When one has a passion for creating art, that passion will sprout roots and grow. The passion comes from the act of doing and the end result is a fascination and appreciation for all art forms. That’s what it is to be an artist.
Artists and their muses are what make the world a more beautiful place. They are the ones who enrich our lives through their creativity.
A whole roomful of artists and crafts people will be gathered at the Sooke Community Hall from November 21 to 23 for the annual All Sooke Arts & Crafts Christmas Craft Fair. Two of those are Sooke residents Rae and Wes Williamson.
Between the two of them they have commandeered just about the whole basement of their home for their respective art projects.
Rae is a multi-faceted artisan who makes plates, bowls, jewelry and ornaments out of glass as well as beautiful intricate beaded jewelry.
Wes does silverwork and faceting of semi-precious stones which he fashions into pendants, rings and bracelets. He calls himself a rock hound.
Together the two of them spend hours in their studio space working on their individual pieces.
“He is awesome from a technical aspect,” said Rae of her creative partner and husband. “We are inspired by what each other is doing. He will also say, ‘what do you think of this?’, It’s a good marriage.”
Their work is well designed and intricately put together. It is far from simple beads on a string or earring made from bought findings. Wes fashions his jewelry the old-fashioned way with the tools of the trade – hammers, carving tools, heat and a lot of time.
Rae started out beading and has since expanded her methods to include enameling, metal and leather work. She is finding she wants to re-purpose items and bits and pieces that would normally go into the trash or a second hand store. Filings from brass have been incorporated into glass, adding a one-of-a-kind element to her pendants. Old silver-plate is used in several ingenious ways as are broken shards of heavy duty glass.
“It forces me to take it and combine it with other methods,” said Rae.
You can see the deep influence each has on the other. They both experiment on techniques that interest them and they love learning.
Each winter they would go to Arizona and attend a mega-rock and gem show. In Quartzite, Arizona each year there are acres of rock enthusiasts with acres of products to tempt other enthusiasts. It is the largest rock and gem club in North America.
“It gives you the opportunity to try almost anything,” said Wes. When they did spend five to six months in the south, they were truly immersed in learning and Wes said it gave you the flavor and whether you liked it or not. Obviously they did.
The Williamson’s have been in Sooke for just over two years and they couldn’t be happier. They have found community in Sooke and volunteer at the Sooke Fine Arts Show and both are members of the Lions Clubs. Both of them are small town people and they said “Sooke is perfect.”
“People care about each other here,” said Rae.
Rae and Wes will be at the Christmas market for all three days.
All Sooke Arts & Crafts Christmas Craft Fair
Where: Sooke Community Hall, 2037 Sheilds Road, Sooke
When: Friday, November 21, 1 to 8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Who: More than 80 vendors selling everything from birdhouses to weaving, homebaking to Christmas ornaments and every possible thing in between. These vendors are very good at what they do and they want to share their art and craft. Many are members of the All Sooke Arts & Crafts Association.
Why: The objective of this Association is to assist and encourage the artists and craft persons of Sooke in developing their skills and promoting sales through public displays and demonstrations and provide network services to other community members and groups.
The group meets every third Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. at Knox Presbyterian Church, except during the summer months. Each year they offer their well-known Christmas Craft Fair, the oldest craft show of its kind on the Vancouver Island. Look for ASAAC members at the Sooke Spring Rotary Auction & Fair each year where our members will be displaying selected works. New membership applications are considered in February of each year.