Monday, 16 October 2017

Cloth Cultures: Future Legacies of Dorothy K. Burnham

During Canada’s 2017 Sesquicentennial celebrations, the Royal Ontario Museum will host an international conference to explore the material culture of textiles through the work and legacies of Dorothy K. Burnham (1911-2004), internationally renowned textile scholar and member of the Order of Canada (1985). Burnham was in the vanguard of the generation of early 20th century curators who made textiles and costume a field of valid scholarly research by finding out how and why objects are made in particular ways, what they meant when produced and what they mean to us today.
This international conference will examine the contemporary trajectories that stem from Dorothy K. Burnham’s legacies by bringing together an international group of academics, artists and maker communities directly or indirectly influenced by her work. It will be of interest to those working from many scholarly disciplines and practices including anthropology, sociology, history, economics aesthetics, museology, weaving, spinning and fibre art. Together, we will explore the current diversity of interdisciplinary methods used to study the technologies, economics, meanings and cultural imbued in global textiles and clothing, and in the process acknowledge and assess Burnham’s many contributions.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Fusion: Clay and Glass Show

October 13th - 15th
Artscape Wychwood Barns (601 Christie Street)

Reception and Awards: October 13th at 7-9pm

October 14th: 8am - 5pm
October 15th: 11am - 5pm

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Canadian Craft Biennial Exhibition

Bringing together seventy makers from across Canada, Can Craft? Craft Can! presents works in glass, ceramics, wood, metal and fibre that address the themes of exploring ideas of Identity, Sustainability and Materiality.

August 19 – October 29, 2017

Lee-Chin Family Gallery
Art Gallery of Burlington
1333 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, ON

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

William Morris, Re-Imagined

House of Hackney has done a re-imagining of William Morris prints, what are your thoughts?
(click on the image to be transferred to the website)

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Sheridan College Craft & Design Faculty Exhibition



SEPTEMBER 8th - OCTOBER 7th 2017
Craft Ontario Gallery, 1106 Queen Street West, Toronto
Closing Reception Thursday, October 5, 6 – 9 pm
Taking place as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of Sheridan College’s Craft and Design Program, Teaching Materials
brings together the work of many of the program’s highly accomplished Faculty and Technologists. The knowledge and
skills they share inspire new generations of craftspeople and help shape the craft and design landscape in Canada. The old adage
“those that can’t do, teach” simply doesn’t apply here. The exhibition acknowledges Sheridan’s Craft & Design faculty in their
valuable roles as teachers, mentors, and leaders in education, while also sharing their phenomenal skill as makers and designers.
Teaching Materials includes work by:

Elaine Brodie
Owen Colborne
Jess Riva Cooper
Rob Diemert
Marc Egan
Peter Fleming
Lee Fletcher
Jin Won Han
Kate Jackson
Laura Kukkee
Scot Laughton
Sally McCubbin
Rachel Miller
Megan Price
Katrina Tompkins
Thang Tran

Tuesday, 25 July 2017


Historicist: Eden Smith and the Arrival of the Arts and Crafts Movement in Toronto

A key figure within the Canadian Arts and Crafts movement, and well-connected to the cultural elite, Toronto architect Eden Smith made a lasting impact on the urban fabric of the city. 

A sketch for the Wychwood branch of the Toronto Public Library, designed by Eden Smith. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Please click on the image to read the article!

Thursday, 8 June 2017

“The hand, the head, and the heart”: Ruskin, Morris, and Craftsmanship Today

SYMPOSIUM - June 3rd

This one-day event was jointly hosted by The Guild of St. George and the William Morris Society of Canada. The symposium focused on the influence of John Ruskin and William Morris on craftsmanship, both in their own time and on those who continue to honour that legacy in their work today.

The symposium was a great celebration of Ruskin, Morris, and craft!

The first presentation was by David Latham, who connected the Noble Grotesque to Pre-Raphaelite art, as symbols thrown together in bold and fearless connection, explaining that the designer and maker must then be same individual. The Pre-Raphaelites were a rejection of academic art, and looked to the idealized Medieval communal makers. In Canada, a colonial response to folkloric traditions can be traced in the works of JEH MacDonald and Homer Watson, who borrowed the nostalgic aestheticism of the Arts and Crafts movement. It is in the work of Elaine Waisglass that the Arts and Crafts tradition may be found, in the juxtaposition between the timeless use of light and the immortal sense of her medium.

The next presentation was by Sara Atwood, who spoke of the affinity between hand-craft and word-craft. “Writers are Makers as well”, as words must be chosen, shaped, and are the tools of writers. Needlework can also be allied to writing, in the choice and fine detail evoked by words, creating meaning through word choice. Through the lens of John Ruskin, Atwood asserts that the art of writing must be felt, and can be learned; there is a pleasure and practice in its craftsmanship.

Artist Kateri Ewing spoke about her personal journey into art through reading John Ruskin, and the importance of sight. It is through seeing and careful observation that the artist can perceive the world and find beauty. And it is the experience of making that is more important than the finished product.

In her presentation, Rachel Dickinson discussed notions of the ‘handmade’, and the marketing and branding reproductions that permeate the market today. Her focus on textiles and our experience of them, as we make/wear, choose our clothing, how we decorate our homes, etc. The ecology of the Arts and Crafts movement is at odds with Industrialization, and this is still a struggle we see today. The art of peace, through John Ruskin, is in spinning and weaving; to demonstrate grace and beauty within, we adorn ourselves and our homes with handmade and handcrafted items. We must support ethically made products.

The final presentation of the day was by Ann Gagné, who focused on maker culture and spaces in Toronto. She spoke of the tension between technological tools and creative ingenuity, and the resurgence of re-purposing in maker culture today. In part due to the dissatisfaction with the poor quality of items available, the surge of makers and their craftsmanship a drive for a new generation of makers. Gagné also mentioned the ‘re-purposing’ of historic Toronto buildings, and the need to keep to the adage of Morris and Ruskin “to protect not perfect,” away from the “façade-ism” of Toronto’s architectural choices.