Exhibitor Profile: Bling Squared Cute Glass

Since 2008, film industry veterans Neacol and Stanley Miller have been practicing the art of flame-worked glass sculpture on a tiny island in the Pacific.  Their work is a fusion of the same techniques perfected by the imprisoned Renaissance masters of Murano, Italy, with nods to comic books, cartoons and pop culture.

Under the studio name Bling Squared, their artisan pieces, usually between 1 and 7 centimetres high, reside somewhere between toys and sculpture. Each stroke of brilliant colour is actually melted glass, not paint, resulting in an artifact of whimsy that will last for centuries.  The alchemy of stained glass rods liquifying around a molten bead in the heat of an oxy-propane torch lends each piece a vitality and timelessness. Influenced by the Japanese phenomenon of collectible vinyl desk toys, the couple's response is the permanence and vibrancy of glass as both material and statement.

The genre of their work requires an exotic vocabulary: anime, manga, kawaii ("adorable"), chibi ("short person")  –  a world of giant robots, talking animals and cat-eared schoolgirls. Their brightly- coloured, impactful figurines of playful, chubby characters have become increasingly varied as their skills as sculptors evolve.  Here are owls, baby dragons, foxes, and cartoon rabbits alongside red pandas, monkeys, and narwhals.  In the past, the couple has collaborated with comic artist Camilla d'Errico on a glass-charm rendering of the character Kuro from the hit series Tanpopo.  Their work has appeared in Ayden Gallery in Vancouver and the Waterfront Gallery on Salt Spring Island, as well as numerous comic and pop culture conventions across North America.  Supporting themselves by their art alone, they work from their home studio – torch, kiln, glass and all – while raising two active daughters.

Collectors and supporters of the work respond with instant happiness evoked by these charming pieces.  A number of the characters in the line are inspired and suggested by the fans themselves, such as the signature "octopus ninja".  In the context of "Low Brow" pop art, the figurines are timely, joyous, accessible, and irresistibly tactile.

Exhibitor Profile: Salt Spring Wild Cider

Owned and operated by a philosopher and a stone sculptor, Salt Spring Wild developed out of a passion to create quality cider from the wild apples that grow on Salt Spring Island.  Some of the apples  in our blends are from 100-year-old heritage trees, some are from organic orchards, and some are from wild apple trees that live in farmer's fields and along gentle roadsides, and that once fell with the breeze. 

Gerda Lattey
Owner-Director, Salt Spring Wild Cider

Exhibitor Profile: Salt Spring Wool Arts

I am a self-taught artist and have been needle felting since 2006. I first met this wonderful felting world when my daughter attended the Vancouver Waldorf School, I started to make felted toys for my children and learned many techniques through exploration. After moving to Salt Spring Island, I started needle felting on a full-time basis.

Salt Spring Island is rich in nature. I was inspired by all of the nature/ wild objects on the island. My creating focuses on my observations of my natural environment, using local, island wools as much as possible.
I make needle-felted wool creations including Owls, Eagles, Sheep, Gnomes, Potted Plants and much more.

I explore and enjoy the world alongside my three active children and my creative wife.

My work is available at the Salt Spring Island Market, and through several gallery shops in British Columbia.

Salt Spring in the City 2015

Happy Spring Everyone!

Would you believe it’s already time for another show update?

We have spent the last few weeks just taking a moment to catch our breath from all the excitement and work that went into the Big Event. Hopefully you have all had a chance to do the same.  Now we are already getting busy again making plans for next year’s show and have had some very exciting brainstorming sessions that we look forward to sharing info with you in the future!  However, before all that we would like to take a minute to send out a HUGE THANK YOU to each of you for participating, and all your efforts that contributed to making Salt Spring in the City 2015 the success that it was!


Next, we would like to send another big shout-out to our amazing and generous sponsors for all their support.  Without them we couldn’t have done it.  

Global BC, The Peak Radio, The Georgia Straight, Yelp, Miss 604, Salt Spring Island Coffee, Country Grocer, Li Read, Quarrystone House, Bloom B&B, Skwachays Lodge, Solace Organic Spa, Salt Spring Island Ales, Salt Spring Market.com, Salt Spring Arts Council, SSNAP, The Driftwood, Salt Spring Chamber of Commerce, Salt Spring Adventure Co., Salt Spring Air, Salt Spring Car Rentals, Auntie Pestos, Café Talia, and Barb’s Buns.

