Symposium


Session 1

Making Education: The Changing Nature of Teaching Craft

Convener: Dorie Millerson, Assistant Professor, Chair, Material Art & Design, OCAD University


Rachel Kelly: Ikebana: A creative model for interdisciplinary pedagogy

This paper starts with a consideration of collaborative learning in Art and Design Higher Education as a dialogic paradigm. A Modernist Perspective (Childs, 2000) would interpret a dialogic paradigm as an undoing of traditions and rooted practices as an enabling of The New.


Dorie Millerson & Dr. Lynne Heller: Hands on the Tech: Craft, Pedagogy and the Digital Challenge

This paper investigates the relationship between craft making traditions and the advent of digital tools along with the pedagogical implications of that confluence.


Dr. Nithikul Nimkulrat: Research by Hand: Craft Making as Research Method

The resonance of a ternary between art, craft and design has been ongoing for over two decades. Attempts have been made to distinguish craft from art and design and to define craft as a discipline in its own right.


Elizabeth Roy: Unconditional Labour, You Have to Pick Up Every Stitch

The title of this paper, “Unconditional Labour, You Have to Pick Up Every Stitch”, delineates the present dilemma of teaching craft mediums in the contemporary art studio environment.


D Wood: Craft Education: Provocateur of Change

In today’s world handmade is a mark of distinction. It connotes a kind of authenticity and devotion that people, increasingly cast as passive consumers rather than active citizens, feel is otherwise missing from their lives.


Session 2

Craft and Wilderness: Combatting Territorial Amnesia

Convener: Amanda Shore


Jim Many Hats Adams

Acimowin (stories) are our connection to all things earthly. Everything tells a story. When we place our hand on an object we are not assigning ownership rather we are beginning a process of engagement where we and the object can begin a dialogue as ancient as the earth itself.


Anna Heywood-Jones: The Botanical Sphere: Plants, Textiles & Place

We live in a plant-dominated biosphere, and yet the relevance and meaning of vegetal life, beyond its contribution to human existence, is rarely considered.


Denise Smith: Trails, Travel, and Tourism: Re‐imagining Wilderness Travel in Canada Through Craft

Touristic enterprises utilize mythology around Canadian wilderness in such a way that it becomes a consumable commodity; glossy postcard images of the Rockies promote picture perfect vistas, charming miniature illustrations of wildlife scenes on souvenir plates merchandise animals, interpretive trail guides and maps promote the collection of experiences.


Anna Sprague: In Tents:  Art, Craft, and the Gore-Tex Classroom

The Keji Project is an innovative partnership between NSCAD University and Parks Canada aimed at cultivating a life-long appreciation for the wilderness and celebrating the intersection between the natural world and the visual arts. 


Session 3

Craft Residencies: Round Table Discussion

Convener: Leo Kowolik, Editor-in-Chief, Studio Magazine


Canadian Craft Biennial Maker and Writer Residencies

Participants of the inaugural Canadian Craft Biennial Maker Residency and Canadian Craft Biennial Writer Residency discuss and reflect on their experiences with craft.


Session 4

Making Sense: Intersections in Research and Practice

Convener: Julie Hollenbach PhD Candidate, Department of Art (Art History), Queen’s University


This round table discussion invites craftspeople, makers, curators, historians, and critics to share the important ways in which their creative practices and research activities overlap and inform their work. Often, the products of our labour are presented as polished and complete achievements, divorced from other aspects of our work, our multifaceted research, or experiments that didn’t quite pan out. Furthermore, professionalism teaches many of us to edit our narratives of messy development into smooth swan songs. Similarly, at times, crafted objects are approached as stand-alone pieces or considered as finite examples of a maker’s straight trajectory. This round table session shifts the emphasis away from linear and singular approaches to objects and practices, instead, highlighting ways of knowing that are taken for granted, relegated to a footnote, or erased. The session will foster conversations about messiness, research as process, failure as a generative event, concurrent projects as inherently bound, creative practices as daily life, unorthodox methods of searching and teaching ourselves, piggy-backed approaches to sharing with others, and how these important practices today, inform our relationship with objects, practices, and people of the past, and structure the narratives about craft and scholarship tomorrow. This round table discussion invites participants and attendees to share the multi-discursive and multi-disciplinary processes that undergird their own projects; and how these approaches can enrich connections with others, create opportunities for new networks of exchange, and work to form creatively and critically engaged communities around craft.


