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Making Original Art Greeting Card Demonstration

Nancy Trottier

By Nancy Trottier

Valley Artisans’ Co-op is our area’s only and one of Ontario’s longest running artist’s co-operatives. We are celebrating our 25th Anniversary year this year. Thirty-one members and several associates exhibit and sell work at their local gallery, 33373 Highway 17 West, in Deep River. A major portion of our mission statement involves educating the public about materials in methods in both fine craft and fine art making. Our column this week will discuss note or greeting cards, the resurgence in “hand written communication, and the methods used to make greeting cards by our artisans.
A note or greeting card can be a single sided, illustrated, or folded card that is either blank inside or expressing a specific sentiment. Although greeting cards are usually given on special occasions or major holidays, they are also sent through “snail mail” or attached to a gift or other package in order to convey thanks or express other feeling. With the increase in electronic communication by people of all ages, social critics have expressed great concern that the way of the type written letter or hand written note was headed for the trash bin. However, retailers all over North America are telling a different tale. There are huge increases, in some areas as high as 79% increases over two years, in the sales of elaborate fountain pens, personal stationary, greeting cards, and blank note cards for use by folks who have not only rediscovered the joy of the manual typewriter, but also the more personal way to say thank-you: the hand written note. Both appear to be a reaction against the push of technology in our lives during this “electronic age” as well as the increased participation of folks of all ages in making homemade crafts. A similar resurgence of hand made goods took place at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century with the Arts and Crafts movement which was a reaction against the perceived impersonal nature of machined made goods of the industrial revolution.
Greeting cards created by the artisans in our group usually include an envelope and come in a variety of styles. Each of the hand-crafted cards created include either original, “one of a kind” works of art that are suitable for framing after use as a greeting or note card, or reproductions of original work created by the artisan. Each artisan purchases blank envelope and card stock as a base for their card. The next step depends on the medium being used for the card. Some artisans hand assemble their pre-printed images onto the card, some insert original works of art into “windows” in the card, and still others prepare original works on the card itself. The hand-crafted and original art cards are a marvelous way to have art that is affordable and can be held in the hand. We suggest that a wonderful gift would be a boxed variety set of cards selected from Valley Artisans’ for this holiday season or at any time. We have boxes in the gallery to hold your selections.
The original art cards are meticulously made by each artisan and can be an affordable way to own an original piece of work or give a gift of original art at any time. Boni Jaworski spends hours creating beautiful collage cards that include three-dimensional elements and other cards that are reproductions of her larger paintings
This coming Saturday, December 15 from 11:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m., Boni will be demonstrating some of her techniques for making greeting cardS at the Valley Artisans’ Co-op Gallery. Please stop in and watch her make her magic happen!
In the coming weeks we hope to have more in a series of demonstrations at the co-op to showcase the materials and techniques of making of our members. If there is a special area of interest you have and would like to see demonstrated, please call the co-op at (613) 584-4483 or stop by the Gallery at 33373 Highway 17 West to let us know.

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