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The Art of Craft Lecture Series: Botanically Inspired is coming up on October 27th! Craft Council of BC in partnership with the VanDusen Botanical Garden Association  are hosting three lectures this fall to celebrate Craft Year 2015. These lectures feature craft artists discussing how their work has been inspired by the shapes, the ethos and/or the products of the botanical world.

At our next Art of Craft Lecture three artists from the exhibition will discuss how the garden and all its riches – insects, flowers, weeds and compost – has inspired their artistic practice. We’d like to introduce you to these three craft artists here!


Larissa Blokhuis –

Larissa was born on the edge of the prairies in Canada. After completing her BFA, Larissa moved to the coast to take a job as a glassblower on Granville Island. After establishing a presence on Granville Island, Larissa began exhibiting extensively in Alberta and BC.

Larissa is inspired by the evolutionary history of plants, and the repetition of cycles. Her current focus on using glass and mixed media, incorporating ceramic, steel, wool, polymer, and wood as needed has allowed her to develop a distinctive style. Tropical plants can reach immense proportions, while arctic plants are often compact and hardy. Larissa plays with scale, making comparatively large versions of life forms that would be tiny in today’s nature systems, and vice versa. Larissa looks for pattern, repetition, and contrast, and these elements often become the nucleus of a new artwork.


Sylvie Roussel-Janssens – 

Trained as a sculptor, Sylvie Roussel-Janssens brings together her skills in welding and textiles to create Light Sculptures. These pieces are created by burning small holes in synthetic fabric with a soldering iron.  Sylvie creates detailed images.

They can take the form of wall-mounted structures with integrated electrical lighting or Window Panels, a sunlit simpler version.

Inspired by nature and history, Sylvie Roussel-Janssens is fascinated by the strong design of traditional cultures from all over the world. Her inspiration comes from West Coast First Nations carving, Australian Aboriginal painting, Japanese paper cutting and Celtic design. Her work challenges the borders between art, craft and design.

Dawn Michelle Russell –

Dawn’s passion for textiles was nurtured as a graduate of Ryerson’s Fashion Design program and enriched through Extended Studies – Textiles at the University of the Fraser Valley.

Creating textiles that are coloured from the earth evolved from her admiration of rocky coastlines, wooded trails and gardens. A chance conversation with VanDusen’s retired curator, Roy Forster, led her to pursue colouring cloth with plant material, mineral and earth pigments.

Dawn explores traditional and non-traditional techniques imitating nature’s colours, textures and patterns. Using surface design artistry such as botanical prints, and hand weaving she transforms cotton, linen silk and paper in an impassioned, controlled process. The result is fabric for naturally unique, one-of-kind garments.  Her label, Della Terra Designs, translates from Italian as ‘of the earth.’


When: October 27, 2015, 7:00 – 9:00 PM

Where: VanDusen Botanical Garden (5151 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC)

CCBC or VBGA members: $20/lecture or $50/all three lectures

Non-members: $25/lecture or $65/all three lectures

This lecture series is a fundraiser for the educational programs of the Craft Council and the VanDusen Botanical Garden Association.

Visit our event page to learn more about the lecture series and the artists and to RSVP.