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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559 Toys: Safe & Educational Toys

We’re excited to welcome back Jennifer Wilde of 559 Toys to the fair with her adorable toys for the young ones in your life! She designs and makes fun, modern (and safe) toys for babies and small children. Her toys that help the brains and bodies of little ones, but also look good enough to keep out when company comes over. Catch her at the Royal Bison from December 7-9, follow them on Instagram (@play559) and Twitter (@play559) to see more of her work, and read on to learn what inspires her!

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Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
559 Toys:
A compulsion for beauty and order, I think. With the toys, it was just an extension of that: why can't we provide useful and beautiful things to babies, too?

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
5T:
We've some some sweet sales planned for our shows, as well as some new colours on old favourites, like our rattles and sensory blankets.

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
5T:
That we care equally about things looking good, helping the development of kids, and being safe.

559 Toys 2

RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community?
5T:
It's amazing how at home I feel in a space with other creative makers. It's a feeling of freedom and acceptance that I just don't get at the mall, ha!

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
5T:
Not going to lie, I've been on a personal social media break this year, and it's definitely impacted the amount of exposure I have to other makers. Just glancing around my home, I see lovely things made by LoveMaking Designs, Terre Firma Pottery, and a lot of art by my kids.

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us?
5T:
We celebrate Christmas Eve with a simple and humble (yet delicious) meal to be able to properly reflect on the season. Usually it takes the form of a charcuterie sort of deal, but we're really intentional about it not introducing more seasonal stress into our home.

Visit 559 Toys’ website to discover more of the products they’ll be bringing to the Royal Bison: www.play559.com

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Kelly Ruth: Gorgeous Woven Jewelry

New vendor alert! Working with plant dyes, Kelly Ruth uses a weaving loom to build tiny woven jewelry out of hand-dyed yarns. Having worked as the textile dyer for over a decade at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and ballet companies across Canada, she brings years of experience to her craft to create truly memorable pieces. Catch her at the Bison from December 7-9, follow her on Instagram (@kelly__ruth) to view 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?
Kelly Ruth:
I am a multidisciplinary artist working in textiles and new media, primarily in weaving and sound. My artwork spans a practice in performance, installation, and design, incorporating micro-controllers, sensors, and electronics into my woven installations. I never stop creating and innovating. The jewelry line is a way to make something accessible that can be loved and owned by people. This is very different than the more temporal forms of art that I make in my practice. It is a way to connect differently to the communities that I engage with.

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
KR:
The jewelry is a new line for me within the past couple of years. Previously the energy I spent on designing was dedicated to a natural dyed sustainable fibre clothing line. Since I really just want to weave these days, I love having switched to making the woven jewelry line.

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RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
KR:
Working with the natural dyes creates a really gorgeous palette and as far as statement jewelry goes, not many folks are making woven jewelry!

RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community?
KR:
Having moved to Edmonton just over a year ago I felt really welcomed in. The experimental  music community where I spend much of my time (using my loom as a musical instrument) has been wonderful and is really pushing me in new directions in my sound art.

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
KR:
I really love any artist who uses craft in fine art in a conceptual way. When an artist can make highly skilled pieces using craft mediums while engaging the viewer in a brilliant conversation with contemporary ideas…that’s where my crush begins.

Visit Kelly Ruth’s website to view more of the work that she’ll be bringing to the Royal Bison: www.kellyruth.ca

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Sylvia Soo Leather: Small-Batch & Bespoke Leather Goods

We're so jazzed to welcome back designer and leatherworker Sylvia Soo! Her leather goods are designed and created in her Edmonton studio in small batches. Her growing and evolving collection focuses on artisan craftsmanship, minimalism, and clean lines. Catch her at the Bison from December 7 to 9, follow her on Instagram (@SylviaSooLeather) to see more of her beautiful and bespoke pieces and read on to learn what inspires her!

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Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
Sylvia Soo Leather:
Creating leather goods is like putting together a really interesting 3D puzzle. There are so many pieces to put together and if all the small parts and solutions come together properly, it feels so good. 

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
SSL:
Customers can enjoy a bespoke experience with a selection of items this season, our Box Bag being one of them. The Box Bag allows for complete customization. It is a unique experience in which clients can choose everything from the colour of the leather to the colour of the suede lining, down to the finish on the bag's five feet. We are offering loads of customization options such as monogramming on most of our leathers, and a variety of (colour through) edge paint options. Gift cards will be available for those who may wish to pass on an extra special gift to someone special. 

