About the Artist: Robyn Weatherley

One of the very first artists who agreed to this wacky Mountain Grass idea was my dear friend Robyn Weatherley. Robyn and I first met in a mandatory Drawing class while completing our undergraduate degrees at the Alberta University of the Arts (back when it was still ACAD!).  She was going to major in Photography or Design, and I was going to major in Painting or Jewelry.

Air Plant Holders from Mountain Grass artist Robyn Weatherley

We also took our first glassblowing class together the following semester, and thusly the best laid plans fell by the wayside.  For the record, I’m awfully glad they did; while I have no doubt that Robyn would have accomplished no shortage of amazing things in virtually any material, her blown glass is some of the most unique we have in the gallery.

Fat bottomed bowls from Robyn Weatherley – some with murrine trapped in the glass

The thing I love most about this body of work is how it explores weight and optics.  From a thick bottom emerges a delicate vessel; inside the bowls, little chunks of colour are trapped, spilling their hues around the edge, and beyond the vessel themselves.  They’re quite exquisite when the light passes through them, their width permitting illuminating ripples that extend beyond the dimensions of the bowl’s edges. The way they look from the top is not how they look from the side.  

The side view of these bowls from Robyn Weatherley provides a better idea of how beautifully the appearance of the murrine is manipulated by the optics of the glass – they don’t appear the same from the side as from a top view

In Robyn’s drinking vessels, this same dynamic allows for a glass that has weight to it, while still being thin and delicate for your lips to touch. Not extending the glass from the fat bottom of the vessels all the way to the lips also ensures the delicate texture of the powdered colour remains – giving places for your fingers to rest and play.

Gorgeous stemless wine glass sets from Robyn Weatherley

Robyn holds a BFA from Alberta University of the Arts and an MFA from Tyler School of Art; we are thrilled to have her work here at Mountain Grass!  

My Favorite Things of 2018

 

2018 was a very different year than any previous I’ve ever had, full of transitions, new adventures, and beginnings.  We started the year knowing it would be full of changes and new discoveries, but it’s nice to reflect on just how many and how far we’ve come.  This is my chance to share  some of my favorite things about this year, including places, people, and things!

10. Cannabis Legalization

The purplest Granddaddy Purps I’ve ever had – purchased legally!

 

This is probably a favorite for a lot of people, but in addition to being a positive for our business model of selling all kinds of glass together, it’s nice to not feel like a criminal!  To go into a store and purchase cannabis is so civilized! You don’t need to know a guy, you don’t need to meet in some strange location, you don’t need speak in codes, it’s all legit!  And our Kimberley location means we’ve got some of the first legally operating dispensaries (Tamarack and Earth’s Own Naturals) in the province – civilized!

9. Canadian Lumber Rolling Papers

  • Canadian Lumber Rolling Papers - these are The Woods!

 

Something that was really important to us starting out was to be able to carry – in as much as is possible – products that are made in Canada.  It’s not too hard to find the glass artists, but finding Canadian-made products for the Smoke Shop proved a bit more challenging. I was super stoked to discover Canadian Lumbers, and even more stoked to discover they are awesome rolling papers!

8. Canadian Glass Artists

  • Mark Gibeau, AB

 

Here is where I could write a whole damned novel, but legitimately I have been overwhelmed by how warm, welcoming, and supportive glass artists have been to this wacky idea I had.  Full disclosure, since I am also a glassblower many of the artists are people I know personally who are friends, but many were not; it’s been great getting to know everyone and seeing what amazing talent and creativity exists all over this massive land mass of ours.  

7. Kimberley Fire Department/City Hall

August 2018 – a day or two into the evacuation alert, skies so smoky we couldn’t even see the ski hill

I’m not sure if you watch the news, but we had some fire activity this summer around the neighborhood… I’d never been on any kind of evacuation alert before, and it was super scary and stressful, especially since we had just completed our move days prior, and just wanted to live our dreams!!!  We were blown away by how hard the Kimberley Fire Department and City Hall worked throughout that whole period; we are across the street, and I cannot tell you how many evenings we would see lights on and people bustling around in offices, well into the wee hours of the morning. They’re also all super nice, friendly, and helpful people – and what’s not to like about that?