For those of you who may have missed it on social media, here is a photo gallery of all our happy prize winners at the show.  Thank you again, to everyone who helped contribute to these prize packages and swag bags – it was a big component of what brought people through the door each day as well as what helped to create the buzz that we needed in Vancouver to get people to come out.

We would also like to say a huge thank you to everyone that donated at the door towards the Save On Meats food token program.  It was these generous donations in combination with door fees that helped us to raise $1000 to donate to this charity and support all the important work that they do.

Finally, we are pleased to announce the upcoming dates for Salt Spring in the City 2016: March 4-6 at Heritage Hall! 

Stay tuned for the application forms and other show details.

We welcome all of you in the meantime to subscribe to our mailing list via our website at www.saltspringinthecity.com or you can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter

Here’s wishing you all a very happy and successful summer.  We will keep you posted on all show developments as they come.

Yours truly, the SSITC Producers,
Zandra, Deanna, Cheyenne, Julie and Rachel

Photos from the 2015 show:

Show photos taken by Dallas Sauer.


Meet the Producers of Salt Spring in the City

As the big day draws near we, the organizers of Salt Spring in the City, wanted to introduce ourselves.  Many of you may have been wondering who these folks behind the scenes are.  However, before jumping into personal introductions, here is a brief bit of history on how it all came together:

Salt Spring in the City 2014 was the brain-child of a dedicated and inspired group of Salt Spring Market vendors who wanted to find a way of bringing the magic that is the “Salt Spring experience” to those who have yet to discover it.  They had the dream of creating an event featuring many of the most talented artists working on our island home. This early group of volunteers put in countless hours of their blood sweat and tears and the result was a hugely successful first show.  On the heels of this, a company of five women formed together as “official producers”.  

Together these women have been working this past year to develop something unique: a branded event featuring the best art, craft and food the West has to offer. The level of artistic merit that exists on our island is what sets us apart as a community.  We are wives, mothers, community members, artists and business owners and we feel proud to call this magical Salt Spring Island our home.

Julie MacKinnon is an award winning clay artist.  Her studies in architecture strongly influence her designs in high-fired porcelain tableware. Her work has a friendly aesthetic sentiment and each piece is obviously made with joy.  Julie has run her pottery studio for 10 years on Salt Spring Island and her work has been exhibited Canada-wide and collected internationally.  She is also an enthusiastic instructor and teaches many clay workshops.

Julie MacKinnon Ceramics

Julie MacKinnon Ceramics

Zandra Stratford is a painter whose assertive abstracts employ vibrant, almost masculine blocks of impactful colour. Stratford studied printmaking at the Victoria College of Art, after more than a decade's experience as an advertising Art Director. This informs her work's cadence, graphic sensibility and declarative confidence. Her work is collected internationally.

Caryatid I  Zandra Stratford 

Caryatid I  Zandra Stratford 

Cheyenne Goh is a co-owner of Black Sheep Books and Salt Spring Tweed where she upcycles jackets and thrift-store finds into one of a kind bags and accessories. She worked as a craft consultant with UN agencies in South East Asia and co-owned and ran tropical spas in Indonesia and China before settling in Canada. She was one of the founding producers of Salt Spring in The City.

Salt Spring Tweed

Salt Spring Tweed

Deanna Milligan is the designer of Cherry Blossom Eco Clothing. She silk screens artwork by hand on original garments.  Often her design inspiration is coloured by her background in the film industry.  Cherry Blossom is part of the Salt Spring Studio tour and has exhibited in Las Vegas, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

Cherry Blossom Design

Cherry Blossom Design

Rachel Hughes is a self-proclaimed “fibre addict.” She abandoned her early career in the field of health care and moved west with her family to pursue her true love: art. Her explorations in the world of design and fibre art are what led her to develop her business - End of Her Rope. She creates fully wearable accessories for the modern woman with discerning taste and can be found at the Salt Spring Saturday Market as well as in countless boutiques throughout the west.

End of Her Rope

End of Her Rope

Exhibitor Profile: Creative by Nature –Lisa Lipsett

My world burst open the day I spontaneously painted the way a vase of tulips feels instead of the way it looks. That was nearly 20 years ago and I am happy to say that painting still provokes the same thrill. My art is motivated by the drive to experience the  living world with fresh engagement, through body and sense, like glimpsing through a drop of water or a kaleidoscope, or closing the eyes and feeling the connection. Sometimes I map feeling landscapes and journeys within. The resulting elemental images in paint and photography are artifacts from these experiences of direct contact and inspired  nature impersonation. 

