Ryspot Design: Conversational Home Decor

Third-generation concrete craftsman Ryan Spotowski is back at the Royal Bison! His company, Ryspot Design, is focused on creating limited production home goods using non-traditional materials. Catch him at the Bison both weekends, follow Ryan on Instagram (@ryspot) or Twitter (@rypsot) to see more of his work, and read on to discover what inspires the conversational home decor he creates.

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Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
Ryspot Design:
To create conversation. We have become isolated and members of echo chambers; design can change that by providing approachable objects that inspire conversation. Objects can be totems that tell stories, our experiences, and desires. We don’t touch enough of what is real. I want to inspire that connection and get people excited.

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
New terrazzo based pieces. My family has been working with terrazzo for over 60 years and I’ve always been a fan. Terrazzo is more luxurious than concrete, but still has a natural look. I’ve been exploring new ways of processing my materials and playing with textures.

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
Edmonton probably has the most designers who work with concrete in the world, including Concrete Cat and Beton Brut (even though she’s in Saskatchewan now). I think my niche falls in the ability to process concrete and similar materials once it’s cured; to refine the material into something completely different. I’m also exploring resin and waste materials.

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RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community?
Edmonton has a strong community of designers and people who are passionate about creating. People get really excited when you tell them you’re creating things; there’s a desire to collaborate and build. It’s less of a gallery-type city. People want to talk to you about design, they want to be a part of changing the city.

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes! 
On the local scene, I’m really impressed with Sam Knopp and Stranger Design, but my wife will probably lock me out of the house if I buy another mug. Over the past couple years, it’s been really exciting to get to meet other creatives and learn their stories, it’s really hard to select only a couple people when so many have become friends.

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us?
I’ve only been married a couple years, so I’m still building new traditions with my wife.

Visit Ryspot Design’s website to learn more and discover what products he’ll have at the Royal Bison: http://shop.ryspot.design 

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Ryspot Design 4

Kalika Bowlby Helps Slow Down A Busy World.

Kalika Bowlby, ceramic artist and designer, first joined Bison in 2015 and is joining us again for Spring 2018 and we are so excited to have her join us again! Kalika had this to say about her work: "I make pots for every day, for simple meals and grand feasts, morning coffee or tea with friends, handmade contemporary ceramics with a focus on simplicity and functionality." Uggghhh.. That just sounds so APPEALING. We love it! Keep up with Kalika's progress on instagram (@kalikabowlby) and read on down below to see what's been inspiring her to create!


RB: What draws you to making/designing things?
KALIKA: I make objects to slow us down in a busy world. They are objects that invite us to set the table, take time to prepare and share a meal, reminders that eating and drinking can nourish us on many levels, objects to help us celebrate the simple, beautiful moments of every day.

RB: What’s new for your line/business this spring?
KALIKA: I have a new line of white minimalist tableware.  It is a celebration of timelessness and simplicity.  

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RB: What’s in your designer/maker/creative plans for 2018?
KALIKA: I am currently working on a project titled “Hold Water”.  I’m developing a series of glazes from locally harvested river clay and using it on the surface of large forms that “hold water”, bringing attention to the preciousness of our water sources.  

RB: Tell us about a few of your designer/maker/creative crushes:
KALIKA: A couple contemporary ceramic makers that I really admire and am constantly inspired by are Mike Helke and Giselle Hicks.

www.kalika.ca <<< Head on over to Kalika's portfolio site to see her full portfolio of work!


Facilitating Deep Discussions via Ryspot Design

Ryan Spotowski, of Ryspot Design, first joined us in 2017 and he's back to bring us some thoughtfully designed concrete pieces. Ryspot Design creates new perceptions of our urban environments. These provoking objects are wonderful talking pieces and OFTEN have people needing to touch them to really feel their full depth. We're super excited to have Ryan vending with us again! You can keep up with Ryspot's progress on instagram/twitter (@ryspot) and do read on down below to get a better understanding of what inspires Ryan to create!


