Sunday, May 24, 2009

Camera Whore at Moss St. Market: Ashfords', Skeins & Silk/Wool Blends, Totem poles and carved soap.

It was early morn, and two Camera Whores (Linda and I) were on the prowl. The day was one of perfect sun and the question wasn’t IF we would be taking pictures but WHERE. As it happened Linda forgot her camera (two point deduction), AND she got distracted by the donuts!

Oh yeah, did I forget to mention the fresh donuts where the dough had been freshly kneaded before covered with cinnamon? Yeah they were pretty rockin.

So yes, we got up and out early and at the bright DAWN of 11:00 am we dragged ourselves to the farmers market which is also a craft market at Moss street. One of the places we went to see what can be seen, and while Cheryl got cheese curds, Linda and I picked up some fresh Cilantro and Chives (with blooms still atop) for our mexican chicken and veg for that nights dinner. Here is a fraction of the market with Linda holding her jade plant. She has been given a new desk at work, so here she is holding the start of her usual urban jungle desk, which will begin with a humble jade plant.

Due to my unique view (I call it the seven year old seeing the gum under the table view) from the wheelchair, it gives me a chance to both take pictures from interesting perspectives (click on any pictures to make them full screen). I can get down low and take the close in shots without straining, like these blue glaze mugs from a potter who had not only cool hand made skull mugs but a wonderful skull topped Urn we thought would work well for…um….ME (with a name like Goat Dragon Studio, you know they must carry Hello Kitty too!). So we have his card for when times comes.

Instead of covering all the people I talked to at the market I am going to just give a taster for today, three artists: a native sculpture/painter, a spinner and skein wool maker (for those ADDICTS: the knitters!), and a soap creator/sculptor. I also picked up on the gossip: who had retired, who was a famous Japanese potter and ignored here, and talked to a seller from India who had the greatest ivory card case from Shanghai and gave me tips on sending postcards to India. And of course, checking out the local artist: painters, wood carvers, gourd carvers, and cloth makers. This picture is $150 and both Cheryl and I like it, very much the feel of the sea and the Island. But onward…

The woman spinning unfelted wool on a hand spindle is Claudia Lorenz of Island Spindle Co. before she continues on that Ashford spinning wheel from the 80’s you can see behind her (contact me to get her email!). She advertises handspun yarns and spinning wheel repairs but who needs to advertise when you have a basket of skeins that looks like this (click on pic!). This picture has the skein with the longest name of all, it is the one with the white mixed in upper left and is called: “Core Spun Silk Blend Plied with Unspun Corriedale Roving.” I hope the knitters and spinning people know what that means.

She not only makes long skeins, like you can see here in yum-yum colours decorating her booth but she has a delicious selection of wool and silk mixed skeins which made several women passing by salivate. I tried to get a picture that did the skeins justice through the plastic bags.

From there I met Laura-Victoria Soaps, Laura advertises soaps (click on picture!) (yes, that is right, there isn't any fruit or veg, those are ALL soaps!) with no dyes, perfumes, coconut or palm oils AND she hand crafts each one, having everything from Cauliflower (back right) to Rhubarb. She sells her mushrooms at $3 each (about 2 pounds or $3-4 australian dollars). Did I mention she HAND carves each one - (uh huh Abi, EACH ONE! Every single mushroom!). The Mushrooms are a mixture of coca butter base, oatmeal, blackberry with a hand rub of light cocoa power to give the mushrooms the ‘just off the field look.’ The quail eggs which smell divine and come in a little holder like you just took them from your little quail house, use cocoa butter and cinnamon with a darker cocoa rub. Meanwhile these little bags of baby potatoes (11 per sack – I want to put a bit of butter on them and eat them. DO NOT eat the soaps!) The potatoes are cocoa butter and oatmeal, blackberry and olive oil. She loves her craft and has over a dozen different fruits and veg at any time. It is always changing.

