Treasures of time
Artisans display their diverse creativity in Celebration of Crafts: Enriching Island Culture, on view at Eptek Centre, Summerside until Oct. 9
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.
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.
Bubbles by Ayelet Stewart is one of the pieces in the jewelry section of the exhibition.
Eptek Centre site director Paula Kenny holds a ceramic pottery pitcher by Robert McMillan that doubles as a teapot.
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.
Antique Water Lily is a traditional batik by Roslynn Wilby. It’s in the textile section