RB: What draws you to making/designing things?
RYSPOT: It’s how I have a conversation with others.  I like to talk by making things.  My design is my voice.

RB: What’s new for your line/business this spring?
RYSPOT: I’m incorporating more recycled materials for my core tables and terrazzo products.  They’re also a new line of terrazzo products.


RB: What’s in your designer/maker/creative plans for 2018? 
RYSPOT: Keep pursuing recycled materials, but also working on how objects can help to facilitate difficult conversations. I’m frustrated with how combative we’ve become as social groups that live in our own little bubbles. I hope people can still talk to people they disagree with and have a respectful conversation. Design can help with those conversations by becoming a common reference point.

RB: Tell us about a few of your designer/maker/creative crushes:
RYSPOT: My cupboards are full of mugs by Stranger Goods and Sam Knopp.

Check out Ryan's full line of beautiful design work at www.ryspot.design


Take Your Home From Drab To Fab With Cool Factory!

Genevieve Ongaro, of creative brand Cool Factory, has this to say of her project: "I make metallic animal magnets; they are plastic toy animals that I cut in half, spray paint, and glue on magnets. They are quirky and fun, come in gold, silver, and copper, and small and large sizes. I love that the metallic spray paint accentuates the detail of the toys, and allows them to transcend their original purpose; they instantly become classy yet still fun and versatile!" Genevieve first started making in 2014 and first joined us at Bison in 2015. Cool Factory will be selling her goods with us again for the December weekend of our fair and we couldn't be more excited!! You can follow along Genevieve's progress with Cool Factory on instagram (@genevieveongaro) and read on down below to see what inspires her to create!


Q: What does it mean to be an Edmonton maker/designer/artist?
CF: For me, this means being able to experiment and collaborate, while also having various outlets to showcase and share my work! Edmonton is a very quirky and accepting community which makes it easy to put yourself out there and fearlessly try new things.

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Q: What are your top 3 influences (artists, things, etc)?
CF: Nature and the outdoors are huge for me, as are all things cute and tiny. I love tiny things. Current human influences would be graphic designer/letterer Corina Nika (of the Cocorrina blog) and teeny tiny ceramicist Danielle Pedersen.

Q: Favourite Bison item you’ve picked up at a previous fair?
CF: Probably my Sylvia Soo card holder…it’s my fave and I carry it around with me every day.

Cool Factory will be joining us for the December weekend of our fair and you can check out the full collection of Genevieve's work by heading on over to www.genevieveongaro.com

Cool Factory big-boss,&nbsp;Genevieve Ongaro

Cool Factory big-boss, Genevieve Ongaro

Beautifully Crafted Woodworks With AC Woods

Alyssa Chappell, aka AC Woods, handcrafts and designs wooden wares for the home and kiddos. Their goods include bright colours, clean lines, and made of beautiful woods. AND all proceeds help support the Canadian Association of Medical Teams Abroad with their medical mission work in Ecuador. Isn't that amazing?! Alyssa made her first alphabet block in 2012 and will be joining us for the first time for the November weekend and we're excited to have her! You can follow Alyssa's work on instagram (@ac.woods) and read on down below to see how she responded to our Q&A:


Q: What does it mean to be an Edmonton maker/designer/artist?
AC: I am honoured to be included in the list of makers within the Edmonton community at the Royal Bison this year. The artistic community in Edmonton is extremely supportive, talented, diverse, as well as a bit random and weird which I love. I’m just super happy to be a part of it and am continually inspired by everyone’s work!

Q: What are your top 3 influences (artists, things, etc)?
AC: Kiddos, geometric shapes, and colour.

Q: Favourite Bison item you’ve picked up at a previous fair?
AC: My favourite bison treasure is the beautiful weaving I purchased from Jessica Fern Facette (@fernsschoolofcraft) last year. The colours and pattern are so beautiful!

Do yourself a favour and head on over to www.etsy.com/ca/shop/acwoodsshop to check out the rest of Alyssa's AC WOODS woodwork!