All images on this site are copyright Tim Hunt & Karen Massey 1995-2007.

Friday, August 31, 2007

More from the Archives

Remember all the hub-bub about Y2K? the wacky predictions? the doomsday forecasts? Well, that was 7 years ago already and the most annoying thing about that whole ordeal was the constant barrage of media coverage concerning the big non-event. Talk about your manufactured News! The most life-changing event for us that year was the birth of our first son. Before the big day my dentist said to me, while I was reclining on his chair with a mouth full of tools, "Life as you know it will cease to exist". He did so with his usual dead-pan Adam West-type delivery. This carries a lot of weight coming from a guy wearing a mask and shining a bright light in your eyes while probing you with pointy instruments. For me this was the most potent Y2K prediction and one that rings true to this day. Pictured above is my Y2K shirt. When I tried to up-load this image on my computer my scanner wouldn't work. The computer failed to recognize my camera and scanner. I tried and tried, but it still wouldn't work. Spooky! Turns out I forgot to un-plug a portable device from my USB port. Damn computers!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Thinking about Banjos

Ever since the Folkfestival I've been thinking about banjos. I bought the Old Man Luedecke CD Hinterland after hearing him play on the main stage while I was packing up on the first night and it has been playing in my car ever since. When the boys are belted into their car seats in the back I keep the sound low, but in those rare moments when I'm alone I crank the volume and it's like Old Man Luedecke is tucked into one of those car seats behind me, stomping his foot and wailing on the banjo. The banjo is one of those much maligned instruments, but it's hard to argue with its ability to get the heart pounding and the foot stomping. t. hunt 2007 Karen has a prose poem that I love called Agnes published in LOS poetry journal in 1989. It tells of a man getting on the city bus and demonstrating the proper way to pick on an imaginary banjo. Before it's over you can feel the banjo in your hands and hear its happy sounds.

Friday, August 24, 2007


We moved house and workspace last december and I'm just getting to some of those boxes that said "t-shirts/sort". Come to think of it most of the boxes I packed said "sort" on them and maybe that's why it has taken me so long to unpack. Anyhoo, I've been discovering all sorts of treasures that I had forgotten about. I made this image a long time ago, and didn't have a caption, so I just left it for a while. I don't know if they still do this, because I don't watch tv much, but when I was a kid the tv reception used to go off a lot, usually at the best part of a favorite show. The tv station would show a blank screen and every minute or so an Orwellian voice would come on and say something like: "We are experiencing technical difficulties. Please do not adjust your set." Of course all over North America people were adjusting their rabbit ears and banging on their tv sets, trying to find out if Lassie saved the boy from drowning in the river. So one night I was falling asleep thinking about this design and the voice of big brother came to me in a dream...PLEASE DO NOT ADJUST YOUR SET!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Good and Evil

This is my own light-hearted illustration of those opposing forces that reside within us all. I tried to balance the design so as not to favour one side over the other. I'm always amused at how people react. I can almost see the little cartoon angel and devil sitting on their shoulders as they look at this. Some people relish acknowledging the little devil inside, while for others it is an immediate turn-off. Some asked if I did this design on children's shirts and other parents tried to steer their little angels away from it, e.g. "wouldn't you prefer the turtle design hon?...Oh, look at this one. Happy people dancing!") This design has been out of print for a while, but just last weekend somebody asked me about it. I may bring it back soon. Just as an aside, my Mom wears this shirt.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Craft Shows

(click to enlarge image)

Some day I'll sit down and count the number of craft shows, markets, fairs, trade shows and folk festivals we've sold at since 1989. We've been to school fairs, Legions, city halls, barns, malls, conservation areas, fields, hockey rinks, convention centres and museums. We have been set up in sun, rain, snow, sleet, hail and mud up to our ankles.

When it's not busy at a festival, vendors come together to cogitate on reasons for poor sales. The weather can be either too bad or too good. Everyone is on holidays or at some sporting event. Not enough publicity, etc., etc., etc.

I was trading stories with another vendor at the folk festival this weekend and I recalled the year we sold at the Virgil Stampede. It was pretty much what you'd expect from a small town stampede, but how a craft show ended up being part of the event I'll never know. The highlite for me (this was before the year 2000) was meeting the ageing Elvis Impersonator Elvis now,as he would be in the new Millennium. He even had this painted on the side of his mini-van in gold letters. I helped the sweaty King carry his monitor to the stage and he of course said Thankye v'ry much.

I made this comic/collage, pre 2000. It might be amusing only to other artisans, or maybe just to me. I'm a real luddite, so this is written in the SNL school of sci-fi.

Monday, August 20, 2007


This is a new technique I've been working with over the past year. The designs are printed on solid coloured shirts with a light background to set off the design. I printed these on long-sleeved t-shirts and they were well received at the Folkfest on the weekend.

