NEWS

Meet the Sponsors: NSCAD University

November 29, 2016 | Halifax Crafters Society

NSCAD University is our Fresh Catch Sponsor this year, and fittingly so. Our Fresh Catch vendors are emerging makers and artists with little experience selling their work. Through this program we give people who haven’t sold at a Halifax Crafters market before an opportunity to test the waters and show their work to the community. We are so glad to have them supporting our newest crafters and us.

Many of our vendors are NSCAD graduates (or current students). We asked a few of them about their craft and how their NSCAD journeys influenced their work.

Tamara Oake

Tamara Oake

 

How and when did you start your business?

In summer 2015 I made my first flower press. I made it for myself to use as a convenient way to press flowers and once I realized just how convenient it was to use, I thought that they would be a great way to dip my toes into an entrepreneurial project. My first time selling the presses was one year ago at the NSCAD 2015 Holiday Popup.

Why did you start your business?

I’m currently a Textile student in my fourth year at NSCAD. I started selling my flower presses as a way to get my name out there and also test selling my handmade objects to see if it was something that I wanted to continue doing after I graduate.

Tell us a little about your creative process — how do you create?

I’m always thinking of new ideas and ways to use my creativity. Sometimes I find it overwhelming and want to dive into all the ideas but lately I’ve been trying to focus on certain projects, really exploring their potential. I usually start a creative project with a plan (I’m definitely a lists kind of girl) but I allow myself to have fun and experiment with my materials. This semester my professor, Jennifer Green, has opened my eyes to the importance of connecting with your materials, I feel like my creative process has been enhanced because of my new way of thinking.

What lesson did NSCAD teach you that has most stuck with you?

NSCAD has taught me so many lessons. I think that the biggest lesson I’ve received is that there is such a strong creative community in Halifax and all of Nova Scotia. People want to know what you’re up to, and they want to help you achieve your passions.

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What was your favourite class and why?

My favourite class was Intermediate Dye and Print. It was in that class that I learned the process of combining natural dyes and screen-printing, which is what I’m exploring now in my practice.

Tell us about your favourite professor — what did you learn from them?

This is a very tough question. All of my professors at NSCAD have been so awesome. It’s crazy to me, the amount of commitment and time the professors put into helping students achieve their goals. I think one of my favourite professors would be Lesley Armstrong; she was always so generous with her time and made sure everyone understood, and always had a smile on her face.

When will you graduate from NSCAD?

I will be graduating from NSCAD this coming spring.

What do you want people to know about your work?

This year in my studio class I am designing, screen-printing and naturally dying a line of interior textiles. All of the dyes I’m using are from plants and food scraps from Nova Scotia that were collected by me and my community. I want my work to show that I am striving towards using local resources and a sustainable/ethical processes. I want to show that there is beauty in handmade products that you can’t find in mass produced items. I also want to show the magic of the natural colours that we can get from around us.

Check out Tamara’s work at our Winter Market and on her website

Hannah Preston

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How and when did you start your business?

I started Craftisan Weave Co in September 2015. I had been producing scarves for family and myself in my studio at NSCAD. Through posting my work on social media and receiving such positive feedback I decided to start making and selling scarves to friends. Through word of mouth and my following on Instagram I was delighted with the amount of orders I was getting and it really motivated me to grow my business, build up stock and to develop my first venture.

Why did you start your business?

One of my main focuses in my last year at NSCAD was to make sure I kept designing and weaving once I had graduated. Having such a strong support system from professors and students I took advantage of creating various prototypes in different styles, colors and patterns whilst I still had the feedback and resources. This really helped me to develop a line of scarves that were perfectly finished and I was happy to put my name to. Before graduating I was very lucky to be able to buy the loom I had been working on which made it able for me to build a studio at home so I could carry on to expand my business.

Tell us a little about your creative process — how do you create?

When I took the Introductory Weaving class, I loved the control I was able to have over the loom and the endless options I could achieve with Textiles. My main goal for my work is to try and achieve the perfect fusion between traditional craft and modern design. The best way for me to create is by trial and error, I’ll weave multiple products and samples until I find something I love and can work with developing a line of. When creating new products I make a finished product that I am completely satisfied with and then slightly adjust it with color and patina changes, and even the way I finish the ends until I’m completely satisfied. I can then move on to creating a new line of scarves. I would prefer to have a solid line of scarves that I see are perfect and resolved rather than a range of different styles that are inconsistent.

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What lesson did NSCAD teach you that has most stuck with you?

The main lesson I took away from NSCAD was the developing my craft in order to present myself to the market place and to try and create ranges to stand out from any competitors. Challenging myself to be different and to push myself into making work that’s outside the box and not in my comfort zone. Having my peers and professors at NSCAD critique my work every class is intimidating but so essential when helping me develop products with a different view point. This has helped me so much with my business, encouraging me to sell not only my products but also myself as an artist. I have put myself into different environments and events to learn what market places work best for certain products and clienteles.

What was your favourite class and why?

My favourite class was Textile Studio. You have your own open studio to create anything Textile related. I found it overwhelming at first having such freedom but once you started creating I just had endless ideas of what I wanted to do. It really gives you a great insight of having your own studio once you graduate. I loved the independence of creating your own schedule for the day but still having the advice and encouragement from your professor. I love the fact you can try so many different skills and mediums and NSCAD allows you the time to hone your own craftsmanship.

Tell us about your favourite professor — what did you learn from them?

My favourite professor would have to be Dan O’Neill. I took an Organic Drawing class with him and really enjoyed attending every class. Drawing is one of my weaknesses and I enrolled in the class not expecting to like it but in hopes to better my skill. Dan taught me to step outside the box and to break the rules with my work. He helped to push me into creating work out of comfort zone and challenged the way I viewed my work and others.

What do you want people to know about your work?

I would like people who buy my scarves to know that they have been carefully designed and crafted and a lot of traditional local methods have been employed in making the product. No two scarves are the same. This is not a mass manufactured ‘gift’ made to a price. I feel my prices are very reasonable for the time and effort that goes into creating each bespoke woven item. I love what I do, and I hope the recipients love their scarves as much as I enjoy making them!

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Thank you to NSCAD for your support! For more information about NSCAD’s programs, visit their website.