A Whimsical Note about Artisanal Madness

Cowichan Artisans

Are you ever curious about why artists create? Each of us can have a spontaneous idea or whim and be inspired to act, but having the skills to turn a concept into a ‘work of art’ is a challenge for the true artist, and, apparently, they can’t stop themselves.(Whimsy can be described as unpredictable or impulsive behaviour combined with quaint or fanciful notions. For the Cowichan Valley Artisans, that sounds about right! )

Let’s ponder the relationship between inspiration and its final product. An artist continuously questions his or her motivation and ability to bring an idea to fruition. It requires a balance between staying with what they know and wandering down new paths, into the unknown. They are risk takers on a quest for creative fulfillment. Just imagine the risk involved. At this exacting level of technical ability, there is always a chance that something can go wrong: cracking, crazing, calamities—disaster lurks around ever corner! But that must be an essential ingredient for all successful works of art, whatever the medium. The element of risk gives fuel to the creative fire.

These people are really living on the edge. They seem to have an innate desire to express themselves through their chosen profession, thereby opening themselves up to public scrutiny. And, they have traded a steady job and financial security for long hours with unpredictable returns. Perhaps they are all mad!

Of course, I am jesting in my suggestion that artisans are nonsensical in what they do. On the contrary, they are committed, highly skilled individuals, and their talents abound. Visitors are invited to tour the CVA studios year round, so please stop by. Who knows? You might even catch a glimpse of inspiration and whimsy in progress.

By Pamella Moore