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!

Sam Knopp Ceramics 1

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?
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?
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.

Sam Knopp Ceramics 2

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

Sam Knopp Ceramics 3

Stephanie Simpson Illustrates the Vibrant World of Alberta Flora and Fauna

Stephanie Simpson is an Edmonton-based illustrator, photographer and occasional filmmaker. Her illustrative work focuses on bright, simple, and very Alberta-inspired imagery – national parks, city landmarks, local plants and animals, and those sorts of things! She first vended with us in the December market in 2017, and we are thrilled to have her back with us! Keep up with Steph's progress on instagram (@stephanie.illustrates) and do yourself a favour and read on down below to see what inspires Steph to illustrate!


RB: What draws you to making/designing things?
STEPH: Tough question! It’s something I’ve done since I was a little kid (I took my first painting class when I was 6 or 7, and was both properly terrible and very much inspired). 

RB: What’s new for your line/business this spring?
STEPH: I have new landmark illustrations (the old and new Royal Alberta Museum buildings), new plant illustrations, and I’m tinkering away on a map. I also have a little Canadian landscape series in the works!  


RB: What’s in your designer/maker/creative plans for 2018?
STEPH: Most of my work is done digitally, but this year I’m trying to get off of my computer as much as I can. I’m hoping to do some screenprinting in the next couple of months and just signed up for a pottery class at Viva Clayworks.

RB: Tell us about a few of your designer/maker/creative crushes:
STEPH: Tom Haugomat (@tomhaugomat) – master of the Posca marker! I’d like to spend a day in his dreamy landscapes.

Don't forget to check out Steph's instagram account (@stephanie.illustrates) for all the latest in her work!


Unique, Time-Travelling, Well-Made Ceramics: Stranger Design

Stranger Design is a ceramics company that creates house ware product that are unique, designed, and from the future: in other words, STRANGE. Molly Bradford, operator of Stranger Design, joined us before in December 2017 and was a comfortable fit. Her use of colours and texture on ceramics was mesmerising. We are elated to have her back! You can keep up with Molly's day-to-day design life on instagram (@stranger_design_) and read on down below to see who Molly's designer/maker/creative crushes are! ♥♥♥


Q: What draws you to making/designing things?
SD: I like to make, just to see what might happen.

Q: What’s new for your line/business this spring?
SD: For Spring I’ve been focusing on a lot of vases and flower pots with minimal decoration.


Q: What’s in your designer/maker/creative plans for 2018:
SD: This year I want to stretch my hand building muscles and use a slab roller to create some new forms.

Q: Tell us about a few of your designer/maker/creative crushes: 
SD: I don’t think I would be alone in admitting my huge crush on potter Helen Levi and her pal, woodworker, Ariele Alasko. Also, Eric Roinestad is practically a potter from outer space and I love his work. It looks like a bunch of perfect shapes glued together, but very elegant.

You can find the rest of Molly's breathtaking work online at


Get Your Basics Covered With NORD

Danny Loconte and Glendon Ho, owners of NORD, are new to Royal Bison this year - joining us for the November weekend and they couldn't be more welcome! The two have a panache for adding just enough splash to their apparel to keep a person interested. You can find out what they get up to on a regular basis by checking out their instagram / facebook pages and read on down below to learn more about their brand: 


NORD designs and produces premium basic wear garments. We create products to blend seamlessly with everyday life through versatility and comfort. Our garments are designed in house to our specification and paired with fabrics that enhance the design. Our materials and garment manufacturing process is proudly Canadian. NORD is based in Edmonton, Alberta and was formed in March 2017.

You can find their shop online at