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Friday Sock Co: Mismatched Fun

We’re thrilled to welcome back Calgary designer Adam Thompson of Friday Sock Co. to the Royal Bison! You won’t ever have to worry about finding a matching sock again, as this ethically made sock brand has a purposely mismatched design concept. The super fun patterns and designs of Friday Sock Co. will knock the socks off your feet before you put on a pair of theirs! Catch them at the Bison November 30 to December 2, follow them on Instagram (@FridaySockCo), and read on to discover what inspires their strange socks!

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Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
Friday Sock Co:
The fact that I can create something that pulls a positive emotion out of someone else. Also, I love the relationship of things. Designing purposely mismatched socks allows me to explore the interconnectedness of things. What goes together, but is different… I recently did a design with two whales, but they aren’t just two whales, they are two whales that live in the same area. Or my cat and a box design. This is the part of my job that I absolutely love.

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
FSC:
We’ve released over 50 new designs and also a new spoofed Canadian maple-syrup can that can be re-purposed after opening. We can all our socks in-house to ensure freshness.

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
FSC:
Tough one. I guess I’m doing my own thing and hopefully it shows in my work.

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RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Calgary creative community?
FSC:
I love being part of the creative community in Calgary and hope to inspire anyone who wants to take an idea and turn it into something. I was recognized this year as one of Avenue Magazine's Top 40 under 40 in Calgary, and a big component of that award is involvement and impact in the city. We give back to the community as much as we can.

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
FSC:
Adrianmartinus! Salgado Fenwick! Heather Buchanan!

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us?
FSC:
My wife is from the UK so we’ve gone to England for the last 5 or 6 years for the holidays. Every Boxing Day the whole town puts on their Welly boots and heads across farmers’ fields to a little pub called the Coach and Horses. There’s a hose outside to rinse off your boots before you go in, and inside the pub it smells like mulled wine, dirt, and a wood-burning fireplace. It takes a half an hour to get your first drink, and only five minutes before you get your next one.

Visit Friday Sock Co’s website to see more of what products they’ll be bringing to the Royal Bison: www.fridaysock.co

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Urban Drawer: Fun, Modern Patterns for Your Feet

Run by the talented sister duo of Natalie and Vanessa Frederick, Urban Drawer is an Edmonton-based sock and accessories company with a passion for fine details. They design unique, fun, and modern patterns for men, women, and kids to fit your everyday lifestyle! Catch them at the Bison both weekends, follow them on Instagram (@shopurbandrawer) and Twitter (@shopurbandrawer) to see more of their work and read on to discover what inspires these sisters!

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Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
Urban Drawer:
When it comes to designing sock patterns, expressions without words draw me in.

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
UD:
This season we have updated how we've branded our socks. Plus, we are excited to share new designs made with softer materials.

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
UD:
Our mix of colour and geometric feel. Our designs are modern and abstracts of everyday things.

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RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community?
UD:
We feel privileged to be part of Edmonton's unique and thriving creative community.

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
UD:
Really love the products and the whole vibe of the stationary brand, Baron Fig.

RB: Do you have a favorite holiday tradition you can share with us?
UD:
Going outdoor skating on New Year’s Day!

Visit Urban Drawer’s website to discover more of the styles they’ll be bringing to the Royal Bison: www.shopurbandrawer.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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Cyanotype Paper Goods: Plant & Paper Passions

We’re stoked to have Janelle Holod of Cyanotype Paper Goods back at the Bison with all of her pretty paper products! Janelle is passionate about plants, patterns, and paper, and her handmade paper goods and organic illustrations are incredibly eye-catching! Catch her at the Bison from December 7-9, Follow her on Instagram (@CyanotypePaper) and read on to discover where she finds her inspiration!

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Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
Cyantope Paper Goods:
Plants are a major source of inspiration for me, but that also applies to everything natural-history-related! I love seeing art, design, and science mixed in projects. I find patterns really comforting to look at and to create.

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
CPG:
This year I've introduced new products featuring new patterns! Pocket mirrors, stickers, and gift-wrap sheets.

