Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer at Dales Gallery



Visit Dales Gallery in the heart of Victoria's Chinatown this summer and explore the work of over 40 members of The Island Artisans Association.

The Gallery is housed in a Old Victorian space that dates back to the early days of the city. If you ask we'll show you the mysterious circa 1800s revolver that was found tucked in the walls during a renovation.

With those rambunctious times far behind, the local artisans participating in the Summer at Dales Gallery present gleaming glass, funky metal sculptures, sparkling silver jewelry, luscious feltworks, richly coloured and beautifully crafted pottery, vivid and innovative polymer clay creations, and many more items to delight the eye in a celebration of form and function. The gallery is staffed by local artisans who are always happy to describe their techniques and processes.





Dales Gallery
537 Fisgard Street, Victoria BC
Tel 250.383.1552


Karen Lynn Kaiser



Working in oils, Karen paints city and landscapes. She is interested in architecture, being attracted to various elements of design such as pattern and repetition. Her paintings reflect an interest in rich colour, and the contrast of light and shadow.
Her most recent works represent scenes observed across Canada with her husband, artist Marshall Hugh Kaiser.
Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and now living in Victoria, BC, Karen is a member of the Oak Bay Community Artists Society, and shows her work twice a year in the Oak Bay studio tours.

Tula Belle Designs



Sunday, June 17, 2012

Those Great Little Books




In today’s world, books and paper are easy and cheap to mass-produce. It’s much more efficient than when it was all done by hand...but in that efficiency, we have lost something. A mechanically produced book, made with mechanically produced paper may look nice and be lovely to read, but it contains nothing of the person who made it. When an artist creates, their creation acquires just a little of their essence, their spirit, their soul. So it is when we hand-pull a sheet of paper, when we design and hand-bind a book. Each sheet of paper, each book, has just a little of us in it, and that sharing of ourselves enriches us as well as the recipient.

Lisa Samphire






Lisa Samphire is Canadian born and began her glass blowing career in 1985. Since that time she has produced a diverse body of work, which includes private and public, sculptural and functional pieces. Over the years she has been recognized and applauded for her glasswork through the receipt of various awards, scholarships, teaching appointments and commissions.
Blowing glass is a very physical and exciting process, which Lisa enjoys each time she tackles a new piece. She loves trying to resolve the aesthetic and technical challenges that the medium of glass presents. She maintains a freshness and vitality to her work by constantly exploring its properties and following her intuition and curiosity. She is always trying something new by integrating other mediums, playing with color, and exploring patterns and layers. She utilizes different techniques in her works and has continued to look for others as she pursues her career.
Lisa's ability to bring a new vitality and approach to her medium year after year is due in part because she continues to further her education and experience. She has taken many courses through the years at Pilchuk and The Corning Glass Museum. She has also taught many courses at Red Deer College, spoken at several engagements, and been the feature of various publications and exhibitions.
This year, Lisa has had four pieces acquisitioned by the Federal Government of Canada for its Visual Arts Collection.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Steve Shelley



Steve Shelley lives with his family in Campbell River British Columbia. Steve has been a fishing guide and fishing lodge owner for many years, guiding fishermen on rivers, lakes and on the waters of the Pacific Ocean from the Queen Charlotte Islands to southern Vancouver Island.
When it comes to Nature's Edge Wood Design Steve's Philosophy is simple. "With strong ties to the outdoors and nature I have always had a keen interest in working with reclaimed and salvaged wood. Taking a piece of wood that some else has discarded, or that will lay on the beach and rot or be burned in a burn pile, and turning it into something useful is very rewarding for me."
"I get a lot of inspiration for my work, as well as the majority of my material, while walking our dog on the beaches of Discovery Passage near our home in Campbell River. Finding and working with the wood I salvage from the beaches is my favorite pass time. Each piece has completed a journey from its origins, which can be from far up a mainland river or a South or Central American jungle, to its time spent drifting around in the saltwater of the Pacific Ocean, to its final destination here on the shores of Discovery Passage."

