Tag Archives: Arts and Crafts style

Port Moody Heritage House Tour: Snapshots past & present

Pleasantside Grocery Store, on Ioco Rd. in Port Moody

Pleasantside Grocery Store, on Ioco Rd. in Port Moody. On the Port Moody and Canadian historic registers, it was built in 1923 for Leander Philip Peltier. Source: Julia Tihanenoka

Metro Vancouver - Port Moody

A map of Port Moody in Metro Vancouver (shown in red). By TastyCakes via Wikimedia Commons

(Note: To see full-sized photos, click on a photo. Click again, after it comes up in a new window.)

This week, friends of ours surprised us with a lovely Sunday afternoon outing. Antonina Tihanenok called me, saying she and her daughter Julia, wanted to know if we’d be interested in taking the Heritage Society’s Port Moody Heritage House Tour. We jumped at the chance! Port Moody is a charming little town at the very end of the Burrard Inlet in SW British Columbia. We are proud of our town and its remaining heritage architecture. Our neighborhood, Moody Centre, is a heritage area and many homes here are on the historic register. Today, we started out at the museum, where we picked up our maps and ‘passports.’ At that time, we learned we were scheduled for afternoon tea in an hour and a half, so we decided to drive to the North Shore first.

Port Moody Heritage House Tour:

Pleasantside Grocery Store

The Tihanenokas bought the Pleasantside Grocery Store, a site that has heritage status, and they have big plans for the post-and-beam structure. The photo above shows the store in its heyday. The photo below shows the new architectural plans for the site. They envision a renovated and rebuilt store. The lot is huge, so it will include other commercial sites, as well. Stay tuned! We support them in their effort and hope the City of Port Moody approves their plan.

 Mark Falkenberg and Julia Tihanenok with her display at the Pleasantside Grocery Store

Julia Tihanenok, an architect with Non-Stop Design Ltd., on the right. Her plans for the Pleasantside Grocery Store site shown the background. My husband, Mark Falkenberg on the left. The Tihanenoka family envision renovating and rebuilding the store and building more commercial and living spaces on the huge lot.


Adjacent to the last house is this modified Arts and Crafts-style bungalow. Soofi took advantage of Port Moody's new carriage house bylaw, placing two houses on one lot. Faces Grant Street.

A modified Arts and Crafts-style bungalow, Alexander House. On Grant Street, it faces Moody Elementary.

 The front of the house, which sits on the corner of Grant and St. George Streets in Port Moody.

Judd House, which sits on the corner of Grant and St. George Streets in Port Moody.

Port Moody Heritage House Tour:

Judd House and Alexander House

After saying goodbye to Julia, we swung back around the waterfront and parked in our neighborhood, Moody Centre. Our first stop was at a couple of houses Fred Soofi renovated. Soofi took advantage of changes to the city bylaws that now allow carriage houses to be built on lots with existing houses. He had a home moved from Port Moody’s main street to a lot nearby, behind a home he’d already been renovating. To read about the house he moved, click here. The photos above show these two houses. Judd House was built in 1913 and was owned by one of the city’s founding aldermen, N.R. Britten. The heritage society pamphlet says “it is representative of the typical wood frame bungalows built during the interwar period.” The Alexander House, built in 1914, was owned by Ethel and Arthur Alexander. According to tour literature, it is “a variation of the Craftsman style with a cross gabled roof, partial width verandah supported by tapered columns.” (It is so nice to know these houses have been preserved. Monster houses are springing up all over our neighborhood, but there are some people who believe in the character of the area and Soofi is one of them.) From here, we dashed to the elementary school next door, plowing through cold rain. The Heritage Society’s afternoon tea took place at Moody Elementary. I always love events like this because you get to sit next to people you don’t know and, if you’re lucky, they’ll have a story or two. We scored. A mother and son were on the tour and he remembered when the family would stop off at the Pleasantside Grocery Store when he was a child. During the summer, they’d buy ice cream there on the way to nearby Belcarra Park.


Moisio House, St Johns Street, Port Moody. (Taken during a different season.)

Moisio House, St Johns Street, Port Moody. (Taken during a different season.)

Port Moody Heritage House Tour:

Moisio House

This next house was one with which we were familiar. It is one of my favorite houses and one day last spring, Mark walked down to take measurements of the columns…for a project we were planning. The house was built in 1912 by Esa Moisio, a millwright at the Thurston-Flavelle Mill. Recently, it had been owned by a church that had used it for a Sunday school and the interior had been greatly altered. The good news is that Fred Soofi bought it (for $10,000.00!!) and he will be moving it to a new lot in Port Moody to begin renovation to heritage standards. “It’s an Arts and Crafts style bungalow typical of the working class in the pre-WWI era. Interesting features include exposed rafters, open soffits, triangular eave brackets and full-width open verandahs on the front and rear of the house,” according to the tour pamphlet.


Hamel House, Henry Street, Port Moody

Hamel House, Henry Street, Port Moody

Chevalier House

Chevalier House, nearly in its original state. Henry Street, Port Moody.

