From nostalgic pins to hanging buoys, this fun collection of handcrafted treasures is a reminder of the artistic riches that are on display from coast to coast.
1. Evelyn Neves
Noble & Co.
Five years ago, Evelyn Neves' grandfather—a beekeeper—offered her a bucket of leftover wax. She accepted and tried her hand at candle making. "I absolutely love the process," says the 25-year-old. "The fact that it comes straight from nature is inspiring to me." She makes her unique candles (we love the ice cream cones) while studying design in Vancouver.
2. Lisa Pointon-Reico
It started with a romantic gesture. "My husband made me a concrete pendant that drew compliments and attracted the interest of a local store owner," says jewellery designer Lisa Pointon-Reico, 40. A passion for modern architecture led Pointon-Reico and her husband, Sean Reico, to design necklaces, bracelets, earrings and bow ties using resins, concrete and Corian.
3. Marie-Joël Turgeon
"Our work is inspired by the East Coast—its landscape, architecture and lifestyle, and the effect of the sun, sea salt and wind," says Marie-Joël Turgeon, 36, who started to play with pottery 20 years ago. Today, Atelier Trèma is a full-time gig for Turgeon and her husband, Jordan Lentink. Her concrete-like dishware is popular, but it's her hanging buoys—indicative of the region—that really stand out.
4. Natasha Wittke
During a transitional period in her life in 2013, Natasha Wittke wanted to start a meaningful project. "Creating my own brand and product was a challenge I was ready for," says Wittke, 37. "I'm an avid canoeist, so the paddle was a natural canvas for me to start with." Her inspiration comes from the cherrywood she uses and the outdoors. "I spend time in nature, by the water, where I can decompress and allow ideas to flow."
5. Jean Ottosen
It was 1985 and Jean Ottosen needed a break from her 10-month-old colicky baby. Her sister-in-law suggested she try rug hooking, and she hasn't looked back. "I use playful clouds to express the wild skies of Saskatchewan," says the 57-year-old. "My Prairie Sky series shows blooming fields of canola and fanciful cloud formations. I haven't seen paisley clouds in our skies, but I can certainly imagine them there."
"Our brainstorming sessions can be off the wall," say Lauren Stanley (above left), 44, and Shauna Hartsook, 33, the talent behind super-creative enamel pins, key chains, handkerchiefs and apparel. "We try to make products that will make people laugh or even shock them, but it's all in good fun," they say of their quirky line. Double