Tim Soutar



Pat Hart




Friday, June 8, 2012

Sharon Bussard Grove




A four year olds perspective: the best thing about going 
on a clay dig is sliding down the slippery bank into the river.” 
 My memories of perfect southern Alberta summers spent playing with clay in my Grandma’s studio.
When a skill is something we learn through play as a child we are not aware it’s a skill, it’s just an intuitive part of us.”
After working successfully as a studio potter for 8 years in Tsawwassen I really wanted to go to school to live the experience of being completely immersed into the world of art academia, experimentation, challenging perceptions and creating for the sake of creating. My journey began with a 2 year "technical" stop at Sheridan College of Art and Design in Oakville, Ontario and then off to Alberta College of Art and Design "conceptual" for two years in Calgary, Alberta to complete my BFA degree majoring in Ceramics with as many hot glass classes as I could manage to get thrown into the mix.
I am now living in Sooke, BC, have been setting up my studio, building a gas kiln where my work continues to constantly evolve and take me in new directions. Forsaking the security of what I "know" I will always choose to test and push those boundaries to see if there is something more enticing on the other side.
While I have been away my work has been showcased in local and international juried shows and is part of the permanent collection at the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute in China.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Gini Foli


I am a retired stage director, choreographer and dance teacher known to my students as "The Sequin Queen". I have always loved strong, vivid colours in costumes and the sense of fun in entertainment. This has carried into costume jewellery designs, using charms, vivid colours and anything else within my reach.

The creative change from designing shows to costume jewellery has felt quite natural to me and far less stressful. I am mainly interested in creating funky and unusual watches with varying themes such as:strawberry or flower garden, ballet, golf, wedding etc.. I can fill requests for particular themes in a bracelet watch, earrings or create a new bracelet strap for an old, treasured watch.
I especially enjoy working with bright and colourful beads and mixtures of glass, lampwork, wood, acrylics and various metals into mixed patterns. Fun costume jewellery keeps happening as well.
I love to see customers smile and show-off their new one of a kind purchases. If they are happy, I am too. 

Colin Gatward


I am a local photographer living on Pender Island. I returned to Canada after spending 15 years living in the UK. My work at that time took me around the World and I used this opportunity to capture these images.
When taking photographs, I like to consider how unusual perspectives enhance the beauty of even the most everyday objects. I think this allows us to see things differently and focus on details that we would otherwise overlook.
I do not alter any of my images and I do not use photoshop or any other programs. Some say I am a purist!

Peggy Brackett



Born and raised in Golden BC, Peggy moved to Edmonton AB, in 1985 to attend the University of Alberta in the Honours Sociology/Philosophy program. After graduating and working in the academic environment for a few years, her husband, Jo Ludwig and Peggy moved to Victoria BC, where they opened KilnArt Glass Studio in 1997. In 2008, they moved the studio to Crofton, B.C.
At her studio, Peggy mostly makes fine craft jewellery; however, she sometimes makes stained and fused glass panels and often lamp-worked glass beads as adjuncts for her jewellery. Peggy takes great pride in the highly-refined and exacting workmanship of her jewellery as well as in the fact that all her findings are fashioned from nickel-free sterling silver.
Apart from making jewellery, Peggy oversees the daily operations of KilnArt Glass Studio as well as keeping her husband's nose to the grindstone-no small feat, as all who know Jo can attest! Consequently, she has no time to offer workshops or classes.

Joan Kagan


Joan Kagan has been involved with pottery for over thirty years, continuing her fascination with the potters wheel. She believes that a person cant have too many bowls, and that even the most basic every day pottery can be displayed as well as used. Her mission is to create pottery that is practical for daily use and pleasing to look at.


She has worked as a potter since retiring from high school teaching and counselling in Toronto. Over the years she has learned from many fine potters in Canada and the United States. In 2009, she made her home in Victoria, British Columbia where she established her new studio. She continues to teach and to make her lines of household wares, while experimenting with new shapes and colours, and continuing to learn.
She is inspired by her new warmer city where she takes great pleasure in being able to see the ocean every day.




Nancy Westell



Drawing, painting and sculpting have fascinated Nancy since she was a young girl. In recent years, her desire to be creative has drawn her to glass fusion, an art form that gives her the opportunity to immerse herself in her artistic passion.

“I love how the kiln transforms hard, cold glass into beautiful, colourful plates, bowls and charming pieces of jewellery,” she says. Nancy works with a special (dichroic) glass that shows different colours when viewed from different directions. “After firing, the glass glitters and sparkles. The interchange of colours is endless making glass an exciting and rewarding medium to work with.”

