Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Guilds, Grants, and Getting it Done - Day 1: New Outdoor Sign for the Potters and Weavers

In 2012 the Hill Potters' applied for a grant from the Mayor's Endowment Fund for the Arts to create a new outdoor sign for our guild and for the Burr House Spinners and Weavers' Guild.

Our guild sign until June 23rd, 2013.
We share the same facilities and so we share the sign. Over the past 10 months we researched our project and then created a new one piece marine plywood sign (8' x 4') with metal edging and extra bracing across the back to help protect it from warping in our severe climate.

I couldn't wait to take the first letter off the old sign. They were all re-used on the new sign.

This blank sign hung out in my studio for the fall and winter months and then the spring. The weather was very uncooperative and we needed a certain temperature maintained at night as we are working on the sign outside under my market canopy.

Guild President Kathy Ver Beek taking everything off the old sign and handing it to Bev Turnball. I made them promise the letters would not break at this late date. And so it was.

current state of the old sign

Our current old sign with three ceramic objects still attached. One cause it's wired in with very thick wire and Kathy couldn't get it loose. and the others cause there are active wasp nests in behind them.

wasp nest up inside the kitty
Juggling schedules, weather and people, we started work on the sign this past Sunday, in the record heat and humidity. 39C so far for every day we have been out there working on the sign. Thankfully we have not had to deal with a downpour.

hammer, towel and something to break. what fun!
While Kathy and Bev took the ceramics off the sign, other members smashed the ceramics that were donated to us in our fall Smash and Grab event. These shards will make their way into two mosaics on our new sign.

shards were separated by colour or pattern

new marine plywood sign with old sign's lettering and member-made ceramics to show what we do at the guild

At the end of our first day we had completed disassembling the old sign, smashing all the ceramics and had created the barebones layout of the new sign. We agreed to meet back Monday morning to continue the work.

until tomorrow.

Monday, June 24, 2013

My Richmond Hill Summer Odyssey-Parkette #2 of 34 : Worthington Parkette

So, according to my map, the next stop on my summer odyssey to visit the 
34 parkettes of Richmond Hill will take me to Worthington Parkette. 

street parking only, Worthington Parkette behind me
The parkettes all seem to be spaces for the immediate neighbourhood. Spaces to walk to. 
There is no parking except street parking at this one.

walking toward parkette

going around behind -- pretty standard fare.
This parkette seemed big to me. A full size play set in a sandpit. Some trees, some landscaped rolling lawns, two benches. A screen of thick trees in behind the parkette

and even a well worn footpath to somewhere in through the trees

Frankly I found it kind of boring, and on my return to the car I noticed this across the street

 This was a lot like the entry to my first parkette, so maybe this was the parkette? I hadn't actually seen any sign on the other one and there was no sign except what looks to be the standard Park Rules sign I have now found a few times. I decided to explore it a bit.

A nice gentle climb on a paved path lined with big formal rectangular blocks of stone

Johnny This WAY graffiti! ooooo!
 Graffiti around the corner

 Stone blocks gone and it's a paved path leading into trees and I can't see how far that is and I need to get going. So I turn around and have made a mental note to check into this again.

And as I drive away, realize I am heading in the wrong direction for parkette #3, I double back and there it is, the town park sign:
Worthington Park
Worthington Park. It's not parkette? Or is it? Is the sign right and the trail map wrong? Or is the map right and the sign wrong? This parkette business isn't very straightforward. But it's turning out to be more curious than I expected. #3 coming soon.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Coons Parkette -- 1 of the 34 Parkettes of Richmond Hill Summer Odyssey Series

Over the course of this summer, a few hours at a time, I am going to visit all the parkettes of Richmond Hill which are marked on the official Richmond Hill Parks and Trail Map.

I've decided to take it one grid square at a time. Across the top of the map it goes from A-E. Richmond Hill, Ontario, is bordered by Bathurst Street on the west to Highway 404 on the east. This section, grid number 1, is bordered by the northernmost street in Richmond Hill, Bloomington Road and the grid covers midway into Lake Wilcox and Bethesda Road, but not as far south as King Road.

According to the map Coons Parkette will be my first visit.
The "address" is:  Fern Valley Cres., W. of Yonge St. N. of King Rd.

As far as I can tell, this is it.

sign says: WARNING Storm Detention Area use of pond prohibited
 I can't see any other park-like spaces around, and a parkette must be a diminutive park .
I'm going to request the official definition this week.

As far as I can tell this is the official entrance to Coons Parkette. There is no sign to tell me if I am right or wrong. The entry way definitely looks official and orderly with those rectangular stone blocks offsetting the open metal walkway. Not sure what I am going to be walking over.. 

It's all cat tails. The water is super low. On the extreme right is a small stream, some kind of run off I think. I can't get a good image of it as it's obscured by the reeds.

Once over the walkway you come to more grand rectangular stone blocks. 

I thought the space would end here but there is a slight curve and as you walk you see this

So this parkette is basically a fancy shortcut connecting two neighbourhoods over a swamp. It's a bit more elaborate than my neighbourhood's official shortcut, but my shortcut has a very official sign.

further along the path-these trees are on the property of neighbouring houses

Turning around at the end, I noticed this sign as I headed back

Heading back to the start

Not sure what to make of this first parkette experience. It doesn't feel like a space to linger in. The metal walkway makes me want to hurry vs. wooden walkways that seem more friendly. Odd.

On to parkette #2 of my summer odyssey, Worthington Parkette.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Parkettes of Richmond Hill: A Summer Odyssey

I've lived here for two years now. I keep trying to settle in. 
I've decided to really take the time to explore what my surroundings actually hold. 
I gathered a bunch of town literature from community centres nearby..
trail and park guide

One thing I picked up was a fold out map called A Guide to Parks & Trails in Richmond Hill.
three houses down from me

What really got me onto the park system here was this little thing down the street  from where I live:

What is that anyway?
Is this what they call a park? Who patrols it?
This is what I would call "a shortcut" but it's something "official" with those rules on the sign telling us how to use this space. Wow.  It's marked on the map with a faint sage green line, and no number so it's not an officially named space. 
So there are some quirks. 
Besides the official unofficial shortcut, Richmond Hill has kettle lakes, rivers, trails, parks and parkettes. 
Some parkettes are right beside parks. 
So what's the difference? 
There are 34 parkettes according to this map and this summer I am going to visit them all and report back.  

crow earrings

Right now I am getting my art together for the Aurora Farmers' Market in the morning...
flying pigs by request-verson #1

version #2
We can talk after.