Monday, November 30, 2009

One Of A Kind

Friday, son Peter and I took in Toronto's One Of A Kind show. For those readers who don't live in an area blessed by One Of A Kind shows, this is an annual show featuring 700 artist vendors selling all sorts of 'one of a kind' items; pottery, hand made jewellery, hand made clothing, hand made shoes, hand made leather purses, hand made knitted hats and sweaters, soaps, toys, and trinkets of all kinds.

I got my first taste of One Of A Kind shows when Peter used to have a booth at the show. Manning a booth by yourself for 11 hours a day, 11 days in a row is a daunting task. Doing the 'Mom' thing, I would come for a few days to help out.

I loved the atmosphere of the show. It is rare that I am totally surrounded by such creativity. Sure the ultimate goal is crass commercialism, but most artists and artisans live near or below the poverty line, so purchasing things at the show is a 'feel good' kind of crass commercialism.

This year, I set a goal of 'look, don't buy' but from the get-go hope for failure. And thankfully, fail I did!!

I only purchased three things, but three wonderful, one-of-a-kind things.

I bought a skein of yarn from a Newfoundland spinner, knitter. Her spinning was definitely one-of-a-kind spinning. Together with her own Shetland hand spun yarn, she spun
Newfoundland Merino, Heritage (which would be Briggs & Little, I think), novelty yarn and something called Angelina.
This combo made the most interesting yarn which she then knit into scarves and cowls or more aptly, with her creative touch, coat jewellery. She quickly rattled off her pattern, which I, with years of knitting pattern thievery under my belt, have memorized. I can't wait to create something as beautiful as she showed in her booth.

My next purchase was a coffee mug by a Montreal potter.
It is my habit to always buy a hand-potted, coffee mug at shows of this kind. The habit started years ago, when Peter, a fledgling artist, would have his work at these shows. Fred and I, showing our support, attended several shows each year. Naturally, I couldn't afford to purchase a painting at every show, but to return home empty- handed after being exposed to all that creativity seemed to cheat both me and the artist. Coffee mugs were affordable and practical, so I started buying a mug at every show. I now have quite a collection and drink my coffee from one of these wonderful mugs every morning.

At $40, this year's mug did not come in the 'affordable' category. (It actually came in the category my Mother would have stated as - "Some people have more money than brains.") But it is beautiful. Peter and I both were drawn to the little feet.

And lastly, I purchased a small piece of art. A black and white photograph of some winter trees from a Montreal artist.
Winter scenes always draw me in, and I love the stark simplicity of this piece.

All in all a great day. I can't wait for next year's show. I'm going for the shoes.

1 comment:

Sel and Poivre said...

We tend to buy one of a kind pottery mugs when we travel - they all live together at the cottage - each one prompting a lovely memory of its own point of origin. I too think the feet on yours make it quite distinctly worth the price!