By Elaine

Dog Days of Summer

Making Christmas ornaments in my studio. Seems crazy with the sun and summer heat.

I’m a lucky crafty type with a great big studio tucked into the back of my very own shop full of handmade goodies. It’s a good building, old and industrial, in big bricks and concrete with old cedar beams for the ceiling. In it’s previous lives, it was a car shop and then a lawn and garden outlet. There’s a garage bay next door where my partner does electrical and automotive related things. And in the summer it gets awfully danged warm in here.

Since it’s not usually that warm here for any amount of time – Canadian stereotypes and all – this doesn’t bother me much and we’ll add air conditioning to this side of the building at some point. It just means the clay is softer and the room is a little warm and dozy by the afternoon. It seems odd to be building Christmas ornaments with the sun blazing in and fans going everywhere. Definitely the dog days of summer.

Of course, in the winter, the place is cold and cranky but we replaced the furnace last year with a much better one and it’s pretty easy to toss a sweater on.

Building New Work

I joke to the parents of the kids I teach that drawing is the gateway drug for art. I’m probably at least partly right though. I make dimensional objects but I almost always start out with sketches or doodles of what I have in mind and then progress through prototypes in clay or branching off from previous, successful designs.


This week I also lucked out and have extra help to blend a whole pile of my on hand clay into great colour mixes. My clay mixer prefers doing this part rather than doing the more complicated construction tasks so I’ll end the week with a lot of good starting materials ready to continue those design ideas with.

Pile of Blends