Cana­dian mak­ers get gifty at Cir­cle Craft

Ur­ban Liv­ing Lucy Lau

The Georgia Straight - - Real Estate -

Van­cou­ver’s busy craft-fair sea­son kicks off with the Cir­cle Craft Christ­mas Mar­ket on Novem­ber 8, when over 300 ar­ti­sans will touch down in the city with all sorts of hand­crafted ap­parel, jew­ellery, home­wares, and other goods in tow.

Ar­guably the grand­daddy of hol­i­day markets, the 44th an­nual event will fea­ture 50-plus new­com­ers from across Canada, all of whom are mak­ing it their per­sonal goal to have ev­ery name on your shop­ping list crossed off well be­fore De­cem­ber. Be­low, a guide to a cou­ple of our favourite new Cir­cle Craft–ers and the old-fash­ioned pil­lows and chic pet items they’ll be shar­ing dur­ing the five-day fair.

VIN­TAGE MAP CO. Maps are typ­i­cally dis­played in min­i­mal­ist frames, plas­tered di­rectly onto walls, or, in the case of se­ri­ous col­lec­tors, stored in steel cab­i­nets de­signed to pro­tect such pieces from dam­age. Toron­to­based tex­tile artist He­len Hawkett, how­ever, prefers them em­blazed across plush pil­lows and cush­ions.

“It grew from a home­made Christ­mas ex­change that we did with fam­ily,” Hawkett tells the Straight by phone. “My hus­band and I had this idea of putting this cool old map that we had of Prince Ed­ward County onto fab­ric and mak­ing pil­lows out of it.”

Seven years later, Hawkett has pro­duced hun­dreds of square and rec­tan­gu­lar cush­ions—and linen tea tow­els—dig­i­tally printed with vin­tage maps de­pict­ing Cana­dian re­gions such as Mon­treal, Nova Sco­tia, and Cal­gary, the orig­i­nals of which she sources from ebay and var­i­ous an­tique shops. The maps date as far back as the 1800s and, in many in­stances, ex­hibit rail­ways, post of­fices, and the wards, bor­oughs, or parks that made up an area at one time. “I don’t do any old map,” ex­plains Hawkett. “I want it to be unique and beau­ti­ful and evoke some his­tory.”

At Cir­cle Craft, Hawkett will be show­cas­ing her West Coast–ori­ented pil­lows, which are adorned with maps of the North Shore, Van­cou­ver Is­land, the Okana­gan, and more. Her Van­cou­ver cush­ion il­lus­trates the city in 1906, when the area was marked and con­nected by grid­like rail­road tracks. Crafted from a linen-cot­ton can­vas, all Vin­tage Map Co. pil­lows are filled with down or a syn­thetic fi­bre by re­quest.

HOWL & HOME When Tina Ng and Jérémie Laguette adopted their first pet—an adorable Ger­man shep­herd– Husky mix named Cy­press—they didn’t find many pet sup­plies and fur­nish­ings that fit their aes­thetic. So they de­cided to cre­ate their own. “We like things to be pretty min­i­mal­ist and low-pro­file,” says Ng, “and we re­ally like sturdy de­sign.”

With Ng, a full-time graphic de­signer, tak­ing on the de­sign du­ties, and Laguette, the sign-maker be­hind Wood­type, tack­ling the build­ing side, the Half­moon Bay–based duo crafted a pared-down dog-bowl stand— equipped with lo­cally made earth­en­ware bowls—that was soon draw­ing the at­ten­tion of fam­ily and friends.

Con­structed us­ing pine ply­wood of­f­cuts from Laguette’s sign biz and coated in an eco-friendly, food-safe fin­ish, the feed­ing sta­tions come in two dif­fer­ent heights that al­low your four-legged pals to more com­fort­ably reach for food and wa­ter. (The “short” is ideal for Frenchies and pugs, for ex­am­ple, while the “tall” is great for larger-sized breeds.) “We wanted the items to a) not be an eye­sore,” ex­plains Ng, “and b) look ob­vi­ously like some­thing for dogs or for pets.”

At Cir­cle Craft, the pair, known col­lec­tively as Howl & Home, will have sam­ples of their feed­ers on deck, which shop­pers can cus­tom­ize with punches of peach, li­lac, and other hues. “The idea is we’re go­ing to al­low peo­ple to choose the colour,” says Ng. There’ll also be poop-bag stor­age boxes and, if at­ten­dees are lucky, a sneak peek at Howl & Home’s soonto-be-re­leased pet beds.

The Cir­cle Craft Christ­mas Mar­ket takes place from Novem­ber 8 to 12 at the Van­cou­ver Con­ven­tion Cen­tre’s West build­ing.

Tex­tile artist He­len Hawkett cre­ates sou­venir-style pil­lows dig­i­tally printed with his­tor­i­cal maps of ar­eas such as North Van­cou­ver and the Okana­gan.

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