Shuca Chalifour

My journey as an artist and creator has been an adventure of twists and turns. I come from very creative roots; both my grandmother and my mother are visual artists.

Email: shuca@shucachalifour.comFind Shuca On InstagramVideos on YouTube

Illustration of Shuca Chalifour

Ottawa School of Art

As a young woman I was lucky enough to work with an artist by the name of Marion Cummings who inspired me to create with flowers. She was both a floral designer and a visual artist. When I graduated from high school I moved from the Maritimes to Ottawa, Ontario where I attended Ottawa School of Art, while I was completing my diploma in fine arts.

Set Decoration and Production Design

I became connected with the filmmaking community at Saw Gallery. I quickly discovered that I loved working in the collaborative environment of filmmaking. I worked as a set decorator and a props person and eventually as a production designer  I also worked in visual display and events decorating. My career as a production designer was very exciting but I always enjoyed building things, sometimes I would work at the National Arts Centre under my mentor Victor Elliott. Building props was something I very much enjoyed. When Victor went on hiatus for a year, I ran the prop shop at the National Arts Centre; this was also the year that I became a mother.

Creating For The Waldorf School Esthetic

Crafted items made for the Waldorf school environment.

I found that trying to juggle my career as a prop builder and production designer had to take second place to being a mother and parent to three young children. When my children started to attend Waldorf School, I became very involved in the parent community. Waldorf education is very different from conventional education in Canada — many of the things that are used in the classroom are handmade by the parents.

In the Waldorf school everything the children handle is from nature: wood, wool, textile, bees wax, found items. It is an education system that is rich in art, craft, literature, and music. I enjoyed this new world very much and developed my skills, becoming a needle felter and fiber artist.

I found myself teaching other parents my new skills, and enjoyed giving workshops on needle felting, doll making, and other fibre arts. I have always been a designer; if given a pattern to use I will usually re-design it and make a new pattern. I guess I enjoy the process of creating something original.

Fine Arts: Printmaking, Sculpture Etc.

My family and I relocated to Northern Ontario a number of years ago leaving behind our Waldorf community. My children are growing up and attending regular school. Now that my children have grown up, I find myself with more time on my hands and I am drawn back into the world of fine art: printmaking, sculpture, drawing, and painting.

Floral Design and Urban Gardening

I have always been a floral designer. I continue to work with plants and flowers every day. I forage in the summertime for mushrooms and wildflowers and plants; my garden is full of rescued plants. I enjoy picking flowers and arranging them all spring, summer, and fall. Of course winter limits this…this winter I hope to spend my time making artwork.

Workshop Facilitation

I hope also to build a network locally of people who like to join together to make fibre crafts and sewing projects in my studio.

I am hoping to offer some workshops in the new year for fibre artists; one of the things I miss the very most about working in the Waldorf community is the weekly gatherings to make things for the school together.

Learn more about my available workshop offerings here!

You can easily learn to make fibre art creations at a workshop.