ART

Sam Knopp: Playful & Minimal Ceramics

This is the final instalment of our Winter 2018 Vendor Previews! Thanks for following along - anything above this post is for Spring 2019 or later!

With interests in mid-century design, pop culture, and craftsmanship, Sam Knopp of Sam Knopp Ceramics makes handmade ceramics that are playful, minimal, and richly tactile. Her beautiful pieces will automatically become central points in your decor! Catch Sam at the Bison from December 7 to 9, follow her on Instagram (@samknoppceramics), and read on to discover what inspires her!

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Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
Sam Knopp Ceramics:
I think it’s ultimately about relationships. Creating meaning and connection with other people but also the material world around us. The process of creating and re-creating is a type of conversation you have at times with yourself but even better when it’s with others.

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
SKC:
It feels like a lot!  But mostly I’ve been reworking and refining my materials and techniques over the last year. I am a classic Libra over here so you will find a mix of bright, loud, plastic, pop and cool, refined, and minimalism.

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
SKC:
A strong focus on material. I don’t have much for illustrative chops and I’m definitely not a production potter but I sure love the clay and glaze. So I’m always finding ways to make that the focus of the pieces I make.

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RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community?
SKC:
I live in the village Irma, about an hour and half east of Edmonton. It has been an amazing place to set up shop over the last two years and its proximity to Edmonton allows me to be part this city’s rich creative community. The Edmonton art scene is full of talent and yet remains humble and welcoming. Edmonton has that strange small town/big city feel which means there are the resources to make stuff happen and excitement for new ideas in a community that truly wants to build each other up. So its pretty great.

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
SKC:
This is tough. So, so, many. Trading was actually a problem (a good problem!) for me at last year’s Winter Royal Bison. Two of my favourites from those swaps are a necklace I got from Jared Sykes of Stable State and a set of spoons from Rachel Beyer of Grit and Grain.

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us?
SKC:
Chocolate Clusters from my mother-in-law (fingers crossed for an extra batch this year with this shout-out). Every year we get a box regardless of where we are and they don’t last more than a couple hours.

Visit Sam Knopp’s website to discover more of the work that she’ll be bringing to the Royal Bison: www.samknopp.com

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Fast & Dirty Collective: Collaborative Art

New vendor alert! We’re excited to welcome Jennifer Rae Forsyth and Kristen Hutchinson of the Fast & Dirty Collective! They’re an Edmonton based rotating collective of artists and curators that creates artworks, exhibitions, and art events for short durations. They focus on collaborative making, unusual environments, and challenging curatorial methods. Catch them at the Bison from December 7-9, follow them on Instagram (@fastanddirtycollective) and Twitter (@fastanddirty), and read on to discover what inspires them!

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Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
Fast & Dirty Collective:
In our recent work, we are especially interested in exploring the processes of collaborative making. Collaboration is often viewed as an idyllic state where people harmoniously achieve a common goal, but collaboration can also be a battle, a struggle between control freaks, a process of slowly coming to terms with one another’s interventions and ideas, and a space for experimentation. Collaborations are common place in the contemporary art world, with artists and scholars coming together from across disciplines to share similar interests and/or support shared causes. But what if there was no specific goal or aim? What if the purpose of collaboration was to explore the act of collaboration and the co-mingling of individual creative processes and struggles? This is how we approach collaboration.

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
FDC:
In the last two years Forsyth and Hutchinson have been collaborating on art and craft projects. The work we are selling is inspired by our most recent body of artwork titled Get Out of My Way. These items include collaborative artworks on wood panels and reversible, mixed media wooden jewelry pendants.  

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?   
FDC:
The collaborative aspect of work and that all our jewelry and artworks are unique and one of a kind. The items we will be selling are handmade, collaborative artworks by two practicing artists, where one artist responds to the other's work on opposite sides of the pendants or beside each other on the panels. We have also created panels where we both collaborated to create a single collage image.

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RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community?
FDC:
We love the DIY and collaborative aspects of Edmonton’s creative community. The fast & dirty collective was established by artists for artists and we have promoted Edmonton artists at all stages of career development through events that offer an alternative to traditional gallery formats.

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
FDC:
Rebecca Bellmore, Christine Borland, Janine Antoni, Janet Cardiff, Adrian Piper & Shawna Dempsey & Lori Millan

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us?
FDC:
Kristen hosts an annual Chrismukkah party where she serves homemade latkes, kugel, sugar cookies, and anatomically correct gingerpeople of all genders.

Follow Fast & Dirty Collective on Instagram to see more of the work they’ll be brining to the Royal Bison: @fastanddirtycollective

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Laura La France: Spontaneous, Prairie Photography

New vendor alert! We’re excited to welcome the awe-inspiring photography of Laura La France to the Bison! She’s consistently kept a disposable 35mm camera on her person since 2016. Her photography is dependent on spontaneity, grounded in Canadian prairie-life, and strives to capture the hidden beauty of what we see every day. Catch her at the Bison from December 7-9, follow her on Instagram (@queenbedhead) and Twitter (@laura_la_france) to see more of her work and read on to discover what inspires her!