From the use of special glass, choice and creation of molds, to pattern designs, each piece is carefully planned and created to produce the finished unique product.

Debbie Jansen



The process of kiln formed glass has been used for centuries. There are sometimes as few as two steps or many more to make a piece to achieve the final outcome. The glass, which is specifically designed for fusing, is first cut into the desired shapes and then reassembled on a kiln shelf and fired in the kiln at approximately 1460F, for twelve or more hours making sure the kiln is completely cooled before opened as the rapid temperature change may break the glass. Then the flat fused piece is placed on a mold and “slumped” into the desired shape at a lower temperature. This again takes another twelve hours or so.



I have had many successes (and a few oopses, which I display proudly in my home) and am always learning and trying new techniques, which include sandblasting designs onto the glass, using powdered glass to make very interesting visual effects and some works that have a raised 3D effect.

All of my works are hand signed by, of course, me.

Jenny Matthews

"Can you teach quilling to the children?" This request from the Head Teacher in an Elementary School in England set Jenny to work learning yet another Teachers Aid skill, first mastering the techniques herself then passing the basics on to the children.
Quilled greeting cards for friends and relations followed and then on emigrating to Canada in 1996 she took the first steps into professional quilling. Her range of work includes framed pictures, greeting cards, photo-frames and three-dimensional figures.
Jenny works also to special commissions including cards to commemorate special occasions and framed wedding or birth announcements.
Jenny’s work can be seen at the Gift Shop of the Sooke Region Museum and purchased from there. She also exhibits at occasional craft shows.
Jenny does not do group classes in quilling but is happy to give one on one (or two) lessons in basic quilling techniques.


Toni Johnson



Born and raised on Vancouver Island, Toni Johnson discovered glass through her mother; Victoria Johnson.  A hobby that turned into a dream, and finally leading to a career after graduating from the Crafts and Design program at Sheridan College majoring in Glass.
Toni’s passion lies within the hot shop where she sand casts and blows glass.  Her work is heavy in texture, and rich colors exhibiting a real west coast feel.
Currently residing in Campbell River BC, Toni continues to work in her private studio creating the glass works for Tide Line Gallery.

Kathy Guthrie


I was born the eldest of eight children in North Bay, Ontario, Canada, where I remember taking my first art lessons in still life drawing and oil pastels. As a young woman, I studied graphic design at Sheridan Collage Institute of Technology. Recently I returned to school at the Vancouver Island School of Art, where I studied painting, printmaking, and art history.

Experiencing visual art - at exhibits, galleries or studios - is vital to human development. I enjoy involving the public through the workshops and classes that I teach, and the listings I post of local art events in my online newsletter. I am also committed to connecting with other artists in the community through art demonstrations, exhibits and studio tours.

I am married with two children, and live in Victoria, BC, Canada.




Flo-Elle Watson




   After many years of working and teaching classes in clay, lino cutting, etchings and print making, working in oils, watercolors and acrylics: Flo-Elle took up China/Porcelain Painting under the guidance top International Instructors.

China Painting is a very ancient art used in many of the European and Asian countries. In the creative hands of Flo-Elle, the centuries old tradition of China Painting is given life Designs are painted or drawn on the finished china, often recycled white porcelain found at Thrift and Consignment shops.
The piece is fired several times in a kiln at around 1400 degrees F, making it permanent, non-toxic, and functional. A gift to yourself or another!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Judith Hirczy



Judith Hirczy has been creating her one-of-a-kind pieces of jewellery for over 30 years. Originally trained as an architect / interior designer Judith worked in architectural offices in her native Austria. She came to Vancouver Island in the early 70s to a husband whose hobby was lapidary work. Basic instruction in silversmithing was found at UBC and subsequent summer studies at Notre Dame University in Nelson, B.C. provided the groundwork upon which she built her own style. During her years in Parksville, she became a member of the Artisans™ Studio in Nanaimo B.C. co-founded the Handcrafter Gallery in Parksville and started teaching through Malaspina College. Since moving to Victoria, Judith has taught hundreds of silversmithing students at Camosun College as well as privately, some of whom have gone on to become internationally recognized artisans.

