You have to visit the scenic Plantation, regardless of the weather.
The easiest way to access the Plantation on line is through one of its partners:
Check the right hand side of the screen under Opportunities.
The Plantation is an ideal mix of stunning landscape location, vernacularly inspired contemporary architecture, strategic funding on the part of RBC and the province, and last but certainly not least seven studios inhabited by seven talented emerging artist-craftspeople or artisans. The mix of media represented is excellent: Graham Blair the printmaker, Heather Mills a glass and metal artist, two potters whose work is like night and day – Laura Higenell and Stephanie Smith– Jessica Butler a jeweller and textile artists: Cathia Finkel and Morgaine Parnham. Each artisan showed us and allowed us to handle their particular brand of media wizardry.
Everyone I have talked to who has visited the Plantation, whether they are locals, visiting craftspeople, or "civilian" tourists have commented on the "buzz" of the place. The site has a palpable frisson of creative energy that I have never experienced in art schools, subsidized craft studios such as Harbourfront in TO, or other incubator programs in Canada. The Plantation is a very special phenomenon.
One of Graham Blair's iconic images. All his prints are made by hand.
The tour was supposed to last about 45 minutes and we had to work and cutting it off at two hours. I think we all had fun. Beforehand I handed a selection of my catalogues from media that matched up with the special interest of the craftspeople. For example, an Audrey Feltham catalogue for Graham Blair, a Michael Massie catalogue for potter Laura Higenell because of her interest in teapots, a Peter Powning catalogue for Heather Mills because like Peter, she works in both glass and metal.
For the visit I had reviewed by notes from previous visits but I also made a short list of questions that had gone unanswered for me. For example, it had lingered in my mind "why were Graham's prints so incredibly affordable/inexpensive?"; "when Jessica was an historically accurate metalsmith as a Viking in Gros Morne, which gender was she dressed as?". I recalled that one of the craftspeople had described herself as an "almost Mennonite" - what was that about? This tour was a great excuse to dig for answers. And it took little encouragement to get our little band of "culture vultures" to ask their own.
Stephanie's Smith's smoked fired vessels are a welcome addition to the St. John's clay scene.
Next stop? SOFA Chicago here I come!