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: 

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Florals and Floss: Nature's Call to Create

You’ll want to check out this next vendor for beautiful decor for your home and to decorate the tree this year! Based in Edmonton, Alex Stratkotter of Florals and Floss designs and hand stitches embroidery hoops as home decor, creates DIY kits and patterns, and teaches workshops. All designs are inspired by her experiences and nature and where she’s from. Catch her at the Bison from November 30 to December 2, follow Alex on Instagram (@floralsandflossembroidery) and read on to learn where she gets her inspiration!

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Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
Florals and Floss:
All of my work is inspired by nature. Whether it’s a walk in Edmonton’s river valley or working in the garden, there’s always some flower or natural colour scheme calling me to create. 

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
Christmas ornaments! They’re so much fun to create, and because embroidery is a slow art, it’s a nice change to have a very small surface area to fill instead of a larger hoop. 

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
Embroidery is once again gaining popularity! What sets my work apart from other fibre artists is my style: I try to keep my designs clean and simple, but with little details to keep my pieces interesting. 

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RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community? 
The Edmonton creative community is amazing, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it. Never will you meet a larger and more inclusive group of talented and hardworking people. 

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
This is a hard one as I could give you a huge list and not hit everyone. I have to shout out some of my fellow fibre artists: I adore Ferns School of Craft, Long Gone Arts, and Nova Mercury! Some of my other creative crushes: Rachel Beyer, YEGwoodworks, Stephanie Simpson, and From Harper. 

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us? 
Basically making and eating all the food! Also watching It’s a Wonderful Life and Die Hard.

Visit Florals & Floss’s website to learn more about what she’ll have on offer at the Royal Bison: 

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