Categories
Clothing and Accessories

Jean-Louis Mireault Silk Art Scarves

Canadian Silk Painter Jean-Louis Mireault

Mireault – hand painted silk artist.

The ancient method of silk making began sometime between 3500 and 2000 BC with the use of silkworm moth cocoons to produce cloth. It is believed that the ancient technique of painting on silk began in around 470 BC during the Neolithic period by the Hans dynasty who used it for recording on scrolls. It remained as an art in China for approximately a thousand years, until the later part of the first millennium BC when the Silk Road was opened, spreading the skills to other lands. This artistic expression later developed to include mythical creatures and human forms on silk.
Around 300 AD the art of silk painting travelled to Japan. During the crusades, in the 1200s, silk production began to spread to many states in Italy. By the Middle Ages changes in the way it was manufactured, with the invention of the spinning wheel, allowed silk production to extend to other areas in Western Europe. Later in the 1300s, artists began using colour on silk. By the 1800s the beginning of the industrial revolution made silk available to many parts of the world.
From this long history around the world, artists have brought the skill of silk painting to Canada as they settled here from other countries. This has led to a flourishing community of painters across Canada, lending their own interpretations to the designs they create. At The Shop, we have presented several works from Canadian artists over the years. One of our long-term suppliers has been Jean-Louis Mireault from Verchères, Quebec.
Mireault silk scarves
Hand painted silk scarves, Canadian artist Mireault

In 1978, Jean-Louis Mireault began painting on silk. His wife was his early teacher who insisted that he create from his own images and artistic talent. The process has not changed over the years. Perfected in France the technique was referred to as ‘Serti’ or ‘gutta resist’. All lines in the chosen drawings are still drawn on paper and then this paper is placed under the silk and copied with a pencil overtop of the silk. Using brushes, the artist places the French silk dyes to create the beautiful colours. The pencil marks fade within a day and what is left is art. The process does not stop here. Though silk is the strongest natural fibre for its weight, even stronger than steel, the painted silk gains durability by leaving it in a professional steamer for approximately four hours. Then it is washed, ironed and stretched on a wooden frame to create silk paintings.
Mireault also uses the process of ‘batik’ to create beautifully coloured shapes that adorn his silk scarves. This is a wax-resist dyeing technique that is applied to the entire piece of silk. A technique that originated in Indonesia.
Silk scarves, Mireault
Another selection of the colours of Mireault scarves available

In 2002, Mireault was honoured with a medal for his significant artistic contribution in Canada which was presented to him by Queen Elizabeth II on her Golden Jubilee Year visit.
Mireault has participated in many art exhibits in France, Portugal, Spain, U.S.A. and Tunisia. He was recognized in 2011 by SPIN (Silk Painters International) as a Master Silk Painter. A great honour for the artist who has been creating art for over forty years.
As one of our silk artists in The Shop For All Reasons, Mireault’s beautiful scarves and wraps are well recognized and appreciated as beautiful wearable art.

Categories
Decor

Hoselton Sculptures – Art in Aluminum

Hoselton Sculptures – Art in Aluminum

At The Shop we have built relationships with many Canadian artists and their studios. One of our longest and closest relationships have been with Hoselton Studio, located just outside Colborne Ontario. We have offered a wide range of their sculptures and have enjoyed a tour of their operations during a visit several years ago. Their expansive studio is located near the ‘giant apple’ that you pass as you head east along the 401.
hoselton studio logo
It was here in 1967 where brothers Gord and Carl Hoselton decided to use easily obtained raw materials such as scrap metal and marble from local quarries, to apply their artistic talents. They created a range of sculptures from which they formed moulds to cast reproductions in aluminum.
Now 50 years later, Holselton Studio continues creating over 500 unique sculptures. Their artform begins as drawings and, with a collaborative approach, they are transformed into luminous aluminum sculptures, made from recycled alloy. A whole team is involved with this creation, using perfected techniques to cast, clean and polish the final product.
Ultimately the company was passed down to the next generation of Hoseltons. Gord and Carl’s daughters, Jan and Carol, took over the studio and now Jan Hoselton is the owner.

Their extensive and time-consuming process of sand casting was perfected by Gord and Allan Butters over 40 years ago. The sand cast is taken from the original image and a 2-piece mold is created. Heated to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit, the molten aluminum is poured into a new mould and then cooled.

