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Hand Crafted

Squamish has been a staple on the Great American Summer Road Trip as much for the bouldering at its base as the traditional climbing on the Chief. Everyone knows Squamish is a great place to pull down, but lesser known is the cool and vibrant art scene in this outdoor mecca.

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Keith's-Corner-179Squamish has been a staple on the Great American Summer Road Trip as much for the bouldering at its base as the traditional climbing on the Chief. Everyone knows Squamish is a great place to pull down, but lesser known is the cool and vibrant art scene in this outdoor mecca. The climber/artist Candace Webb is at the crossroads of these two worlds.

On my last road trip to Squamish, I met Candace, who, on a rainy rest day, took me on a tour of the renowned potter Vincent Massy’s home, which she was watching while he, her mentor, was away. Everything in and outside the house was completely custom, from a sink and stovetop fired in his personal kiln, to chairs and staircase handrails carved from driftwood. Soon Candace was pulling beautifully crafted pots out of the kiln, explaining the minutia of the craftsmanship. To my surprise, I eventually found out that nearly half of the work belonged not to Massy, but to the unassuming and bubbly girl standing before me.

“One of these pots would look great on the mantel of my house,” I said. “I’d definitely like to buy one.”

“No!” Candace blurted. “You can’t be one of those lame poser people who buys a piece of pottery and then doesn’t use it. It’s insulting!” She laughed.

For the last six years, Candace, 27, has lived in Squamish and divided her time between painting, pottery, mountain biking and climbing. Her preferences for climbing are as eclectic as her preferences for art, and she does it all, from sport and trad climbing, to bouldering to the occasional ice climb. First introduced to climbing six years ago, Candace has more recently found a fresh spark for the sport.

“I like how creative and dynamic climbing can be,” Candace said. “The way your body has to move.” Her most recent climb was a 5.10b crack at Smoke Bluffs called S.M.’s Delight. “Soooo fun!” Candace said.

After a three-year apprenticeship with Vincent Massy, Candace has developed a strong and distinctive style. She was recently accepted to the Alberta College of Art and Design, a two-year program that she hopes will help her go forward with her work, teaching and collaborating with other international potters.