Nov 16, 2010

May 28, 2010

Distillery Farmers Market

I have a confession to make.  For any family members reading, you might want to stop now.  'Cause I just don't need the grief!

These cinnamon buns are so unbelievably fantastic, so incredibly good -- that I eat them.  On Mondays, all I think about is the following Sunday, when I can buy myself another cinnamon bun and eat it.  What's the problem with that?  I'm allergic to cinnamon.  Yup, these are so great, that they're worth the reaction.

Amy and I set ourselves up with a MarcoPolo tea from Balzac's and one of Alli's out of this world buns, and we just know that it's going to be a good day.

They are so gooey, you'd think there was more topping than bun.  And the best part -- she has a small portable warmer, so they're served a just the perfect temperature!

Allison is the baker and seller of these fine treats.  She also has a number of other baked goods for sale -- both savoury and sweet.  She even makes a bread concoction with fiddleheads on it!  Oh and be sure to try these crazy spicy potato thingies that she makes -- they're fantastic.

The Farmers Market at The Distillery has started again and runs Sundays through Thanksgiving Sunday October 12. We are all very excited and eagerly anticipating the 5th season.

REGULAR LOCATION: The farmers' market is located at the Distillery Historic District 55 Mill Street in Toronto on Trinity Square by Balzac's Coffee.

ALTERNATE LOCATION DURING SPECIAL EVENTS: you will find the farmers' market on Market Lane, located in the east end of the District, near Soul Pepper Theatre.

May 25, 2010

Pipe and Punty Glassworks at The Distillery

What a nice surprise, coming to work at the studio on Saturday and finding Miia Virtasalmi and her husband Robert Tannahill setting up for the Artisans at the Distillery show that happened this past long weekend!  The weather was kind of iffy on Saturday -- but Sunday and Monday were super. 

The booth looked fantastic -- a crisp white tent and display that made all the yummy blown, cast and fused glass work they do look just fantastic.  It's always fun to see what they've been working on.  Both Miia and Robert have very different styles, but somehow the work always seem to have a nice sense of balance, when shown together.

We've had the pleasure of carrying the mushroom and cupcake paperweights at our studio for a while now -- but this was the first time we'd had the chance to see some of her new fused glass jewelry work.  The skull rings and earrings that Miia's doing are so great!  You can see more of her work at

They'll have a booth at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition July 9th 10th and 11th, as well as showing their work at the Stratford Art in the Park, on June 12th and 19th.  It sounds like maybe Robert will have an interesting process for selling his work this year -- something about a scale?!?  If it's true -- we look forward to seeing how it goes!

May 21, 2010

Emily Filler Is Having Solo Show!!

Our good friend and studio neighbour Emily Filler, is kicking off a solo exhibit this weekend at Terence Robert Gallery in Ottawa.

Her work is beautiful and thoughtful -- just like her!!  She's at the gallery this weekend, so if you're in the neighbourhood, drop in to say "hey"!

Apr 22, 2010

Oh Maude

This is Maude.  I wouldn't say she's a studio mascot, she's more like a visiting dignitary.

We've figured out that if she's walked to the studio -- her behaviour once she's here is WAAYYY better.
Without the exercise, she's a bit of a goof.  Trevor says it's like trying to pet a squirrel.

Maude has always had a need to have a blanket/towel with her at all times -- kind of like the Peanuts character Linus.  She drags this thing all over the studio, then almost always settles herself directly behind and under Amy's torch chair.  To Amy's credit, she works around the obstacle -- not so easy when you're trying to get a finished piece into the kiln!

The down side about her is that she's just plain sneaky -- not always in a good way.  When anyone puts their hand down to show any kind of affection to her, she does a couple of licks and then every once in a while she'll follow up with an unsuspecting nip.  We're really working on this, cause well it's pretty bad behaviour, no if's and's or buts about it.  A friend of ours recently pointed out that whenever any one approaches the dog, I frantically blurt out "kisses only Maude, kisses only!!"  Wow, how embarrassing.

