I hit up the One of a Kind Show yesterday to check out this year’s bounty of artisanal goodies and handcrafted objects. I scoured every aisle, occasionally stopping to refuel on maple syrup treats, jam samples and other goodies from the flavours section. It’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it. In addition to all the great products at the show, there is always a nice buzz of eager shoppers and vendors excited to discuss their crafts and creations. If you’ve never been, it’s worth a visit! The show runs from Wednesday, March 28th to Sunday, April 1st at the Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition place.
There were lots of interesting, unique products at the show, but a few really stood out for me. Here are some of my faves!
Heyday Design – Modern Porcelain with a vintage beat
From her studio in Vancouver, Claire Madill creates functional modern porcelain ware from everyday objects such as vintage Mason Jars, straw baskets, and plastic take-out tubs. Using them to create molds, she transfers the intricacies of the objects into the finished porcelain product. The smooth, milky white vessels almost seem like a tangible memory of the objects themselves. I loved everything in this booth!
‘My basement is filled with old jackets’, Hillary told me when I was chatting with her yesterday at the show. In her Kingston,Ontario based studio,Hillary creates a variety of products made from new and recycled materials and stuffed with polyfil. I absolutely love these animated little characters, and can’t think of a better use for those old jackets!
Bookhou is a multidisciplinary studio that specializes in natural handmade materials created by cofounders, John Booth and Arounna Khounnorag. I am lucky enough to live around the corner from their Dundas West shop, and try to peek inside whenever I’m passing by. I always love their ceramics and textiles, and may have to grab a couple of these pillows for my sofa!
Painted Turtle Wooden Toys
These beautifully hand crafted wooden rattles and animal figures really caught my eye. For the environmentally and socially conscious baby, and their concerned parents, these toys are made from local and responsibly managed and harvested regional hardwoods, and are treated with organic food grade hempseed oil from a farm in Manitoba. The founders, James and Veronica, turned their passion and concern over the safety of children’s toys into this home-business. Made in Muskoka, their products are 100% non-toxic…no Phthalates or BPA here.
Looking to add a touch of Canadiana to your life? Nicole is a Toronto based graphic designer and screenprinter. She creates these super cool Canadiana pillows and textiles, as well as graphic material like posters, wedding invitations, t-shirts and small business collateral. Her stuff is really great, and so was her booth, consisting of particle board and a couple strings of lights. Very Canadian.
Like the name implies, Tea Dot is a Toronto based company that produces high quality, globally sourced, loose leaf tea to the world. The owners Kara and Warren are tea fanatics, and have lots of fun creating unique blends like drunk irish riser, butter truffle, and gojiberry pomegranate, just to name a few. They have an online store with all the details and blends available.
Ashley Coulson illustrates and screen prints all her products by hand in her home studio in Cambridge, Ontario. She spends her days designing and screen printing all sorts of custom paper creations from wedding invitations to stationary to greeting cards. I loved her typewriter stationary, and she even has a stationary survival kit for those of us that still partake in the lost art of handwritten notes. She has an online shop, and be sure to check out her blog, Tickle Me Turquoise.
Ateliers Des Cent Ans
Renaud Sauve, formerly a prop designer for Cirque du Soleil, spends his days perfecting his craft from his studio in Irlande, Quebec, a remote area of the eastern townships. The juxtaposition of the delicate, simple porcelain with the rugged wood products really served to highlight the elegance of the porcelain, as if it needed any help! I love the sophistication, delicacy and simple lines of his porcelain ware, which has a kind of old world with contemporary twist feel.