Monday, 8 July 2019

John Ruskin and the Beginning of the Arts & Crafts Movement

Hello to WMSC Members and Friends

The Roycroft Campus at 39 South Grove Street
East Aurora, NY 14052  (30 km SE of Buffalo)
announces a special event on September 13 and 14, 2019
celebrating the life of John Ruskin, 200 years after his birth

(  --  Please note this conference is NOT a WMSC event  --  )

There is no fee to attend the program of this Ruskin/Roycroft event 
which is co-sponsored by the 
North American Chapter of the Guild of St George 
and the Roycroft Print Shop.

Overnight accommodation, meals, etc. 
are at your own arrangement and expense.

Below are details about the program and registration.

The Guild of St George and The Roycroft Print Shop would like to invite you to our
celebration of John Ruskin’s 200 th birthday on September 13-14, 2019. It is much more
than a birthday celebration, however. We are gathering together the resources of the
Guild and Roycroft, and offering to our new century, as both organizations did at the
beginning of the 20th Century, a way to proceed. We would like you to be part of this
celebration, and also part of great things we plan for the future. Hear about the workings
of the Guild in England. Hear about Roycroft and how it works every day to strengthen
the Arts and Crafts Movement in America. Hear about and tour the Roycroft Print Shop,
the only print and graphic arts organization in the world devoted exclusively to the work
of the Arts and Crafts Movement.

The program, FOR WHICH THERE IS NO CHARGE, will open at 630pm on Friday night,
September 13th , with refreshments, a reception and a keynote address by Dr. James
Spates. Dr. Spates, who was a Professor of Sociology at Hobart and William Smith
Colleges for many years, is a world-renowned speaker and advocate of the ideas of John
Ruskin. Earlier this year, he gave a similar talk at the annual Arts and Crafts Conference in
Asheville, North Carolina. If you missed that lecture, you can now hear a similar
presentation. If you heard it, you will now be able to speak with Dr. Spates and ask you
own questions.

On Saturday, starting at 9am, you will hear a very interesting variety of presentations.
Peter Potter, a Roycroft Renaissance Artisan in Photography, will introduce you to his Arts
and Crafts Photography. This is important since, as some of you know, John Ruskin was an
avid photographer at a time when this field was first developing and allowing people to
record nature and the important works of man exactly the way they existed. Paul
Dawson, a very active member of the Guild of St George in the UK, will be giving an
important lecture on the work of George Allen, who was John Ruskin’s personal
publisher, and about William Morris who established the Kelmscott Press, and their
pioneering work in the Private Press Movement. This will be a unique lecture in the fields
of printing and publishing and the material covered may not be readily available
anywhere in the US. Professor Kay Walter will tell us how she is teaching and promoting
the work of John Ruskin today in rural Arkansas. You will be introduced to the workings of
the Roycroft Print Shop and see how we use some of yesterday’s techniques to get our
messages out today. There will then be a panel discussion, with audience participation,
where you can ask questions and state you own ideas for our Arts and Crafts Movement
of the future.

The North American Branch of the Guild of St George
and The Roycroft Print Shop

Please print the REGISTRATION FORM here.

See the FULL PROGRAM here.

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Canadian Society of Decorative Arts Symposium

Thursday September 26 - 29th, 2019, 
Kingston, Ontario
Agnes Etherton Art Centre

An invitation from our friends with the Canadian Society of Decorative Arts
Join the many decorative arts collectors, experts and enthusiasts who plan to be among the delegates in Kingston, September 26-29th.  Early bird rates end June 30th!

Honouring the past and learning about current practice in the decorative arts is reflected in this year’s theme: Trends and Traditions. To that end, the CSDA/CCAD Programming Committee has been hard at work planning and delivering an exceptional line up of lectures and events led by a stellar group of regional, national and international scholars, experts, curators, collectors and leading contemporary makers of decorative arts. Symposium delegates will also enjoy exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to private and public collections and studios, and visits to important sites and cultural attractions in the area on guided walking tours.

For more information:

Monday, 17 June 2019

Evergreen Brick Works Tour!

 The Brick-Making Machine


Our guide

Purple-Eyed Susan Sculpture on the side of the building

Old photograph of Toronto

Photos courtesy of WMSC member Heather Johnson.

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Tapestry of Spirit: The Torah Stitch By Stitch Project

Rona Kosansky; cross-stitch on aida cloth; 13” wide; “Just before his death Moses views the Promised Land from Mt. Nebo. God would not allow him to enter because of an earlier transgression (Deuteronomy 34:1-4)”. Design courtesy of Ann Logan; image courtesy of Torah Stitch by Stitch.

The Textile Museum of Canada presents Tapestry of Spirit, from June 12 – November 17, 2019

Tapestry of Spirit presents the ambitious and inclusive social project to cross stitch the first five books of the Bible as well as selections from the Scriptures and Qur’an, reflecting on the theme of creation. It is an immersive installation that has been collectively created by almost 1500 volunteers of many faiths, under the artistic leadership of Temma Gentles (Toronto). Visitors will journey through nearly 1000 panels in three languages (Hebrew, Greek and Arabic) including illuminations and embellishments by stitchers from 28 countries who have interpreted these ancient narratives into contemplative, often highly personal expressions.
The award-winning documentary short film Stitchers: Tapestry of Spirit (directed by Tassie Notar and produced by 90th Parallel) will play throughout the exhibition.
Opening reception: Wednesday June 12, 5 - 8:30 PM. All are welcome!

