Featured Artisans - Season 1
Toy Maker of Lunenburg
In 2015, Ray Syvitski and Elke Uribe purchased the Toy Maker of Lunenburg business (org. 1979). From the well-rounded corners (meaning no splinters or rough edges) to the vibrant certified non-toxic stains and finishes, Ray and Elke deliver quality games and toys for kids of all ages. Their toys are not only fun, they are built to last - the kind of toys you can feel good about passing down through generations!
Rick is a custom bladesmith and toolmaker living in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Rick creates beautiful and simple designs that produce functional and reliable hard use tools. Rick fabricates high-end, custom knives and leather products used by outdoor enthusiasts, art knife collectors, sailors, chefs, re-enactors, historic replica consumers and military personnel.
Max is a professional musician who has been the principal bassist of Symphony Nova Scotia since 1986. Max is also an accomplished artisan as a bow maker. Max has the unique distinction of playing a bass and bows he made himself, and has made bows for other musicians from around the world. Max loves playing chamber music, and has formed the Gatto Dolce Duo with cellist Colin Matthews.
Philip is a native of Halifax, Nova Scotia who opened his studio in 1987. Philip offers a full range of services, including customized stained glass window design and fabrication, as well as restoration, repair, and maintenance. His commissioned works in leaded glass, stained glass and sandblasted glass are installed throughout Halifax and its surrounding communities.
Laurel Hill (designer) & Allan Hill (goldsmith) are the proud owners of Northwood Rings, a custom jewelry making company in Bridgewater NS. With a focus on hand-crafted natural beauty and earth-first practices, their mission is to provide outstanding customer service along with solid, beautiful craftsmanship in the creation of their jewelry.
Kaas Ghanie and Kate Grey are ceramic artisans who live and work in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Kaas and Kate both graduated from NSCAD University with bachelor’s degrees in Ceramics and minors in art history. Their studio is located at the Wonder’neath Art Society in the North End of Halifax. Kaas and Kate both teach and are active members in the Halifax Arts Community.
Bradford has been a folk artist creating unique and vibrant pieces for over 30 years. He is well known for his carvings of various animals, small to life-size human figures, and the red and black checkerboard frames on his paintings. Bradford still does Fork Art the old way, drying his wood outdoors, using a chainsaw to cut it out and then using a carving knife to refine, and then paint it.
Veronica is a furniture maker with a diploma of professional studies in cabinetmaking and over 10 years of experience exploring and teaching woodworking. Since 2016, Veronica has been a teacher and wood studio technician at the Centre for Craft NS since 2016. In 2019 Veronica published her 1st graphic novel – “Langosh and Peppi”.
Jason and his “shop elf” (wife Colleen) are the proud owners of Harmony Custom Woodcraft, located in Harmony, Nova Scotia. Jason specializes in building, repairing and customising traditional cedar canvas canoes. Jason will tell you that if you give him 80 hours he will give you a canoe. Jason’s canoes are as beautiful as they are functional, each a unique vessel that harkens back to the original transportation “highways” of Canada.
Lake City Leather was founded in 2019 by Paula, who had been dreaming of starting her own leather goods brand after years of designing and making a variety of goods in the textile world. Lake City Leather offers a line of hand made bags and small leather goods with clean and classic lines made from durable and lasting leather. Every piece is designed and hand crafted by Paula in her home studio in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
Rachel de Condé
Rachel is a ceramics artist living on a 6-acre farm near Stewiacke, Nova Scotia. Rachel has always been working with her hands, imagining, and building. She was encouraged by her parents to play and build which led her on an early path to becoming an artisan. Rachel takes her inspiration from the rich colours she finds in her garden and in her natural surroundings.
Scott is an artist and blacksmith living and working in New Ross, Nova Scotia. Scott specializes in custom ironwork. He was introduced to the world of blacksmithing while working at Ross Farm Museums. Scott has been a working blacksmith for close to three decades. Scott can put commonly used items to an artistic expression and this has brought a spiritual side to his work. His work is an avenue for his beliefs. Scott’s passion can be seen in each one of his finished pieces.
Al is a metal sculptor who owns and operates Avon River Metalworks. Located in Falmouth, Nova Scotia, Al’s shop overlooks the beautiful Avon River. Al’s genuine smile and upbeat personality are reflected in his impressive and wonderful creations. Al enjoys the challenge of sculpting metal into long-lasting practical designs and artistic representations of nature with signature details.