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
SSL:
We invest a lot in researching and sourcing quality proven materials (such as our French and German threads, and our Italian edge paints). A lot of thought is put into designing our products, and a lot of time is put into creating them.  Our designs are minimalist in nature, which means every detail must be considered. We believe our designs to be unique, elegant, and timeless.

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RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community?
SSL:
Edmonton has a unique creative community. I truly love being a part of it. 

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
SSL:
Sam Knopp of Sam Knopp Ceramics: one of her mugs has become a part of my daily morning ritual. Rachel Beyer of Grit and Grain: I am a collector of her adorable wooden utensils. 

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us? 
SSL:
Growing up, we didn't have the opportunity to celebrate the holidays. Now that my siblings and I have all grown up, our favourite holiday tradition is creating a holiday tradition for our families.

Visit Sylvia Soo Leather’s website to view more of what she’ll be bringing to the Royal Bison: www.SylviaSooLeather.com

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The Witchery: Bringing Magick to the North

The Witchery, brainchild of Katie Karpetz, is Edmonton's own little Internet occult shop that brings traditional European witchcraft and Southern-style conjure magick to the North. Back with us again at Royal Bison for for both weekends, The Witchery is run by a practicing witch with a touch of hoodoo influences. Mesmerized by herbs, religious iconography, and the Dead, The Witch is a lover of low magick who believes that everyone’s world can be enhanced by the use of spellwork. Catch her at the Bison both weekends, follow Katie on Instagram (@witcheryway) and Twitter (@thewitcheryca) to see what she’s conjuring, and read on to discover what inspires her work.

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Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
The Witchery:
It’s in my blood!

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
TW:
Lots of cool ritual candles and some amazing smelling incense!

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
TW:
Well... The fact that I am the only witchcraft store at the Bison... ;)

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RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community?  
TW:
Wonderful! There is are so many amazing creators here! There is always something new to see.

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
TW:
Emily Chu forever! I can’t wait to see her new goodies!

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us?
TW:
Making a coffee table candle yule log and almost setting the house on fire. (Yes, this does happen yearly.)

Visit The Witchery’s website to see more of that they’ll be bringing to the Royal Bison: www.thewitchery.ca

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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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Emily Chu: Playful & Clever Prints & Cards

A Bison regular since 2014, Emily Chu likes to create clever and playful illustrations as prints and products. Her products include original paintings, prints, seasonal greeting cards, comics, t-shirts, and enamel pins to name a few. Catch her at the Bison both weekends, follow her on Instagram (@heyemilychu) and Twitter (@heyemilychu) to enjoy more of her work and read on to find out what inspires her!

Emily Chu 1

Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
Emily Chu:
I look at art and creativity as just problem solving, and I love challenges and puzzles of all sorts. For me, creating clever and funny images is really enjoyable because I get to figure out how to best communicate a joke, or tell it in a new way. I am also an optimist, so I know that there is always a solution, which makes the brainstorming process even more exciting!

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
EC:
I am hoping to bring a whole new line of products to my markets this season! As for prints, I am hoping to cut down on my current inventory and bring in a new selection of paintings and risograph prints. With the success of my rose gold Mercat pin from the spring market, I am also very excited to launch 5 new enamel pins this holiday. On top of that, I am working on a number of potential new products: tote bags, new t-shirts, new Christmas cards, magnets, stickers, and maybe even some original painted nesting dolls!

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
EC:
I think the tone of my products are quite goofy and strange. Although I keep content lighthearted, I still take the illustration and design side very seriously. The humour is just like a little extra cherry on top. I figure that if my art can make people laugh (but still be nice enough to be hung on a wall), then the whole process from design to selling at markets is much more enjoyable for everyone.

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RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community?
EC:
I love Edmonton, and a lot of that is because of The Royal Bison and the local community of organizers, artists, and arts supporters. I came to Edmonton in 2011, and when I found this unique market in 2014, things finally began to fall into place. I've decided to call Edmonton my home because of its supportive and kind arts community.

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
EC:
Ooof, where do I start? I'm still trying to find my own voice, so lately I have been quite inspired by many Asian illustrators such as Doris Liou, Rachel Wada, and Joohee Yoon. I love how they are able to take aesthetics as well as nostalgia from their cultures/childhood, which is something that I aspire to do in my future personal work. I also love the work of American illustrator Carson Ellis and Mexican tattoo artist Luxiano. 

