully out in the studio for several of her amazing collage pieces. Last night,  I really wanted to deal with the Trans Canada Highway in some subtle way.  Since coming home from Ontario, I’ve been thinking about the extent of the highway that has become so familiar to me.  An asphalt thread, it is all that separates me from these important family members.  I decided, before even driving to the Gorilla House, to adhere my mirrored image of the map onto my board…that, along with the colour test sheet that popped out at the beginning of my print job.

One of the concepts of the night was Cruelty and Beauty.  I was thinking about the painful experience of separation and the cruel reality of physical distance (This might be an emotional distance in the case of not being able to reach into the heart of someone you love.  It might be the seeming impossibility of attaining a career goal.) ; on the flip side, the awesome experience of knowing love for those who are not physically present…how beautiful is that love…how powerful.

Ravens are dealt with in art works right across Canada.   They are icons of a changing culture across regions.  I was introduced to Prince Edward Island artist, Karen Gallant, on my ancestral search in North Rustico two summers ago.  The raven appears both as a central subject and as a supporting detail in much of her work.

Artist: Karen Gallant Prince Edward Island

Artist: Karen Gallant Prince Edward Island

Amy Switzer, North Bay, Ontario artist, exhibits with my grade nine art teacher, David Carlin and masterfully creates mixed media sculpture, often with the raven and other birds as her subjects.

Amy Switzer: Untitled (Standing Bird 3), 2008, ceramic, steel and graphite, 14 x 6 x 18 inches

Amy Switzer: Untitled (Standing Bird 3), 2008, ceramic, steel and graphite, 14 x 6 x 18 inches

installboothAnd while I am whizzing across Canada, it’s imperative that I represent an image from the west coast, known for the historical reference of the raven used in First Nations masks, totems and art for generations.

Traditional and so absolutely beautiful…

“An elegant hand-carved and painted bass wood West Coast Native Canadian “raven rattle” by Gerry Dudoward, a Native Canadian artist known for his West-Coast style carvings. The body, painted in greed,  red, white, and black, is carved in the shape of a wingless raven, with West Coast geometric motifs painted along the body, with a small carved man sitting backwards on the raven’s back.
1.6″ x 1.4″ — 4 x 3.5 cm” SIC

Raven Rattle by GERRY DUDOWARD

Raven Rattle by GERRY DUDOWARD

Emily Carr’s observations of the lush coast and her observation of totems had a profound impact on the conversation about Canadian art and Appropriation.  “Canadian Expressionist Painter, 1871-1945 Canadian painter and writer. She studied art from 1891 to 1894 at the California School of Design in San Francisco. She lived in England from 1899 to 1904, studying at the Westminster School of Art in 1899, and settled in Vancouver on her return. Her stay in Paris in 1910-11, during which she had a painting shown at the Salon d’Automne in 1911, proved far more influential on her art, familiarizing her with Impressionism, with Post-Impressionism and with Fauvism.”

Big Raven 1931 Oil on canvas 87.3×114.4cm Vancouver Art Gallery

Emily Carr

Emily Carr

Here, W. Allan Hancock’s wildlife paintings represent the contemporary approach to ooooober realism.

Ravens of Klemtu by W. Allan Hancock

Ravens of Klemtu by W. Allan Hancock

This is my own two-hour painting resulting from last nights Art Battle. I am grateful to Emily, Grace and Alex for purchasing the piece at auction and to all my friends for their warm welcome home.

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Emily, Alex and Grace

Emily, Alex and Grace