The up side is, she is so happy to see Amy and Cynthia when we get to the studio.  She's just so thrilled to see them, each and every time.  Quite often, she'll make this crying squeaky noise, reserved for only those that she sees as her family.

Apr 20, 2010

Dream Jeanie...

Jill and I went out for dinner with Jean (of Nortel fame, mover and shaker in the glass community) to Queen Margherita Pizza, a new place in my hood (Queen St East & Greenwood).  The food was great and it was fun to go out and talk about all things glass... you know because it can get tiring for the boyfriends sometimes!
There are a few projects we've been wanting to help facilitate with Nortel and now we have a plan to help fuel the Bullseye Glass buzz...  we just love it so much and think it's a fantastic glass to work with that we want to share the love with everyone - hopefully our students too!
I you're a flameworker and you've never tried working with Bullseye Glass, we think it's a premium product and we highly recommend working with it.
The Bullseye team has improved their line of flameworking rods significantly since I remember first trying them out when I was at Sheridan, almost 12 years ago but really I was drawn over to the dark side (hah) when I was invited to participate in a group  show Currency at the Bullseye Gallery in 2004.  Ever since then I've been hooked!

Get your greetings here folks... TANK is carrying cards!

It's a perfect fit for Jill and I as we both have a slight obsession for pretty paper products.  It's a fact that the first thing we use to do upon our arrival to Milwaukee, WI (for the annual Bead and Button Show) was go to Broadway Paper, a fantastic paper, cards, sketchbooks and all things colourful and sentimental type shop!  Jill and I have always talked about how we'd love to carry cards, so we thought.. why not?  We had some cards made by our friend Emily Filler (who is also in our building) for an event a while back and they were a big hit... so we're expanding our selection!

We have spent some time going through our card drawers picking over some of our favs and looking online at our most drool worthy letterpress card designers to bring them to you.

So next time are in the need... please come down to the Distillery and paruse our cards, and if you need a little somethin' somethin' to go with that card - we've got you covered for jewelry too!

It's time to get outside...

I'm sitting outside on our back deck and over head is pure blue sky for the second day in a row!  How wonderful.   Yesterday I even had a cat nap in the afternoon sun for a couple hours after enjoying a fresh Mohito with Cynthia.  We spent the morning at Cherry beach with her dog Olive and met loads of other cute, furry (and wet) friends... came back with just a little sand in the bottom of my rolled up jeans!    Above is a bulldog we met who was just hanging out in the water by himself... cooling down and taking it all in.

Feb 27, 2010

More and more these days Jill and I are working collaboratively on designs for TANK.  Personally I very much enjoy the process of working this way and find it to be an extremely rewarding experience.  Take two perspectives, the obvious benefit of two sets of uniquely skilled hands and the results are usually quite good.
Recently Jill and I have been planning, planning, planning... not as much making of late but we'll get there.  It's a slower time of year so it's perfect for contemplating new ideas, playing at the torch and working through these concepts visually with our materials.  Often just allowing yourself this time to experiment in the studio brings the most wonderful things.
I gave in today as I felt a strong urge to make something "weird" .... So I did, I made a crazy looking sculptural bead with loops all over it and I can't wait to see how it looks tomorrow when I take it out of the kiln.  It was very satisfying to make either way and already I see other even bigger crazier beads in my head!

Here are some necklaces that Jill and I put together this week - part of a new line we're working on... John from Proof Gallery next door took the photos for us.

{  Jill likes to call this one "Classy Whimsy"  }

Feb 19, 2010

{ student Phoebe making a bead }

Recently I had the pleasure of introducing young Phoebe to glass beadmaking.   She is working on a project for school about glasswork and had already been to visit my school chum Kelly Lowe for her own glass blowing experience.  At TANK she quietly worked away on each bead, carefully considering my advice and turing out some pretty good results!   Phoebe is lucky to have supportive parents to help out with such endeavours for a school project - we're hoping maybe we've sparked an interest that will continue to grow.
Good luck Phoebe.   Hope we see you again.

Feb 17, 2010

Oh how I'd love to...

