Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are colorful folk and nowhere is this more apparent than through their artistic expression. Like any island culture, particularly one in the remote North Atlantic, NL artisans and craftspersons are strongly swayed by their own connectivity to and affinity for natural environments. NL is full of exceptional works by countless artisans passionate about nurturing their creative talent, so choosing 16 must-see NL creations was no easy task.
Quidi Vidi Pewter
Two dimensional and three dimensional hand wrought pewter by local metal artist Ray Cox. Remarkable and unusual bowls, vessels, and wall art with original, one-of-a-kind, “air cast” and “natural colour”. Iridescence motifs include whales and tails, trees, and a mummer series.
Newfoundland Original Hooked Rugs
Hooked rugs are a proud NL tradition as illustrated in the works of Paula Flood. Her wall fiber art is hooked with 100% wool yarn that provides color, warmth and texture to vibrantly depict NL heritage, culture, and everyday life.
Kevin Coates Wood Carvings
Character-rich carvings depicting out-port themes (boat builders, fishermen, and berry pickers) by former fisherman Kevin Coates. Carved directly into balsam fir wood (harvested only from trees blown down by the wind) using simple hand tools, these vibrantly painted figures range in size from eight inches to three feet in height.
An environmentally conscientious collection of handcrafted, exceptionally designed jewelry by local metal smith Natalie Austin. A unique design element is added to each piece, via the “upcycling process”, whereby found and modern materials are applied to the creative process. These abstract designs help preserve the natural heritage of the province as well as express it.
Traditional designs made of 100% homespun wool and fashionable, textured novelty yarns. Artist Joan Kane combines her love of fashion with rural self-sufficiency, whereby 12 women from the Trinity Bight region hand knit and embroider with pride all products in their homes. High quality male and female toques, beanies, scarves, purses, and mitts are on hand.
Contemporary sculpting influenced by simple forms of nature and the chaotic forces of the modern world. Béla works in stone, wood, metals, and bronze that emulate life and movement as he speaks of the human journey. These are three-dimensional realist abstracts with simple lines and bold shapes. All works are greatly inspired by the untouched wilderness of Canada’s north and the far reaches of NL’s east coast.
Quilts By Anne Marie
High quality and durable knitwear and homemade quilts, wall hangings, and table runners by quilter Anne Marie Ryan, that illustrate NL’s landscape, rural life, and rich heritage.
Salty Rocks & Seagirt Designs
Handcrafted, hand-painted, one of a kind folk art inspired by the colourful homes of NL. From the quirky row houses of St. John’s to the salt boxes and fishing stages of rural life, each one has a personality of its own. Julie Murphy’s works capture NL’s striking beauty, incredible character, and exceptionally warm memories, all individually designed and sculpted out of NL rock.
Carvings By Clyde Drew
Spectacularly sculptured works from moose and caribou antlers and whalebone, artisan Clyde Drew’s creative works are a three-dimensional world of spirits and natural forms. Clyde is inspired by the songs and stories of his people, the Mi’kmaq nation, in and around his home community of Conne River. His medium truly conveys the beauty, the magic, and the powerful imagery of Newfoundland indigenous culture.
Uniquely designed silk art by acclaimed wildlife artist Jane Sasonow-White, who works in the water color, silk dyeing, and silk screening mediums. These silk wall hangings and silk scarves are of precise detail and with subtle colour balance, Jane reveals her mastery of silk painting and her sincere appreciation and reverence for this gift we call life.
Mealy Mountain Gallery
Artisan Peyton (Pete) Barrett’s passion is creating jewelry, glass art, silk art, and fibre art. Jewelry is made from gold, silver, copper, bronze, steel, and pewter. Her fiber art is often classed as ‘mixed media’ using different techniques in cotton, silk, paint, metals, and found objects. Pete’s creativity comes from the land, the people, and the culture.
King’s Point Pottery
King’s Point Pottery consists of Linda Yates and David Hayashida, a creative team collaborating on every aspect of making pottery in a rural setting. Their unique work consists of the award winning line of blue and white functional pottery with their signature “whales and waves” designs. Many of their pieces are also fired in a specialized salt/soda kiln, the first of its kind in the province. Their Inspiration comes from their local environment and historical research with “creative interplay between form and function”.
Breathtaking glass art that presents a sense of joy, including sculptures, installations, leaded glass, and pâte de verre (a kiln casting). Artisan Urve Manuel draws inspiration for her work from the wilderness expanse that surrounds her such as sunrises and sunsets across ancient mountain ranges that formed from the earth’s upheavals, the depths of saltwater, pristine rivers, clean air, dense woods, and bog-lands. This is glass art that truly comes alive.
Carvings By Todd
Creatively crafted works from naturally shed moose and caribou antler (no animal is hurt in the sourcing of these materials). Artisan Todd Neil produces jewelry including necklaces, earrings, and brooches, as well as, intricate carvings depicting various species of NL wildlife. His works significantly illustrate the rich heritage and strength of character he has experienced since a very early age.
A unique style of folk art (3-D wooden picture) by Newfoundland contemporary artist Benedict Joseph Ploughman. This is art outside the mainstream, made partly from recycled lobster trap laths, individually hand-carved characters, and other sculpture pieces. Each picture has a ‘from the heart’ story that illustrates rural outport NL and its people. Thinking outside the box, Benedict is helping preserve a piece of NL’s past for future generations.
Hands Of Olsen
Rick and Kathrin Evans apply only the highest of standards to their individually crafted leather and seal skin products. Many of their creatively handmade works highlight NL’s natural environment and rich cultural heritage. They put a unique spin on artistic expression and have no boundaries. Here you will find carvings, wall art, mitts, slippers, and purses.