craft mart* Hamilton:

November 6th, 2013 by Krystal

It’s never to early for a holiday craft show, right? As long as it after Halloween? I’m getting an early start on my holiday craft show circuit this year, starting off with this week’s Craft Mart* show in Hamilton! Please check it out. This is the first year for this exciting new show and the vendor line-up is fantastic! Hope to see you there.

Friday        November 8,    6pm to 11 pm (Art Crawl)
Saturday   November 9,    11 am to 7 pm

Craft Mart* is a carefully curated pop-up craft and design market bringing together the works of talented and unique crafters and designers. Please join us on the 8th and 9th for a terrific selection of Jewellery, Paper & Prints, Ceramics, Toys, Clothing, and Accessories

Location: Hamilton Artist’s Inc.  //  155 James St. N, Hamilton   //   http://theinc.ca/

August 25th, 2013 by Krystal

Hello!

I’ve been away from the blog for some time now, but just wanted to announce that I’m in the process of building a new website & online shop! I’ve been wanting to do this for so long for so many reasons…to make it easier for lovely people online to find & buy my work, to have a little corner of the internet that truly feels “my own,” and to get the word out about shows & events that I’m a part of in a better, fresher way. I just need something *new*! Maybe it’s the winding down of summer and that back-to-school feeling that’s starting to hit me. It feels like it’s time to hustle!

I’ve just completed several commissions, a large open serving bowl in the aqua vine pattern (above), and a 30 piece dinnerware set for a lovely couple who were married last weekend. It’s been a busy time! Speaking of weddings, I also gave myself just enough time to complete 80 botanically patterned porcelain yunomis (above, right) as favours for my own wedding on August 10th. It was really important to me & my husband (does that word ever get not weird?) to give something to our guests that was handmade & that reflected our taste so we made a little tea bowl/tea combo gift. Super cute!

Next up for me is holiday season planning! Applying to holiday shows, writing grant applications, gearing up for lots of production work and designing new pieces. Stay tuned!

March 1st, 2013 by Krystal

I have been teaching a weekly pottery class on Tuesday nights and am really loving it. Check out the pots above made by two of my students! I often get requests from people that I meet at craft shows to teach classes, and usually find that I’m just too busy to take time  away from my own art practice to offer them, yet this month has afforded me some down time. Time away from the hustle & bustle of production pottery, time to spend with my loved ones AND time to hold these inspiring introductory pottery classes.

We’re doing a bit of a pottery “sampler” class: beginning with wheel work to get the hands dirty, then trimming, then hand & slab building. If we can fit it in, I’m also hoping to do a quick session on slipcasting using ready-made moulds. I remember my first experiences with pottery being fun but also a bit tedious…perhaps because we started with hand-building and had to stick to it for many weeks before getting that first try at the wheel that we’d been pining for. There were also many months (years?) spent trying to bridge that gap between what we could imagine making to what our hands could actually produce, and trying to find patience as our hands gradually did catch-up to the projects in our minds & sketchbooks. I’m loving how enthusiastic my students are and how quickly they’ve absorbed these new skills. I can’t wait to see their finished projects!

CAPACITY 2013: project preview #2

January 23rd, 2013 by Krystal

CAPACITY 2013 is right around the corner! Avril & I are getting ready to deliver our collabortive project, “Native Botanical Bowls,” to the Gladstone Hotel Art Bar tomorrow morning. Here’s another look at the set of bowls we produced — inspired by the wildly-talented pattern & product designer Vera Neumann. Bowls range in size from 7″H x 8″D at the smallest to the largest, amply-sized 11″H x 15″D bowl. How lovely would these look on a large reclaimed wood harvest table? Or, on a mid-century modern teak sideboard? I can’t wait to shoot some photos of these in a more stylish setting!

All the pieces are for sale and will be available for shipping/pick-up after the show has wrapped. All pieces are suitable for both functional (ie. they are foodsafe) or decorative use. If you’d like more information on our process, materials or pricing, please drop me a line at info@krystalspeck.com 

Looking forward to seeing you all at the show!

Capacity 2013: project preview

January 4th, 2013 by Krystal

Happy new year! Hope you all had a happy & restful holiday! Thank you so much to all of you who visited me at the holiday sales in December. I was overwhelmed by the positive response & support this holiday season. You guys are THE BEST! I’m back in the studio working on a very special project for the Capacity show taking place later this month, which is part of the Toronto Design Offsite Festival. I’m collaborating with Avril Loreti to create a series of large porcelain bowls that are inspired by the iconic pattern & product designer Vera Neuman. We’re so excited to unveil this project, but for now, here are a few quick shots of one of the bowls in production. On the left, creating the model in clay on the pottery wheel. On the right, the plaster mould which was cast from the clay model, which will now be used to create multiple bowl forms. (This is the smallest of the three bowls we’re creating)

My body is aching all over from the four-day mouldmaking extravaganza that just took place in my studio. Working this large is physically challenging. Thank god my studio-mates were off on holidays. I don’t think they could have tolerated my mess! It does feel so good to hit the ground running in 2013 and have this project almost complete. We’ll post more process shots soon! Here’s to a beautiful new year!