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us?
EC:
Family-wise, not really. We only mildly celebrate Christmas. But personally, I like to go on a super long walk with my dog on Christmas Day. He also gets a real meal ;)

Visit Emily Chu’s website to check out more of her work that she’ll be bringing to the Royal Bison: heyemilychu.com

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Stephanie Simpson: Bright, Alberta-Inspired Illustrations

An Edmonton-based illustrator, who’s also an occasional photographer and filmmaker, Stephanie Simpson creates bright, simple illustrations inspired by Alberta. Her work features images that could be imagined in national parks, city landmarks, and local plants and animals. Catch her at the Bison both weekends, follow her on Instagram (@stephanie.illustrates) to see more of her playful and beautiful illos and read on to discover what inspires her art!

Stephanie Simpson 1

Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
Stephanie Simpson:
Equal parts habit and curiosity: I’ve been making things long before anyone paid me to do it, and when I see a new medium, I almost always want to give it a try (no guarantee that I’ll do it well, alas, but I try nevertheless!).

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
SS:
I have six new Canadian animal illustrations, a couple of Edmonton maps, and a series of fairly minimalist Canadian landscapes. In an ideal world, I’ll also have a few new national park scenes ready for Bison and maybe some little ceramics too!

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
SS:
My colour choices get a lot of comments from customers (two of my most popular prints are a neon pink and red bison, and a rainbow-coloured illustration of the Muttart Conservatory).

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RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community, or whichever community you call home?
SS:
I think it’s a pretty special time to be a part of the Edmonton creative community for a couple of reasons. First up, it’s packed with people who are not only passionate about their work and incredibly skilled at what they do, but are also warm and funny and generous with their time and knowledge. Second, there are so many individuals, businesses, and organizations who are excited about promoting and supporting Edmonton-based makers and artists.

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
SS:
I loved following Amy Dixon’s adventures painting her way around Europe and Emily Chu’s on-location sketching around Edmonton. How are these two so productive??

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us?
SS:
My family and I celebrate Christmas, and we’re all about the quality stocking (where each stocking is topped with a different tropical fruit. Not sure how this became our tradition, but it is!). 

Visit Stephanie Simpson’s website to see more of her work that she’ll be bringing to the Royal Bison: www.stephsimpson.ca

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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!

Urban Drawer 1

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.

Urban Drawer 2

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!

Concrete Cat 1

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!

Stranger Studio

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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Strathcona Spirits: Locally Crafted

We’re excited to have Adam Smith, Andrea Shubert, and their incredible, locally crafted spirits back at the Bison! Edmonton’s first distillery, Strathcona Spirits produces small batch, award-winning spirits made using traditional methods and local ingredients in a tiny boomtown building in Old Strathcona. Catch them at the Bison both weekends, follow them on Instagram (@StrathconaSpirits) and read on to discover what inspires them to make top-shelf booze!

Strathcona Spirits 1

Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
Strathcona Spirits:
Born from the ashes of a live arts space, the passion for the distillery was sourced from a strong interest in the real alchemy of distillation, the collection of essence, local flora, the fascinating world of aging spirits, and our desire for Edmonton to be a part of this history.

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
SS:
TBA

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
SS:
We sit surrounded by some of the finest grains available on earth, and you definitely taste this quality in the spirits. We’re also discovering untouched flavours from the Northern Boreal Forests that have never been used in spirit-making before. Needless to say, it’s a pretty exciting time for spirits!

RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community?
SS: Great. Edmonton’s creative community is definitely thriving, and it’s wonderful to see a small glimpse of this at the Royal Bison each year.

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RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
SS:
We’re always stoked to see anyone doing interesting, original, and creative work. An example of this would definitely be Gruger Family Fungi. Their hemp-based vertical mushroom farm is innovative, super-interesting, and they’re growing the most stunning (and delicious) mushrooms.  

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us?
SS:
Get outside, build a massive winter fire, and sip on a steamy Strathcona Spirits Barrel Aged Gin Hot Toddy.