Port Moody Heritage House Tour:

Hamel House and Chevalier House

After we returned home, we realized that it seemed like the homes on the tour had been chosen just for us, as they were favorites we’d often admired. The next two houses are just around the corner from us. I call this part of Henry Street the “Secret Street” because it’s tucked away. An arterial runs adjacent to it and few people see this block of little gems, all of which face south. We often walk past them, as they’re along a shortcut to downtown and the Port Moody Arts Centre, where I work in clay in the Open Studio. Mark has long admired Hamel House, which was built between 1909 and 1913 by Charles Hamel (Hamuel). It’s a 2 1/2 story house painted a lovely green with a metal roof. Tour info says that “it is believed that it served as a boarding house for mill workers.” I have idolized Chevalier House for years, but knew nothing of its history till today. The owners of both these houses showed tour-goers their own homes, giving us much information. Chevalier House is three stories and was built in 1909 by Theodore Chevalier and his sons. According to the historical society, Chevalier built the house with cedar he brought home from his workplace each day. He managed the shipping shed for the Thurston-Flavelle Mill. “The two story house had two apartments on the top floor. Both were accessed by staircases on the sides of the house.” Today, only one of the outside staircases remains, but the owner said the house has a total of five staircases! The historical society’s material also states that the Chevalier’s were one of the first Catholic family’s in Port Moody and that Mass was said in this house before St. Joseph’s Catholic Church was built, in 1912. We found this fact very intriguing because our cottage was the guest house of the rectory of this church. Unlike most houses, our front door isn’t in the front of our house. Instead it faces west, toward the area where the church once stood. The same goes for the former rectory which is next door to us to the west.

Truth be told, there were three more homes on the tour, post-war homes in a different part of town, one we’d have to drive to. Since we were so close to home, though, we decided to head back for a steaming bowl of gumbo. Our cat, Rosie, was happy to see us and now we’re having a nice evening in our own little heritage house. One of these years, maybe our abode will be part of the Port Moody Heritage House Tour!



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The Arts and Crafts style: Mary Philpott and Spokane, Washington

Close to Cannon Hill Park, this early example of a classic craftsman bungalow was built in 1911. It is located at 721 W 22nd Ave.

This craftsman bungalow was built in 1910. Located at 712 E 19th Ave., Spokane Washington. Once a less desirable area, the eastern side is being gentrified.

William Morris age 53

Portrait of William Morris, aged 53. J. W. Mackail, Author, “The Life of William Morris” in two volumes, London, New York and Bombay: Longmans, Green and Co., 1899. Frederick Hollyer via Wikimedia Commons

William Morris 001

William Morris (1834-1896), “Guinevere,” oil on canvas, 1857. Tate Gallery, London. William Morris via Wikimedia Commons

Morris Woodpecker tapestry detail

Detail of “Woodpecker” tapestry designed by William Morris. (The complete tapestry has a border and inscription. William Morris via Wikimedia Commons

It feels a little strange. I will be dropping down into the United States from Canada for a family celebration and, while there, I  will make a special trip downtown to look at some exquisite ceramic tiles that are made in Canada. My purpose is clear; I aim to have a second look at work by ceramist Mary Philpott, whose work I very much admire. She hand-carves porcelain then applies layer after layer of translucent porcelain with multiple firings. The effect is jewel-like. The tiles have heft, with medium to deep relief. Last year, I was delighted to find her tiles  in downtown Spokane at Artisans’ Wares in Riverpark Square. I had seen her website on the Internet before but had no idea I would be able to see her work when I went home to see my family. Philpott states that her studio, Verdant Tile Co., is located in the “historic Grand Trunk Railway Station” in Stratford, Ontario. The brick and antiquity would set accent her work well. This talented woman has the type of curriculum vitae that makes me want to weep with joy. Her work and interests represent much of what I love in terms of style and approach, right down to her membership in the William Morris Society.  I think her work is achingly beautiful. Photos of her work can be found on her site and I hope you can take the time to have a peek, as I cannot post them here. No worries; it’s just a click away…. She also has a blog called The Running Hare and if you peruse it, you’ll have a chance to see works in progress.   Much of her work is in the classic Arts and Crafts style and Spokane, Washington is one of those little niches in the U.S. of  A. that is bungalow heaven. Philpott either did her art market ‘homework’ well, or was approached by Spokanites who wanted to sell her work there. Mary Philpott has the distinction of holding RoycroftMaster Artisan status, well-earned, no doubt, and she is a tile designer and full-time studio potter. It might sound like I’m going about seeing her work in a roundabout manner, since she lives in the same country I do, but it is the only way I can see her work in person. She sells her art work in Canada, the United States, England, and France, but nothing can be had in the Metro Vancouver area. It makes sense; only a few original bungalows grace the Vancouver area, most having been replaced by later architecture and, to my mind, wretched architecture. (Michael Klucknerhas written extensively about it.) But, refreshingly, a trip to Spokane means a trip to all things bungalow and I am sure Canadian Mary Philpott does a good trade there. Spokane’s bungalows are peppered throughout the city, but they are  mainly on the South Hill, the area to the south of the Spokane River. For a kick, I recently researched Spokane real estate and found many classic bungalows on the market there. While the rest of the city’s real estate is experiencing the same lows as throughout much of the U.S., the bungalows seem to be holding their own. While what you would pay for a bungalow there equals the amount one would spent for a mere lot here in Metro Vancouver, it’s known that the market here doesn’t reflect the actual value of homes for sale. Real estate is very inflated here, the most expensive in Canada. So, seeing these bungalows at such reasonable prices is eye candy for me. Mary Philpott’s artwork would fit in very well in any of these homes. I look forward to having the chance to see it again and now I have to start thinking about which of her pieces I’d like to add to my collection.