West Saanich Woolworks


West Saanich Woolworks is owned by the Olsen family (former owners of Mt. Newton Indian Sweaters). We are based in the traditional territory of the WSANEC (Saanich) People in Brentwood Bay, on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. 
All work is performed by Vancouver Island knitters who are highly valued, fairly paid and profit from this venture.
West Saanich Woolworks values the unique and original. We continue in the steps of our ancestors who innovated to preserve our woolworking culture.
The wool we use is from Vancouver Island and is natural in its form and colour. It is dependent on the colour of the sheep’s wool. Wool is carded and spun to produce a beautiful thick wool with natural water repellency. Felting turns casual knitwear into fashion, traditional design into graphic design and knitting into textile art.
Our finished woolwork products are one of a kind. Inherent inconsistencies in wool thickness or tightness are considered part of the creative process. They are collected by locals and those who value culture.

Rachel MacFarland




Mary Brownscombe



Mary Brownscombe, originally from Ontario, has lived in Victoria since 1966.
From a very young age she has had a love of art and textiles and was always busy “creating things”. In the early 60's she attended the Ontario College of Art and worked at Currie's Art Supply store.
After moving to Victoria, while attending to home and childcare duties, she produced one of a kind wearable art clothing and jewelery.
In 1972 she worked with three others to start Circle Craft Cooperative and the BC Textile Centre and helped to coordinate craft markets in Victoria and Vancouver.
Between 1974 and 1980 she and Lloyd Cook operated a unique retail store, Deja Vu, in Market Square, selling vintage and one of a kind clothing, accessories,etc. She was also involved with theatre costuming with The Belfry, Kaleidescope Theatre and The Knowledge Network.
Between 1980 and 1990 she worked in the Exhibits Division of the Royal BC Museum,
“retiring early” due to health problems. She is now, as health and time allow, producing one of a kind wearable art clothing and accessories including purses and jewelery.

Ashley Evans



Christopher Smith



Born October 1953 in San Francisco, Christopher Smith moved to British Columbia in 1970. Because of the circumstances that brought Chris to Canada, he assumed the name of D. Michael McRae. He began working in stained glass in 1975, employed as an apprentice to Thomas B. Shields at the Glass Head Studio in Nelson B.C. This studio was primarily concerned with religious stained glass restoration and residential stained glass design and fabrication.

Also in 1975, Chris (aka D. Michael) spent a semester at the Alberta College of Art, studying glass blowing under the direction of Norman Faulkner. He moved to Nanaimo in 1976, and studied art history at Malaspina College. He exhibited at the 1983, '85 and '88 B.C. Festival of the Arts showcase gallery 'Images and Objects'. He also was an invited participant in 'Glass Act' 1 and 2 at the Fort Langley Centenial Museum.

He opened the original Glaskrafter Art Glass Studio in Nanaimo in 1977. The Studio relocated to Lantzville in 1986. That same year the Canadian Government granted Christopher Landed Immigrant status. In 1991 he moved his studio to its present location behind his home on the edge of Nanoose Bay. Christopher became a Canadian Citizen in 2002.

He has taught glass art at Malaspina College, North Island College, the Nelson School District, and holds private classes and workshops at his studio. For ten years he worked with selected Grade 12 students at Nanaimo District Secondary, helping them design and build stained glass windows for their new library and scattering stained glass windows and fused glass panels throughout the school.

Exhibited widely in the past, Chris rarely exhibits work now as the commissioned work keeps him pretty busy. He does show new work in his own gallery and periodically will have work out at ‘the Old School House’ Gallery in Qualicum Beach and the Nanaimo Art Gallery, downtown Nanaimo.

Lynn Laughren


Vancouver Islander Lynn Laughren is an artistic "free spirit. 
She creates her metal sculptures in her workshop which is nestled near the 
sweet fragrance of the world famous Butchard Gardens. Lynn is  self taught artist in many fields. She started experimenting with metal things to make for herself and friends. Soon she started selling her work at country markets and craft fairs. Eventually Lynn expanded from selling just from her studio/machine shop to offering her metalcraft through several local shops. "Anything for a Buck" is Lynn's philosophy towards her metal work. Indoor & outdoor furniture, railings, gates or scupltures - anything for a buck. Her favorite comment is "If I can draw it, I can make it." Never satisfied, Lynn has taken courses and workshops in blacksmithing, mosaics and clay sculpting. She plans to combine assorted materials with her metal work to always be creating something different. 




