Christmas at Hycroft!

There are people who go year after year. Every year it’s the same – the grand heritage house decorated in wonderful, frothy, traditional Christmas garb. And yet, every year there are changes. About two years ago, the Artisan Village was created in the Ballroom bringing together potters, children’s clothing designers, jewellry makers, specialty foods, silk painters, glass designers and more.

This year, there was some exceptionally good design. Here are a few of my favourites:


This fanciful teapot  complete with a yellow tripod stand has to be more for show than for practicality, but I love the absurdity of the danglies.  It’s Nellie Vlaar’s work; her business name is Potz and Panzies and the business is located in Burnaby, B.C. For something a little more practical she has three or four design themes. New this year are these black and white pots with images that seem to be a cross between Nordic sweater designs and the geometric South West Indian pottery motifs.


The motifs are just so very complicated but they also are very precise and geometric. Here is fine skill married to a lot of creativity. Very admirable, in my opinion.

She’s linked to the Granville Island vendor’s website, but there are no pictures on it. A pity.

Alexandra Lanzarotta sells her jewellry creations under the business name of Alanza’s Creations. I rather liked her display which sported two large torsos in classical style patinated in verdigris, that copper oxide green colour that encrusts ancient works of art containing copper.


I asked her what her favourite piece was and this is her selection:


It’s a classy organic piece, asymmetrical, reminiscent of the seashore. I like the non-traditional leaf-shaped clasp.

June Hunter produces marble art tiles, jewellry and fine art prints with her photographic images.


I liked these small pendants with botanical designs printed on sterling silver and then coated with a clear resin finish to protect them. They combine delicate images in a clear, precise form.

dsc06140-crop-small  is her website

Valerie Gobert at also combines natural elements with sterling and beadwork, but the effect is quite different. She uses shells, beads, semi-precious stones and wire in exuberant combinations. There’s quite a variety in her work and you can see several more examples on her web site.


Chi Cheng Lee, of Chi’s Creations in North Vancouver, is a silversmith. There are several photos or her designs on her web site,  . She allowed me to photograph this piece, which she considers her signature design:

dsc06226-sm and dsc06225-sm2


I have great admiration for Chi’s work. I like the two silver pieces, above, and especially like this piece with the coloured pearls, the sgraffito markings on the polished silver and the web of various pearls and semi-precious stones in the centre of the silver form.

As a common thread amongst these many artisan/craft vendors, it’s quality that shines through. Each piece is finished beautifully. There’s an inherent love of craft. It’s eye-candy for those who appreciate hand-made goods.

I’ve only described a few of the vendors. I hope to post some more soon, so stay tuned, if you like this kind of work.

‘G nite

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One Response to “Craft”

  1. forestrat Says:

    Sounds like a neat show. I like the idea that the common thread is quality and a love of the craft.

    I was just in Corning, NY last week visiting the Corning Museum of Glass. There are always live demonstrations of artisans making glass objects in various ways. I love watching someone with the skills and experience doing their thing – the work just flows naturally from their hands.


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