Favourite creative partners include ferns, tulips, patterns of all sorts, clouds, tree shadow, moonlight, snow flakes, bird call and flight. I am interested in deepened  presence with the living world and my own heart through painting. The process I use, be it on a beach or in the forest, is to follow  what attracts like a moth mesmerized by a porch light. In the studio I carry the same inspiration forward using mixed media usually acrylic, oil stick, ink and cold wax. I often break all the rules. I always use my hands  directly. I never use brushes. Lately I find myself drawn to ochres and plant dyes. I am excited by the possibility of going all natural. 

I believe art can be created by anyone; it is our human birthright and so ideally should be accessible to everyone. To that end I use LML pricing (labour, materials, love) to keep my work accessible to a wide audience. I am excited to see you in Vancouver and will be offering original paintings, mounted digital mandala prints, cards and my book Beauty Muse: Painting in Communion with Nature. 

Exhibitor Profile: Salt Spring Wool Arts

I am a self-taught artist and have been needle felting since 2006. I first met this wonderful felting world when my daughter attended the Vancouver Waldorf School, I started to make felted toys for my children and learned many techniques through exploration. After moving to Salt Spring Island, I started needle felting on a full-time basis.

Salt Spring Island is rich in nature. I was inspired by all of the nature/ wild objects on the island. My creating focuses on my observations of my natural environment, using local, island wools as much as possible.

I make needle-felted wool creations including Owls, Eagles, Sheep, Gnomes, Potted Plants and much more.

I explore and enjoy the world alongside my three active children and my creative wife.
My work is available at the Salt Spring Island Market, and through several gallery shops in British Columbia.

Exhibitor Profile: Alex Lyons of Alex Lyons Designs

Bold, expressive jewelry hand crafted in pure copper, sterling silver and gold.

Alex has become known for his 'funky' jewelry collection that includes his Cherry Earrings, handmade chain necklaces and Squiggly Bling Rings. Alex also specializes in dramatic hoop earrings incorporating mixed metals, fine woodworking, and unique printed or hammered textures.

Alex's work has evolved greatly over the years as he apprenticed for Martinus Studio for 4 years and continued to work for Martinus for another 3 years. The training he received there is unparalleled in it's melding of classic fine jewelry production methods with modern design and artful directions.

Alex has changed things up over the last few years and has pursued new creative directions by opening the island's famous Al's Gourmet Falafel and Fries food cart. This business venture pulled him away from jewelry making with the exception of a few select shows including the Fulford Hall Christmas Craft Fair. However, as the food cart business becomes more manageable, Alex will return to jewelry making - his true creative expression - more full time and with renewed passion.

"Participating in Salt Spring in the City is an opportunity for me to showcase the craft that I enjoy so much by sharing my newest pieces with people beyond my community. I am looking forward to seeing you there!" –Alex

Partner Profile: Save-On-Meats

One of the things that gives us the most pride as organizers of Salt Spring in the City has been our ability to give back.

This year we are thrilled to be partnering again with Save On Meats to help raise money for their food token program. Our door fees from last year’s show helped generate $3,500 that we donated to help feed those in the need in the downtown East Side of Vancouver. 

Here is a little information about them and the important work they do:

Save On Meats is considered a “social enterprise” and is well known in the North American business community for its cutting-edge employment models and focus on local food security. We work with many community groups, educational institutions, non-profits and corporations to continuously improve and build on our best practices. We keep our prices affordable for the community, and we focus on training to build a stronger local workforce.

Our highly applauded Token Program is always a hot topic of conversation. Redeemable for a breakfast sandwich either at the front take-out window or inside the diner, tokens  are purchased for $2.25 and handed out to those in need. The act of giving a token to someone is meant to be a conversation-starter, a front-line personal interaction with our neighbours in Vancouver–the most beautiful city in the world.

By buying into the program, supporters become part of a larger social enterprise that supports Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. From facilitating  over 450 meals each day to single occupancy residents in the community, to hiring barrier employees and executing food donations, the Save on Meats mandate is to collaborate with community partners and programs to create a sustainable business model that serves the Downtown Eastside.

