Monday, March 2, 2015

Small Expressions Show, Tulista Gallery, Sidney


Synesthesia #4 Spring Green

I have just spent the day working in a team to install this year's 'Small Expressions Show' at Tulista Community Arts Centre, Sidney-by-the-Sea, BC. When we left the gallery late this afternoon all of the work  was in place and looked so inviting. It looked like a place to spend a couple of hours absorbing what it means to be creative.
Synesthesia #5 Green
The vibe on the Pacific Northwest coast attracts those who want to express their creativity actively. This is particularly so in the town of Sidney and on the Saanich Penninsula where there are literally hundreds of artists living within a small area working in every media.

Synesthesia # 6 Blue Green
The catch with this exhibition, Small Expressions, is every work has to fit within the limitations of being 12 x 12 x 12 or less. For some artists, this is their norm. For other artists, it is a challenge and often the results are surprising. A different side of their creativity surfaces.
This is my 3rd Small Expressions exhibition. I am continuing to show work from my Synesthesia series. The 3 above images are of the work I have entered this year.

Synesthesia #24 Golden Yellow
I entered the above and 2 below works last year.
Synesthesia is a series expressing how I feel the energy of different colours. They are sensing drawings in fabric and thread. I have made 10 and plan to make 24.


Synesthesia #23 Orange Yellow
Tomorrow we meet at the gallery to put up labels and to do the tweaking and tidy up until everything looks perfect.
The exhibition opens Wednesday March 4th, from 10:00 to 4:00pm. I will do my first shift that morning. Every artist who is able to sits with the show twice over the month. The exhibition closes March 29th. The gallery will be open every day except Mondays.

Synesthesia #22 Yellow-orange
The Small Expressions Show is just one of a great many different exhibitions, activities and programs under the umbrella of the very active Community Arts Council of the Saanich Peninsula (CACSP). CACSP is one of the 90 regional arts councils in British Columbia whose mandate is to nurture an appreciation of all the arts on the Saanich Peninsula.


Sunday, March 1, 2015

'Edge of the Forest' Opens

The first exhibition of the Canadian Surface Design Association's 'Edge of the Forest' opens in the 

 Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts. Richmond Hill

 It is up for all of March. There is an opening reception on March 11th.

Here is the rest of the schedule, to date: 

April 20-May 4th, 2015 –  Art Square Gallery Toronto

June 4-July 9, 2015 – Exhibition at Parrot Gallery Belleville, ON

August 15  – October 18, 2015 prior to & during Fibre Arts 2015 Conference, Woody Point, NL


The aim of this juried fibre exhibition is to present a survey of work currently being done by Canadian members of the Surface Design Association

Here is my entry.

'Forest Reliquary' 2014 

Materials: Vintage cotton table cloth, earth pigments, cotton thread, leaf skeletons, deer bones, maple tree samaras, fern spores

Techniques: Earth dyeing, spore printing, hand stitching (furrowing, whipped double running stitch, attachment).



Currently, I am using domestic linens and earth pigments as I explore the biological processes in the Pacific North West rainforest. 

I will be teaching a 2-day, weekend workshop on using earth pigments at the Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts 2015 MISSA June 27 - 28 this summer. Do come and join us if you are interested in learning about working with eco-friendly earth pigments and need a little MISSA Magic in your life MISSA


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Studio Construction - Crawlspace Floor Prep

I don't know if you noticed in the previous post the pile of rusty metal mesh.

I noticed it and put a few pieces of vinegar-soaked cotton between the layers.

Even though the mesh was needed a few hours later, it did leave some worthwhile rust marks on the cloth.


The metal was needed to make the crawlspace foundation ready for the floor. 
Sheets of foam were laid down to insulate the floor against the cold soil. 
A water barrier was laid on top of the foam and sealed with tape. Remember, 'no rising damp' wanted here.
Next rebar (lengths of strong steel) were attached to the foundation wall and protruded out into the crawlspace floor area. This looks like where some strength is needed. I forgot to ask about this feature. 

Here is Jeff cutting the metal mesh to fit and cover the crawlspace foundation area.

Here is the foundation crawlspace ready for the concrete floor to be poured.


Monday, February 23, 2015

Studio - Construction - Crawlspace Foundation

It is always exciting when I look out the window and see yet another big truck arrive. What will it be doing today?

This one backed up close to the construction site then extended out the back a movable conveyor belt.