I finish with Jason Hunt who is from Fort Rupert near Alert Bay, works only on commission now at his Gallery here (Check on the 'Galleries' button on his site for some amazing art pictures: I love the 'Woodwork Archives' section). His father and grandfather taught John sculpture and painting. His father and his grandfather were taught by his great grandfather; a lineage of West Coast Native Art. His Grandfather was the famous Native sculpture Henry Hunt and with his father they made two totem poles on commission. One of them went to parliament and the second was shipped to the UK and is now sitting outside Buckingham Palace in London (take a look). So, he just comes to Moss Street Market to meet people and to show off some of his prints. He is a traditional artist and knew some of the types of carvers who made the rings Linda and I have (he had an AWESOME ring of gold, with carved white gold overlay on 80% of it!). He has a great sense of humor and specializes in traditional masks but does other traditional carving and is JUST the type of person I would want to have me make me some art (as if I could afford that!). But it was great to talk to someone who does this for a living, and is HAVING FUN doing it.

By this time I was out of oxygen, my hands were funny colours and with the sun high above I beat a hasty retreat. But I vow that this Camera whore will appear where pictures are to found! I hope you had a great long weekend (US and UK readers). And if you come to Victoria, I’ll take you around, for some reason, they seem to remember me…

26 comments:

Kathreen said...

I love the story these images tell. My favourite impressions are the shadows cast by the blue mugs and the way the balls of wool on the table fill the frame.

Lene Andersen said...

What a lovely day! Love Cheryl's tie, all the yummy yarn, the jade plant is adorable and whoa, Nellie - is that you looking rather bosomy? I take it the estrogen's working?

(is it wrong that I noticed your boobs?)

Neil said...

Ikay, the young potatoes do look a bit like soap when the photo is enlarged, but the mushrooms had me fooled. Wow.

As for the wool and silk yarns: okay, I admit it: my wife is an addict, and I'm an enabler. It was our 22nd anniversary yesterday, I normally don't try to buy her anything because she's so darned practical; she doesn't wear makeup, she won't wear the jewellery I've bought her, and she'd rather be seen in a body cast than most fashions. Yesterday, however, I found something she likes: a wool winder and an umbrella swift. Now she can wind her hand-spun wool any time she likes, without the need of a willing victim's hands.

She spins with a drop spindle, usually with one I made. She turned down a handmade $20 spindle last weekend, because she didn't know it was a good price. On Thursday I told her that you can pay over $70 for some spindles.

Lovely photos, Beth, and you're tempting me to visit just for the farmers market.

I hope you don't pay too much for your good day out.

Love and hugs,
Neil

FridaWrites said...

What a great market--I loved the photos of the great products. There are some beautiful soaps offered up on the etsy website--soaps really can be quite artistic.

Baba Yaga said...

ooh! sounds fun. (salivating over yarns. & soaps. & mugs. but especially yarns.)

Stephanie said...

Why hello there beautiful skeins of deliciousness and possibility! How are you today?

*cough* I mean ... hey Beth! That looks like a great market! I'm jealous. Those soaps are CHEAP! Handmade soap goes for about $4.50 wherever I am. But handmade AND handcarved, for $3? That's insane cheap and if I were there I would have bought some. (ahhh, the knitter gets obsessed with soap...)

Glad you got to get out! Looks like a great place to hang out to me.

Anna said...

Those soaps are so coool!
Looks like you all had a great day.

Linda McClung said...

Beth, you took the most amazing pictures. What impresses me even more is your ability to pick up a conversation with anyone and learn all kinds of interesting stuff. It's a real talent which I often envy.

The vendor that amazed me the most was the soap lady. Her fruits and vegetables were so lifelike. The best, I thought, was the cauliflower. It looked so real, with such intricate carving. And those new potatoes looked like they just needed a little wash and then were ready to be cooked for lunch!

It was a great outing, but it sure cost you physically in energy, and sensory overload. I look forward to seeing the market again, but maybe this time we'll do say 25% and do another 25% each time we come so we're out less in the sun. It sure was nice seeing you happy - being able to get out of the house and interact with others socially.

cheryl g said...

The market was great fun and I found treasures there! Mmmmm, those were yummy donuts…

Wow, your pictures are just beautiful! The colors are so vibrant on the mugs and the yarn. I REALLY liked that painting – the serenity, the sense of standing at the edge of a new journey… amazing…

Besides the blue mugs I really liked the skull mugs that potter had. I thought the jar was perfect for you for later. That’s why I made sure to get his business card.