Ottawa Folkfest 2007

This was the scene at the Folkfest friday night. Both thursday and friday we were hampered by high winds coming off the river. Some of the tents in the Artisan area blew over and the line-up of patrons was held up for almost two hours because of safety concerns.
The artisan area was re-located this year and I have to say it was not to our advantage. We had a lot of talk amongst ourselves and a meeting with the artistic director and site operations manager who were very receptive, however we were the guinea pigs this year.
That said, the Ottawa folkfest was where Karen and I launched Mobius t-shirts many years ago, so we have a lot of sentimental feelings about it. It is a place where like-minded, music loving folk come together, where customers become friends.
Thanks to Superfriends Chris and Noel who besides their warm company bring us gourmet food and good coffee in a picnic basket with cloth napkins. Chris wanted to pay me for a t-shirt when I reminded her that she was giving us a piano, so...I think we're even?
I always enjoy visiting with hockey friends Bernard and Majda(sp?), Liam and Monica. Our wacky friend Annie, former neighbour, actor, writer, dancer etc., was performing spontaineous dance at various points throughout the festival grounds. Artist friend Martina and her daughter came by sharing stories and laughter. Great to reconnect with Maureen after all these years. Thanks to Mark and Karen who come back year after year to buy new t-shirts and replace the old ones, also to Robert and his wife.
Thanks to so many, whose names I don't know, but who stop in again and again to buy something, or even just to say hi, or ask how old our kids are now or if we need anything. These are the things we remember most about this festival.
Thanks everyone!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Art in Strathcona Park 2007

It was a great day in Strathcona Park for the annual Art in the Park show. It got quite hot, thank goodness for the huge trees that provided ample shade. This show has grown over the past 7 years to include 130 vendors. Despite its size, the show manages to keep a quaint feel and is a fantastic showcase for local art while benefiting the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario. Thanks to all of you who dropped by my booth. For the second year in a row I managed to hook up with customers who hadn't seen me in many years. I brought my digital camera to the show, but my batteries were too low to take any pictures (gee, I miss my Kodak Pocket Instamatic, circa 1974) so I'm including a picture of yours truly from Strathcona 2006, excerpted from a mini-book by my close friend and booth neighbour Katie

The mini-books were part of a project where Katie, Karen and I made each other a book every week for a year. We didn't make it through the entire year, but I think we made about 90 books between the three of us. Thanks to Katie for bringing the 4 litre jug of water today which we polished off before 5 o'clock. By the way, if you see this woman behind a camera, LOOK OUT! You may become a subject for one of one of her books, or a painting, or show up on her blog.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


This is a self-portrait done last summer when I wanted to run screaming from my apartment, steal the nearest canoe and blast off into the closest body of water. The design was printed with a cut-out paper stencil on a blank silk-screen and therefore exists only on one shirt (and in this picture).
This year I have managed to soothe the savage beast. Here I am paddling with my six-year-old in the bow on Lake Louisa in Quebec. He just overcame his fear of the canoe ("Oh no, not the canoe. Much too tippy!") It turns out he's a fine little paddler!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

What's On My Camera?

I snapped a picture of this dang thing, just off Elgin street, before the Urban Art show in Minto Park a couple of weeks ago. I knew not what it was, but felt obigated to take a picture of it. It was by the curb next to an old freezer waiting for garbage pick-up. It looks like it has a very specific use. I wanted to take it home and noted right away that it had wheels. For some people it's stray cats or injured birds, for me it's dirty old metal thingys. I've got quite a collection of rusty bits that have fallen off the bottom of cars that are just begging to be made into sculptures.
Well, I didn't take it home. Any idea what this doodad might be?

Moon Dancer

What's going on here? Some sort of lunar celebration? The most frequently asked question I get at shows is "where do you get your ideas?," and after all these years I still have to stutter my way through an awkward answer. When I make a design I usually have some sort of vague notion floating around. I never complete something from a rough sketch. I just start to fool around with a brush or a pen and the rest just sort of happens. When I'm finished I sit back and think, "whoa, what just happened there?"

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Business as Usual

From the Vault. This is one of my first t-shirt designs. It is a reflection of my life-long fear of being swallowed up by the everyday stress of the chaotic world of work. For a brief period I flirted with this. Big city, downtown, long hours, and a commute that included streetcar, bus, subway and a brisk walk, oh, and lots, I mean lots of coffee. Business as Usual has been out of print for quite some time and I occasionally encounter people who remember it and tell me it was their favorite shirt. One time a woman stared at it for a long time, then told me she couldn't buy it because it reminded her too much of work. I can understand that. My favorite story about this shirt comes from my partner Karen. She was selling at a big indoor Christmas show and a woman walked right up to the shirt and said "That's me, Oh that is me! this a bedroom?" We still laugh about that. It's a busy design.