Category Archives: Greektown Toronto

#Artist’s Life: Summer

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east end

A colorful vignette upon the mantel at the East End Arts new location at St. Mathew’s Clubhouse situated on the South End of Riverdale Park, Toronto. Artist Unknown.

I managed to attend a few summer artsy events this year including “Postcard Flash Fiction” put on by East End Arts with facilitator Hunan Hazime. She really seems to get around the city with a number of get-to-gethers including locations such as Workmans Arts and Inkwell Workshops!  It was a pleasure not only  doing some quick writing (the group exercise was especially fun), perusing 1950’s Postcards that Hunan picked up in some London Ontario shop, and seeing a few familiar faces…one of which must be at least 5 years since I saw her last!  And bonus…we sat cozy peering through the windows at the torrential downpour flooding Toronto during the afternoon.

flash fiction

My local neighbourhood community group The Pocket Association also kept people busy during the summer, including a nearby Jewish Cemetery Tour (I hopes this happens again in October), Movie nights at Phin Park and Art in the Park events.  Speaking of Phin Park…it’s new official name (previously Phin Ave. Parkette) had a celebration for new signage.  

No…that is not the new signage stuck to the tree!  This was the very first minute of one of the Art in the Park events.  I am very busy making a butterfly mask.

phin park art - Copy 

I made a pit stop to Arton’s Beads before they switch ownership after 30+ years supplying Toronto’s bead o’holics.  This area on Queen Street West is a popular area for tourists to take photos with iconic murals as the backdrops.

Toronto Mural

With summer winding down I have been preparing for a few September outdoor events as a vendor.  A sponsored spot by CAMH during the Queen West Art Crawl (Sept 22nd) and a table during the Pocket Party (Sept29th). Will be my first year for the Pocket Party (includes a beer garden I believe) so really looking forward!  Both are celebrating 15 years for these events.  Because these are low/no-cost-to-me-events my prices will be the same as website! And per the Pocket a donation will be made from each sold item (including $2 small bracelets with the funds donated directly to the PCA) from moi!  

During these events I will be launching this years “minis”…   6″ x 6”  paper mounted on  canvas paintings for $30.00.  I’ll write more about these in the Baubles section once they are available on-line later in the Fall.   A little peek at the minis to end your day!                                             

minis preview - Copy.jpg                            

What you are getting when you buy locally crafted items?

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What you are getting when you buy locally crafted items?

madebyhandblogphoto

Handcrafted items have been around since the beginning of humanity. Used to aid Pharaohs into the afterlife. As talismans hung around the neck or carried in a pocket for protection. Rock walls decorated to keep a representative record of life. Stained glass and sculpture to document spirituality. Useful purposes to keep us warm and our homes cozy. To commemorate a season, a birth, a death.

Why are we drawn to things that are made by hand? Perhaps because it represents Love, caring and connection. Not only between the artisan and the admirer, but the community…the entire Globe. Yet many people take hand crafted for granted. One should consider it a worthy investment compared to a temporary toss-a-way mass-produced item.

Handmade artistry by definition is made by the “hands” of the artisan or creator. There are no industrial machines spewing out duplicated pieces in a computerized rhythmic dance. The creations are limited to one person only capable of making so many with their two hands, or feet, or mouth. This is important! Your handcrafted piece has had attention paid to it. Far more than something manufactured.

Your item is exclusive when it has been handmade. Manufacturer’s can keep going once the designer is gone. Once a maker or artisan is gone–there are no more creations available. It is absolutely impossible to get another made. A very limited edition indeed.

Each maker has an intimate knowledge of what they are creating. Every line, texture, feeling, nuance of color, temperature and so much more. Energy is place into each piece with specific intention. Even if the piece is part of an edition, there will still be something unique to that particular item. You probably won’t see your painting on a bank wall, or the same necklace when you go to a family celebration. It is uniquely yours! Time and care was taken to create something just for you.

Do you really know where your money is going when you buy from a department store? There really is no connection is there? Investing in something handmade means you have made a connection, with the artist and the creator. You may not know them personally but they have a real story. And you get a piece of them and that story that is being told through their creation. Often it will be you that completes that story.

Artisans are thinking of you during the process. You can feel happy knowing that you are supporting another member of your Global family. The money you spend helps them obtain the necessities of life and continue the circle of community support. Most creators use local materials and products in their creations. They participate in keeping the local economy going with care and gratitude.

Creators use the best quality materials that they can from highly reputable suppliers. They research what goes into their creations. If it seems dubious from their personal exploration, it doesn’t make the cut. It is easy for them to regulate what goes into their items. They aren’t going to let something inferior leave their space.

Remember the next time you invest in something handmade, you are supporting someone outside of yourself. You have a special part of the artist forever in your collection. Feel good about being part of that circle of life and being an active member of your community.