Showing posts with label Art and Craft. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Art and Craft. Show all posts


Preston Singletary

Preston Singletary is a Native American glass artist who masterly combines traditional Northwest coast Tlingit themes in his modern dynamic glass works.
Preston Singletary - Raven at Dusk (blown and sandcarved glass)

Preston Singletary grew up in the Pacific Northwest. In 1982, Preston started working at a Seattle, Washington glass blowing studio as a night watchman, but his interest in the art of glass eventually saw him joining one of the studio's production teams. He learned the art of glass blowing working with artists in the Seatle area, including Benjamin Moore and Dante Marioni. As a student and assistant, Preston initially focused on mastering the techniques of the European tradition.

Preston Singletary - Metallic Basket - Lake Blue
It was when Preston began to experiment using designs from his Tlingit cultural heritage that his work began to take on a new purpose and direction. Over time, his skill with the material of glass and traditional form line design has strengthened and evolved, positioning him as a highly influential contemporary indigenous artist.

Today, Preston Singletary’s artworks are found in museum collections from The British Museum in London, UK, The National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY to the Handelsbanken in Stockholm, Sweden.
Preston Singletary - Bonfire 2011 (blown and sandcarved glass)

I love how Preston Singletary's works of glass, revolutionizes the belief that Native artists are only best when traditional materials are used.

Photo source:


Alvin Child

Alvin Child is a Haida artist from Alert Bay, British Columbia. Alvin, born in 1962, is a member of the Tsawataineuk band from Kingcome Inlet. The Tsawataineuk (pronounced 'tsa-wa-tay-nook') belong to the Kwakwaka'wakw Indian group.

Alvin Child - Haida Chest

Kingcome Inlet is an isolated fjord set against the breathtaking backdrop of towering mountains on British Columbia’s mainland separated by the Queen Charlotte Strait across the north-end tip of Vancouver Island.

Alvin Child studied native art for about twelve years under the tutelage of John Livingston, a Victoria, BC master wood carver and accomplished artist.

I was drawn to the works of Alvin Child for his great eye for design and form and great respect to the traditional Haida symbols.

Alvin Child - Raven

These photos are some of Alvin Child's silkscreen prints done from 2000 to 2008. They are great examples of the artistic skills of one of today’s exceptional Haida artist.

For information on the history and detailed description on the symbols of art depicted in the Haida culture visit: Haida and the Canadian Museum of Civilization exhibit on The Haida – Children of Eagle and Raven.


I Love Cheese Graffiti

"Graffiti (singular: graffito; the plural is used as a mass noun) is writing or drawings scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place. Graffiti ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings, and has existed since ancient times, with examples dating back to Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire.
The earliest forms of graffiti date back to 30,000 BC in the form of prehistoric cave paintings and pictographs using tools such as Animal bones and pigments."
From Wikipedia 
Over the past several years quite a few graffiti drawings and tags by a 'cheese lover' artist, someone after my own heart, have popped-up here and there around Montreal.
I find these drawings so charming that I am actually using one of my favourites "I love cheese" graffiti as my own avatar.
Here are examples of some of 'I love cheese' graffiti found in Le Plateau, Old Montreal and downtown Montreal.
I Love Cheese

I Love Cheese graffiti

I Love Cheese graffiti

J'aime le fromage

I Love Cheese

I Love Cheese graffiti


Maria Martinez

Maria Martinez posing with her pottery at San Ildefonso 1976

Maria Montoya Martinez was born in 1887 at San Ildefonso Pueblo, a small Tewa Pueblo community north of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Maria learned pottery at an early age from one of her aunts. In San Ildefonso, polychrome pottery was dominant and this is what Maria made at first. Red clay was used to make the body of the pot and over this a white clay slip was applied and polished. The wares were then decorated with either rust-orange, brown and black paintings over the white background.

Maria Martinez Ceremonial corn storage jar, ca. 1920 H. 15.2 cm
Maria had a strong interest and willingness to experiment with techniques and this helped in preventing the art of pottery from going into extinction, in a developing world where inexpensive Spanish tin ware and Anglo enamelware was replacing the traditional containers and cooking vessels made by the Pueblo potters. Maria paid attention to quality of line and form and perfected the art of making pots in the traditional method of making pottery with coils instead of with a potter's wheel. Maria was able to coil large pots with thin walls and perfect symmetry.

Jar and plate by Maria and Julian
Jar, ca. 1935-40, H. 38 cm. - Platter, Maria and Julian, ca. 1940 D. 38.1 cm.