November 28th, 2012 by Krystal

Hello! First up, I’ve updated my “Shows” page above with all the details you’ll need to find me this holiday season! And also, on the right hand side —–>

Next up, I’ve had some really great chats lately with fellow makers. I love hearing what my friends are doing to improve and grow their businesses. We swap stories all the time, talking about what works and what doesn’t, and we lend an ear to each other’s business questions & quandaries. It’s addictive and ridiculously supportive. And I realized, I’ve been keeping it pretty “lite” on the blog these days, but I’ve been wanting to return to sharing more personal stories as well, so as I enter the hectic holiday season, I thought it might be useful to reflect a bit and share my creative journey over the past year. Here’s what’s been going on:

In January, I decided to change my approach to creating & selling my ceramics. On the creation side, I wanted to work smarter (not harder…hardness is already at a maximum I think!). I also knew that I wanted to work collaboratively with other artists who I admired to inspire the creation of new bodies of work and new ways of presenting that work to others. More on that in a bit! On the selling side, I set out to shift the bulk of my sales from consignment/retail to wholesale/retail. To do this I finally developed a more streamlined collection (the blue & white series, which came about from my collaboration with Heather Dahl). I’d shied away from this foray into wholesale for far too long, by making excuses that it would be too difficult, that during/after a recession I would have to be happy with consignment only, that Ontario was too fussy a market right now to shift to wholesale and that I’d potentially lose certain opportunities…it went on and on. Basically, a giant heap of fear was really holding me back. Consignment is a great way to get your foot in the door, to introduce your products to new buyers and test new locations, but let me tell you sister, it is not sustainable over time, not for the bulk of an artisan’s sales. At least, not for me. That’s why I’ve been so thrilled to see shop owners approach me more often with an openness to wholesale, and why I’ve respectfully opted out of other opportunities that didn’t fit the new game plan. When you’re an entrepreneur, it’s so hard to say no when opportunity knocks. It literally makes my stomach churn when I think about it. Yet staying true to your vision is really important when you’re building your business. And I’m so grateful to all my stockists for carrying my work and supporting what I do!

Photography by Miro Wagner

The next big change I made was to not sell at the One of a Kind Show this holiday season, which is running right now, actually. Gulp. Instead, after a three-year hiatus, I wanted to be part of local indie holiday shows again. By shifting my energy away from the OOAK this year, I’ll be able to participate in more smaller shows (which due to contract rules, an artist usually can’t be a part of if they’re selling at the OOAK) and reconnect with the amazing indie craft community in my city. Oh, how I’ve missed y’all! Really, it’s just a big experiment in running my wee business to see what works better for me: to do one giant retail show a year and hope for amazing sales (emphasis on hope) vs. doing 3-5 smaller shows with strong followings and see gradual sales (and maintain my sanity). So far, using my state-of-the-art sales projection tools (my calculator and my intuition), this is looking like my best year yet. Here’s hoping all us artisans & crafters have a strong holiday season!

(Left) Pouring & straining the clay slip, (right) greenware bud vases waiting to be bisque fired. Photography by Miro Wagner

Back to the collaborative projects. As mentioned before, I did the Kindred show in June with Heather of Dahlhaus. This was really rewarding. We planned the entire show by email correspondence, sharing a blog, and the occasional text message. When Heather arrived in Toronto and we finally got to unwrap our pots and see them together for the first time — it just clicked!

Now, I have two more collaborations in the works. Home décor & product designer extraordinaire, Avril Loreti, and I are creating a very special project for this year’s Capacity show. Capacity, a showcase of women working in design, is part of Toronto’s Design Week, and will show at the Gladstone Hotel in late January. Collaborating with Avril is inspiring in so many ways. Her happy spirit and coy sense of humour infuse into everything she creates. I’m a fan. We’ll post more details about our project as it unfolds, and will be blogging about our process, too, but in the meantime I can say that we’re working on something big, bold, colourful and pattern-focused. Agh! So excited.

In 2013, I’m also going to be creating something special with Jen Kneulman, of Freshly Printed! We studied at OCAD together, and have wanted to translate our mutual business crush into something fabulous for some time now. Jen’s handprinted linen goods are incredibly detailed and lovely, and can now be found at Anthropologie. PS Check out the feature on Jen & her business in the December issue House & Home magazine!

One last mention…I have updated my upcoming holiday shows (City of Craft, Movies & Makers, etc). so you know where to find me! I’d love to see you if you can make it out! My work will also be featured in the Studio Huddle Holiday Shop again this season. They have a beautiful showcase of local, high-quality artisan goods. See the invite & opening reception info below:

Thanks for coming out to the Fusion sale!

