Our Artists in Residence
Kyle McPhee (Phee’s Original Goods), also known as Phee, designs and creates custom leather goods right here in Cape Breton. Each item is made to serve a purpose in everyday life and stand the test of time. Having travelled far and wide for work in various trades has informed every design and ensured that the methods and materials used are road tested and tough as nails. Born and raised here, Phee is back at home in Cape Breton accepting custom commissions and offering a line of leather accessories at the Customs House Artisan Incubator in Port Hawkesbury. For more information check out: pheesoriginalgoods.ca
Natasha Matthews (Tasha Grace Designs) is a jewellery artist whose work is evocative of an enchanted forest, with pieces often having a whimsical, ethereal feel reminiscent of the Unseen World. She excels at wire weaving which is an unusual technique that produces beautiful, delicate and complex patterns with very thin wire, and lends itself well to the Art Nouveau forms she often incorporates into her work. While studying Graphic Design at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University, she discovered silversmithing at this world-class institution. By the end of her first class, she was hooked forever, and considered herself to be a silversmith at heart from that day forward. It was to be her niche, her passion, and her destiny.
Tessa Reed (Tessaramics) is a potter who is obsessed with process, and focused on function. From the prairies of Saskatchewan, to the high rises of Vancouver, and finally to beautiful Nova Scotia, she has always found the best place to be is behind a pottery wheel. Her signature style features cartoon-looking cats and fantastical creatures. She believes that her work should be in use, and often will include decoration on the interior or bottom of a piece, necessitating interaction for the full experience of the work.
Josie Robinson (Eterna Textiles) is a textile artist and surface designer. Growing up in the Robson Valley in BC, Josie was always surrounded by a community of makers. She accredits her creative spirit to her childhood in a small town. Her expertise lies in the use of plant based dyes and pigments. She uses plants that grow locally as well as sought after plants from around the world to create colour on cloth. Specifically, her work specializes in Japanese shibori, where patterns are created in the cloth by tying or by geometric woodblock clamped folding. As an artist, she sees value in use. She aims to create pieces that her customers can both use in their daily lives and cherish for their unique beauty.