Saturday, 2 May 2015

Craft Ontario / Craft in Ontario Event

A small but wonderful group of WMSC members gathered at University College for a lecture on the evening of Thursday, April 30.

Janna Hiemstra, of Craft Ontario, and Leopold Kowolski, editor of Studio, the Craft Ontario magazine (and WMSC board member) gave a wonderful background to the evolution of craft in Canada and, specifically, the history of Craft Ontario, formerly the Ontario Crafts Council.

A couple of fun facts: The Women's Art Association of Canada (WAAC, and the roots of Craft Ontario) was founded in 1896, the year of Morris's death.

And the first Toronto shop of the Canadian Handicrafts Guild (founded in 1905) was located where the Craft Ontario shop is now, 84 years later!

Below, from the excellent slide show, William Morris as cover boy on early newsletter of the Ontario Crafts Council (later renamed Craft Ontario).

There was much to learn and discuss and a large part of the audience afterwards spent a couple of hours enjoying good beer, cider and conversation at Prenup Pub on College Street. (We'll be visiting there again, I'm sure!)

Six Short Films About Nova Scotia Craftspeople

An series of short films, focussing on six of Nova Scotia's finest craftspeople, are to be made viewable online, the first one having been released last week.

Ben Proudfoot has directed the shorts, titled Life's Work: Six Conversations with Makers. Here is the trailer containing clips from all six films.

Last week, Stone, focussing on stone carver Heather Lawson was released and widely enjoyed and acclaimed.

Watch each week as the five remaining films will be released on Vimeo: Turns, featuring Steven Kennard will be released on May 5, followed by Mother Earth (May 19), Fibre & Wood (June 2), Lady Bug (June 16), and Rust (June 30).

Life’s Work is a collaboration between Craft Alliance Atlantic Association and the Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council.  Funding for the project was provided by ACOA Nova Scotia and Film and Creative Industries Nova Scotia.

Bravo to all!

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Talks, Walks... Pubs

Our Future Events page has been updated with more information on our events for April, May and June. With the good weather finally, possibly arriving in Toronto, we hope you'll join us for a tour of St. James Cemetery and its striking architecture and beautiful setting. In April and June we feature talks held at University College on the UofT campus. Click on our Future Events tab (above) for all the details. And please join us after each event for a visit to a local pub to raise a pint in best Morris fellowship tradition!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Happy Birthday William Morris!

Today is the great man's birthday. But last Saturday, a group of 60 or so WMSC members gathered at University College at the U of T on Saturday to celebrate Morris's birthday as we do every year. We alternate full-day symposiums and lectures, and this year the lecture was titled Architectural Preservation in Upper Canada: A Case Study. Brian Blackstock talked us through the history of his beautiful old mill in Prince Edward County. In the second picture you see Brian with his friend Don McLean who was also part of the presentation. They were both highly engaging and informative. Several members who attended also had the opportunity to visit Brian's mill last fall during a weekend trip to the county, among other lovely spots (including a very popular cidery). Afterwards we gathered in Croft Chapter House and toasted Morris with cake (and someone was coincidentally wearing a scarf with the same pattern, Compton) and lots of great chat.

See you all at our next event in April!

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Let's Raise a Slice!

This year we went with "Compton," another densely designed foligage pattern, this time designed by the remarkable John Henry Dearle for Morris & Co. the year of Morris's death in 1896.

Check back soon for more photographs of the day's events!

Celebrating... and Looking Ahead

We're looking forward to seeing members and their guests at today's Birthday Lecture by Brian Blackstock: Architectural Preservation in Upper Canada: a case study. Afterwards we'll toast Morris and get a slice of this year's Morris-inspired birthday cake.

Keep checking back as future events are being finalized including talks on the history of Craft Ontario, Morris and radicalism, a year in the life of Morris, News from Nowhere, a picnic/book club, a fall weekend tour, a cemetary ramble and the Yuletide dinner. Keep coming back to check for details and/or follows us on Twitter and Facebook!

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Vote for Kelmscott!

Vote for Kelmscott Manor, William Morris's one-time Cotswolds home, to be named the UK's most inspiring museum or heritage visitor attraction of the last 12 months.

All the details are here, and the link to vote!