 

6. Lois Creek Trails

Taken in fall, when the larch needles fall to create paths of gold everywhere

Okay, so admittedly Kimberley is legitimately full of trails and pathways, but Lois Creek Trails are the closest trailhead to our apartment, a whopping five minute walk.  It’s absolutely magical – I don’t think we’ve ever taken then same route twice, and the terrain is full of surprises. I think my most favorite thing about it is how within just a few minutes walk I can be tucked away into the forest.

5. Beers (and food!) at the Shed

Delicious food and beer!

During the weeks where we were moving and getting settled, renovating our apartment and the gallery, we had a lot of late nights, often so late that we weren’t left with a ton of options if we needed a bite to eat and a beer.  It didn’t really matter, because The Shed quickly became our go-to. Super nice staff, great food, a BC beer menu, and we can go in looking like we’ve just committed any variety of renovation disaster, and be treated like gold.

 

4. Coffees and Breakfasts

Delicious gingerbread lattes from Paper and Cup!

We moved to Kimberley from Calgary, where there is a chain coffee shop or a breakfast place on darned near every corner.  We’ve been thrilled to discover that Kimberley is chock full of places that are just as good, if not better!  Paper and Cup, Bean Tree, Kimberley City Bakery, Our Place, weekend breakfasts at the Sullivan Pub… and the list goes on!

 

3. Actually, shopping and restaurants as good as any large city

Just some of the retail therapy beyond the Platzl – functional handmade glass at Mountain Grass, delicious cheese and Kombucha from Creme Cheese Shop, and beautiful unique gifts from Knicker Knacker!

One of the things that made Kimberley so appealing as a place for Mountain Grass was that the city is full of great, unique shopping and dining experiences.  Certainly a trip to the Platzl will provide you a great overview of much of what Kimberley has to offer, but there are shops and restaurants peppered all over the city, in hidden locations you wouldn’t imagine.  Kombuchas and cheeses from Creme Cheese Shop, awesome unique gifts at KnickerKnacker, amazing things for your fuzzy loved ones at Kimberley Kritters, beautiful flowers and gifts at Flowers Galore – again, the list goes on! If you’ve never been to Kimberley before by all means start at the Platzl, but make sure you keep walking – there are no shortage of great places to stop in next time you’re in town. 

 

2. Being able to do something that really hasn’t been done before, and people getting it

Interior of Mountain Grass – handmade functional glass made in Canada, and lots of nice smoking accessories too!

Much of what Mountain Grass is about is changing the stigma around cannabis, and the things we use to consume it.  First and foremost we are a Glass Gallery, so glass is the star of the show, whether it’s the glass you smoke out of, the glass you drink out of, or the glass you put your flowers in. Second of all we are a Smoke Shop, but we aren’t a typical one of those either – it was important to me that the products we bring into the store are good quality, and I spend a lot of time researching brands and products to ensure things are a good fit.  I think my favorite thing overall though is when someone comes into the gallery and they immediately get what we are doing – they understand that cannabis consumption isn’t something to be ashamed of, and you should be able to consume your cannabis out of something exquisite and beautiful, the same way you would with your champagne or fine whisky.  

1. Kimberley, BC

The view of Kimberley from Mountain Grass!

There is no thing that would be more favorite this year than our relocation to our new hometown of Kimberley, BC.  At least once a week we reflect on all the variables that had to come to play for us to be able to move here and just how lucky we have been.  It’s so nice to live and work in a place that is so beautiful, friendly, and full of such amazing people. Its like no other ‘retail’ experience I’ve ever had – people here are wonderful to talk to, and so supportive of our new local businesses.  We are so grateful for all the kindness we’ve received so far, and we are so looking forward to what 2019 will bring!