Meet the Crafter: Touch the Dutch

April 30, 2019 | Halifax Crafters Society

You know how Spring brings that feeling of wanting to spruce up your style? Well thanks to our incredible vendors, you can step into Spring feeling fresh as a daisy! Lunenburg-based crafter Anneke van Bommel is the owner of Touch the Dutch and she is returning to our show this weekend! Anneke’s incredible collection of jewelry and functional houseware is bright and elegant and sure to have you feeling fab for the new season.

How did you get started with your business?

I’ve been making jewelry for almost 25 years, which kind of astounds me. The seeds of my business started during my undergrad at NSCAD, where I participated in group shows and sales, but my business really grew after my move to Toronto for an artists residency at the Harbourfront Centre; I connected with galleries and the arts community there. My husband and I moved from Toronto to Lunenburg a few years ago after searching for the perfect space to set up our home studios and businesses. I now work out of my studio in a classic “Lunenburg Bump” Century house.

What is the  inspiration for the pieces you make?

My work is split into a few areas of focus: a wearable line (production and limited production), my exhibition art jewelry, and interior home objects (like my cutlery and small functional home items).

The thing that unites all of this is that I like to create things that bring people together, and I like to make things that celebrate special moments.  A lot of what I make is gifted to others, whether it’s a ring that is given to someone to celebrate an engagement or a set of handmade spoons that will be used with friends when they share a meal, there’s a pretty positive energy that comes from that.

What is your process like?

I start by sketching to work out the basic design concepts, and then carving a wax model for casting, or fabricating the piece in metal…it depends on the design.  Either way, after the piece is finished, there is a lot of emery work and polishing to complete things.

What is the most rewarding and most challenging part of what you do?

The most rewarding part of this is working for myself, doing something that I love and that others connect with as well.  The hardest part of this would be the work/life balance, and taking time to disconnect from social media ….oh, and book keeping, ugh!

What are you doing when you aren’t creating?

Roadtripping, Exploring the coast, vintage scouting, I love hosting friends at the homestead for adventures on the south shore, checking out all of the new craft breweries, wineries and restos that have cropped up in NS in the last few years!

What is something you want our followers to know about you and your work?

I do custom work, and commissions….a lot of my favorite projects are collaborative with my clients as we design pieces together, to come up with something timeless and contemporary.  I’m also planning to develop a new body of exhibition work, so stay tuned @touchthedutch on Instagram for that.

What are you most looking forward to about the spring show?

I really look forward to Halifax Crafters…it can be isolating working alone in the studio, and it’s so great to reconnect with pals at the show, and meet customers in person. A lot of my work is shipped out to online sales, and It’s nice to get feedback. It’s really energizing and motivating!  Thanks for being so supportive and lovely, Halifax!

And thank you Anneke for joining us again! Make sure all of you stop by and say hello this weekend Halifax!

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