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Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
Laura La France:
When it comes to film photography, I’m just in love with the whole process. It takes patience, which is something I don’t often have to practice in other areas of my life, so it’s super rewarding. It takes weeks, even months, to use up my 27 exposures, then I have to wait for the film to develop, and then I have no idea whether anything has turned out the way I hoped. When I finally have the new batch of photos, it’s incredibly exciting to look through them and see how they turned out. I’m also drawn to how photography has made me see the world differently; since buying my first camera, it’s like I see the world through the soft, grainy filter of 35mm. Everything feels more beautiful and meaningful.

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
LLF:
I’m still new to vending, but since doing the Whyte Avenue Art Walk in July, I’ve learned a lot about the differences in what I think will sell and what will actually sell. I’ve whittled my collection down to a handful of my strongest pieces. Super excited to see what people think!

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
LLF:
Film is gaining popularity, but it could still be considered a relatively unique medium for photography. Since my little wind-up camera is easy to keep with me wherever I go, I have the ability to take spur-of-the-moment photographs that could not have been planned. I also use restored vintage frames, which create a unique art piece when paired with the right print. 

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RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community?
LLF:
I love being involved in the Edmonton arts community because we’re all working so hard to do what we do. There’s no sense of competition or of getting lost in the shuffle. We help each other; we encourage and buy each other’s work; there’s this sense that we’re all in it together.

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
LLF:
Edmonton has so many amazing artists! I’m obsessed with all of you!

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us?
LLF:
Helping my mother decorate her house on December 1st. She, my sister and I make a pot of chai, prepare a spread of meats and cheeses, put on the Neil Diamond Christmas Album, and open the several large boxes where Mum keeps her extensive collection of decorations. It takes us a whole evening, but the entire house is Christmas-ified by the end of it.

Visit Laura La France’s website to see more of what she’ll be bringing to the Royal Bison: bigmimicproductions.com

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Concrete Cat: Concrete Objets d'Art

A local studio established in 2007, Concrete Cat has been a regular vendor at the Bison since 2011! They’re a team of artists creating sculpture, objects, and architecture. They explore the use of concrete with a focus on colour pattern and form. Catch them at the Bison from November 30 to December 2, follow them on Instagram (@concretecat) and Twitter (@concretecat) to see more of their work and read on to discover what inspires them to create!

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Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
Concrete Cat:
Have to.

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
CC:
New colours, patterns, objects, and secrets!

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
CC:
We pioneered a new genre 12 years ago. We're one of the oldest studios producing concrete as objet d'art; our work is sold and recognized globally by our unique surface pattern design alone. We do not rest easy on these laurels and take it upon ourselves to always be innovating. No one else combines art and science the way Concrete Cat does.

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RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community?
CC:
Thankful.

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
CC:
Eiichiro Oda's prolific work has long been a source of both inspiration and hope for our work. Our studio wouldn't have been the same without the sounds of Danish musician Dinner. And last but not least the roots of all our pattern and design work can be traced back to the work of Baudrillard and Joseph Campbell.

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us? 
CC:
Drink nog, eat chocolate, and play Nintendo. 

Visit Concrete Cat’s website to see more of the work they’ll be bringing to the Royal Bison: https://concretecat.com/

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Stranger Studio: Funky Ceramics Factory

Molly Bradford of Stranger Studio is back at the Bison with her eclectic mix of ceramic pots, dishes, and sculptures! Not only does her work make great gifts, but you may want to treat yourself to a cool ceramic to make a great conversation starter during your holiday dinner. She describes her business as “a one-woman funky factory for ceramics.” Catch her at the Bison from November 30 to December 2, Follow her on Instagram (@stanger__studio) to see more of her work and read on to discover what inspires her!

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Royal Bison: What’s new for your line or business this season?
Stranger Studio:
I’ve been experimenting with new shapes in more neutral colours.

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
SS:
I think my work has a sense of humour about it. Like some of these pieces might waltz away and have their own Netflix comedy special if I’m not paying attention.

RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community?
SS:
Very lucky. Last night when I was driving home I saw a bumper sticker that read: “Edmonton: if you don’t like then f*** right off.” It really gave me the feels.

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RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
SS:
Right now I’m crushing hard on Julian Watts. He works with wood primarily, but you wouldn’t be able to tell because his pieces are so weird looking and organic. The textures always blow me away.

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us?
SS:
My favourite thing to do over Christmas holidays is to drink wine while doing a puzzle and watching movie marathons.