I don’t knit and I was enticed by those skeins. I really loved the colors! I was amazed at the soaps. They were absolute works of art. They smelled wonderful too. I am going to enjoy the bar soap I bought from her. I see the little potatos and just think about roasting them with a light coat of olive oil.

Jason Hunt’s artwork is wonderful. I especially like his woodcarvings. He was very interesting to talk to and you could here his love of tradition as he talked about his work and his family.

It was a fun outing. Linda had mentioned that next time we should bring your Japanese parasol so we could provide you with shade. I think that’s a brilliant plan.

Olivia said...

thanks for the georgeous yarn/wool/silk pictures. Very appealing. And the soaps are amazing, I've seen soap made to look like cupcakes and slices of cake, but never vegetables like that.

Re Linda's comment - I think I miss a lot of opportunities for learning and interesting conversations because I hardly ever initiate conversations with people like you do. At a market like that it's nice to connect with people, and many just love to talk about their work even without getting a sale out of it.

Abi said...

11.00 am? Well, that's a lot earlier than I manage when there is nobody who will shout at me if I am late! I really want to come and have a look round your market. If only I could justify the air fare... ;-)

Those soaps are impressive! I don't think that you should be encouraging me to take up new activities, though. Also, are you suggesting that my soaps are anything less than perfect? (You didn't get one that fell to pieces when you used it, did you? Oh, you did. Sorry about that. I only discovered that myself this morning. Perhaps you haven't done so yet? Well, apologies in advance. Perhaps a mushroom shape would have softened the blow.)

I love the sound of all of the yarns, also. I want them! And the spinning wheel (talking of not taking up new hobbies). Thank you for showing it all to us!

yanub said...

Oh, spiffy! I love the soaps that look like vegetables and fruits. How creative! Everything else looks great, too, and it is easy to see why the market draws you and Linda and Cheryl and anyone else who enjoys both people and art.

I really like these kinds of posts that show a blogger's physical world, so thanks muchly for sharing.

SharonMV said...

Dear Beth,

Thank you for sharing this outing! (yes, camera whore please continue to ply your trade). I loved seeing the handspun yarn - you could almost feel the touch of it between your fingers. And the colors! I liked the native art & the story of the talent, traditions & skills being passed down through the generations.

Hope you a resting & recovering now.

Sharon

Bells said...

oh thanks for the yarn porn. Always love to see pretty skeins!

wendryn said...

Wow, sounds like a wonderful day! I love the blues in the mugs, and I know people who would have drooled a lot over that yarn. :) The soaps are amazing, too, and the additional pictures you chose were very cute.

I'm glad you had a chance to have some fun!

Nancy said...

Wow--you've definitely inspired me to stop by the Farmer's Market in town. We've never been, because there's only one bus and you have to get up pretty early to catch it, but seeing yarn and soap like that would absolutely be worth it. So exciting--glad you had a good time!

Raccoon said...

I'm going to suggest that you not get any of the soap: with your memory, I could see you trying to take a bite!

It looked very nice outside, and sunny, and all three of you had smiles. This makes it a nice day!

As for myself, this weekend, Fanime! With "Fanimaid Café," and lots of cosplay. And, ooh, I am now lusting after ball joint dolls!

I look at the skeins of wool and even I am wondering how difficult knitting is...

Elizabeth McClung said...

I would love to blog like this every day, but alas, the cost was QUITE high in the pain and screaming and not breathing department (which I have heard can be addictive and so will try to avoid it). But I like taking pictures and going places and finding out the stories. I shameless play the crip/see my boobs! card!

Kathreen: Thanks, I like to take pictures that make people want to know the rest of the story. I took several of the wool and was glad I got the name of the superlong wool name.

Lene: Yes, Cheryl was saying she was dressed casual OR formal. I was wearing a Lip Service which does wonders for those bones and a plunging line, yes, the boobs are back and a little perky if truth be told - I really hope my body doesn't think I just gave birth - that could make some embarressing stains on tops.

Neil: I don't know how she has the time for the carving, but she must love it.

Yes, come and visit just ONE of our farmer's market - I am off to find the one with the Henna tattooing next week if I can!

Frida: I liked how she just made whatever she wanted, there were so many out of sight, I just tried to take a selection of what she had. They really can be artistic, I was impressed.

