Photography Mission A visual exploration of Mission’s historic downtown by Joe Johnson with files from Katie Stobbart and Shea Wind Starting this June, Mission will celebrate its 125th anniversary. Mission is, of course, more than just a few landmarks north of the river: a university campus, a terminus for the West Coast Express, an abbey. It’s…
A new craft brewery in Abbotsford is emerging. Hathi Brewing (“elephant” in Hindi, pronounced hah-tee) currently has three varieties of beer, with more styles and flavours in the works. Founders Aman and Paul Sidhu are taking cultural cues from Abbotsford’s South Asian population to create an infusion of Indian tastes, craft beer, and community. Hathi…
In business for a year and a half, the people of Abbotsford have discovered that Oldhand, which got its start at Jam in Jubilee, is part of the cultural wave surging through the valley. Owners Johannes and Kristina van Bommel van Vloten have crafted a warm and inviting second home to many mainstay customers. It’s…
Abbotsford’s fine microbrew establishment, Field House, was host to an entirely new music festival in the valley at the end of June. Over two days they welcomed 10 indie bands to their outdoor stage. Some of the bands were well-known, such as Jordan Klassen, while others were relative newcomers still developing their mark. Beginning on…
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With one EP out, Sail The Ships, Echo Nebraska is a fresh six-piece band with a unique sound. Having played a few shows in the Fraser Valley already, they’re coming back to Field House Brewing for a show on July 14. Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Devan Christodoulou and Andy Schichter…
Field House Brewing, the newest addition to the developing cultural business scene in Downtown Abbotsford, has been on a roll since it opened late last year. The brewery, which you can track with the hashtag #fieldtofist, is one of the hottest places to go for good beer, good music, and a generally good place to spend some time.
Field House is also a place for community, as they work collaboratively with other businesses that cater to a similar demographic. This includes having other breweries’ beers on tap, having Old Hand Coffee in weekly, concerts, and a lot more.
Field House also does brewery tours. If you’ve never been on one before, it’s worth going and seeing how their beer is made while having somebody knowledgeable explain the process. Not to mention you’ll also get to sample.
If you don’t like the rain, you may have missed out on one of the Chilliwack Community Arts Council’s first events of the summer: the second annual Raku in the Valley at Thompson Regional Park.
Yet the setting was perfect to practice an old Japanese technique of glazing pottery. Nestled into the cloud-filled valley a short drive up Chilliwack Lake Road, the wet weather lent a sense of mysticism. And luckily, it didn’t keep too many people away.
“We still had lots of people here,” said Patti Lawn, executive director of the Chilliwack Community Arts Council (CCAC). “We have a whole bunch of people coming to watch, because it’s a fascinating thing if you don’t know about that pottery form.”
Raku produces beautiful ornamental cracked- or metallic-finish pots. One begins by choosing the type of glaze: either clear, which results in blackened spider-web cracks, or an eye-catching, rainbow-coloured metal glaze.
At its maximum temperature, the pot is taken out of the kiln, transferred to the ground, and covered in shredded paper, which ignites. Then, metal tins are placed overtop to hold in the heat and smoke. This part of the process cracks the clear-glazed pots, allowing black smoke to set into the cracks. With the metallic glaze, the sheen is brought out by the heat without cracking it.
The entire process takes roughly an hour and a half, from glazing to firing to cooling. Once cool, the pots are wiped clean of excess smoke and residue.
All 65 pots made for the glazing process sold out well in advance of the event. While pots can be any size, depending on the tins that cover them, the pots used at the event were smaller for portability and ease.
“Last year, because it was the first time, we had pots we could sell here,” Lawn said. “This time we don’t.”
The event is made possible by a partnership between the arts council and Devon Road Pottery and Rainforest Pottery. Potters from the local studios perform the raku portion, and the arts council puts on the event, which also includes vendors and food, as well as providing volunteers to clean the finished pots before handing them over.
To the right of the raku pit where two portable kilns were located, were pottery vendors, artisan soap-makers, and hand-crafted jewellers. The Chilliwack River Valley Fire Department was also on scene to manage any possible issues from the heat and flames that go with the raku process, and to host a barbeque by donation.
With the success of this year’s Raku in the Valley, the CCAC plans to expand next year.
“We’re going to try to double the number of pots,” said Lawn.