June 19, 2024
Vancouver’s Eastside Culture Crawl: A showcase of design talent

From playful carved facades to beautiful lighting made from reclaimed material

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Vancouver’s Eastside Culture Crawl is an annual arts, design and crafts festival that has been running for over 25 years and happened last month. The Crawl is a great place to spot new, emerging and fully formed design talent. Here’s a look at six designer-makers who stood out.

Playful carved facades

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Architectural skins by Workbench Studio.
Architectural skins by Workbench Studio. Photo by Courtesy Workbench Studio

Vancouver design-build studio Workbench displayed some unique ‘architectural skins’ at the culture crawl. The skins, which come in different thicknesses, are “shop-sawn sliced veneers” pressed onto MDF and plywood panels for stability. They’re used for interior millwork, furniture and cladding.

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Workbench skins come in options like sawn texture, Japanese Naguri texture (a scooped pattern, sometimes referred to as “turtle back”) and carved, playful shapes inspired by children’s sketches. They’re a great option for home interiors because they don’t cost a fortune and are hard wearing.

The ultimate cabinet for vinyl lovers

Waveform cabinet by Maughan Made
Waveform cabinet by Maughan Made, a favourite with vinyl aficionados. Photo by Courtesy Maughan Made

Maughan Made’s Waveform cabinet was a showstopper at the Crawl.

“I drew up the shape and functionality of the design, but most of the details came to me as I was moving through the building process,” says furniture maker Jake Maughan. It happens to be one of his favourite designs.

Maughan says he’d been hanging on to a beautiful walnut board, and when he studied its grain, he knew it was meant for his console.

“By sawing all my veneer in-house, I was able to create a pattern that spans the top of the cabinet and waterfalls down either side.” Hence its name.

With this piece of furniture, Maughan says he wanted to experiment with different joinery, like pinned lock joints for the drawers and castle joints on the base.

Not your average glass bowl

A striking orange glass bowl caught a lot of people’s attention in the Culture Crawl’s Mergatroid Building. Named the Mango Bowl, it was created by glass artist Trenton Quiocho during his glass-blowing demonstrations for the Learning Fire program at Vancouver’s Terminal City Glass Co-op earlier this year.

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Terminal City Glass Co-op was founded in February 2012 as Canada’s first non-profit, cooperative glass arts facility. Most of its equipment and materials have been donated.

The Learning Fire Youth Program at Terminal City Glass Co-op allows students to learn glass blowing and have it count towards their high school credits.

Of the Mango Bowl, Quiocho says: “The colour application consists of a solid yellow inside with a transparent orange outside and is finished with a turquoise lip wrap.”

Quiocho is based in Tacoma, WA, and sells his work online through BASO glass and at the Tacoma Museum of Glass.

Fresh take on teddy bears

Blue Bear by artist Anyuta Gusakova of Anyuta Studio.
Blue Bear by artist Anyuta Gusakova of Anyuta Studio. Photo by Anyuta Studio

Artist Anyuta Gusakova’s Blue Bear — another Culture Crawl standout — represents “all the teddy bears in the world,” she says.

It’s designed to evoke feelings of fun, playfulness and comfort and spark happy memories for people.

“The bear’s round shapes and soft curves embrace and hug everybody. It makes people feel cosy and warm,” she says.

The bears are made from resin, fibreglass and “automotive paint.” Gusakova has created only a limited number.

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In the hot seat

Stool created by Gavin Goodall
Stool created by Gavin Goodall, using a technique that chars the wood. Photo by Gavin Goodall Woodwork

Gavin Goodall of Gavin Goodall Woodwork specializes in furniture and architecture millwork. At the Crawl, he displayed a simple but sleek piece of furniture — an asymmetrical stool with a carved seat, designed and constructed from solid maple.

It’s finished using the Japanese method of Shou Sugi Ban, says Goodall. This technique involves charring the wood, brushing or sandpapering it and then sealing the surface with natural oils.

Truly beautiful lighting

Lighting by Concealed Studio.
Lighting by Concealed Studio. Photo by Courtesy Concealed Studio

The 4.3 lighting series by Vancouver-based Concealed Studio was impressive to look at and is made from reclaimed material that was destined for landfill.

“We try our best to upcycle discarded wood and materials to use in our designs. The lit-up section of the lights are made from paper, and the lighting itself is powered by LEDs,” says Concealed Studio designer Mario Sabljak.

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