Even the hurricane-force gusts channelling through the streets of Toronto couldn’t stop me from getting to the One of a Kind Show on Saturday. And to say I was pleasantly surprised by the Canadian artisan-o-rama’s Spring 2009 installment would be an understatement. Even though a lot of the vendors were the familiar friendly faces, the merchandising was so fresh and inspiring, and there was just a really good vibe to the whole event (unlike the other show I attended this weekend â€” more on that later!). There’s never been a more important time to buy Canadian and support our own artisans!
And, seeing as how I’m an incorrigible list-maker, let’s break this down into a…
TOP FIVE FINDS at the One Of A Kind Show!
(In no particular order.)
5. Porcelaines Bousquet, 866-445-8696; St-Jean-Baptiste, Que., 450-464-2596
Louise Bousquet’s hand-made porcelain dishware, vases and accessories are truly timeless pieces. I love her floral “frog” (in the image above) that slots directly into the mouths of her vases, making arrangements of items like tulips totally hassle-free. Louise is always adding something new to her collection, and this year it’s a gorgeously textural band around the rims of her bowls. Simply stunning.
4. Margi Laurin’s Altered Books, Morrisburg, Ont., 613-543-2835
Here’s a real trash-to-treasure success story! Margi Laurin breathes new life into discarded library books by replacing the original book pages with blank note paper, creating unique, one-of-a-kind journals. I’m a total sucker for vintage books, and seeing them repurposed in this way is right up my alley. I love how Margi leaves select pages from the original books â€” especially illustrations â€” randomly scattered throughout the journals. Charming!Â
3. Schleeh Design, Montreal, 514-762-3720
The “Embracelet” designed by internationally renowned Canadian artist Colin Schleeh caught the eye of my friend Lisa. Sculptural, stylish and substantial without being chunky, this hand-painted wood bracelet with a resin coating was certainly one of the show’s standout pieces.
2. Timid Glass, Toronto, 416-893-3052
You might recognize these glass “Imagery Bowls”, as the One of a Kind Show promoters (understandably) used the dramatic designs of Timid Glass’s Sally McCubbin and Aaron Oussoren to promote the show on CityLine and other media outlets in the weeks leading up the event. Contemporary, cool and colourful, Timid’s pieces are a very refreshing addition to the One of a Kind Show’s offerings.
1. Judy BlackÂ Acid Sunset pillow in Cyan
Run by two sisters â€” Jennifer does the design and Valerie handles the number-crunching, Judy Black’s booth was positively screaming for attention. The graphic prints and colours grabbed my eye from afar, but also bear close scrutiny. There’s a great attention to detail on the pillows (a hidden zipper on the pillow cover for full washability; and the use of cotton with a remarkably soft hand finish), and as all of their creations are hand-printed with waterbased ink, there’s a great green component as well.
Did you make it to the show? What did you think?
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