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
CPG:
I take a lot of care creating my products, and I'm selective about my materials in order to have great quality stuff! I also bring unique illustrative qualities to the patterns with which I create my products.

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RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community?
CPG:
The Edmonton community is so supportive! It's a great place to try new and adventurous things.

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
CPG:
Right now I'm really digging Olivia Herricks' stuff and Archer and Olive!

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us?
CPG:
We do a Friendsmas gift exchange on New Year’s Eve! That way everyone can spend Christmas with their family, and we still all get together.

Visit Cyanotype Paper Goods’ website to see more of what they’re bringing to the Royal Bison: cyanotypepaper.com

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Jovi Klak: Vibrant Wood Art

New vendor alert! We have your new favourite kind of cookie at the Royal Bison this season: wood cookies! Edmonton based artist, Jovi Klak, digitally or hand paints expressive mandalas on wood cookies with vibrant and unusual palettes! Catch her at the Bison from November 30 to December 2, Follow Jovi on Instagram (@jovi.klak) to view more of her work, and read on to see where her inspiration comes from!

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Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
Jovi Klak:
I am compelled to create because it allows me to stay present. If I encounter something that moves me, there is an urge to capture its colours and patterns. I’m also hungry to improve and know I’ll feel terrible if I stop.

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
JK:
I’ll be using a different type of wood for my cookie paintings. I spent one day this spring chain-sawing and sanding a fallen Poplar on my parents’ farm. Getting materials from a familiar area makes me appreciate the pieces more. With the upcoming holiday season, I’ll also be printing greeting cards and making ornaments.

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
JK:
I often gather colours from my surroundings, but am drawn to vibrant, moody, and unusual palettes. I enjoy combining expressive lines with orderly details and consider the wood’s original pattern when painting cookies. I ultimately believe everyone’s work is different (even if using a similar approach).

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RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community?
JK:
I can be quite introverted, but I make time each week to have a drawing night with a friend. It’s great bouncing ideas and not working in a bubble. I’m looking forward to meeting more creatives at Bison!

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
JK:
I’m inspired by so many people and things. The rhythms and compositions of Gustav Klimt’s work. Thick brush strokes from impressionist paintings. Henna artists painting limbs in the streets. Marimekko patterns. Patterns on thrift store clothing. Patterns found in nature… So. Many. Patterns. I do have a creative crush on Joan Sherman though. She is an Athabasca-based artist who paints, sketches, and writes about the natural world she loves. A portion of her art sales go towards supporting wildlife habitat conservation, and for over a decade she has sponsored 50+ high school students to attend a week long Visual Arts program. I was one of those students, and it felt really great knowing that there was a creative advocate in my hometown. I also met Joan years later at a craft fair, where she gave me a sketchbook and championed me to fill it. This woman oozes encouragement and good vibes—who wouldn’t have a crush on that?

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us?
JK:
Making prune buns! My father’s side is Polish and prune buns have been a staple family dessert for many years. They’re pretty much a fried donut with prune filling—ahhh bliss. And yes, I know they’re prunes—but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it ;)

Visit Jovi Klak’s website to view more of the work that she plans on bringing to the Royal Bison: www.joviklak.com

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Freshen Up Your Sock Collection with Urban Drawer Designs

There's a uniquely satisfying feeling you get from throwing on a snappy pair of socks that you just KNOW people are going to notice and love. Natalie and Vanessa, sisters and co-creators of Urban Drawer Designs - an Edmonton based sock and accessories company - make exactly those socks! They first joined us at Bison in December of 2016, and we are proud to have them vend with us again this spring! You can catch up with Urban Drawer's progress on instagram/twitter (@shopurbandrawer) and read on down below to see what's been inspiring the sisters to create!

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RB: What draws you to making/designing things?
UBD: It’s a creative outlet that brings joy.

RB: What’s new for your line/business this spring?
UBD: We have four new crew sock designs. We are also bringing some new cactus designed ankle socks and 3 other ankle sock designs for summer.

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RB: What’s in your designer/maker/creative plans for 2018?
UBD: We have some new design ideas inspired by the symmetry of nature and geometric shapes. For example, the exterior of a pineapple, inspired one of our upcoming designs. 

