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Magic in the Dyepot

In this book, which can be described as part memoir, part how-to, and part how-not-to, Ann describes her dyeing experiences with Sunshine Coast mushrooms. You’ll find ordering information and sample pages on her own blog,

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New from Cement Works

Concrete sculpture, untitled


Rick is branching out from the wall art he’s become known for and has been doing some interesting things with the big chunks of Sytrofoam that, sadly, wash up all too often on our beaches. He works with the shapes formed by waves and sand and painstakingly covers them with one or more of his proprietary concrete formulas, adding several layers in different colours. After that, he sands the concrete down until he achieves a marble-like pattern, followed by further sanding and polishing until the piece fairly gleams. Then he coats it with  a special waterproof sealer that contains additional colouring.

This piece stands at about four feet tall, weighs only fifty pounds, and is durable enough to withstand our West Coast winters.

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Jigsaw Salmon

Jigsaw Salmon

Rick has been making larger, one-of-a-kind pieces lately, still using his lightweight concrete mix. This wall design, inspired by the annual Coho run in the stream a short walk from our house (we posted a video of this a few years ago), measures 2 feet x 3 feet and weighs in at about 30 pounds.

In Rick’s words, “I made it because . . .”

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Lobster on silk

Camisole dyed with lobster mushrooms

Ann has been raiding her stash of dried pairings of the lobster mushroom (Hypomyces lactifluorum), testing different methods of coaxing out its fabulous colour. Lines of shibori stitching create a subtle pattern across the top, enhanced by colour gradations, from lighter on top to the intense shade at the bottom.

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Concrete Bowls—The Cracked Egg Series

Bowls of polished concrete

These concrete vessels stand alone beautifully; they also enhance displays of anything special. Each bowl has a unique interior colour, while several colours were applied to the bowls’ outsides before being sanded down, leaving a distinct marbling effect. Further polishing resulted in smooth, satiny surfaces.

The bowls weigh in at about four pounds each, with a diameter of fourteen inches, averaging about seven inches high. They can be displayed outside during warm weather but should be brought indoors during times of wind, snow, or frost.

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Mushroom colours, tiger stripes

Tiger stripes from mushrooms

It’s been a while since we’ve posted on this blog—the winter months have seen us branching out into new directions.

The Shroom Works studio is producing some very interesting silk garments, including this striking camisole that was dyed with Phaeolus schweinitzii, or Dyer’s Polypore. We’re in the process of setting up an Etsy store where this and other mushroom-dyed silks and handspun yarns will be available. If this catches your eye now, contact us for size and price.

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Festival of the Grape, October 6

We’re heading up to the Interior for our last show of the season, Festival of the Grape, in Oliver on October 6. We always enjoy this event, and if we allow a day or two on either side, we get a chance to taste a few wines, too! Drop by and say Hi if you’re in the area.

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See Bluff Hollow at Creative Chaos

Two bronze fish

Rick’s lightweight concrete pieces are being treated to new surface techniques, as he’s combining acid burning, coloured sealers, and metallic additives. This bronze version of the two-fish plaque is especially striking when displayed under focused lighting.

See this and more at Creative Chaos, June 7, 8 and 9 in Vernon, BC. You’ll find Bluff Hollow Artworks at Booth 271.

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Salmon swimming in a tree

Salmon in a tree

Bluff Hollow Cement Works is unveiling several new pieces at our open house this Saturday
(May 11, 10-4). This salmon, four inches thick and forty-four inches in length, weighs in at about ten pounds, light enough to suspend from a tree branch or to hang on a wall or fence.

Come on out this weekend and see what the mushroomist and concretist have been up to!

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Announcing Bluff Hollow Art Works

Concrete grindstone

After a winter’s hiatus, Bluff Hollow is gearing up for another season. Ann and Rick are filling two gallery spaces: Ann’s studio (formerly the B&B cottage) has all manner of fibres and yarns, all dyed with local mushrooms, not to mention some interesting mushroom paper creations currently under way. Rick continues to populate the outdoor gallery with his lightweight concrete pieces, and here’s the latest: a grindstone fashioned in the style of those used way back when when people took their wheat to mills, to be ground into flour. The big difference: our grindstone weighs about 25 pounds, a far cry from the originals, which would have been several hundred pounds of dead weight!


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