Monday, 3 June 2019

Edit-a-thons aim to ensure craftswomen's legacy on internet

Ditchling museum will hold Wikipedia-editing sessions to redress gender imbalance

Elizabeth Peacock (left). Photograph: Crafts Study Centre, University for the Creative Arts

The crafts industry has become the latest sector to attempt to tackle the internet’s gender imbalance, after a museum warned the legacy of the UK’s most important craftswomen is at risk of being forgotten.
Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft is to hold a series of Wikipedia edit-a-thons in June. It open its doors to volunteers who will be taught how to create and edit Wikipedia pages to include significant 20th-century craftswomen. The edit-a-thon is one of hundreds taking place around the world aiming to mitigate the lack of information about women online.
Abby Butcher, communications manager at Ditchling museum, says craftswomen are “undoubtedly” at risk of being forgotten and suffer from gender bias that sees male artists such as Eric Gill dominate discussions of crafts history.
“It’s the usual factors you’d expect: they’re women and they were working in the early 20th century, and there were a lot of male craftspeople who were dominating that scene. That’s the obvious patriarchy argument,” says Butcher, who believes the situation is exacerbated by the fact that less than 10% of Wikipedia editors are women.
“The story of Ditchling is dominated by Eric Gill because he was such a big figure but there are a lot of hidden stories. You can trace the impact that a lot of these lesser-known artists have had across the arts and craft movement – there’s this lineage.”
The museum is holding two edit-a-thons, which have become popular ways for groups to tackle the dearth of female figures on Wikipedia pages in areas such as science and museum curation, on 1 June. Butcher believes for the younger generation, the internet is a vital research tool and if artists don’t have a presence, they can quickly become obsolete.
“So much important history is in out-of-print books or in people’s heads so it’s great we have the chance to get that down,” she said. “I think there’s a risk with Generation Z that if it isn’t online, it doesn’t count.
Read the rest on the Guardian website.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Tour of the Historic Brick Works in Toronto’s Don Valley

Sunday 9th of June 2019, 2 pm

Come to Evergreen Brick Works and explore the 130-year-old factory, transformed
by environmental charity Evergreen into a sustainable office complex and environmental
community centre. Our heritage-themed tour will explain the origins and architecture of
the brick factory, the process of brick-making, and tell some of the workers’ stories.

Tour fee: $14. Payable at the site. (Cash only please. Exact change appreciated.)
Please reserve by May 28 so tour arrangements can be made. E-mail:

Our gathering spot for tours is the Young Welcome Centre. 

Getting there:

A TTC bus departs from Davisville Station, 28 Southbound approximately every 20 minutes.

A free Evergreen Brick Works shuttle bus departs from the parkette on Erindale Avenue, just north of the Broadview subway station (Not in the station). It leaves on the hour and half hour on Sundays.

There is also paid parking at the Brick Works site.

Come down early and you can visit artisans’ booths on-site as well as having lunch beforehand at the Sunday market local food court, open 10am-3pm. You can pick from a broad array of options, including Persian food, Tibetan momos, Mexican street food, tapioca crepes, Turkish stuffed flatbread and churros with chocolate sauce. 

Background info

The Don Valley Brick Works (known now as the Evergreen Brick Works) is a former quarry and industrial site located in the Don River Valley. The Don Valley Brick Works operated for nearly 100 years and provided bricks used to construct many well-known Toronto landmarks, such as Casa Loma, Osgoode Hall, Massey Hall, and the Ontario Legislature. Since the closure of the original factory, the quarry has been converted into a city park which includes a series of naturalized ponds, while the buildings have been restored and opened as an environmentally focused community and cultural centre by Evergreen, a national charity dedicated to restoring nature in urban environments.

In 2009, National Geographic Traveler named Evergreen Brick Works one of the 10 finalists in its Geotourism Challenge 2009, "a global competition of tourism-related projects that promote natural and cultural heritage while improving the well-being of the local people". The 10 finalists were chosen from 610 entries from 81 countries.  In early 2017, Evergreen launched the redevelopment of the historic Kiln Building, creating a new hub for people across all sectors to collaborate in building sustainable cities. The project is one of the first in Canada to set and strive for a carbon-neutral target.

Friday, 26 April 2019

Tour of St Thomas Anglican Church

Join us for a Tour of St Thomas Anglican Church!
Saturday May 4th, 2019, 2 pm
383 Huron St

The church is an Arts and Crafts building designed by architect and parishioner Eden Smith (1858–1949) and was opened on January 17, 1893. The Memorial First World War Baptistery with Bromsgrove Guild stained glass windows was completed in 1922. 

The tour will be a joint one, with the rector, The Revd Mark Andrews and Dr. Carl Benn.

Getting here: TTC (click this link)
Take the subway to St George and exit via the St George exit (near the Bata Shoe Museum). 
Walk South to Bloor St, walk West one block to Huron Street, head South to St Thomas Anglican Church.