Exhibitor Profile: Big Bear and the Wolf

Many years ago, in a lush, old-growth rainforest, a big bear was foraging for delicious berries when she came across a wandering wolf. In that silent, prescient moment, they recognized in each other their creative counterparts and joined together to manifest their artistic visions.

From that time forward they have been co-creating art that engages and inspires. Drawing from their shared passions for nature, wisdom and the wonders of human imagination, they are delighted to share these pieces with you.

Big Bear and the Wolf offers a collection of whimsical, hand-crafted artwork printed on sustainable, domestic wood among other mediums. Combining photography, digital illustrations and a healthy dose of magic, Big Bear and the Wolf produces a range of dreamy and unique art pieces at affordable prices. There is something to surprise and delight audiences of all ages.

Jon & Karen Clemson

Exhibitor Profile: Amy and Chloe Melious

In our family, photography and art have always been a way of life.

Chloe and I love running with ideas that flow when making gifts and cards for family and friends. And we both really love using our  cameras and iPhones to capture inspiration found in our daily lives.

We’ve struck up an artistic collaboration for Salt Spring in the City this year, and we’re having a lot of fun choosing and finishing images to show!

It's  fascinating and enriching to learn through artwork how we see the world similarly and differently.

Exhibitor Profile: Ulrieke Benner

Ulrieke Benner - Art You Wear

Ulrieke Benner is a fabric designer and art educator with her Art You Wear Studio & Gallery based on Salt Spring Island, BC, since 2001. She has had a lifelong passion for textiles and fiber arts and has been a full-time feltmaker since 1996 with a focus on colorful nuno felted techniques for accessories and clothing. Ulrieke makes one of a kind pieces such as felted  and hand-dyed shawls and scarves as well as straw hats. These pieces will be available at Salt Spring in the City. Ulrieke studied Textile Design in her native Germany and in Massachusetts and holds a M.Ed. and BFA in Textile Design and Fiber Arts. She has exhibited in Canada, the United States, Europe and Japan. Her art is featured in exclusive galleries internationally.

Exhibitor Profile: Boogaloo Bubbywear

I live on a beautiful island in the Pacific Ocean in a log cabin across the street from a rainforest filled with moss and a meandering creek, where I derive much of my artistic inspiration. My studio overlooks a grove of cedars and a garden of flowers. 

It is in this studio that I dream up my line of sustainable & ethical baby apparel. I design the clothing and create endearing, often whimsical designs, which I then hand-print onto every garment with love and care. I enjoy blending traditional and contemporary elements in my designs, resulting in 100% unique and evocative imagery; a true reflection of my private, imaginary world.

It is my mandate is to do business with the smallest footprint possible, offering a range of organic & earth-friendly products while protecting that which is so important to me - the natural world.


Partner Profile: Salt Spring Coffee

Sipping Salt Spring in the City  

Our spirit of Salt Spring Island will take over Vancouver the weekend of March 27th - 29th, 2015 at Salt Spring in the City. We are excited to feature creative makers, artisans and foodies at this special market that celebrates the vibrant island community we are so proud to be a part of. One of our feature vendors and partners, Salt Spring Coffee, was born on Salt Spring Island in 1996 by a family of pioneering entrepreneurs and we are thrilled to share their story, and coffee! 

The first 25 guests who arrive to Salt Spring in the City will receive a gift bag, featuring a Salt Spring Coffee Sustain travel cup (to take your hot coffee on the ferry on your next trip to Salt Spring Island of course!). Other lucky folks who win a gift basket will head home with a travel mug and Byron’s Maracaturra coffee, Salt Spring Coffee’s organic coffee grown in Nicaragua by farmer Byron Corrales. 

Through the day Salt Spring Coffee will share complimentary hot coffee, featuring one of their newest small batches of freshly roasted coffee, and their organic, fair to farmer cold brew will also be on tap! Salt Spring Coffee steeps a special blend of organic, fair to farmer coffee in room temperature water for 15 hours, and use a double filtration process that provides a smooth, delicious result. This Cold Brew isn’t available in stores yet - so be one of the first in the city to try Salt Spring Coffee newest libation. 

Stock up on your favourite Salt Spring Coffee classic coffee beans, or try something new. They will have a selection of coffee on hand, all roasted and ready to be brewed with care.

