Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Features: Element Arts and Crafts

Hand Turned Bubinga Sapwood Candlesticks by  ElementArtsandCrafts
This week's Friday Feature is a woodworking couple from Ottawa, Ontario. Say hello to ElementArtsandCrafts of Etsy. Read on to learn more about this outstanding duo and their remarkable craft...
We are Juanita and Kevin Hopkins and the name of our business is Element Arts and Crafts. Our URL is www.elementartsandcrafts.etsy.com
Right now we're concentrating on wood-turning, creating things like Christmas ornaments, shaving sets, candlesticks and soon some wooden-handled hors d'oeuvres sets, as well. We are also trying our hand at turning wooden bowls, so hopefully we will have some for sale soon.
I (Kevin) had always wanted to try wood-turning. A couple of years ago we moved to our first house, out in the country and we had a nice large garage and empty, unfinished basement. Last year we went to the Ottawa Wood Show, where I suggested we should try wood turning, and shortly after we ended up buying a lathe. Little did I know Juanita would like it so much! 
Kevin and I both still work in the city, so it was a big decision to move so far out to the country, knowing that we'd be commuting 3 hours each day. The trade-off has definitely been worth it--we bought an older farm house on a couple of waterfront acres, which means we can fish from our backyard, or put the canoe in right after dinner without having to drive anywhere.
Hand Turned Wenge Wood Shaving Set by ElementArtsandCrafts
We both do some painting in acrylics and watercolours, and we have done some stained glass projects as well (our unfinished basement is also great for cutting and grinding glass). Kevin has done both soapstone and wood carving. Juanita has worked in lino-cutting, fabric-painting and completed a few sewing projects. Juanita also makes great baked goods, and Kevin is great at eating them.
The name of our business came from working in wood, glass, stone and other natural elements. We also appreciate and relate to the Arts and Crafts movement.
We're still relatively new to selling on etsy, and we missed the Christmas sales season (D'oh!), so we would say our favourite item in our shop right now is the pair of bubinga sapwood candlesticks. This is such a beautiful wood; it has fantastic colour and grain. Unfortunately,it's hard to find "sapwood"--most shops only carry the "heartwood." Unless we find some more, these candlesticks could be one of a kind! Here is a link to them:www.etsy.com/listing/92010625/hand-turned-bubinga-sapwood-candlesticks
Currently we are only selling on etsy, but we plan on going to the Cumberland Farmers Market late next summer, and hopefully some of the other local craft shows. 
Hand Turned Cocobolo Wood Wine Bottle Stopper by ElementArtsandCrafts
In terms of blogs, we're not really the blogging types. We don't own cell phones or anything, and technology isn't something we really prioritize in our lives. When we aren't working or making sawdust in the basement, we are usually out canoeing or fishing in the summer, or snowshoeing in the winter. That being said, we appreciate the people who are willing to blog on our behalf!
We're not currently on any social networks, I really wouldn't know how to set one up. Still not sure what tweeting is or why one would want to do it...or read it.
We don't have too many items up right now, but are planning on getting more up in the near future.
Thanks again for this feature, it is nice to find people who are willing to help others out with their life ventures.
Our hobbies, especially the wood-working, are our creative release. When you spend a third of your day at the computer, it's nice to be able to go home and create something with your hands. We take turns making dinner so that one of us can go make some dust in the basement. It's a true partnership.

I think our tastes and styles complement each other well. Kevin is definitely more dramatic and willing to take risks...his items tend to be more elaborate and vibrant. I prefer simpler designs with subtler lines and natural tones. I think together we come up with a little something to please everyone.

We definitely place a lot of value in handmade crafts. I'd much rather produce (and purchase!) something that's one-of-a-kind...that shows the care and attention put into it and that becomes an heirloom item.
Aren't they just the nicest people? Please stop on by their shop and see more of their incredible work at http://www.etsy.com/shop/ElementArtsandCrafts (and maybe help them to get a blog or Facebook page!).

4 comments:

  1. Thanks again for taking the time and care to reach out to local artists, Meghann! And thanks for featuring us. If the weather forecast is correct, we might just have to swap the lathe for our snowshoes this weekend.

    All the best!

    Juanita and Kevin

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  2. Always glad to feature wonderful artisans, and especially local ones! Wishing you all the best, on Etsy and beyond :)

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  3. Your work is beautiful, Juanita and Kevin! Wishing your shop many blessings for success!

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