For someone who “went to art school because I could never do anything right,” Martha Sturdy has crafted a career that is more than all right.

The lifelong Vancouverite was at Domaine Fine Furnishings & Design on Wednesday, for an intimate meet and greet with a collection of Calgary designers and clients of the southeast store. The artist renowned for her tactile resin pieces-ranging from bowls to cubes to tables-wowed the crowd in an all-black ensemble studded by stand-out pieces of jewelry.

Pieces by Martha Sturdy, including this trio of resin trays, were sprinkled throughout the Domaine showroom.

“First off, I’m 70. I turned 70 in May,” Sturdy said. (Causing designer Sally Healy to let out a loud, “What!?!”) She brought up her age to showcase her continually evolving life. She quite art school after she married at age 20, only to return at age 32 and graduating three years later. “I designed jewelry in the ’80s and then I got bored,” she said. She shifted into creating small-scale home items, then furniture and lighting and. “Now I am back where I started in sculpture. I am very driven in art.”

She is driven in other areas, too. The artist renowned for her resin pieces (that beg to be touched) juggles two husbands (“One is no longer mine”), three kids of her own, three of her husband’s, five grandchildren, two dogs and her show-jumping horses. “I live in a very, very diverse world,” she said with a laugh.

But her art is still a vital part of that world. These days, she concentrates on her art, working with salvaged wood, brass, steel and resin. She has a trusted team to look after her home line, all of which is made in Vancouver. “If you do it for money, it doesn’t have soul.” And her artistic philosophy is applied to everything in her life, she added. “I believe everything in your life should be touched by you . . . It’s about giving; it’s about creating.”

This resin and steel table is by Martha Sturdy.


A closer view of the resin table top. The material practically begs to be touched, a trait Martha Sturdy says makes it ideal for tabletops, rather than cold stone.



On hand for the in-store event were Domaine manager Steve Sissons, left, in-house canine Fynnigan and Liz Lipton.




A raffle held at the event benefitted the Calgary Woman’s Shelter. The organization’s Peta Glezerson said the proceeds would go to a program that empowers clients “to choose their own gifts and means to celebrate” the upcoming holiday season. “We do need to walk beside these women and tell them ‘We are here.’ “

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