October 17th, 2012 by Krystal

Thanks for coming by the Fusion Pottery & Glass Sale this weekend. It was a beautiful show. We enjoyed all the traffic from the Saturday morning farmers’ market, I had a fantastic booth neighbour, Ms. April Gates of Blackbird Pottery, and the Wychwood Barns was a beautiful space to spend a rainy weekend in! I had a cheerful table of pots…the red poppy vases having made their triumphant return. Haha. By popular demand, actually, so I was happy to bring them back! One of the most rewarding aspects of this show was getting to meet more established artists who have been potting for 30+ years. While I couldn’t relate to the ‘pottery heyday’ that they were lucky enough to get their start in (me being a ‘recession’ potter and all), I did appreciate their kind words of encouragement.

One potter took me by the arm, gave me a good squeeze, and said “It is so good to see all these young people here!”

What’s next? I have two more wholesale orders to wrap up in time for the holiday season. Gonna be at CITY OF CRAFT on December 8-9th in Toronto. So excited for this show. And, later in December I will be in the Beaches for the lovely MOVIES & MAKERS Craft Show at the Fox Theatre. What could be better than that? I’ll post dates & details soon.

Pottery & Glass Show

October 12th, 2012 by Krystal

I’m part of a sale this weekend that is just focused on pottery & glass. Normally, ceramic artists are just a small portion of the vendors with booths/tables at craft shows, so this show is certainly the exception! It’s my first time selling at the Fusion Pottery & Glass Sale, and as a new member of Fusion, I’m really looking forward to connecting with the skilled artisans that make up their group.

The show will be in the beautiful Wychwood Barns this year. So if you plan on going to the farmer’s market on Saturday morning, you’ll also find plenty of amazing artists to meet!

See you there!

SHOW HOURS:

Saturday, October 13, 8 am – 5 pm
Sunday, October 14, 11 am – 5 pm

 

Upcoming Show: Queen West Art Crawl

September 7th, 2012 by Krystal

In just over a week from now, Trinity Bellwoods Park will be filled to the brim with great artists, all participating in the Queen West Art Crawl’s outdoor art sale, running from September 15th - 16th. You’ll find me there, in booth M2, right beside some great friends/artists you may also know: Avril Loreti, Alison Gledhill of Grace Design, Ashley Winnington-Ball, Arounna & John of Bookhou, Jen of Freshly Printed, Lisa of Girl Can Create…we have an entire row of fabulous people selling beautiful things. Come visit!

I still can hardly believe we’re into September now. I’ve been on a roll since getting back into the studio after summer vacation up north, working on getting my wholesale orders ready & delivered to the shops for the holiday season. This winter I’m trying a new approach. I won’t be at the One of a Kind Show, yet will be doing smaller indie/community shows in Toronto, as well as a studio open-house/sale in late November or early December. I’ll post more details on that once we set the dates! One of things I do love about running a small business is how quickly you can adapt to a new path once you see a bump in the road up ahead. While I hope to return to the OOAK one day, I’m not sure if it’s the best fit for me right now. And I’m thrilled to be able to do the indie shows again, which unfortunately the contract with One of a Kind does not allow you to do. So, here’s to the new approach!

To keep up with what’s going on in the studio & which shows I’ll be at, visit me on facebook!

I’d love to hear from you.

KS

July Wrap-Up!

July 28th, 2012 by Krystal

Hi there! I just had two sweet friends tell me that my pottery is featured in this week’s edition of The Grid! They did a lovely feature on “fresh finds” at Coriander Girl, my favourite Toronto florist, and I’m thrilled to be included as one of their picks. Working with the Coriander Girl herself, Alison Westlake, I created a custom line of pottery just for the shop. If you have not been to visit yet, you’re in for a treat!

In other news, the Muskoka Arts & Crafts show was last weekend. Let’s just say it was an eventful show, sandwiched between root canal procedures and flat tires, but also peppered with great visits from Muskoka friends & family. I’ve finally started driving around the city and this was my first trip solo from Toronto to Port Carling, me with my little Mazda packed solid with pots and BRAIDS blaring from the stereo. Happily, I arrived safely at 1 am and crashed at my folks’ house for the night (nothing like sleeping in your childhood bedroom, right?). My mom left out a piece of gluten-free blueberry cake for my midnight snack. Adorbs.

The next day, I set out for Bracebridge with my dad in tow and we started to build the booth. Side note: It turns out that my dad is the best craft show set-up assistant ever (more like I was the assistant…he knew the ropes). He had every screwdriver known to man, allan keys, drills, levels, shims… I couldn’t have done it without his help! I told him he was hired, which just seemed to distress him. My fantastic cousin Mike built custom shelves for me out of distressed wood, just for the show. My future mother-in-law sat the booth for me and I think my dear mother told every person that came into her shop in our hometown that they should “Go find my daughter in booth 107!” at the craft show this weekend. So much love for y’all.

My booth was filled with friendly people for three days straight and I got caught up with some of my favourite artisans: April, Miranda, Filipa & Shane! And many more.

Around the corner is August. Time to make new work for the upcoming Queen West Art Crawl in September, and the FUSION clay & glass sale in November. Hope you’re all having a great summer so far!