Dianne Young



Dianne began her clay studies at Elmwood Studios in London, England. It was here that she developed her love of clay and a desire to learn as much as she could about its possibilities. In Canada, further studies at the University of Regina and Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver led naturally into teaching, a most wonderful way to learn.  Dianne produces stoneware pottery with carved glaze patterns from her studio in Victoria. There is a wide range in her repertoire, from oven dishes to sculptural urns. Bowls are the mainstay of her work and she finds them a joy to make from the teeniest to more than two feet across. The forms are strong; the glazes are satiny and made for handling. The pots are intended for daily enjoyment in the home

Ron Douglas



Ron Douglas is a well known studio potter on Vancouver Island, B.C. He has been “in love with clay” for over thirty years, and started as a young boy creating small sculptures in his garden. After taking ceramics in High School, Ron went on to excel in sculpture and ceramics at the Kootenay School of Art in Nelson B.C. in the early seventies.
He established his first pottery studio (Blue Heron Studio) in 1972 in Edmonton, Alberta and at the same time owned and operated Handworks Gallery, a craft store and gallery. In addition to running the studio and craft gallery, he studied advanced ceramics courses at the Banff School of Fine Arts and the Department of Extension at the University of Alberta. His early influences were Ruth Duckworth, Clary Illian, John Chalke, Walter Dexter, and Harlan House.
Moving to Victoria in 1991, he opened his Creekside Pottery Studio along an urban creek, where he creates exciting lines of contemporary and traditional pottery. He has shown his work in many exhibitions and galleries, and his pottery has been sold to people traveling to many parts of the world. Having established himself as both a functional and sculptural clay artist, Ron has exhibited in the Gallery of BC Ceramics (Vancouver), the Out of Hand Gallery (Victoria) and is part of the annual Oak Bay Artist Studio Tour. In his Creekside Pottery Studio, Ron produces both functional stoneware pottery in his gas kiln, earthenware tiles, and one-of-a-kind art works.
Ron recently received a Community Arts Council Award for his contribution to the Arts in his community  from the Mayor and Council of the Municipality of Oak Bay.

Sarah Mulligan



Canadian glass artist Sarah Mulligan has been working with hot glass for over 12 years. In that time she has worked both for herself and with other Canadian glass artists in designing, creating and selling blown glass across Canada and the United States. After completing her BA in Philosophy from the University of Western Ontario, Sarah decided to move in a new direction and enrolled into the Interior Design program at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario. However, a wrong turn down a hallway landed her in Sheridan’s: School of Craft and Design where she discovered the hot glass studio. That same day Sarah changed programs and then three years later in the spring of 1999, she graduated, from Sheridan’s glass program. In the summer of 2005, she left Ontario for the west coast and now resides in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The physical relationship one can appreciate with an object is the foundation of Sarah’s body of work. She enjoys designing and creating functional objects one can touch, hold, wear and even playfully toss around. Her style is both subtle and contemporary and her commitment to simple design, attention to detail, and craftsmanship is a consistent feature in all of her glass. Sarah Mulligan’s glass and jewellery is available across Canada and in the United States at such fine galleries as: The Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, The Winnipeg Art Gallery, The Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art in Toronto, Vancouver Art Gallery, Sandra Ainsley Gallery in Toronto, Gallerie Elena Lee Verre d’Art in Montreal, the Royal BC Museum in Victoria, Vetri International Glass in Seattle, and the West End Gallery in Victoria as well as Curiosities Gift Shop in London Ontario. 