When completed, the sculpture takes on a beautiful sheen either in a shiny or brushed finish. The simplicity of design of each piece is what creates a quiet elegant connection to nature and our beautiful country of Canada.
Hoselton’s Art in Aluminum have been presented to Heads of State, Prime Ministers, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Queen Elizabeth II as well as gifts on behalf of the Canadian Gov’t.
Their pieces are a popular item gifted to foreign visitors or brought to other countries as gifts by both business and personal travelers. Several versions of loons are available, varying in size and pose.

hoselton loon with chicks sculpture
The popular loon with chicks mounted sculpture on dark marble.

Inukshuks, bears, beavers and moose are also representative of Canada, and all can be mounted on marble creating a stunning look.
Inukshuk circle on white marble
Five inukshuks in a circle mounted on white marble.

tree of life in aluminum
The Tree of Life – can also be mounted.

Categories
mens grooming skin and beauty

Walton Wood Farm

Walton Wood Farm

Walton Wood Farm Logo
It all started on a farm in Bailieboro Ontario, June 2014. Leslie had grown up on a cherry farm. Along with her husband Peter, a retired farmer, they purchased a former dairy farm as their future home. Shortly after, they began making bath salts in their country kitchen. The early beginnings of a start-up business called Walton Wood Farm. Now, they have created over 85 consciously crafted, personal care products for women, men and recently for pets. Leslie had been on Season 11 of Dragon’s Den, came away with an offer, and her company has just kept on growing into one that cares deeply for small town communities and their heritage farms.

Now, I must take you back to the first time we met Leslie. We were at the August Toronto Gift Show in 2014 and came upon this very personable person, wearing an apron who had a very humorous display of women’s bath salts that she had created and designed in her farmhouse kitchen. The packaging was great, using glass milk bottles and the labelling was hilarious. We decided it was a great find for our shop and went with it. Shortly after, Leslie travelled across to Streetsville, and met us at the store carrying a pig under her arm. Now, this was not your average pig. This was a cute, genuine ceramic pig, whom Leslie introduced as Walton, the mascot of the company and representing their vegan and animal cruelty free stance.

Walton
Walton – the Mascot

The beginnings of a great relationship between Walton Wood Farm and The Shop, their display area has increased as their line has grown to include many women’s and men’s grooming products and now a new line for your pets.

Their beauty and personal care products are also consciously clean; free of SLS, paraben, phthlate dye-free, and gluten free. They also contain essential oils and butters. As Leslie explained to us back in the beginning, product scent lines were named after her own life experiences such as Me Time, Dear Mom, Week from Hell, Rebel Girl, Beach Babe, Birthday Girl, Canadian Girl, Nurse’s Rescue, Winter’s A B*TCH and BETTER B’ver.
The Men’s line contains Aftershave Balm, Beard Balm, Beard Wash, Body Wash and shampoo, Body and Shaving soap in great scents such as The Gentleman, The Adventurer, The Wanderer, The Canadian, The Musician, Men Don’t Stink, Boys Don’t Stink, Proud Cock. All products are alcohol free as well.
I will discuss each line in more detail over the next few blogs.
Want to see more of Leslie and her history? Here are two of her videos
RBC Video

Dragons Den

Categories
Jewellery

WhiteLotus Design – Jewellery from Edina Racz

The beach is not always a place, sometimes it’s a feeling. – Unknown
To look at sea glass one cannot help but feel totally relaxed, peaceful and yet energized. All the hues of blue, aqua, seafoam, periwinkle, pale blue and turquoise create the image of being at the waters edge, touching the coolness, feeling its movement, hearing its call.

Sea Glass is known as a reverse gem. Unlike traditional gems, they are actual glass bottles and jars that over many years have been discarded, broken down, smoothed by the movement of the waves and sand of the sea and found on the shore as frosted bits of glass in all shapes and colours.
As natural sea glass is now rare to find, cultured sea glass is used. Cultured sea glass is recycled glass material that has been processed by hand in order to recreate the frosted matte finish of weathered sea glass.