RB: Tell us about a few of your designer/maker/creative crushes:
UBD: One of our creative crushes is Christopher Niemann. We are admiring his Sunday sketches and his ability to incorporate everyday objects into them. Brilliant!

Head on over to www.shopurbandrawer.com to see the rest of Urban Drawers wonderful collection.

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Get Lost in the Vibrant Patterns of Mezzaluna Studio

Full disclosure: our intrepid content manager Kyle wrote this post!

Vikki Wiercinski, designer at Mezzaluna Studio, is also Royal Bison's boss lady and a helluva wonderful human. Her first Bison as a vendor was in the Spring of 2008 and we are celebrating her ten year anniversary – CUE THE CONFETTI CANON!!! Mezzaluna Studio is all about bold colour and the joy of abstract pattern. It started a side project when Vikki was a full-time graphic designer many moons ago. The project was a runaway train and she now reimagines mid-century themes for modern times on fabric and paper on most days, earning her 2017's Maker of the Year award from Western Living magazine. You can keep up with Vikki's progress on instagram and read on down below to climb into the mind of one of Edmo's brightest creative stars:

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RB: What draws you to making/designing things?
VIKKI: I really can't imagine any other kind of life for myself. I've been drawing since I was little, went to an arts high school and straight into art/design school after that. I love the mix of ideas, experimentation, aesthetics and business brains it takes to have a go at being a maker and designer - it gets me up in the morning. Offering people a way to easily inject some joy into their everyday through textiles and home furnishings is a dream job and I'm so happy to be able to do it. Sometimes I have to really stop and absorb that this is the life I've managed to make for myself!


RB: What’s new for your line/business this spring?
VIKKI: I'm working on more paper goods - I've got a brand new perpetual calendar, and coming soon is a blank recipe book and some large prints of my more well-known patterns. I would love to design duvet covers and wallpapers...

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RB: What’s in your designer/maker/creative plans for 2018?
VIKKI: I always have more patterns and colourways cooking, and ideas for all sorts of  different mediums (pillows, duvet covers, paper prints, rugs, it goes on). I am going to visit Australia for a month this summer, and I can't wait to soak up the design scene in Melbourne - they might be as crazy about patterns over there as I am.

RB: Tell us about a few of your designer/maker/creative crushes:
VIKKI: Heavyhitters: Atelier Bingo, Inaluxe, Lucienne Day and Maija Louekari/Marimekko. Closer to home: Loyal Loot, Division 12, and every single Royal Bison maker who shows up to the fair with a fresh new design experiment to show the world. There is so much to take inspiration from...

You can find the full breadth of Vikki's vibrant work online at www.mezzalunastudio.ca

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Exploring Colours, Patterns, And Form With Canadian Atelier Concrete Cat

Matt & Shawna Heide + Team of Artists/Designers = Concrete Cat: a Canadian studio established in 2007. They explore the use of concrete with a focus on colour, pattern, and form. Concrete Cat produces objet d’art, furniture, sculpture and architectural elements. They first joined us in 2011 and will be with us again this year for the November weekend of this years fair! Do yourself a favour and follow these cats on both their instagram / twitter pages and read on down below to see how they responded to our Q&A:

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Q: What does it mean to be an Edmonton maker/designer/artist?
CC: Edmonton has been Canada’s center for oil and gas manufacturing and servicing for decades.  This rich history has laid a foundation for makers in the city that includes skilled labour, access to hi-tech equipment and warehouses holding industrial supplies close by.  The city of Edmonton has been built for the makers to inherit.  

Q: What are your top 3 influences (artists, things, etc)?
CC: Anime, Greek and Roman History, ice cream

Q: Favourite Bison item you’ve picked up at a previous fair?
CC: Papercut Monsters, Erin Greenough illustrations and paper goods

You can find their full collection of work  at www.concretecat.com and check out these incredible articles written about them down below:

Urban Outfitters  
Kelly Behun x Barneys’s 
Sight Unseen article for Kelly Behun x Barney’s Collaboration

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The Concrete Cat Team!

The Concrete Cat Team!