Tuesday, September 30, 2008

He's Lucky in Toronto

Fresh from Vancouver, Lucky Peterson is a 30 year old visual artist that just emigrated to Toronto's prosperous art scene hoping to do more gallery shows, get more commissions and sell more paintings. It’s true, sketching and carving wood are his foremost passions, but when Dumpdiggers visited this guy in September, we were quite surprised to find his art studio is absolutely stacked with historic pottery! It turns out that Lucky has a collector’s bug and a (perfectly natural) obsession to locate, excavate and display historic stoneware and early Canadian glass.
During daylight hours inside his cozy little workshop, Lucky carves and paints wood cuts and manufactures high priced art for rich American patrons. But at night he transforms... on hot summer evenings the bottle bug seizes the boy and sends him out with a shovel. He rides a bicycle around the oldest parts of town looking for angles and perfect opportunities to step back in time - looking for a subterranean adventure and the possibility of liberating more historic Canadian stoneware from obscurity.

In the quiet evenings Lucky is a lonely digger that explores the city's oldest dump sites and digs deep holes in Toronto’s lakeshore. Lucky digs on weekends, and whenever nobody (site security) is around to bother him, or ask questions. And he’s pretty secretive about his locations, but willing to share a spirited dig with anyone bold enough to contact him. You can find him registered as Lucky on Dumpdiggers.com

After a very busy summer here in Toronto, Lucky has unearthed some pretty special pottery to add to his growing collection. He’s found the ubiquitous Vernors and the Wilsons (with the squirrel) and many fragments of other early but common stoneware vessels. And he carefully adds these to the Quebec bottles, and the Vancouver ginger beers that line the top shelf of his emporium.

Lucky is a veteran digger with soy sauce crocks and opium pipes from old town Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia. He has Hutchinson sodas from New York state, druggist bottles from Montreal and stoneware ginger beers from all over Canada. Like most diggers he started as a boy and has found something decent everywhere he has lived. He has pocket watches and porcelain doll heads, cobalt blue poisons and chinese pill bottles, ceramic tooth powder lids, tins, trade cards, and vintage metal signage.

The solution for Lucky is easy because he has such an obvious if unusual passion. So of course he should harness the global market on the internet. He needs a custom e commerce solution because some web development Toronto will help him share his expert knowledge while selling glass bottles and adventure stories on the internet.

Although a seasoned collector with some nice pieces, Lucky is a web rookie with few online contacts. He doesn't know much about eBay, or how to buy and sell bottles in auctions. And that's because he works primarily as an artist making pictures with paint brushes and carving wood into Hieronymus Bosch inspired three dimensional art pieces. He only goes on the computer to use Photoshop, and only goes online to send emails. Consequently, Lucky has very little concept of what his collection is worth, which is fascinating to me... The passionate man collects and enshrines his great 'moments of discovery' without really knowing, or actively seeking to know their true market value.

Another fact remains, Lucky doesn’t tumble his glass or repair his pottery or even clean his collection very well... Yet he admits it’s a skill he'd like to have. Dumpdiggers promises to report Lucky's progress as a collector, and relate the most basic steps he takes to improves his best pieces.


Teena in Toronto said...

Good luck to Lucky! Nice to "meet" him!

The Nag said...

This is a hobby I'd like to take up. I could probably find some good pre - War of 1812 stuff in Niagara on the Lake.

rob said...

You sure could. All the Toronto Dumpdiggers would very much like to dig in Niagara on the Lake.

billco said...

Great blog you have. I find every bit of it extremely interesting.