Edina, the creator of WhiteLotus jewellery, has designed a beautiful collection using Cultured Sea Glass. Growing up, she was surrounded by nature and was inspired by the natural elements of clouds, rivers, rocks and sand. As a graduate in Graphic Design at Georges Brown College, she continued her fascination with materials, form and structure and took courses in metalsmithing and jewellery making. From her small studio in Southern Ontario she has been busy creating her spring and summer collection. Within her cultured sea glass collection, she uses various motifs such as silver cranes, trees of life, Moroccan buds, owls and lotus flowers as well as geometric forms within the composition of her pieces. The necklaces, cuffs and earrings are inspirational.
The creation process behind her second collection is sculptural silver wire weaving with gemstones and crystals nestled within sterling silver and/or 14k gold vermeil. She calls this collection Satori, a Buddhist word meaning enlightenment. As Edina states, she feels a very earth consciousness. She is inspired by nature and withdraws from a “disposable lifestyle”. Each piece is individually handmade and “crafted keeping colour, balance, structure and beauty in mind”. She works independently and refers to herself as ‘owner, maker, designer, creator’
White Lotus was introduced into The Shop in 2018. As with most of our local artisans, we host Edina and her pieces at various times throughout the year. At these trunk shows Edina also shows her limited-edition and one-of-a-kind designs. Join our email list or watch our website for upcoming events.

Categories
Jewellery

Visit to Anne-Marie Chagnon in Montreal

Anne-Marie Chagnon

Some of our suppliers and reps have been with us for the 16 years that we have owned The Shop. SRM Sales is one of our long term reps for independent artists.  We met both Sandra and her husband Ray through their previous relationship with The Shop.  They have represented many Canadian artisans throughout the years, with Anne-Marie Chagnon, being a long-term jewellery line.  Though Ray has sadly left us, Sandra continues to represent Chagnon’s studio as one of her principal lines. Chagnon has been one of our highest profile artists, who for over two decades has been creating original collections.

Chagnon’s Studio, with Judith showing us the display of classic pieces.

Anne-Marie was trained at The Fine Arts Faculty at the University of Quebec in Montreal, starting her studio in 1995. She chose to create, produce and assemble her jewellery in Montreal. Early in her career, in 2003, she was invited to create exclusive jewellery for Cirque de Soleil. This partnership lasted for a decade.  She has been known and acclaimed as an artist jeweller, designing collections that are sold in five continents though museums, galleries and boutiques.  Also acclaimed by fashion icon, Iris Apfel, who included Chagnon’s jewellery in a collection of artworks sold at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem Massachusetts.

Anne-Marie Chagnon is known as a contemporary, multidisciplinary artist creating paintings, sculptures and jewellery. Her ideas are first fashioned on paper, followed by creating wax molds of her jewellery components. Once the design is established, the jewellery is created by hand.  Using nickel-free, lead-free and cadmium-free Pewter, its raw form is melted and cast in her foundry located in her Montreal studio. A selection of Iridescent glass, baroque pearls, carved resin and resin glaze, voluptuous PVC, gold, bronze, leather, wood is used to create collections that are as fashionable as they are timeless.

 

Examples of Anne-Maries creative process, with artist boards, moulds and material samples.

The 2018 Collection “Point of Origin” reflects “The Power of the Circle”.  It is a powerful, beautiful collection that was introduced this past spring. John and I had the great pleasure to have Sandra P., the Sales Director for Anne-Marie’s Studio, introduce the fall and winter collection that was shown recently in New York and Toronto.  Fabulous colours such as ochre, carmine, emerald, tan, porto, cognac, lichen, lazuli, rose clay, ink, black marble was swirled into outstanding design.

Immersed in her jewellery, we were reminded of how Anne-Marie is an impressionistic artist. She is mindful of being herself and not bowing to trends.

Sandra P. said it best: Anne-Marie is always in a creative state. She is ever present in her surroundings, present in the world around her. She sees, feels, experiences all the details and beauties of life, making them part of her canvas. Being a part of the whole is what it means to be human.

 

Loretta with Sales Director Sandra in Anne-Marie Chagnon’s show room.

Anne-Marie’s jewellery is her signature. Her pieces are recognized as part of her creative journey, always evolving, timeless and classic.  The uniqueness of her designs makes each of her pieces instantly recognized around the world as a ‘Chagnon’.

Categories
Jewellery

Anne-Marie Chagnon Trunk Sale

Anne-Marie Chagnon Trunk Show Saturday May 7th

We will be featuring the newest collection from Anne-Marie Chagnon. There will be an extended selection of necklaces, bracelets and earrings as well as a collection of rings from earlier releases. Join us and Sandra Ferrier, the local representative, on Saturday May 7th. You will receive a gift with every Chagnon purchase, as well enter your name for a draw to win one of Anne-Maries pieces.