Group 25

Questionnaire : Heather McCaig

Welcome to our second instalment of our Quarantine Questionnaires or Get to know your artists (from a safe distance)

Today we have Heather McCaig

I was raised in the Beaches in Toronto and moved to London, Ontario when I was 13 years old. After high school I travelled to New Brunswick and met my husband who was born and raised here. Neither of us were artists at the time, we were both young adults just trying to figure things out. We decided to go to art school together at Haliburton School of the Arts in Ontario. Eventually we bought 4.5 acres outside Sussex, New Brunswick and built our studio and tiny house, we are still there today.

Here we go!

What’s the first thing you have to drink in the morning to get your day started?

A delicious cup of black coffee out of a handmade mug.

 What art movement or artist has influenced your personal style? Can you show reference to that in any particular piece or use of your medium?

My biggest influence is the Blaschka Flowers Collection at Harvard University. The amount of detail in each piece is incredible especially if you think about the time period the pieces were created in, they did not have the tools and resources we have today.

What about your medium captivated you to pursue it as an art form?

I actually fell into flameworking because my husband was already pursuing it. I was a potter before but had symptoms of carpal tunnel so I had to stop ceramics all together. I purchased a small torch for myself a year after quitting pottery and I have kept with it! It doesn’t hurt my hands which is fantastic and I still have a creative outlet.

What’s the most recent show or exhibition you’ve participated in?

Glass Roots Gallery in Riverview, New Brunswick – Spring 2019

Where in the world would you like to visit? Would this reflect in your art? Or do you need a break from your own style?
I’d love to go see the Blaschka Collection at Harvard University

What’s your favourite colour? Do you use it in your work?

I love purples but I usually pick my colours to best represent the plant I am sculpting.

Is there something particularly complicated about your medium that most people aren’t aware of?

Everything! Glass is extremely complicated and hard to use. Pieces break from thermal shock or not having a connection perfectly sealed. You might put a finished piece in the kiln to anneal overnight and in the morning it is cracked. When you think you’ve figured out the medium something goes wrong. It definitely keeps your ego in check!

Where do you envision your artwork ending up? A city loft? Corporate boardroom? Wistful cottage?

All of those places. I also hope to have more gallery exhibitions in the next few years. I want my pieces to be accessible for everyone to enjoy.

What are you working on right now?

I am working on a pollinator series that I hope to have exhibited in galleries.

Do you listen to music when you work (if yes, who and what type) or do you need silence?

There is always music in my studio. Anything from rap to bluegrass, it just depends on my mood.

How many galleries represent your work?

Handworks and Glass Roots Gallery in Riverview. I have been working towards gallery exhibitions recently so I have some exciting things in the works for the next year or so.

Have you worked with another local artist who you find vibes well with your flow. Has this resulted in any partner art projects?

There aren’t many flameworkers in Canada so no. But my husband and I work side by side in our studio and we have collaborated many times!

Has being an artist thrown you any curve balls that you genuinely did not see coming?

I think being self employed in general makes you a stronger person and I didn’t expect that. You don’t realize how much work it is going to take or how many times you are going to get shut down. But in the end it makes you stronger and for me it drives me to be a better artist.

Pets? Tell us about them.

I have two cats Leo and Lyla they are brother and sister and I have a large fluffy dog named Jazz.

What’s your perfect way to “reset” your mind?

I love being outside. Gardening, hiking and canoeing all really help me quiet my mind and get some clarity.

What season is your favourite and why?

Summer. I have large vegetable gardens and love multi day backpacking and canoeing adventures.

What’s your most productive season?

Winter. It can be too hot to work in the studio in the summer with the torches and kiln going. In the winter it’s cosy and there isn’t much going on outside anyways so I can really focus.

If you weren’t an artist, what career path could you see yourself pursuing?

I’d be a organic vegetable farmer