Ottawa might be known as a city of public servants but it is filled with creative minds and as you’re trying to find those last-minute Christmas gifts, maybe these entrepreneurs can give you an idea to buy local.
Our series, Made in Ottawa, introduces you to three creators nestled across the nation’s capital.
Jane Snyder has been a potter for almost 30 years. She works in her “secret,” private workshop behind her home where she makes her living with her hands.
She creates colourful bowls, mugs and dinnerware for her one-woman business by spinning wet clay, and she sells her work at craft shows, open houses and local stores.
“You get your hands in it and you can throw it around,” said Snyder. “You can really get rid of any aggression you might have.”
Cindy Laneville quit her job as a bank manager a decade ago to spend more time with her kids. Then she decided to take a class in stained glass making and the light bulb went on.
“I wanted to see where you could go with it, what more you could do,” Laneville said.
“I was energized and I will admit, when I left the bank, I was not so energized.”
She gave up a consistent paycheque and now sells her work at shows like the Originals Ottawa Christmas Craft Sale. She also teaches the craft to others.
The key, she said, is making things other people want and to “constantly listen” to requests and new ideas.
Adam Guzman-Poole is finding an interesting way to put himself through school: twisting and reshaping antique silverware to make jewellery.
“I find ones that are pieces of art by themselves and then I add my own twist,” said Guzman-Poole, who is studying alternative medicine.
“It’s pretty beautiful that I can be creative and make a good living out of it.”
Working in his Hintonburg-area studio, Guzman-Poole said that is where he finds the most joy. He also loves showcasing his work.