Visit Strathcona Spirits’ website to learn more about their products and to see what they’ll be bringing to the Royal Bison: www.strathconaspirits.ca

JShine Designs: Beautiful Indigenous Beadwork Jewelry

With one successful Bison under her belt, Jessica Sanderson-Barry of JShine Designs is back! An Indigenous-owned company, JShine Designs focuses on beaded handmade jewelry and accessories. Jessica combines both traditional and contemporary beading styles into each piece by using elements from the land. Catch her at the Bison from December 7-9, follow her on Instagram (@JShineDesigns) to view 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?
JShine Designs:
 a nêhiyaw-iskwêw ~ Cree woman, my culture was always important to me and to have the opportunity to share my culture through my art is something that I have always had a passion for. Beading is my medicine, when I bead it feels as though it’s a connection to my late grandmothers.

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?  
JSD:
I have a passion for designing statement pieces using elements from the land, such as hides, dentalium shells, and porcupine quills. I am now incorporating antique and vintage beads in my work, some are over 100 years old! Those who wear some of my art will be wearing a piece of history.  

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?  
JSD:
I wanted my work to be unique and apart from what other designers were creating. I love using antique and vintage beads in my work because each bead has a story. Beadwork is storytelling and to be able to transcend these stories into my work by using many different elements makes each piece unique.  

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RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community?
JSD:
My first Royal Bison market, I immediately felt I was apart of this amazing community by meeting some many great supporters who believe in handmade local art. Kudos to those who support local businesses you’re theee best!!!

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!  
JSD:
I admire strong Indigenous artists like my late great-grandmother Jenny Lightning who was a phenomenal beader and designer. I also love the work from Smithstine Copper because she creates her jewellery from nothing and it’s transformed into a unique piece of wearable art.

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us?  
JSD:
We like to give back to the community by donating time serving a holiday dinner to people in need. This is what fills my heart.  

Visit JShine Designs website to see more of the work they’ll be bringing to the Royal Bison: www.JShineDesigns.ca

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Lidless Eye: Idiosyncratic Illustrations

New vendor alert! Stephen Ferris of Lidless Eye Illustration is a long-time shopper at the Royal Bison, but a first-time vendor, and we’re so excited to welcome him to the other side! Stephen describes his work as “a body of small-scale works that I have been creating over the last 4 months. The pieces in this series are a little bit random; I normally work on larger-scale paintings that require a lot of research and planning, but being able to work on smaller pieces allows me to quickly explore my own strange idiosyncrasies in a non-objective, black-and-white fashion.” Catch him at the Bison from December 7-9, Follow Stephen on Instagram (@stephendferris) and read on to find out what inspires him!

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Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
Lidless Eye:
I got into art and design later in life and I feel like I’m making up for lost time. I find it to be a very meditative as a decompressing experience. Listening to endless amounts of music while working on something new definitely inspires me and I try to melt it into my work.

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
LE:
I’m going small scale for Royal Bison and will be showcasing all my new creations for the event. There will be hundreds of ink on raw-birch, original illustrations, etchings, prints, and a few trinkets.

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
LE:
I’m self-taught; I didn’t go to art school and I learn at my own pace.  My style is a natural progression of exploration and refinement. My work is highly chaotic and calculated all at the same time.

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RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community?
LE:
Getting involved with Harcourt House this year was definitely a highlight for me. I’ve exhibited in their incubator gallery, and I’ve volunteered there as well. It’s a great community that is artist-run. Outside of that, I’ve spent a lot of time getting to know different online art communities. I got used to the online route when I was living in Northern B.C. and struggled with dealing with the solitude and limitations of showing artwork there when I first started out. It really has allowed me to reach outside on a broader, global scale. I fail miserably at going out very often to experience the art and music scenes in Edmonton. I usually go to the galleries in Edmonton every couple of years and check out the odd music or arts festival.

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
LE:
Anatoly TimoFeevich Fomenko, Clint Fulkerson, Jack Shadbolt, Jean Giraud (Mobius), and   K.Vansteenbergen.

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us?
LE:
I have a few, I try to make a massive painting over the holidays and catch up with the luxury of cable television at my parents. Other then that, we order pizza and watch Seinfeld in the living room (no airing of grievances, unfortunately, I think we turned out all right).

Visit Stephen Ferris’ website to see more of his work and what he’ll be bringing to the Royal Bison: www.stephendferrisartwork.webs.com

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Exit Workshop: Handmade Apparel for the Great Outdoors

The Exit Workshop is all about getting outside and having a good time! Gina Hargreaves has been making the mountains her playground since she was young, and her handmade toques, scarves, blankets, and more will help you do the same! Catch her at the Bison from November 30 to December 2, Follow Exit Workshop on Instagram (@the.exit.workshop) and Twitter (@exitbeanies) to see more of their work and read on to see what inspires Gina!

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Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
Exit Workshop:
I love the challenge of working with the unknown and learning to tame unfamiliar materials. I also really, really love colour so whenever I get to work with bright colours and cool patterns, I get really excited.

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
EW:
For this season’s Bison I’m excited to be bringing handmade leather mittens! Since I started Exit, people have asked me if I make gloves and my answer has always been a firm, “No.” The thought of knitting or crocheting gloves has never really sparked a flame for me, so it hasn’t been something I’ve ever pursued. BUT last year I decided it was time to figure this whole glove thing out, on my own terms. So I’ve spent the last little while developing a pattern and exploring different materials for the gloves and they’re sure to keep your hands warm all winter!

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
EW:
I’m not really sure to be honest. haha! I think my love of bright colours is pretty evident in the work that I do. I’m also not formally trained in design or business, so I can bring different perspectives to my creative work. My biggest goal is to make functional things that are easy to use and that also stand the test of time, regardless of a user’s ability, which is probably influenced by my training as an OT now that I think about it. In any case, I’m always aware of ease-of-use and aesthetic when it comes to my stuff, so there is a lot of thought that goes into everything that I make.

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RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community?
EW:
It’s an exciting thing to see new ideas take form, and it’s pretty special to share that experience with other makers. There’s so much great energy to be found in any creative community whether it’s in a small town like Revelstoke (my new home) or a bigger centre like Edmonton (my original home), there’s always something new and meaningful taking shape.

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
EW:
Tooooooooooo many!! I’m really pumped on what Molly is doing with Stranger Design, her ceramics are magic. Andreas Samuelsson is another favourite, as is George Greaves – great graphic/visual design.

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us?
EW:
Honestly my favourite holiday tradition is eating bacon sandwiches and sipping stovetop-perc coffee on Christmas morning with my parents and sister. It’s the greatest.

Visit Exit Workshop’s website to discover more of what they’ll be bringing to the Royal Bison: www.exitworkshop.com

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Rosa & Lilium Apothecary: Natural, Handmade Bath Products

Lindsay Jones and Carly Zaraska are a powerful duo. Their friendship began in 2011 while completing their Bachelor of Education degrees. Combining their passions for education, sustainability, and natural beauty products led them to branch out and join forces to launch a brand they could stand behind; Rosa & Lilium Apothecary is a line of eco-conscious bath and body products crafted by hand in Alberta. Catch them at the Bison both weekends, Follow them on Instagram at (@rosaliliumapothecary) and read on to learn what inspires them!

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Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
Rosa & Lilium Apothecary:
Purpose. Both of us feel most like ourselves when we are creating something with our hands. There is something very satisfying about making something from what initially seems to be nothing. When you are done, you have a product that is aesthetically pleasing, has utility, and brings yourself and others joy. The process gives us purpose.

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
RLA:
We are so pumped to be expanding our home goods! Last season, we introduced eco-soy wax candles. This time around we are adding our custom scent-blend incense sticks.

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
RLA:
We are a modern apothecary. We aim to create products that will look beautiful sitting by your sink, next to your bathtub, on the shelves throughout your home, as well as make you feel beautiful in all those spaces. Our hope is that our products appeal to a variety of your senses and leave you feeling like the space you exist in is one you would never want to leave. 

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RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community?
RLA:
We LOVE it. Edmonton has a special charm, unlike anywhere else either of us have lived or travelled to. We feel lucky to be part of it all.

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
RLA:
Locally, we have always drawn inspiration from our gals Malorie Urbanovitch and Vikki Wiercinski. They are badass. Fearless. And oh so talented. Internationally, we are obsessed with all things Nordic. They have everything “lifestyle” (aka Hygge) figured out. 

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us?
RLA:
We truly love the time with our families. It is the one time each year where everyone gets together, squishes into one big room, and enjoys food (so. much. food.), stories from “back in the day,” and we all get to relax. 

Visit Rosa & Lilium Apothecary’s website to see more of what they’re bringing to the Royal Bison: www.rosaliliumapothecary.com

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Flannel Foxes: Apparel Inspired by Western Canada

Flannel Foxes, Bison staples since spring of 2016, are joining us again and we couldn't be happier to climb into new adventuring gear! Brittni Goshulak & Mike Lundy, owners of Flannel Foxes, had this to say of their brand: "Flannel Foxes is a nostalgic brand that shares the best of Canada West. We’re committed to goods that are ethically made in Canada for tomboys and boys." Catch them at the Bison both weekends! You can keep up with the nostalgia train on Instagram (@flannelfoxes) or twitter (@flannelfoxes) and read on down below to see what's been inspiring the adventurers these days.

Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
Flannel Foxes:
Inspired by photos of our grandparents and warm memories of growing up exploring Alberta, Saskatchewan, and B.C., we’re a brand that strives to share the best of Canada West.

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RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
FF:
We have four new toques, three new sweaters, a new tee, and new socks!

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
FF:
Our products are, whenever possible, made in Canada. We work with people that treat their people right. We’ve found that people who treat their employees fairly make comfier clothes! Our designs combine a sense of nostalgic Canadiana with a refined aesthetic. Mike’s background in branding gives our gear a consistent visual identity.

RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community, or whichever community you call home?
FF:
The people in Edmonton are so generous. The encouragement and support that we get from people visiting us at Royal Bison gets us excited, and makes us believe that Flannel Foxes is something that can bring pride to Edmonton. The people behind local businesses have collaborated with us, helping us grow and extending their friendship. The creative community in Edmonton elevates others, setting an example of humility and inclusiveness.

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RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
FF:
As a graphic designer Mike is inspired by designers like Helms Workshop, Alana Louise, and Hulse & Durrell. A lot of our inspiration comes from designers whose names we don’t know, as we flip through old brochures and magazines at the antique mall. We’re inspired by Royal Bison staples like: Adrian Martinus (his woodworking blows my mind!), Strathcona Spirits (it’s so cool that they’re distilling great spirits right off Whyte!), and The Exit Workshop (cozy, made-in-Canada, Gina’s gear is right up our alley!).

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us?
FF:
Lately we’ve been going somewhere hot for a few days around Christmas time. It’s nice to get a break from the winter now and then!

Follow Flannel Foxes on Instagram to see more of what they’re bringing to the Royal Bison: instagram.com/flannelfoxes

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Darling Dear Co: Pet Accessories that Spark Joy

We’re pleased to welcome back the mother-daughter team of Arden & Rosana, who create dog and cat accessories that spark joy through Darling Dear Co! You’ll definitely want to dress your pet up for that special holiday party or photo shoot with one of their adorable bow ties. Catch them at the Bison from November 30 to December 2, follow Darling Dear Co. on Instagram (@darlingdearco) to see more of their work and read on to find out what inspires them.

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Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
Darling Dear Co:
Darling Dear Co. was an idea my mom and I conceived a few years ago, thinking it would be fun to create cute pet accessories together. I am a die-hard dog lover and have been asking for one since I was 4 but, funny story, we don’t have pets of our own! My mom is allergic and struggles with OCD due to childhood trauma, so we meet in the middle and make accessories for pets so that I can live vicariously through the adorable photos we receive from our customers.

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
DDC:
Wedding attire! We are bringing in ring holders, customized for your dog of honour. Also, we are soon to offer a line of matching men’s and boy’s bow ties so you can make sure the entire wedding party is well dressed! (Whether you have a pet or not!)

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
DDC:
We aspire to make pet products that are well-crafted and long lasting. Basically, items that you can hopefully bring out for every holiday and event and still have looking pristine year and year! If you can use your bow and collar set for years ahead for family photo shoots, and never have to get a new one, that would make us really satisfied. With that said, we don’t skimp out on details and materials—our bow ties are double layered, and have interfacing so they are stiff, and keep their shape.

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RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community?
DDC:
We are amazed by the support that the Edmonton community gives to local and handmade creators. We were recently a part of CTV Edmonton segment by Dez Melenka that profiles local news and we were really overwhelmed by the kind and positive messages that were sent to us through social media after it went live! It was definitely a huge highlight for us in all the time that we’ve been growing Darling Dear Co and we couldn’t have done it without the supportive community around us.

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
DDC:
Locally, we absolutely adore the workmanship of Sylvia Soo! The quality and care she puts into each of her designs never ceases to amaze. I particularly love her box bag, especially the custom one with Oxblood leather that she’s been posting about on Instagram! Also, I absolutely adore the illustrations of Janice Sung who is based in Toronto. She also has the cutest dog!

Visit Darling Dear Co.’s website to view more of their products they’ll be bringing to the Royal Bison: www.darlingdearco.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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