Lesley fell in love with weaving when she wove her first cloth in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Lesley's passion for weaving is sustained by “endless delight in the physical nature of this medium”. Lesley divides her time among artistic endeavors, production weaving, and instructing. “Armstrong Textiles” is located in Upper LaHave Nova Scotia.
In 2013, Will experimented melding his love for drawing and painting with his love for woodwork to develop the wooden mosaics for which he has become known. His technique involves cutting out designs from sheets of plywood, then meticulously sanding, painting, varnishing and gluing the pieces back together. The result—a whimsical and quintessentially Maritime style of art with vibrant colours and strong, curving lines.
Hilda de Weever
Hilda has been in business creating wonderful pieces for over 40 years. de Weever’s Wovens is located in her backyard studio in the picturesque Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia. At de Weever’s Wovens, custom-fitted clothes are a specialty. Quality is a priority, as is colour. And as Hilda says, “The end product should be affordable and look nice on someone.”
Darrell started making & selling pens in 2002 when pen making was in its infancy. He has grown from his humble beginnings as an amateur enthusiast a master artisan. Darrell now has the largest wooden pen site in Canada, with innovative designs and exotic woods from around the world. Darrell’s passion includes all aspects of pen making, the production and technical side, searching for interesting woods, visiting local wood suppliers, participating in local gallery exhibits, and conversing with pen enthusiasts from all over the world.
Carley is a textile artist and researcher currently based out of K'jipuktuk/ Halifax, Nova Scotia. Carely focuses on the versatility of off-loom textile processes such as rope- making, knotting, crochet and braiding, and how they can be translated for a wider audience and used interdisciplinarity. Carley’s current textile work explores the balance between machine technology, and traditional analogue processes.
Mengnan graduated from the BFA program at NSCAD University and completed her MFA degree at the State University of New York at New Paltz with a full-tuition scholarship. Mengnan has a perceptive, sensitive eye and mind. Her mixed cultural and educational background provides her with a unique outlook on the world. She reconsiders Western society through traditional Chinese culture and rethinks Chinese society by looking at it from an international perspective
James is a master saddle maker in Mount Uniacke, Nova Scotia. He has been a consummate craftsperson in the trade for over ten years. James is devoted to quality in all of his products. "I will only use the best leather, the finest handcrafted saddle trees, the highest grade silver trim, the best of all, and any materials required”. When it comes to craftsmanship, James takes things slowly to ensure exceptional quality on all of his pieces. In addition to saddles, James makes a variety of small leather goods.
Rose Window Stained Glass is a professional stained glass studio in beautiful Terence Bay, Nova Scotia. Owner Lynette Richards is a Master Artisan creating and restoring beautiful stained glass pieces throughout Atlantic Canada and beyond. Lynette is uniquely qualified to design and build stained glass windows rugged enough to outlive us, and beautiful enough to be worthy of longevity!
Al is a self-taught artisan who began his artistic journey when his wife told him to clean out the garage. Instead, Al turned his "junk" into art. Al has found inspiration in the materials in his environment and throughout nature to create upcycled metal sculptures and folk art. Al is part of a co-operative Art Gallery in Halifax, Art 1274 Hollis Gallery.
Rob is the owner of Eternity Chainsaw Carvings located on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. Rob was born in Sydney, Nova Scotia and is a proud Maritimer. An award winning, full-time power carver, Rob is known for his roadside carving demonstrations and unique creations. Rob is inspired by the animals and environment around him.
Meryl is an artist, author, speaker and facilitator who specializes in connecting people with their creativity. Colour, texture, joy and self-compassion are the key features of Meryl’s beautifully crafted hooked rugs and her books about her journey from homeopath to artist and journal writer. Meryl’s home studio is in Dartmouth NS, where she hooks and spins looking out at the Halifax Harbour.
Julian is a ceramic artisan who is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Julian studied at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Julian uses modern techniques including 3D printing to explore the angular forms of his pieces of art. He is passionate about ceramic art and its ability to record and communicate complex concepts through material culture.
John has always been interested in jewelry making, buying pieces for himself, and making bead and wire jewelry for his wife and daughter. Upon retiring in 2011, John decided to turn his interest into a 2nd career. Taking courses through the Nova Scotia Centre for Craft and Design and the Metal Arts Guild of Nova Scotia, John has honed his skills and techniques over the past few decades. John’s work is hand-constructed in metal, primarily using fine and sterling silver.