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


TEACHING MATERIALS

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

TORONTOIST Article

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.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Arts and Crafts in Bloom!

Home of Eden Smith

From 1896-1906

The home of prominent Toronto architect, Eden Smith (1859-1949), he designed this house in 1896 as his family residence. It was part of an artistic colony on Indian Road, where he planned residences for like-minded artists and supporters of the arts. The family lived in this home until 1906, when they moved to Wychwood Park. Inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement, the house was Eden Smith's prototype of the English Cottage style, with its sweeping roof, off-centre gable, and side entrance. During his long career, Eden Smith used variations of this design in neighbourhoods around Toronto.
(From the plaque by the Toronto Historical Board, 1996)

Photo courtesy of Lera Kotsyuba

Monday, 17 April 2017

Two More Events, Including One This Week!

This Thursday evening, Andrew Pruss will be giving a talk about three Eden Smith libraries in Toronto... in June we have our Morris/Ruskin symposium, and in July we'll have another book discussion/picnic... all the details can be found on our Future Events tab at the top of this page.

There are more plans in the works, and - remember - members get priority booking on trips and other limited-capacity events. But all our current future events are open to all, so we hope to see you there!

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Announcing This Year's Symposium

Things are warming up at last in Toronto, and last Saturday was particularly special with our society's annual celebration of Morris's birthday (his 183rd!).

Dr. Sheila Latham gave a engrossing and entertaining illustrated presentation to a larger-than-usual audience. The subject was Morris in Oxford, and this was followed (left) by a toast given by Sheila, and birthday cake.

We're still working on other events for the year, but in the meantime, our annual symposium has been announced and it's a special one, co-hosted with The Guild of St. George:


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

Claude T. Bissell Building
Room 205
University of Toronto, St. George Campus
June 3, 2017
10 a.m.- 4 p.m.

This one-day event is jointly hosted by The Guild of St. George and the William Morris Society of Canada. The symposium will focus 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 day will feature scholars and artists from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

For more details, visit our Future Events tab at the top of this page.