The driver stood on the crawlspace foundation and operated a remote controller. He directed a chute with a wet gravelly mix onto the floor. Dave and Jeff are ready with rakes in hand.


Jeff spreads the mix out to make it even.

Then he works a compactor over it to make it hard.

Here is the crawlspace foundation ready for the floor to be installed.

All of this concrete will act as a heat sink as its mass will slowly absorb heat over the summer. It will slowly release that heat over the winter. That stored heat will radiate upward into the studio where and when it is needed, i.e. to keep me warm while I am working.
The orientation of the building and the shape of the crawlspace floor is designed to follow the contours of the land. Minimal digging was needed for the foundation and the building will fit snuggly into the sloping site.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Studio - Construction - Foundation Insulation

Here is Jeff adding insulation and waterproofing to the wall down the centre of the crawl space. There is a black sticky waterproof layer between the foam and the concrete. Concrete is porous. It needs a waterproof barrier to stop water from wicking up from the ground and out of the sides of the wall and into the crawl space floor.
Concrete is strong but it is a poor insulator. Jeff is nailing closed cell insulation foam panels to the interior wall to stop the cold from the ground working its way up the wall and out into the crawl space.



This is the crawl space floor drain. The hot water tank will be located directly under the sink, in the crawlspace. This drain is a safety feature, in case the hot water tank fails.


A roll of fabric on a construction site? Who knew?

But before I could think of how I could use this fabric it was being put in place under the perimeter drain pipes. Its job is to stop plant roots from growing into the pipe in search of water then blocking the drain.

I hear lots of power tools being used throughout the day, but the hammer still seems to be the carpenter's main tool.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Studio - Construction - Foundation Waterproofing

In a previous post, I showed the foundation being poured between foam Lego blocks, here
The next step was sticking a waterproof membrane to the outside of the foam blocks - see the blue layer above.
Next the foundation wrap, Delta - MS, was rolled out and nailed in place with orange fasteners that fit into the dimples with a nail driven into the centre.
The black mold strip is yet to be installed on top of the brown foundation wrap.

The wrap is rolled out on the outside of all of the foundation walls.

Here is a diagram from the roll wrapper showing how it protects the foam once the backfill is in place. The dimples channel all water away from the wall and down to the drain at the bottom of the foundation keeping the basement dry. There will be no 'rising damp' in this basement.

Here is the basement wall with its 2 waterproofing layers. An important feature of any building in a rainforest.

A carpenter's tools.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Etsy, Ravenmade Works New Pillows

I'm getting ready to list more pillows on my Etsy Shop, Ravenmade Works Shop, but I want to know more about the textiles they are made of, where they came from, and who made them. I want to include this information in the description of the pillows.

Hand spun, hand woven wool fabric is embroidered with wool in geometric, counted cross stitch designs.

I had a successful bid for them at an auction house. 
They were bags that I took apart and "refreshed" as pillows.

If you know anything about this type of work, could you please add a comment to this post or email me with your suggestions - ravenmade@gmail.com. 
Thank you for satisfying my curiosity.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Morocco - A Country's Food Is Always Interesting

Squash Stall, Middle Atlas Mountains

Carb Shop - pasta, beans, flours

Herb and Spice Shop

Date Shop
There are 24 different types of dates in Morocco.


Olive Shop
Eaten as an appie at lunch and dinner and as a snack anytime.


Olive Shop
Olives pickled in different vinegars, soaked in water to make olive water for cooking.


Vegetable Shop
Fresh winter vegetables come into the medinas every morning from the fertile interior farmlands.


Snail Shop

Escapees look down on the captives.



Cooked Snail Stall
Menu - In the Shell or Snail Soup


Camel Meat Shop
+ Sebastian - he heard a lot of comments as he walked the streets. Finally he asked our guide, Tahar, what people were saying. Tahar laughed because they were calling Sebastian 'Ali Babar'. Ali  Babar had a red beard.

Spicy Olive Shop


Nougat Shop

Onion Delivery 

Fish Market, Essaouira

Freshly Squeezed Juice Shop

As we wandered through the different towns it was so refreshing not to see North American based, international fast food shops and their loud, in-your-face signage. 
We got the impression Moroccans still eat a lot of food prepared from scratch using fresh, locally grown vegetables, free-range raised animals for meat and dairy and many different native herbs and spices for their nutritional and medicinal effects.
There are restaurants, street stalls and hand-carts selling traditional fare and new restaurants featuring nouvelle cuisine still using local, fresh ingredients. 
A foody's paradise.