{ work by Cynthia Toops & Dan Adams }

You may not know this about me but I got my beadmaking start many years ago, think grade 6 or 7. I began my love affair with colour by making polymer clay beads and selling them on family vacations for extra spending money, to bead shops we'd come across on our travels. During this time, I first laid eyes on Cynthia Toops incredible work in one of my books and still I find inspiration in her pieces. Later when I discovered flameworking and Dan Adams work, I had no idea that he and Cynthia were married and also collaborated but it makes total sense to me now.... so much detail. I just love it!

Yesterday when trolling around online I saw that they are teaching a class together at the ISGB conference this year. I would LOVE to take this class. Who knows if that will work out as August is already a very busy month. I'll keep my fingers crossed though!

Feb 13, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Thanks to all who came out for our Valentine's Day event and making it a successful day. Oh my... Jill's Swedish Tea Cookies were faaaaaaaaaantastic!
We are going to extend the Sale to tomorrow for you last minute shoppers. All things red, pink and purple are 20% off.

I forgot to mention we also have some greeting cards by our talented friend Emily FIller from upstairs. One of her paintings is shown above.

Feb 12, 2010

TANK you very much!

Yesterday Julie Beverstein came in for a private lesson that her sweet boyfriend surprised her with for Christmas. We just had to post this photo of the box that the Gift Certificate was in under the tree. Julie has saved it since then so she could show us knowing we'd get a kick out of it!
Thanks Julie.

Feb 8, 2010

Next weekend will be another great opportunity to get out and enjoy your local handmade experience. The Case Goods Warehouse will be hosting a Valentine's Shopping event on the Saturday so you can pick up something special for your sweetheart this year. Or pass this along with a little hint, hint... and tales of home baked goods to entice!

We personally are also having a BIG SALE! Yes all jewelry red, pink or purple will be on sale for the day at 20% off. Lots of shiny, pretty ideas from yours truly - Amy & Jill xoxo

Jan 18, 2010


We are excited to be part of L O V E T R A N S F O R M S : a wedding and valentine's online craft fair. Please go check out our new work.

Tankstudio on Poppytalk

Dec 24, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Thanks to everyone for a great year at TANK.

Have a wonderful holiday & happy new year.

We look forward to seeing you in 2010.

Amy & Jill

Regular studio hours will resume on Jan 2nd.
Please call if you'd like to come by before then

Nov 26, 2009


Come visit us TANK girls in booth L35, at the Christmas One of A Kind Show. We have a great location in the centre isle near the fashion show area so we're easy to find! Some of our work is also featured in a special display area at the front of the show as you come in. Woodeewoo!

We've been busting a hump for the last few months making loads of sparkly new designs just in time for the holidays. You'll find lots of new items that we are excited to be introducing at the show. I forgot my camera transfer cord at the shop but took pictures today and I hope to have them up tomorrow night. Oops, guess I can't remember everything!

Here are the show details. Hope to see you there.

Thursday, November 26 to Sunday, December 6, 2009
Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place,
100 Princes' Blvd., Toronto ON M6K 3C3 Canada
Weekdays 11am-10pm, Saturdays 10am-9pm, Sundays 10am-6pm

Sep 20, 2009

Summer has been good to us this year at TANK... The Distillery has grown, as it seems to do every year - it's always evolving and changing. In our building (The Case Goods Bldg) we have a new tenant - Hoi Bo. We're thrilled because owner, Sarra Tang (creator of the MADE show) is also a good friend. Her work is fabulous and we love her quick draw sense of humor, she's an excellent addition. Her line includes handmade bags, purses, clutches and clothing. I love Sarra's designs, she has a wonderful attention to detail. I am already planning on buying another purse from her. You can never have too many handbags!

Jill and I have been designing a new jewelry line for TANK and we can't wait for the big reveal this fall/winter at the One Of A Kind Show. Yes that's right, we'll be at the Christmas One Of A Kind Show this year... first time! Come check us out. It's hard to believe that it's now only just under two and a half months away. Yikes...

here is one of sarra's luxurious bags for you to drool over.