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The Quidi Vidi Village Experience - Part I - The Plantation

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Just minutes from downtown St. John’s is the picturesque village of Quidi Vidi, a destination within a destination. The old fishing stages, slipways, narrow laneways, and a small harbour known as the Gut, all add to its charm. It is a hint of rural Newfoundland within the city limits. You can explore the Gut by boat or by foot, and there are numerous food, beverage and artisan experiences to be had. Join us as we spend the day taking in the Quidi Vidi Village experience. First stop – The Quidi Vidi Plantation.

In the heart or Quidi Vidi sits the Plantation – a craft incubator designed to accelerate the growth of emerging local artists. It is a destination shopping experience showcasing handmade one of a kind textiles, jewellery, woodcut prints, ceramics and more. With ten unique artisans working in their studios there is always something new to discover.

Graham Blair has been working out of the plantation for the last three years. A printmaker and designer by trade, he specializes in woodcut prints made using methods based on the oldest forms of printmaking. Each design starts as a sketch which is then transferred onto a block of wood – usually a very hard maple. He then cuts the design using specialized knives and chisels to achieve the fine details characteristic of his work. Once the cutting is finished, he prints them by rolling ink onto the surface of the block, placing the paper on top and then rubbing the back with a modified bamboo spatula. Generally producing between 150 – 400 of each print, Graham gives new meaning to the term ‘handmade’.

Twist of Capelin (edition/350), 12 x 12 / $35 (printed on handmade Japanese kozo paper)

Prescott & Gower (edition/400), 11 x 14 / $40 (printed on handmade Japanese kozo paper)

Fishing, Hunting, Sealing, Shearing (edition/350), 12 x 20 / $80 (printed on handmade Japanese kozo paper)

Graham’s work is mostly comprised of animals, landscapes and traditional Newfoundland imagery – and, while each print is intricately detailed, they manage at the same time to evoke a sense of simplicity which make them uniquely beautiful. You can watch his process from start to finish here.

You can visit Graham Sundays and Tuesdays through Fridays at the Plantation. All of the carving and printing is done onsite, so you can see the process unfold first-hand. Graham also sells his work at the weekly Farmers’ Market every Saturday. Can’t make here in person? You can order online here.

A trip to Quidi Vidi isn’t complete without a twack around the plantation. Drop down, chat with the artisans, and bask in the wonderful world of craft. The Quidi Vidi Village Plantation – come for a day, be inspired for a lifetime. Visit them online here. Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter!