Tag Archives: workshop

Last chance to make a lantern for this year’s River of Light!

Over the past couple of months, people from all walks of life have dropped by the studio to help make the lanterns for this year’s River of Light community lantern installation.


In addition to myriad glass jar and globe lanterns, as well as salmon, stars and dragonflies from previous years, we now have a gorgeous multi-coloured duck, a heron about to catch a fish, two salmon showing off their vibrant spawning colours, and a giant crayfish created by five people (to date).

If you would like to make a lantern for this year’s event, you still have time:

  • Sun Sept 17: 1 – 4 pm
  • Tues Sept 19: 4 – 6 pm
  • Wed Sept 20: 4 – 6 pm

All workshops are at the Artist-in-Residence studio at 23740 Fern Crescent (map). If the weather is clear, we’ll work outside on the lawn; if raining, we’ll move inside.

Photo: Keith Jardine

Join us Fridays Sept 22 and 29 for the big event!

This year’s River of Light: Community Lantern Installation takes place over two Fridays, September 22 and 29 from 6 – 9 pm. If raining, we’ll shift to Saturday, Sept 30. On Fri Sept 29, in addition to the lanterns, City of Maple Ridge Artist-in-Residence Kat Wahamaa will host an evening of river songs and stories in the park.

On both Fridays, we’ll start installing the lanterns around 4 pm. It takes about two hours to place all the lanterns and light them (this year using LED lights). If you can spare some time to help with the installation, please let me know. All hands appreciated!

If you have any questions, please send me a note. Look forward to seeing you soon!

Photo: Keith Jardine

Let’s make magic together!


Photo: Janet Dwillies

It’s that time of the summer! Drop by the studio to help create this year’s lantern installation. Be part of dreaming up our theme, designing and/or building the lanterns, or simply come and help out. We can always use an extra pair of hands!

Here are the upcoming workshop dates and times. All are drop-in, so come for an hour or join in multiple days. Feel free to bring friends and family members (note: children need to bring an adult along to help with the tricky bits).

All workshops are at the Artist-in-Residence studio at 23740 Fern Crescent (map). If the weather is clear, we’ll work outside on the lawn; if raining, we’ll move inside.


  • Tues Aug 29: 1 pm – 4 pm
  • Wed Aug 30: 1 pm – 4 pm
  • Thurs Aug 31: 1 pm – 4 pm


  • Fri Sept 1: 1 pm – 4 pm
  • Wed Sept 6: 6 pm – 8 pm
  • Fri Sept 8: 3 pm – 5 pm
  • Fri Sept 15: 3 pm – 5 pm
  • Sun Sept 17: 1 pm – 4 pm
  • Tues Sept 19: 4 pm – 6 pm
  • Wed Sept 20: 4 pm – 6 pm

This year, we’ll install the lanterns for public viewing on two Fridays, September 22 and 29 from 6 – 9 pm. If raining, we’ll shift to Saturday, Sept 30.

If you have any questions, please send me a note or call (604) 928-4284. Look forward to seeing you soon!



Create a collage about your favourite place

This Sunday, join me for a fun afternoon creating a collage about your favourite place in Maple Ridge. Maybe it’s a particular spot in nature, a historical landmark, a place you spent time as a child or where you love to hang out with your friends or family. Wherever it is, bring something that reminds you of your favourite place to the workshop—a photograph, a feather, a drawing , some writing, it’s up to you.


During the workshop, you’ll have a chance to share about your favourite place and listen to other’s stories. Then we’ll break out the art supplies and create our collages. I’ll also have copies of local historical photographs and maps care of the Maple Ridge Historical Society that you can incorporate into your piece.

You don’t need any particular art experience or knowledge to take part. The workshop is designed to be fun for everyone, and I’ll be on hand to help you with composition and techniques  if you’re feeling lost or uncertain.


  • Cost: Free
  • Date/time: Sun Feb 28: 1 – 4 pm
  • Location: 23740 Fern Crescent (below the Maple Ridge Lapidary Club) – map
  • Bring: Photo or other item that reminds you of your favourite place, to incorporate into your collage
  • RSVP/Questions: email robi [at] robismith.com or fill out this contact form:  

Help me create a magical lantern installation about the river


As part of my artist residency this summer, I’ll be working with neighbours and other interested community members to create a lantern installation on the theme of The River in and around the park surrounding my studio at 23740 Fern Crescent. The studio is below the  Maple Ridge Lapidary Club, adjacent to Cross’s Cabins Park (just east of Maple Ridge Park by Davidson’s Pool and the Hot Rocks).

To create the lanterns, I’ll be hosting a series of free lantern-making workshops in August and September. The finished lanterns will be installed in the park during the Rivers Day and Culture Days weekend, September 25 and 26, 2015.


The lanterns will be made out of simple materials like wire, bamboo, tissue paper and white glue. Because of the fire ban, we’ll be lighting them with LED lights.

Everyone is welcome to join in the fun; you can either make your own lantern or work on some of the larger pieces that we’ll be building collaboratively.

No experience is necessary as I’ll be there to guide as needed. All materials are provided. Children under 12 are welcome with adult supervision.


Here’s a schedule of planned activities:

Sunday, Aug 9: Open studio & nature walk: 3 – 5 pm
Drop by the studio to learn more about the project and what we’ll be making. At 4 pm we’ll head out for an inspiring nature walk along the river. (If you’re coming for the walk, make sure to wear appropriate footwear.) We will not be making lanterns on this day.

Free drop-in lantern-making workshops most Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons:

Sundays, Aug 16 & 23, Sept 6, 13  & 20: 1 – 4 pm
Thursdays, Aug 20 & 27, Sept 10: 6 – 8 pm
Friday, Sept 11: 10 am – 12 pm
Thursday, Sept 17: 10 am – 12 pm

Installation: Rivers Day and Culture Days Weekend
Fri Sept 25: 7 – 10 pm Lanterns lit for public viewing
Sat Sept 26: 1 – 4 pm Make your own lantern to light your way through the evening installation; 7 – 10 pm Lanterns lit for public viewing
Sun Sept 27: 7 – 10 pm at the Port Haney Wharf

The art of lantern-making

Making your own lanterns is a simple way to create functional art pieces that literally light up your life.


The materials for making lanterns are basic (thin strips of wood, wire, tissue paper and glue), but the possible forms you can make are endless.


Join me for a week of exploring the art of lantern-making at the Fern Crescent Artist-in-Residence studio in Maple Ridge. We’ll start with simple sphere and box lanterns and then move on to more complex shapes. You’ll be invited to incorporate personal photos and writing into your lanterns to create more meaningful pieces that you can use in your home or give as gifts. The finished lanterns can be lit with tea light candles or LED lights.

The workshop runs Monday to Friday, July 27 – 31, from 10 am – 3 pm out of the Artist in Residence studio at 23740 Fern Crescent. Ages 12 and up welcome! (Those younger than 12 may participate with a registered adult who will work with them 1 on 1, but please send me a note to confirm.) The workshop fee is $135 and includes all materials.

To register for the The Art of Lantern-Making visit the Parks and Leisure registration site and search for code: 203106 (July 27-31). You can also register by phone at 604-465-2470.

Making prints from nature

For three Sundays in March, community members joined me in my studio to explore printmaking using natural materials. We gathered and pressed leaves, grasses and flowers. We then inked the pressed materials using stamp pads and acrylic paint and applied them to a variety of papers.


Our focus was exploration and discovery, both of which we achieved in spades. Here’s a round-up of images showing both the process and results:


(above: laying out found materials)


(above: pressing materials between the pages of a book)


(above: revealing the ink stamped image of the leaf)


(above: playing with colours and textures)


(above: exploring different forms)


(above: rolling acrylic paint onto a leaf)


(above: pressing a fern)


(above: rolling paint onto grass)


(above: so many colours to choose from!)


(above: printing dandelion leaves)


(above: printing magnolia leaves)

Many thanks to everyone who came out to play. I’m looking forward to meeting more neighbours during April’s workshops and events!

March workshops: Nature printing


Note: This workshop is now full. Thank you to everyone who registered by sending an email to let me know you’re coming!

The advent of spring brings new growth to the park—buds, new leaves, blossoms. Join me for a series of free workshops exploring the use of nature’s materials as the basis for printmaking.

Workshops run Sundays March 8, 15 and 22 from 2 – 4 pm. Meet at my studio: 23740 Fern Crescent. All supplies provided, though you may wish to bring a camera or smartphone to take photos.

What to expect

On March 8, we’ll walk through Maple Ridge Park trails to gently collect materials, which we’ll prepare in the studio for pressing. During the walk, if you have a camera or smartphone, take photos of your observations of spring and spend time reflecting on what you see.


On March 15, we’ll be in the studio taking the pressed materials and learning how to make prints using stamp pads and printmaking inks. We’ll talk about and look at samples of nature journals for inspiration. I’ll encourage you to create some journal pages which combine your reflections and nature prints.

March 22 will be an optional drop in session for those who wish to continue reflections and journalling.

If you have any questions about the workshop, or to RSVP, please send me an email (robi [at] robismith.com).