Visit Stranger Studio’s website to see more of what they’re bringing to the Royal Bison: https://strangerstudio.ca/

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Get Drawn Into The Mind of Stephanie Hayward

Stephanie Hayward is an industrial design student at the University of Alberta who is constantly being drawn back into the world of 2D. She primarily makes illustrations and prints relating to mental health, femininity and natural history. While there is variation to her work, it is united by a general sensitivity to both line and subject matter. It's Stephanie's first Royal Bison and we're real excited to have her around! You can keep up with her progress in the march towards Bison in early May on instagram (@stephanneh) and take a gnader on down below to see what has been inspiring Stephanie to create!

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RB: What draws you to making/designing things?
STEPH: I make/ design things not only because it’s what I am passionate about, but also because I hope my work can start conversations and bring people together. A lot my illustrations and prints are a form of self expression, but I’d like to believe this is what makes my work relatable.

RB: What’s new for your line/business this spring?
STEPH: I’m excited to show off new prints as well as some smaller goods including postcards and stickers!

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RB: What’s in your designer/maker/creative plans for 2018?
STEPH: I plan to experiment with printing on fabric. 

RB: Tell us about a few of your designer/maker/creative crushes:
STEPH: Oh, there are so many! But I’m currently crushing on canadian artist and illustrator Ryan Heshka, illustrator Fran Meneses and the emboridery artist Stephanie Kelly Clark.

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Corissa O'Donnell Shows Us How To Just Go With The Flow

Corissa O'Donnell is back, babyyyyyy!! Oh man do we ever love her work too, so it's a pleasure to have her again. Ink drawn nudes, birds, bikes, and animals, collaged vintage paper and finds, unique vintage frames. Prints available in many forms, just let her know if you want an image on a functional piece like a t-shirt, mug, pillow, shoes... Really, anything: YOU NAME IT! Head on over to her portfolio site (www.corissao'donnellarts.com) to see the entirety of her workWe had a few questions to throw Corrissa's way to see what inspires her. Read on down below to find out!

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RB: What draws you to making/designing things?
CORISSA: My mental health

RB: What’s new for your line/business this spring?
CORISSA: Not sure, but have done a few commissions this winter and have one planned for this spring.

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RB: What’s in your designer/maker/creative plans for 2018 (new materials? New ideas? New places?):
CORISSA: Just whatever I fancy in the moment, no big plans.

RB: Tell us about a few of your designer/maker/creative crushes:
CORRISSA: Thomas Poulton, Aubrey Beardsley, David Mann, Marsha Robinson,

Head on over to www.corissao'donnellarts.com to check out the rest of Corissa's tantalising work.

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Bond Over A Moment With Erin Elizabeth Ross

Erin Elizabeth Ross lives and works in Edmonton- her work has been represented in commercial galleries since 2008, and sits in multiple private and public collections. Along with her commercial representation, Erin has had work in shows at the Art Gallery of Alberta, Latitude 53 contemporary Art Gallery, Harcourt house, the Art Gallery of St. Albert, and recently a public art piece for the city of Edmonton. It's Erins first time vending at a Bison and we cannot wait to have her with us! You can keep up with the latest Erin is coming up with on instagram (@erinelizabethrosspainting) and read on down below to see what makes Erin tick:

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RB: What draws you to making/designing things?
ERIN: I’ve always (and I mean always) been drawn to making things.  Drawing, paintings, little sculptures and dioramas.  For me it’s definitely something intrinsic I chose to feed- so I guess the easy answer is I can’t imagine a life I’m happy in if I’m NOT making things. 

RB: What’s new for your line/business this spring?
ERIN: This will be my first time ever creating and selling limited edition prints of my work, exclusively for the Royal Bison.  There will be 3 different images to choose from.

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RB: What’s in your designer/maker/creative plans for 2018?
ERIN: I’m still very excited about my fire work (there will be a few for sale at The Bison!) and I’d like to dig further into that.  For me these paintings are about presenting moments of tragedy we bond over, cry over, feel alive over, create stories we pass from generation to generation over.  They depict in a modern way the land I come from, that my ancestors settled and died on, and that I’ll return to one day.

Also I’m on the hunt for something collaborative! I don’t know what it will yet- but I’m excited to work on a project with other creatives.

RB: Tell us about a few of your designer/maker/creative crushes:
ERIN: Oh man- well, I have a lot, a lifetime worth really… but I was living in Cape Town, South Africa last year, and had the absolute pleasure of meeting some creatives over there that were so interesting and honest. The exquisite painter (and baker actually) Alice Toich @alice_toich, the incredibly kind and curious pop artist Keith Vlahakis @keithvlahakis, and the inspired mural artist Ben Johnston @benjohnstondesign (who consequently was born and raised in Cape Town but currently calls Toronto home). 

