By Sharilene Rowland
The One of a Kind Craft Show in Toronto has been a favorite of mine for years. I love the idea of having things that are not mass produced by machine, items that are unique and created through passion, love, time and talent.
Truthfully, I had only ever attended the One of a Kind Christmas Craft Show so when an opportunity was presented to do a write up on the One of a Kind Spring Craft Show, I jumped at it. The morning started off with an amazing media buffet breakfast from Barque Smokehouse, which definitely gave me the energy to set off on foot to check out as many of the 450 artisan booths as possible.
This year, there were two special sections added to the show. The first was the Thunderbird Marketplace representing diverse Aboriginal nations and featuring 12 creators showcasing styles inspired by their individual roots. The second was the Etsy Marketplace displaying the work of 50 very talented artisans.
Although all 12 of the Aboriginal displays were amazing, my favorite was the “Three Sisters”. I loved the boot cut runners, but, unfortunately, they were not for sale. I was in awe of the talent and time it must have taken to sew such detailed, beautiful designs.
Another artist I had a chance to chat with was Nahid Marandi, a wonderful woman full of compassion and talent. Marandi has been a part of the show for the last 15 years and I understand why the show has invited her back year after year. Marandi’s sculptured figures of silk represented three main elements: women; earth; and light from the sun.
Next, I met Sharon Nowlan, a creative artist from Nova Scotia. Pebble Art is an accurate company name since Nowlan’s work is created out of tiny stones and pebbles. Nowlan creates wonderful designs of everyday life, as well as milestone moments. Her work truly represents the meeting of artist and nature.
Highland Writing Instruments is a Canadian luxury brand of fountain pens. It’s hard to believe that writing has almost disappeared in our world of texting, messaging, and video chat. I personally love the feel of a beautiful, unique pen in my hand while writing in an equally beautiful journal.
Last but not least of my favorites was Iron Designs: metal art by Joel Sullivan from Halifax. His work was definitely show stoppers that would be a conversation piece in anyone’s home or garden. Most of his work is commissioned, so if you’re interested in a one of a kind creation for your space, stop by his booth at the show.