Meet Tara Bursey!

An Ear, My Dear

Tara Bursey is an artist whose practice encompasses sculpture and installation as well as drawing, craft, and self-publishing. In the past two years, she has exhibited extensively throughout Toronto in a diverse range of venues, from storefront window installations and telephone poles to the Textile Museum of Canada, the Ontario Crafts Council, as well as in group exhibitions in Halifax, Saskatoon and Copenhagen. Tara’s most recent projects include coordinating The Portable Library Project and installation programming for City of Craft 2009. She began studies towards a degree in Criticism and Curatorial Practice at OCAD University in September of 2009.

What's one thing that really inspires you and your work these days?
I've been finding it a little hard to get inspired lately. When I lack inspiration, I find it helps to spend time alone walking from one destination to another or puttering around the house. Inspiration always strikes when you're not worrying about how uninspired you feel.

Lately, I've felt most inspired when I've revisited the work of artists I remember having a really strong effect on me when I first started making art. A couple of weeks ago I looked at a catalogue of local artist Louise Noguchi's Compilation Portraits
and though I wouldn't say they've inspired any recent work of mine, I found them really exciting. Some work is so smart and so striking, it makes me feel genuinely excited to be an artist and reminds me why I am one.

What do you like to craft for yourself or for close friends and family only? (ie. do not sell)
Since Christmas, I've been crocheting quite a bit. My grandmother taught me how to crochet when I was a kid, and it's one of those skills that I've always had and messed around with here and there, but never applied towards any serious projects. In December, I took a houseguest to Romni Wools on Queen Street West, and fell in love with Noro Yarn as soon as I laid eyes on it! Their colours, especially the blues and greens and multi-coloured skeins, are mind-blowingly beautiful. I made three scarves in two weeks-- one for myself, one for my mother, and one for a friend. Just as I started to move past scarves and master the granny square, I decided to curb my crochet habit...the irresistible Noro Yarn became far too hard on my pocketbook!

An Ear, My Dear

What's your favorite thing about toronto?
There is so much I love about Toronto...and there are certainly things I don't love about Toronto, too. One of the main things I love about Toronto is even though I am not particularly worldly or well-travelled, I feel like I am because this city is so incredibly multi-cultural. I grew up in Scarborough, spent my teen years loafing around Kensington Market and Chinatown, and then moved to Parkdale when I was 18, so I've almost always lived and spent time in really diverse neighbourhoods. I think that living in such a multi-cultural city has enriched my life and made me a more knowledgeable person.

How do you deal with cold, cold winter nights?
I will answer this question honestly, and risk sounding like a total slob! Tall cans of beer, popcorn, Youtube, listening to records, and watching free movies in bed on my laptop are WAY up there! Aside from that, I've been trying to cook more...making huge pots of healthy, nourishing meals is a good way to stay warm and-- oddly enough-- stay motivated. It's so easy to just let yourself shut down in the middle of winter...cooking and expanding/improving one's culinary repertoire is surprisingly invigorating and has motivated me to keep myself going and not resort to eating out or eating crap.

Heart = organ or emotion?
I hate to sound horribly unromantic, but heart = organ and brain = emotion. No contest.


Meet Allison Wells of Papersnake Jewellery!

Papersnake Jewellery Scissor Necklace

This is the first in a series of tiny introductions to the vendors in the upcoming Love & Rummage Trunk Show happening at the Workroom on February 7. Stay posted here as they answer my hard-hitting queries, or click on over here to check out all their links.

Allison began creating silver jewellery in 2004, almost immediately
upon learning metalsmithing at the Ontario College of Art and Design.
For many years she lived happily in Toronto designing, creating and
selling her creations through her business, Papersnake Jewellery. One
day in the summer of 2008 she caught the traveling bug and abandoned
her life in Toronto as well as her business. While on the road she
adapted new ways to make jewellery that did not require a
metalsmithing studio, primarily hand sewing leather. You can expect to
see a taste of her silver work and her leather work at the upcoming
trunk show!

What's one thing that really inspires you and your work these days?
Using mainly reclaimed materials really inspires me (especially
found leather gloves).

What do you like to craft for yourself or for close friends and family only? (ie. do not sell)
I made two silver solar system necklaces, one for me, and one for
my mom. No one else in the whole world has one!

What's your favorite thing about toronto?
All the beautiful people that live there.

How do you deal with cold, cold winter nights?
Hot Cocoa and cuddles!

heart = organ or emotion?
I think it depends on the shape.


Rust never sleeps (or a new City of Craft designer for 2010)

In a full circle kind of way, today's adventures took me to a familiar water tower (the astute among you may recognize it from Amy Borkwood's 2009 poster design). So what does a December craft fair start doing in January, you ask? Well, plenty. But in this case, I was taking a first meeting to secure our 2010 poster (and more) designer, Nicholas Kennedy of the Trip Print Press. It's a done deal! The 2010 poster, flyers and other printed ephemera will be designed, composited and produced in the shadow of the tower that graced our poster last year. Neat, huh? There is also always a lot to look at when visiting the press.

trip print press (4)

trip print press (5)b

Nicholas is uniquely accomplished as a letterpress artist in this city. He has worked extensively with bands (making gig posters and every manner of media packaging), made fine art prints (when time permits), and has done all sorts of other stuff that I don't know about. I'd link to his portfolio, but Nicholas was talking about a new website that is coming soon so the links would probably break. Just poke around here. It's very exciting to have him on board.

trip print press (7)b

trip print press (8)b

For those who do not know, we employ a different artist to do our annual design each year (thus far myself, Shannon Gerard & Amy Borkwood). Their job is deceptively involved (as Nicholas is soon to discover) including things like printed materials, web banners, print ads, merchandise, swag bags and more. The deal also comes with a table at the show, so look out for Trip Print at the show for the first time in December, too.




The Love and Rummage Trunk Show 2.

Photo by city of craft

Love is in the air and it is time to start thinking about what handmade wonders to give your sweetie on this special day. Why not pick it up at the Love and Rummage Trunk Show 2? Here is a flyer to whet your appetite. Keep checking in with the blog over the next couple of weeks for previews and interviews, oh my!

In the meantime, you can check out our wee web page for all the vendor links. Sneak a peak!