I grew up in Toronto and moved to the West Coast after completing a degree in Geology at the University of Toronto. I had a ten-year career in the resource fields before going back to school to study Surface Design at Capilano University. The work I do now encompasses two different areas of fibre – handmade boxes of Japanese and Nepalese papers, and one-of-a-kind handbags and purses of such diverse materials as silk fabric, non-woven wild silk and handmade paper.
My Circle Craft membership dates back to my student days at Cap in the 1980s. The Co-op has given me so much over the years – sales and exhibition opportunities, social contacts, acceptance, support, and exposure to an exceptional standard of quality. By joining the Board, I aim to ensure that all of Circle Craft’s members have as positive an experience as I have had and also to help guide the Co-op to fulfill a larger role in the BC craft community.
After graduating from the Glasgow School of Art in 1987 with both BA Hons and postgraduate degrees in textile design, I set up in business making one of a kind textiles for the home and sold my work in galleries and stores in both the UK and North America. I also created many large public art works for spaces in libraries, mental health clinics and hospitals. Teaching has also been a passion of mine and I’ve been involved with adult education, taken art residencies in schools, run art workshops for kids and adults and I’ve done community art work and mural painting.
I left Scotland in 2002 and travelled around the world with my husband’s job, finally settling in Canada in 2012. That winter I visited the Circle Craft Christmas market and knew immediately that I wanted to be part of it. I have been a member since 2017 and now very happy to be on the board and help promote this fantastic co-op.
I believe Circle Craft is a great platform that elevates craft and gets people talking about the making process. I think the gallery and the market are places where we can educate the audience, showcasing beautiful objects made in BC, made to last and made with passion.
Scholarship Commitee Chair
LIZ DE BEER
As a potter Liz has always been intrigued by natural products and processes. Growing up in Africa she was surrounded by a rich resource of wonderful design elements in nature from which she draws inspiration. Liz is the Studio Manager at the Parkgate Community Center in North Vancouver. This studio came into being in September 1999 and has been developed under her guidance into one of the best community studios available to the public. Liz has a preference for earthenware vessels that are simple in shape and uses a combination of oxides and glazes to produce surface coloration on the raw clay surface that is striking but not distracting. She also has an interest in surface manipulation through carving and use a variety of different techniques such as sgraffito to create graphic imagery reminiscent of African woodcarving.
Mr. Fung was trained as an engineer, worked on Wall Street as a media & telecoms banker and has been a serial entrepreneur, technologist and international dealmaker. During his 38+ year business career, he has designed nuclear reactors, undertaken mergers & acquisitions for Fortune 500 companies, explored for gold and uranium globally and acted as both principal and strategic consultant for advertising, marketing, media, telecoms and tech enterprises serving China and Asia. He is an avid supporter of the arts and is motivated to promote the cultural relevance of one-of-a-kind artisans as a member of Circle Craft’s Board of Directors.
Greg Kawczynski has been a member of Circle Craft for over 25 years. In 1988 he emigrated to Canada from Poland, where he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, faculty of Sculpture.
He started working in ceramic arts in 2005, for an exhibition with Circle Craft, and presented few dozen of his birds, made in various techniques. Greg’s interest in joining the Board came from a curiosity of what challenges the organization is dealing with and a hope that his experience, as both an Artist and member, will be useful to both membership and staff.
After spending 20 years in Edmonton, where I apprenticed as heavy duty mechanic, met my wife Peggy Brackett, and studied philosophy at the University of Alberta, I moved to Victoria in 1997. There I rented a small industrial space and, together with Peggy, started KilnArt Glass Studio. We taught ourselves glass fusing and kiln forming, on the basis of which I became a member of Circle Craft in 2003. In 2007 we moved to Crofton, where KilnArt Glass Studio continues to thrive. In 2015 I started working in metal as well, making steampunk/folk-art sculptures.
In 2002 I joined the Island Artisans Association, serving on its board for several years, and in 2010 I was one of three founding members of the Cowichan Valley Artisans, producing the first year round studio tour in the valley.
I have always been proud to be a member of Circle Craft, and after so may years of selling in the shop and exhibiting at the Christmas Market, I feel it is time to contribute to the Co-op in my turn.
Born in the Netherland to silversmith father & dressmaker mother, you might think I was born to craft.
Other than pumping my Dads forge and listening to the tap-tap of his chasing hammer, crafts did not come into my life till years later
In 1970 my parents and I bought a craft shop on 4th Avenue in Vancouver at the height of the Aquarian Age.
In 1974 did a TV show “HIP GEAR” leather bags, belts & clothes In August 1975 Mayer Philips opened Gas-light Square where we opened a 2nd shop.
1977 I went to the Florence Expo International L’Artisanat .
1978 the Offenbach Leather Show. Grant from Circle Craft to take a course of advanced leather work at West Dean College, UK.
1978 was also the year that the reversed R & D on a hide trademark came into being.
1981 I became a member of Circle Craft and did the VECC Christmas show. 1983 the 1st Annual Christmas Gift Show.
Commission for saddle bag that carried the invitation to Expo ’86 to Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II.
Semaine de Cuir Paris ‘89 show of ‘CUIR MARIN’ fish skin articles endorsed by Pier Cardin.
Served on the board but it was quite different from the 2019 version.
The tooling of leather has now led me to do the same thing on copper, silver and I hope gold so that I might fulfil my father’s dream and my grandfather’s advice to his son.
After being on the Selections Committee for a few enjoyable, learning curve years, I finally jumped in (read enticed) and joined the Board and I am thrilled to be part of such a competent, resourceful, thoughtful, forward thinking team. There are not many shops that are so full of fine craft where each story behind every piece is so important and celebrated. Circle Craft Co-op is such a unique and amazing enterprise, and I’m honoured to be part of growing and fine tuning it. I studied art at The New England School of Art, Universities of New Mexico and Oregon and I am a SFU and Emily Carr Grad. I’ve been a jeweller, a metalsmith, an illustrator and for the past 33 years I’ve been talking in clay.