Learn more about Salt Spring Coffee and follow their story at saltspringcoffee.com

Exhibitor Profile: Erin Morris Ceramics

Raised on Salt Spring Island, BC., Erin Morris grew up immersed in the Islands’ dynamic arts community, and has experimented with diverse artistic mediums including photography, jewelry making, drawing and painting.

In 2004, Erin attended a community pottery class, which inspired her to pursue further studies in clay. She apprenticed under Salt Spring Island potter Julie MacKinnon for two consecutive summers and in 2009, completed a two year Clay Design program at the Kootenay School of the Arts in Nelson, BC.

Erin imbues a minimalism and elegance into functional wheel thrown objects. Incorporating her love of photography into her ceramic process, Erin uses the clay surface as a canvas, adorning her pots with imagery that reflects her childhood spent scouring shorelines and building forts in the woods. The artist also has an affinity for large vessels influenced by the historical Khmer work and South East Asian temples.

Returning to Salt Spring to raise her daughter and delve into her first years as a studio potter, Erin’s work can be seen at the Salt Spring Saturday Market, KiZmit Cafe/Galeria, and the seasonal ArtCraft gallery on Salt Spring Island as well as at The Robert Bateman Center gift shop in Victoria.  Her work is in private collections around the globe.

First 25 People in Line Everyday...

It's officially March so that means it's Salt Spring in the City Month! We're so excited about this year's show and it's guaranteed to be amazing. We've got some fresh new faces for you to meet as well as some favourites returning from last year. Set your alarm clocks and get there early for a chance to get some awesome bags filled with local treats. See you soon, Vancouver!

Exhibitor Profile: Full Moon Jewellery

Stephanie was born in Germany and has lived there for most of her life. She worked for 12 years as a radiographer in hospitals in Germany.
The passion for travelling and cycling took her to many countries around the world, including some extended bicycle tours.
She lived for 3 years in England where she started creating wood and bone carvings.
In 2002, Stephanie settled on Salt Spring Island, BC with the French – Canadian Jeweller Simon Rompre. Stephanie has been making and selling jewellery along with her partner since 2002.

Originally from Quebec City, Simon Rompre has been living on the west coast for many years.
His love for jewellery making first started while traveling extensively throughout Latin America in 1986. After settling on Salt Spring Island in 1990, he started his own workshop and since then has been selling his creations across Canada.
He likes working with silver especially in combinations with other metals such as gold, mokume and copper.
Mostly self-taught he draws much inspiration from many diverse areas such as Art Nouveau masters, modern art, traditional cultures, dance and music, as well as the natural surroundings he calls home.

Exhibitor Profile: Bite Me! Treats

Located in the beautiful Fulford Valley on Salt Spring Island, the Bite Me! Treats bakeshop is a family run business producing delicious baked goods with attention to quality, and using local ingredients whenever possible. Taking roots at the famous Saturday market, the bakery has evolved to a bakeshop offering a variety of cookies, scones & other yummy treats for both retail & wholesale. 

From four types of gourmet shortbread to wheat free brownies and cookies, we have something for everyone! If you are lucky enough to come visit the Island, stop by our shop for one of our famous buttermilk scones, or some of our delicious handmade ice-cream sandwiches & cookies. 

Using organic flour and organic sugar, everything is handmade by Annie, Desmond and Gemma. Our passion and dedication to quality is evident in the unique variety, and most importantly, the taste! With our attention to detail and love for providing delicious food for our community, we hope you enjoy every Bite!  

Exhibitor Profile: Lan's Hands Pottery

LeeAnn Norgard was born in Burlington Ontario in 1971. Norgard works as a ceramic sculptor and potter. She graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2000, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics, with Distinction. Her most recent solo show at the Salt Spring Island Gallery of Fine Art explored the symmetry, texture and form of Seed Pods. Her ceramic sculptures of pods and plant forms are both three dimensional and wall sculptures. Using nature’s patterns and symmetry as a starting point, and clay and the potter’s wheel as tools, LeeAnn fully enjoys the creative process. The pieces are altered and sometimes carved, and then fired with carefully crafted glazes. Texture has become increasingly interesting to LeeAnn, while a marriage of form and glaze remain paramount in the creation of a piece. Her home on Salt Spring Island inspires her work tremendously, both in it’s natural beauty, and it’s creative and supportive community. Her work is currently represented by the Salt Spring Gallery of Fine Art, and can be viewed on the web at lnorgardceramics.com