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Artistic happy hour

by Valerie Cardinal March 22, 2011

5 Craft 7 started out as a craft fair with the concept of an artistic happy hour, where artists would show off their works to viewers strictly between the hours of 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. This time around, the spring edition features longer hours as well as an impressive variety of artists.

Jackie Bassett’s Studio Flower Power specializes in old-fashioned pressed flower greeting cards, but admits she may have found a project she is more passionate about. She has been printing images onto the pages of old books and maps. Bassett plans to continue working with old maps to make many series of prints. “And that’s all because I can’t draw!” she exclaimed.

Cheerful Montreal-based artist Nunumi’s easy boredom and use of crafts to get away from the 2D world of animation has led to a surprising variety. Although her speciality is crocheted plushies, she has also been experimenting with watercolour pendants.

“I’ve been learning jewellery and learning watercolour so I kind of tried to mix both together,” she explained.

Concordia design student Jessie Thavonekham specializes in “just really cute little things that people can use,” such as crocheted scarves and washcloths. This is Thavonekham’s first craft fair, and an experience she is looking forward to. “It’s quite exciting to just be in a place where you know that other local artists will be there,” she stated. She also pointed out the “Pray for Japan” postcards that she will be selling, with proceeds going entirely towards the Japanese Red Cross Society.

Another Concordia graduate, Jaclyn Murray, this time from the textiles program, will be presenting handbags and more from her own label, Ebb & Flow. According to Murray, she started the label a year and a half ago when she was looking to be more hands-on in her work. “Designing at a desk is one thing, but being in the studio and really working hands-on is really important for me,” she said.

Julie Verfaillie’s work is heavily influenced by her band, PopChopper, a mix of electro, soul, pop and more that she and her bandmate David De Garie-Lamanque have branded Soultronic. Verfaillie’s specialty is hand-crafted jewellery made out of leather and wood. “I was inspired by instruments, because most of the wood I use is also used in instrument-making.”

Katja Peterson’s work is also mainly jewellery. She has been making jewellery since she was about 13, when her father sent her a box of beads with no instructions whatsoever. “I made a necklace and there was no end to the comments,” said the self-taught beader. Her pieces follow fashion and seasonal trends. “Stuff that I make right now seems to be what others want to wear too, which is ideal,” she explained.

Alisha Piercy will also be presenting jewellery under the name of Wolf Me, but with a different concept. What started out as a line of multipurpose tiaras for young girls has now evolved into something more warrior-woman-like. She calls her work weaponry, or “warrior-wear body adornments” in leather. This includes lightning bolt tears, dagger rings and falling veil earrings, which Piercy described as attaching “on both ears but just end below the chin, much like a falling veil or beard.” Piercy freely admits that her designs aren’t for the faint of heart; her work has been described as “raunchy ‘80s ruin in a display of shamanistic drama.”

Self-taught artist Lisa Howarth specializes in Victorian and Edwardian-inspired photography as The Lonely Pixel, which are printed onto metallic paper or cotton. One of her main inspirations remains Montreal itself. “I moved from Vancouver to Montreal in ’07,” she stated. “Most of my work is photographed here in Montreal.”

Of course, there will be many other artists with many more talents on display, such as Marie-Noëlle Wurm’s magnets and The Cute Institute’s super kawaii Japanese-inspired designs.

5 Craft 7’s Spring Indie Craft Fair takes place March 26 from noon to 5 p.m. at La Sala Rossa.

For more info and pictures, check out 5craft7.blogspot.com.

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