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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pop With Brains!

Hello All!

It's been a nutty past few weeks culminating in a really fun night at the Rivoli last Friday! The event was called Pop With Brains, and is an ongoing music and arts showcase that raises funds for CAMH.

Look at me, I'm on the event poster!
Since the beginning of September, I've been working longer than usual hour days at my day job. This meant that my MOC worktime was limited to the evening hours... and sometimes wee hours of the night. I'd rather not work at night, as routers and chisels and such can get kind of loud and disruptive - but sometimes you just gotta do it. Sorry, neighbours!

Anywho, I've never shown any artwork at a bar/tavern venue before, so I had no idea what to expect. I was told to bring a lamp, my art, and table set-up materials.

My wonderful GF was of course there to help me set up, and we got there at about 8:15pm. There were already a couple of art vendors there in the back room, so we nestled into line along the west wall. During set-up, we had a chance to get our eardrums mashed in by a couple of the bands' soundchecks, and before long we were ready. There were a couple more artists who arrived after us, and all in all there were (unless my memory fails me) five of us there packed in all cozily along the side of the venue.
Me with my MOC set up! I'm glad we had the lamp, as it sure did get dark in there! The lamp, by the way, was made out of a couple of books... by THIS guy!
This being my very first show in Toronto, I was very fortunate to have a few of my close friends come out and support me. Thank you so very much! It means a lot to me that you were able to make it!

Here are some of the items that I made for the evening: some original art, as well as some locally themed items.

A buckle done for Adymm Ender, of the band Secrettes, who was awesome as co-organizer for the event.

Some (at the time) unfinished pieces that eventually were completed for the event. Both the Leaside Pin and Robot Love bottle opener sold at the show! All done on a wood called Yellowheart.
Gotta rep the home TO neighbourhood with a Parkdale Pin.
The Regent Park Pin. Burned on to Yellowheart.
Heart Buckle. This one was made from a wood called Bocote, and I used the natural grain of the wood, which had a heart shape in it it for inspiration. The red colour was stained, and the white border was done in acrylic paint.
Same buckle as above. I really love the grain on this wood!
Another buckle using the grain as a starting point for the design, and finished using acrylic paints to provide the colour.
This Ski or Die Buckle was burned on Bubinga. I did this one because I have an affinity for skulls for some reason, and and I used to play the game Skate or Die for the Nintendo when I was younger.
A Compass Buckle on Purpleheart. Compasses are so hot right now.
This last one was a Bottle Opener of Jack Layton. It didn't sell that night, but at least half of all proceeds from any Jack Layton item will be donated to the Canadian Cancer Society. I'd initially thought to have all proceeds go to the charity, but in respect to the time and materials involved, I just need to cover costs.
I was really happy with how this TTC Streetcar Buckle came out, and was not surprised that it garnered a lot of interest before it eventually sold. I will make more of these! This picture shows the buckle just after burning, and not yet in its final buckle form.

It was fun meeting the other artists, and I got to chat up a couple of them that were sitting close to me. Jool and I, were both first timers at the Rivoli, but she's been doing her thing for a little longer than me, and has her stuff in stores (which I was a little jealous of, but I'll get there :P), but her up-cycled accessories and clothes were really cool! She even went as far as to recommend some shops and shows for me to try my luck at, which was very very nice of her!

On the other side of me sat Aparna Yadav, who was showing art on canvas, and very stylish mixed media tote bags. Her and her assistant were very friendly, and we chatted here and there during the evening.

The two other artists that were there were Yuli Scheidt, and Angie Fey. I really liked both Yuli's artistic style, as well as Angie's talent for tattooing and art!

In terms of the music portion of the night, I had a really great time listening to all the acts, as I hadn't been out to see live music in a long time. The first band that went on was a newly formed one called MeanWood (linked is the first song they played that night!) They had a lot of energy, and I loved their sound. Two other standouts for me were the Secrettes, who had some high-energy/very catchy songs, and Most People, a duo who managed to incorporate guitar/bass/computers/drumming (sometimes both at the same time) into what seemed like one sweeping epic ride of a song. I met Brandon, from Most People, who was super cool and also interested in me doing a custom buckle for him!

All in all, the night was successful, and I felt like there was a lot of positive feedback from those who saw my work. Thanks again to all those who helped and have supported me on this exciting journey!


Adam Grant
Man of Craft

Saturday, September 17, 2011


I've been getting ready for the Pop With Brains (facebook) (myspace) show on Sept 23rd. Here's a pic of my workspace!

I'm also trying out my new Blogger app for my phone. It's pretty good, but I've had to modify the layout of the images on my desktop, as it just blopped the image at the end instead of where I wanted it in the middle. 

Over the next week I'll be working like crazy (after my regular work day) to make everything for the show on the 23rd.

Adam Grant
Man of Craft