“A belief in working with the head, hand and heart and mixing enough play with the work so that every task is pleasurable and makes for health and happiness.”

— John Ruskin; the Roycroft “creed”



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Open Studio Report

Lately, all of my time is being spent producing inventory for the upcoming ArtWalk and my soon-to-be Etsy shop. Nose to the grindstone for several weeks… Tomorrow, I begin assembling pendants I have created for necklaces. I will use three pendants for each necklace, which will have graduated lengths. Stay tuned and I will post photographs soon. There have been a number of setbacks, but I’m working through them… Yesterday, I worked on the next stage of my new reliefs. Dragonfly and ginkgo leaf are pictured below. To these, I will add other classic Arts-and-Crafts motifs. That white stuff is corn starch, which prevents sticking. At present, I am scaling them down to the size I want, so the pic below shows Stage 2, the imprint made from the carving. Tomorrow, I will place them on the top of the faux woodstove, our gas fireplace till they’re bone dry, then take them in to the studio. After they’re fired, I will create the final imprint, dry, fire, then begin using them on B Mix, which fires white white. Then move on to my next design!

Dragonfly and gingko reliefs. Stage 2.

Well, between the paragraph above and the previous one I wrote for this space, my host server went down for maintenance. I thought I’d saved it to a text file, but it ain’t here and I’m going to leave it at that and show you something else. Last Saturday, friends met for our monthly creativity group, during which time we made prints. So, instead of trying to recreate what I just lost, I am going to show you what I made.

Tulips, red and purple ink.


Untitled, purple and red. Background is shadowed; it's actually pure white.

My posts have been spotty this month, but from now on, I’m back on schedule. On Friday, come read an interesting article on Malaysian water jugs, shaped so water stays cool. A friend sent me the photos. She lives there and in Ireland. Lovely jugs, very artistic, and the style has not changed for eons. The methods of production have been updated, but some still make them the old way… See you then!

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Open Studio Update

Joan's pit-fired rattle

A New Year! Last night, I was up late pondering a full, fresh year in the Open Studio. I wondered where it might lead and what I might make. What it meant. I very much looked forward to pulling a chair up to the big table. I missed our communal work station! It was such a delight to walk in the door this morning and see my friends assembled there. Joan had made us rattles she had pit-fired over the break. Then, Pauline gave us a choice of pieces she’d made, as she’s begun to clean out her studio. Her tenure as artist-in-residence has ended, though, she will remain with us on Tuesdays for a time, which is good news, because I can’t imagine the Open Studio without her red-headed vivacity! Today, Pauline and Otto did a bit of vocal work. They are both gifted singers: Otto a tenor and Pauline an alto… During the holidays, we were able to attend a splendid concert by Pauline’s choral group, Ensemble Etoile. Oh, my, I just realized she got us tickets and I haven’t paid her back…oops. Big will do, P!

Wiped away excess Cottage White glaze for 'snow' stage on Snowfall tiles

Today, we pretty much continued working with ongoing projects. Over the break, I further readied ten terra-cotta tiles I was working on by wiping off excess glaze to reveal ‘snow.’ Light snow, heavy snow. Last night, I masked off the trees with liquid latex. Mark gave me a one-litre jug made by the Burma Rubber Co. for Xmas.

Dried latex glistens around the perimeter of the dry Green Oribe glaze

That much latex will last me a good long while… Dry, it is a bit stronger than the brand I’d borrowed from Pauline. This means I only need one coat, but it also means it disturbs the glaze more when I peel it off. I’ll have to do some touch-up work. I also used a face mask because of fumes and particulates.  Next, I painted on wide bands of Green Oribe glaze

Green Oribe glaze unmasked and ready for touch-up work

on the trees, which produces a dark, thick, matte green that I like very much. (There is some talk about possibly replacing this glaze with something else at the studio and, if so, I’ll have to come up with an alternative or make my own.) Before I left today, I’d reached the last stage: painting on thick bands of Cottage White for a ‘snowy’ foreground. I like a thick opaque patch on the Snowfall tile. It reminds me of virgin snow. What I’m doing here is production work on a small scale, small enough that the individuality of each piece is not lost. When I’m working on each tile, I sense the ‘personality’ of the piece and each does seem to say something different.

Liquid latex for masking, Cottage White glaze for the foreground


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