You can find Erins astonishing portfolio online at www.erinelizabethross.com

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Brighten Up Your Day With Hayley Colours Art!

Hayley Andruko, of Hayley Colours Art, is an emerging Edmonton artist and full-time elementary teacher, working mainly with acrylic paint, lino-cut printing, pastels and digital medium. Hayley's art is inspired by nature, incorporating bright colours and geometric shapes with mountain-scapes, floral and anatomical designs. Hayley is new to the Royal Bison family and we're really excited to have her! You can keep up to date with Hayley Colours Art on instagram (@hayleycolours) and read on down below to see what inspires Hayley to create!

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RB: What draws you to making/designing things?
HAA: Art has always been second-nature to me! I’ve been colouring and painting since I can remember, although only recently started sharing it with the world. I am constantly inspired by bright and beautiful colours, views while travelling, or the creativity and energy of my students at school.    

RB: What’s new for your line/business this spring?
HAA: This spring, I wanted to focus on sharing my art in an affordable and accessible way. I’ve been making prints of my favourite original pieces for fair-goers to take home without breaking the bank. 

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RB: What’s in your designer/maker/creative plans for 2018 (new materials? New ideas? New places?):
HAA:Just trying to get myself out there! I love meeting and connecting with other people in the creative community and learning from other experienced artists. Other than that, I’m going to focus on my online-presence and marketing myself to maximize artistic opportunities (that one’s a bit of a chore), as well as work my way through sizable list of commissioned paintings! 

RB: Tell us about a few of your designer/maker/creative crushes:
HAA: I’ve definitely got some artwork from drwbnsn and Hamburger Hands around my apartment from past Royal Bison Fairs (those guys make AMAZING stuff), and I watch Bob Ross videos pretty regularly… 

You can find Hayley's portfolio of work online at www.hayleycolours.com

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Fall Under The Artsy Spell Of Stitch Witch

Shannon Fox, self-professed "Gothic Sprite", is bringing us her incredible free-hand embroidery for the first time ever! Stitch Witch, the moniker of Shannon's artful embroidery, started creating for herself in 2016. She'll be gracing us with her witchy ways on the November weekend of our fair and we couldn't be more excited to have her! Check out her embroidery work and incredible fashion sense on instagram (@foxshannon) and read on down below to see how she responded to our Q&A:

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Q: What does it mean to be an Edmonton maker/designer/artist?
SW: I feel part of a community that empowers, supports, and creates space for me to be my unique and wacky creative self. It feels truly delightful to create art in a community that other creatives understand and show up to appreciate, regardless of whether that community is two best friends or a room full of Bisoneers. 

Q: What are your top 3 influences (artists, things, etc)?
SW: Handmade textile work, Elsa Schiaparelli and her collaborative couture with the Surrealist art movement of the 1920s-1930s. The idea of magic, channeling it through a handmade item, and share that mysticism with others.

Q: Favourite Bison item you’ve picked up at a previous fair?
SW: A print of a black cat holding a crystal ball that perfectly captures my ancient witchy soul from Emil Chu!

Head on over to Shannons instagram (@foxshannon) to keep up to date on all the witchy activities she's getting up to!

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Getting Elemental With Our Friends Taco Skate Co.

Joining us for December weekend, Adriean Koleric of Taco Skate Co., has this to say of his lowbrow DIY skate-life brand: "The company stemmed from an element I had planted in a group of hand sketches from a series called 'HERE'. I would scribble the words "Taco Skate Co" or "Taco Skateboard Company" on characters shirts or the VW they'd be situated next to. It got to the point I was asked to make stickers which lead to hand sprayed shirts in parking lots, which lead to painting a "company" logo on my own '72 Beetle. I joked that it was a "fake" company until I actually registered the name in November '16 and went legit. From there I've been using it as a physical extension of my 'Here' series to the point that it feels like a performance piece rather than an actual business."

Rad. We are so thrilled to have such a creative spirit with us at Royal Bison! Check out his instagram / twitter accounts for regular updates and read on on down below for our Q&A with him: 

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Q: What does it mean to be an Edmonton maker/designer/artist? 
A : Being a born + raised Edmontonian, it means a lot to be able to create in this environment and give back something to the Community that brought me up. I’ve always felt growing up we had this ‘underdog’ title living in the Prairies and in constant shadow of “The Big 3” Canadian markets of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. So to be able to carve out a small niche and produce work in this town makes it all the more satisfying. 

Q: What are your top 3 influences (artists, things, etc)?
A: Ed Templeton, Rothfink, and cooking shows on VICE (Action Bronson, Matty Mattheson, etc)

Q: Favourite Bison item you’ve picked up at a previous fair?
A : Framed Print of an old VW Bus from Photographer Jim Johansson. One year we bought the front view and the next year we bought the side view. Hoping there’s a rear one this year.

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