I am excited to feature our March Monthly Maker, Patrick Cruickshank, the artist behind Cruickshank Creative. Cruickshank Creative offers a variety of handcrafted concrete and plaster goods, including my favorite pieces, the concrete plant pots (pictured below). Patrick’s collection features rustic and textured styles that echo nature at its finest. His ability to utilize cracks, rough surfaces and other features some may see as “flaws” in everyday items, transform each piece into a practical work of art making it perfect for any household.
Read on to learn about Patrick’s creative inspirations and Patrick’s special discount for CAC readers. Also, I highly recommend checking out the concrete and plaster processes photo album on the Cruickshank Creative Facebook page, it’s very fascinating!
Close-up of concrete pot. Available in the Etsy shop.
Many of the pieces available in your Etsy shop have a unique rustic and textured appearance, would you say that is your style?
Yes. I think I’ve leaned pretty heavily on the “rustic” look since I started working with concrete. It seems to come most naturally for me. Concrete lends itself quite well to that look too.
What is the process you go through to make one of your concrete and plaster creations?
The technical process is basically the same for the products or creations I’ve made so far. I start with making a master model, then make a mold from that master model, then make a cast in the mold using concrete or some other material. Then I paint or detail the casting to finish it up.
What is currently a favorite artwork that you have made?
I made a concrete planter (pictured below) for a friend that had pieces of a broken wine bottle integrated throughout it. I quite like how that one turned out.
What is your most used or most important piece of equipment?
For a very long time it would have been a black Pilot G-TEC-C4 pen that I used for the Devotions series and writing and sketching. I probably went through around 30 of those pens over three years. But right now I think it would have to be a set of small stainless steel sculpting tools that I use when modeling.
What is your preferred subject and medium? Why?
My preferred subject would likely be Abstraction. I’m not entirely sure why, but since I was young and drawing I’ve been consistently fascinated with abstract drawing. I prefer any drawing medium like pencil, pen, charcoal — anything that becomes a natural extension of my hand.
I admire any artist that can commit to long term projects, your Devotions project where you created 1096 drawings everyday for 3 years definitely falls in that category. How did Devotions and your current project, The 100, start?
The Devotions series developed out of a desire to be productive creatively every day. I wanted to have something that was “finished” every day that could be a part of a series. The idea of working within restrictions really intrigued me, like drawing within a 2cm by 3.2cm space and finishing each day without missing a day. I knew that I was really into detail so drawing in such a small space made sense. Around the time I started the series I was also recording everything I did each day through pictures and writing, so recording each day visually sort of tied into that as well.
For The 100 series I wanted to continue in the style of the devotions series but without having to do one every day. I changed the size to 4cm by 6.4cm (bigger, but still quite small) and also switched to using pencil instead of pen.
No.13 of 100, 01.21.11, 4cm by 6.4cm, pencil.
What magazines and/or websites do you frequent for inspiration?
Do you have any favorite places in the city to go for inspiration?
I used to live right next to Trout Lake in Vancouver. I would go there often to take a break from work, but I haven’t found a place out here in Abbotsford as nice or convenient as Trout Lake.
Do you have any formal art/business training that you incorporate into your business?
I went to Emily Carr for about two years in the general fine arts program. I also worked for a company called DreamCast that introduced me to concrete and mold-making.
What is your dream project?
I’d like to design and build a living/studio space for myself one day. Being able to completely design a space without many restrictions and being able to make a lot the furniture and décor would be great.
Patrick's current studio, a converted living room.
Bonus round: You have been selected to go on all expenses paid vacation for two weeks with an artist, a writer and one free choice. Who are you taking?
I’m taking Marcel Duchamp, C.S. Lewis and Christopher Hitchens. Mostly because I think it would be interesting to see them vacation together.
What are your 2012 goals for your shop and artwork?
I want to keep improving my Etsy shop and continue to add new designs and products. There are an endless amount of materials, processes, techniques, ideas and designs that I want to experiment with. As well as finishing The 100 series.
Any art or business mistakes/advice you want to share with aspiring artists?