Trea­sures of time

Ar­ti­sans dis­play their di­verse cre­ativ­ity in Cel­e­bra­tion of Crafts: En­rich­ing Is­land Cul­ture, on view at Eptek Cen­tre, Summerside un­til Oct. 9

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY SALLY COLE

Ar­ti­sans dis­play their di­verse cre­ativ­ity in Cel­e­bra­tion of Crafts: En­rich­ing Is­land Cul­ture, on view at Eptek Cen­tre, Summerside un­til Oct. 9.

Walk­ing into the ex­hi­bi­tion room of Eptek Cen­tre one im­me­di­ately feels the cre­ative energy of P.E.I. ar­ti­sans.

That’s be­cause the walls and the dis­play ta­bles are cov­ered with one-of-a kind hand­crafts.

“Stand in the mid­dle of the room and do a scan of the pieces to get a sense of the colour, tex­ture and the va­ri­ety of media that they have used,” says site di­rec­tor Paula Kenny of the show, Cel­e­bra­tion of Crafts: En­rich­ing Is­land Cul­ture, that con­tin­ues un­til Oct. 9 at Eptek Cen­tre in Summerside.

There are over 50 pieces in the ex­hi­bi­tion, rang­ing from teeny tiny em­broi­dered items to heavy me­tal pieces to huge quilted works.

And there’s eye candy ev­ery­where.

In one cor­ner are warm coloured wood cre­ations. There’s ev­ery­thing from a black cherry turned bowl and a bird condo to a pair of hand­crafted gui­tars. Michael Gallant built the acous­tic guitar while Richard LePage cre­ated the elec­tric one.

On the ad­ja­cent wall, there’s colour­ful fab­ric art.

“We had a huge re­sponse from textile artists. So we have ev­ery­thing from tra­di­tional weav­ing and in­no­va­tive hooked mats to quilted pieces and a painted silk that’s quilted,” says Kenny, stop­ping for a mo­ment to look at the rust-coloured An­tique Wa­ter Lily by Roslynn Wilby.

“This is tra­di­tional batik. To cre­ate the piece, she painted out the parts that she wanted to re­main light, with wax. Then she dipped it into dye and the ar­eas that weren’t cov­ered with wax took the dye. And be­cause the wax crack­led, you get this nice, rip­pled ef­fect over the whole piece.”

In the pot­tery sec­tion, items range from Ris­ing Tide, a clay and hand-carved vase by Suzanne Scott to hand-printed Wabi Sabi Ves­sels by Lesley Dube.

“When you talk about craft, you of­ten you hear about the hand of the maker. But when you look at a pot­tery mug you never ex­pect to see where the pot­ter’s knuck­les shaped the mug, like this one. It’s very or­ganic,” says Kenny, point­ing out the hand­prints in Dube’s earth coloured pot­tery mugs.

There also are lovely pieces of jew­elry in the met­als and mixed media sec­tions in­clud­ing sil­ver neck­laces and ear­rings by Jean­nette Walker and Ayelet Stewart and a Beachcomber neck­lace by Shel­ley Tam­tom.

In ad­di­tion to the work, there are splashes of in­ge­nu­ity through­out the room.

Whether it’s the ce­ramic pot­tery pitcher by Robert McMil­lan that dou­bles as a teapot or a textile/silk ma­chine-stitched pro­file/sound in­stal­la­tion by Nancy Cole that cap­tures a walk in the

snow or the bou­quet of iron/me­tal yel­low daf­fodils by Eric Schur­man, one can only imag­ine the hours spent by the ar­ti­sans in de­sign­ing and cre­at­ing them.

“Re­al­iz­ing that each piece was made at a time when many of these ar­ti­sans were in pro­duc­tion mode, ei­ther pre­par­ing for the Christ­mas craft show or the sum­mer sea­son, also makes one ap­pre­ci­ate the ex­tra steps they took in mak­ing a one-of-a-kind item for the ex­hi­bi­tion,” says Kenny.

SALLY COLE/THE GUARDIAN

Guides Se­bastien Roy Garand, left, holds an acous­tic guitar made by Michael Gallant while Kyle Gallant shows an elec­tric guitar made by Richard LePage. These are two of the pieces in the wood sec­tion of Cel­e­bra­tion of Crafts: En­rich­ing Is­land Cul­ture. The ex­hi­bi­tion con­tin­ues un­til Oct. 9 at Eptek Cen­tre in Summerside.

SALLY COLE/THE GUARDIAN

Bub­bles by Ayelet Stewart is one of the pieces in the jew­elry sec­tion of the ex­hi­bi­tion.

SALLY COLE/THE GUARDIAN

Eptek Cen­tre site di­rec­tor Paula Kenny holds a ce­ramic pot­tery pitcher by Robert McMil­lan that dou­bles as a teapot.

SALLY COLE/THE GUARDIAN

Wild Shore­line, fea­tur­ing a prom­i­nent blue heron is the cre­ation of Cathy Krolikowski. It’s one of the glass pieces in Cel­e­bra­tion of Crafts: En­rich­ing Is­land Cul­ture.

SALLY COLE/THE GUARDIAN

An­tique Wa­ter Lily is a tra­di­tional batik by Roslynn Wilby. It’s in the textile sec­tion

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