Katy Fogg



Living Earth Pottery is created in a small studio in Victoria. Each unique piece is handmade using the potters wheel or hand building techniques. Katy has been creating functional art for the last 13 years. Her work is diverse in form and function but is always lightweight and refined. She runs Living Earth Pottery with the environment and local communities in mind.
“I try to make my pieces beautiful as well as functional. It is my hope that I can create some of the simple things of life locally, with intention and integrity.”
Living Earth Pottery is intended for everyday use. Two clay bodies are used in the studio, one from Medicine Hat Alberta and the other from Northern California. These clays were selected for their durability and versatility. All pieces can go into the oven or the dishwasher. Pieces containing iron crystals should avoid being used in the microwave. The glazes are food safe, non-toxic and durable.  With each piece being made start to finish by one set of hands, care and attention are paid to even the smallest details. The bottom of the pot is polished, handles are attached with care, and spouts pour beautifully.

Susan Tait



I seem compelled to have the things I use every day be more than functional. I am excited by the shape, the feeling of things. It makes me happy to be a part of lifting up someone's day. I have been designing, mostly with cloth, since the 80’s. First exhibition – Vancouver – 1983. A move to the International City of Auroville in South India in 1986 evolved into full time studio work. Designs were clothing, Interior D├ęcor, sets and costumes for Theatre and Dance. Exhibitions and Collections in: Holland, England, France, New York, Connecticut, Florida, Colorado, Sydney Australia, Maui, Rome – Vancouver, Victoria, Gulf Islands. Within India – Pondicherry, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai. I returned home to Pender Island in 2000 and filling a need to have once again a quiet, fully personal work, got my journals in order and became involved with a Cooperative Gallery. I live with my husband on in the Gulf Islands, on our little farm specializing in Garlic and Basil

Bonnie Brugger



I studied to be a graphic artist and over the years I have worked in several different mediums.   A number of years ago I took courses in stained glass and fused glass.   Fusing became my passion.   I work in my studio, Rocking Waters, which is located in my home in Victoria, BC.  The studio looks into a beautiful garden with ponds and waterfalls, and much of my inspiration comes from my garden.
I’ve often been told that I have a wonderful sense of colour and design that results in whimsical pieces that are truly a delight. My little house and flowered wind chimes bring enjoyment to people around the world.  Designing larger pieces allows me to take advantage of my graphic design roots and explore geometric shapes.
I really enjoy collaborating with other artists. My first collaboration was with a well known metal artist, and we focussed on creating new and innovative metal pieces with surprising glass inserts.  I have been commissioned to create unique pieces for a number of clients.  My intent is to create fused glass art that makes you feel good.
I have been teaching fused glass for a number of years and really enjoy introducing new glass artists to this wonderful medium.

Erwin Shulman



I am a completely self taught artist having come from a business background totally unrelated to the arts. In my quest for a more 'left brain' oriented outlet than that provided in my previous career, I have discovered the many possibilities of creating art on my computer instead of spread sheets. My multi-layered works show my love of vivid colour.

Harvey Brooks



I have been woodworking for over 35 years and woodturning since 1989. I was a furniture refinisher and cabinet maker for a number of years and built many pieces of custom furniture. Recently, following an accident, I have been focusing mainly on smaller craft items and wood turnings. I have been making my personalized puzzle stools for over 20years. I made the first ones for my daughter and son, then started making more for friend's children and grandchildren. I produce my laminated cutting boards mainly from wood salvaged from friends and cabinet makers. This wood is predominately offcuts that would otherwise end up as firewood or in the landfill. In my woodworking passion of woodturning, I produce mainly utilitarian items like bowls and platters as well as pens and bottle stoppers. My source of supply for the wood I use in these items is mainly through the Wood Recovery Program of the Vancouver Island Woodworkers Guild. I have some items on display at local galleries and sell through local craft markets. I am a member of the Vancouver Island Woodworkers Guild, the Island Woodturners Guild, the American Association of Woodturners, and the Island Artisans Association. I am married and have two grown children

Jill Rockwell

It's a very fortunate circumstance when your passion becomes your work. I love metals, antiquities, travel, and making art, and tying those elements together into mixed media art jewelry pieces is both a joy and a daily adventure for me. I feel that my job is well done when someone bonds with the story behind a piece as well as the jewelry itself. I was born in Canada, spent much of my life and education in the southern USA, and returned to Canada in 1998. My partner Pat and I live high on the rock cliffs of Walburn Park, looking over the straits and channels to the San Juan Islands and Mt. Baker. Who would not be inspired? This year we will travel to France, Israel, and Italy, and I will bring home papers and objects of antiquity that will make their way into my new jewelry work