Baba Yaga: Lene says I keep putting up Yarn Porn but I think I just keep trying to keep those who are yarn or knitting interested to know that I am looking out for this secret yet highly addictive sub-culture.

Stephanie: Yes, they were really amazing, her mixture of colour really made me want to know what to make, if I was in the making capability.

Yes, do you want some, I can send you a supply of mushrooms - or the carrots or peaches? What is your flavor?

Anna: Yes, I avoided getting the little potatoe ones because with my hand control I can see them all going slip....and away and that is the last I see of that potatoe (repeat 11 times).

Linda: Thanks, I was determined with taking the Camera to get good pictures, but thanks for being patient. Yes, you did sort of have to pick up the pieces last night so I am very sorry, but I had a good time and talked to carvers and people who make clothes and the whole thing. It was very enjoyable for someone like me. It seems sad that I will forget it all, but I hope, that I will remember some, and the pictures are good.

Pollyanna Yaga ;-) said...

very sad to forget it. 'though maybe that's one reason for blogging? it's to be hoped, though, that some part remains in implicit memory. from what I know of the more usual dementias, it seems that way - people know whom they trust, if not why, that sort of thing.

the 25% idea is sound, too. not breathing is a bad habit to get into.

JaneB said...

Hi Beth,

Hope you aren't paying too ,much for bringing yarn images to addicts! I keep telling myself that it's cheaper to accumulate fat quarters of quilting fabric and skeins of knitting yarn than it would be to lay down a cellar of wine or even to be a smoker... but there's still a delicious sense of naughtiness in acquiring and stashing goodies!

Love the idea of the skull topped jar - I just hope you don't need it for a long time yet! So REST already, OK?

Neil said...

Breath goes in and out, Beth. Please remember that much, dear.

Yarn porn? Perhaps, but I hope you realize that you are enabling those poor addicts.

I also noticed the boobs, but I'm too polite to mention such a fine upstanding pair.

Elizabeth McClung said...

We are heading back next week in case anyone wants me to pick up some mushrooms or yarn to ship to them, I am sorry I didn't get the price on the Skeins I took the photos of just the silk/wool blends - remember the price is in Canadian dollars which is less than US, about 1.6 or 1.7 for UK and similar to Australian. So if you do want anything like the soaps, we can pick them up for you. Just letting you know. See, I'm an enabler too!

Full Tilt said...

Lovely day and great pictures. Happy belated birthday, Beth!

Kate J said...

Wow, what a great market! And not just for knitters... as a weaver myself, I absolutely LOVED the handspun yarns, and if I ever get there I'll definitely be buying some. I'd like to think you put those pictures there just for me! All the other stuff looked great too. And I don't know what it is with the soaps but there are such fantastic handmade and organic soaps at markets in Canada- last time I was over, I bought some great ones at the market on Saltspring Island, and I still have them, they're way too good to use as soaps, I just have them scenting my bathroom. Of course, what makes it all specifically Canadian is the wonderful First Nations art, to which I am positively addicted.
Glad to hear you had such a great day out... looks like Linda and Cheryl were enjoying themselves too. Say hi to both of them...
love & peace

rachelcreative said...

Hi Beth.

I enjoyed your click happy adventure! Great photos - I really get a sense of what there was to see. Sometimes that wheelchair view is annoying (all bums and no view) but you can get some great perspectives on photos when the bottoms move out of the way.

Loads of vibrant colours. I like how you captured not only the feel of the market but the details too to really tell the story. I wish I had a market like that near me. But I'd be too nust trying to think what I could sell ;)

Love those blue mugs. Gorgeous colour. The painting I like too. Amazing soaps. Me thinks she is undercharging!

Sure looks like a great way to pass the time browsing and meeting so many interesting people. Proper artisans.

Great work, great post.

Veralidaine said...

I am glad you had a day out, and very sorry to see it's cost you a lot in health. Maybe like Linda said, keep going to the beautiful markets, but don't need to see everything at the same time.

My favorite photos are the edible-looking soaps. I would probably pop the mushrooms right in my mouth if I saw them in a bowl on my kitchen table. What a unique talent, and how cool the artist has found a venue for it!

I need to find a farmer's market and go to it soon.