There’s nothing I love more than capturing real moments, as they’re lived. So even when we’re trying to get that one shot for a Christmas card, it’s the behind the scenes, real-life images that I always end up loving the most. And nothing is more real-life and unpredictable than two little brothers under the age of 4. ♥

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I feel so lucky to have met this lovely family. I admire their decision to live consciously and closely connected to the land. Together, they inspire me with their beautiful contemporary creations using the ancient craft of blacksmithing. I’m honoured that they offered me this glimpse into their day to day lives, pleased that I now have one of their gorgeous candle bowls proudly displayed in our dining room and incredibly happy that I can now call them friends. Before scrolling through their photos, take a minute to read about Raina and Ruben in their own words and then click on over to their etsy shop, R and R Handmade to marvel at their beautiful work!

We are Raina + Ruben. We met as deckhands on a tall ship bound for Antarctica, returned to Canadian soil after our high sea adventure and began weaving together a life and family in the backwoods of Nova Scotia. We are deeply enlivened by our wild and free toddler daughter. We create in celebration of human ability and creativity, individually and in collaboration. Our pieces speak to both the past and the future while inviting you to marvel in the now.

A few months ago we set up shop within this enlivening Etsy community as a way of sharing who we are and what we do. Engaging directly and authentically with our customers across North America and beyond is wonderful for us as we mindfully choose to work from home while living close to the land.

Ruben is the blacksmith behind all the hammering of hot steel. With 17 years of experience and a passion for forging, he’s really good at it. His work is physically demanding and his process is loud and dirty; he wouldn’t have it any other way.

I (Raina) work with Ruben to fine-tune design and function in the pieces that I feature in our R+R Handmade shop. And I occasionally design sculptures that Ruben brings to life in steel. I am also the one responding to convos, processing orders and photographing. My studio is across the driveway from the blacksmith shop with a magical view of blueberry fields and the occasional passing fox or swooping eagle.

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  • January 22, 2015 - 10:16 pm

    Kandise - I love these! So cool to see inside the workshop, and that wee one is adorable. :) ReplyCancel

  • January 23, 2015 - 8:17 am

    Holly Irons - Hey what beautiful photos of one of my favourite families!!!!! RIG HollyReplyCancel

  • January 23, 2015 - 8:22 am

    Kathy MacLeod - Ruben went to school with my son. Working with me he designed a sculpture for my garden. Ruben did a fantastic job making the large piece. It is very individual to me and the centrepiece of my garden.ReplyCancel