Maria married painter Julian Martinez, he along with other members of her family through the years, helped with the decoration of her pieces as she expertly executed pots at three times the speed of other potters.
In 1909 Maria was asked to replicate examples of black-on-black pottery that had been excavated by an archaeology dig led by Professor Edgar Lee Hewett. After many challenges and experimentation Maria and Julian's skills and techniques developed into a business for the renowned black ware pottery.

Maria and Julian black jar and platter
Maria and Julian, Jar, ca. 1939, H. 45.7 cm. - Platter ca. 1936, D. 50.8 cm.

Maria continued to live in San Ildefonso till her death at age 93. The pottery of Maria and her family has become increasingly more collectible and difficult to find.

Above photos taken from The Living Tradition of Maria Martinez by Susan Peterson
Read more on Maria and her family who continued the tradition of making pottery.

My inspiration
It was Maria Martinez' pottery that inspired me and ignited my interest and appreciation in the art of the Pueblo Pottery of the American Southwest.

My own Maria Martinez inspired pottery
Here are examples of some of my own hand coiled pottery pieces inspired by Maria Martinez.



Nampeyo with numerous examples of her work. C-1901

Nampeyo was born in the village of Hano on First Mesa in the north east of Arizona around 1860. Hano was inhabited by descendants of Tewa-speaking Pueblo people from the Northern Rio Grande river in Arizona. From her people the Tewas, Nampeyo learned the art of molding and shaping the clay to make beautiful cooking vessels. She learned the art of making pots with fine designs from her grandmother who was a Hopi potter.
Nampeyo and Lesou jar
Top and side view of jar made by Nampeyo and Lesou circa 1895-1910

Nampeyo established a name for herself making pottery with designs inspired by ancient Sikyátki pottery shards that her husband Lesou had excavated from the nearby abandoned ruins. These well-styled designs and geometric patterns are from a type of pottery dating to the 14th and 15th centuries presently called Sikyátki Polychrome common in the Hopi villages of the southwest.
From the time of her teens until her death in 1942, Nampeyo developed her personal style that earned her international legendary status. Her style of pottery has also served as a foundation and inspiration for her children and subsequent generations to follow in her footsteps and become master pottery artists themselves.
My own Nampeyo inspired pottery
Here are examples of some of my own hand coiled pottery pieces inspired by Nampeyo.

Nampeyo pottery photos from American Indian Art magazine - Summer 1976

Dextra Quotskuyva

Dextra Quotskuyva potter
Dextra Quotskuyva was born in 1928 at Polacca on the Hopi First Mesa in Arizona. She is a fourth-generation descendant of renowned potter Nampeyo. Today, Dextra's pottery is among the most highly regarded of all Native American pottery.
Dextra Quotskuyva, Shard Jar,
Dextra Quotskuyva, Shard Jar, Hopi clay, vegetal and mineral paints, tradionally fired, 3 1/2" high, 13" diameter, 1981
Dextra's pottery is fundamentally rooted to the ancient traditional pottery of her Tewa-Hopi people. As with her great-grandmother Nampeyo, Dextra has combined her fine technique and her own creative style to perfection. No wonder she has received numerous honours including the Arizona Living Treasures Award and Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dextra Quotskuyva jar
Dextra Quotskuyva, Awotovi-style jar, Hopi clay, vetal and mineral paints, tradionally fired, 5 1/2" high, 8 3/4" diameter, 1996
Photo source: Indian Artist Magazine - Dextra Quotskuyva -  Listening to The Clay - Summer 1996


Keith Haring

The Brooklyn Museum will be exhibiting the early works of Keith Haring this spring from March 16 to July 8, 2012. The exhibition will be featuring Keith’s works circa 1978 to 1982 from when he first arrived in New York City through to when he started his studio and began making public and political art on the streets.
Keith Haring
I fell in love with Keith Haring’s work after attending a live Grace Jones show in New York in the 80’s. Keith not only painted Grace in his original heavy brush stroke style but he painted a large circular canvas and the canvas stunningly became Grace’s costume gown as she was hoisted up. A true masterpiece!
Grace Jones with Keith Haring design gown


Handcrafted Wooden Cheese Board

Handcrafted Wooden Serving Board by Stinson Studios
This Christmas we received a lovely handcrafted wooden platter for our family Christmas exchange. The beautiful maple platter was created by Stinson Studios.  The handcrafted serving board is made from a single piece of selectively harvested wood and then cut to highlight the natural beauty of the maple wood. The board is designed with a slight dip ideal to serve a pâté or a soft cheese, nuts or olives.  It’s quite the ideal cheese serving board platter and a lovely handcrafted piece of art
Stinson Studios is a family business located in rural Eastern Ontario. They create wonderful wooden bowls and structural burls. Their wooden pieces truly reveal and accentuate the beauty of nature.
Un gros merci à Clément, Émile, Julie et Patrick pour le joli cadeau de Noël.