Tamadher Alfahal: Curating/Creating Dialogue: Practical Exploration of Philosophical Principles as Basis for Islamic Creative Expression


Sarah Alford: Botanizing Chapter Two: Practicing Nineteenth-Century Natural Philosophy in the Coulee


Lisa Binkley: Making Homespun Quilts: Imagining Nineteenth-Century Canada


Rebecca Hannon: Disassembling a Crown-of-Thorns


Arianna Richardson: The Hobbyist



Session 5

The Openness of Craft: Complexity in Current Practices

Convener: Ruth Chambers, University of Regina


Seema Goel: Wool is 44% Carbon

Re-connecting craft to its political possibilities, the pieces Blood Sugar and Carbon Footprint work to explore how the movement, making, and consumption of craft materials are linked to the political discourse of both the producer and the consumer.


Jeannie Mah: I am Blue Mikado

“I find it harder every day to live up to my blue china.”
— Oscar Wilde


Carmela Laganse: Perspective by Incongruity: Jade Inukshuk Hockey Players and the Canada Goose Trivet

Visual rhetoric surrounding immigration, multiculturalism and Canadian identity is indicated by national census graphs, government propaganda, regional souvenirs and identifying regional markers.


Heidi McKenzie:  Paradox: Identity and Belonging

In March 2016, I moderated a panel at NCECA (National Ceramic Educators Council of America) in Kansas City entitled Paradox: Identity and Belonging.


Ying-Yueh Chuang: Recent Works

This talk will discuss my recent and current works. Of all the materials I have encountered, clay has proven to be the most forgiving and accessible material, allowing me to explore ideas through the making of objects.


Shelley Miller: Recent Work

I will discuss my art practice and specific projects that further my aim to aggrandize domestic craft practices traditionally done by women, both in terms of scale and importance, using public space to do so.


Julia Krueger: Keepsakes of Conflict: Contemporary Craft’s Role in Understanding Trench Art

“The duality of trench art is its one constant…it is both art and craft; it is both decoration and kitsch; it is both meaningful and vacuous; it is both souvenir and museum object; it is both hand-made and mass-produced; it is both new and recycled; [and] it is both beautiful and hideous.” Laura Brandon, “The Duality of Trench Art”.


Session 6

The digital ties that bind: Practice-lead research in craft

Convener: Stephen Bottomley, Senior lecturer, Edinburgh College of Art/ University of Edinburgh


Stephen Bottomley, Jessamy Kelly: Expanding the field: Parallax perspectives?

“If you divide the candlestick into many more parts, it will appear crowded, as it will want distinctiveness of form on a near view, and lose the effect of variety at  a distance […]” William Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty (1743) p42


David Grimshaw: Learning from Music – opportunities for creative craft knowledge to translate the idealised perfection of the virtual, into the expressive materiality of reality.

In a world increasingly operating within a digitised version of reality, what is the relevance of thousands of years of material and making knowledge?


Barbara Rauch: Synthetic Materialization: an emotional transformation of the surface.

In the studio/lab we aim to designate an alternative format of acknowledging research by instigating discourse around the topic of emotion in artistic practice.


Dr. Ann-Marie Carey: The Lost Craftsmanship of the Cheapside Hoard

The Cheapside Hoard is a collection of over 500 items including gems, jewellery and precious objects, an incredible time capsule of Elizabethan and Jacobean craftsmanship.


Session 7

Somewhere Between Folklore, Modernity and Utopia: Expo’67 and the development of Fine Crafts and Métiers d’art in Canada

Convener: Bruno Andrus


Gilles Désaulniers: Travailler et enseigner les arts verriers

Le travail de peintre m’amène à chercher une matière transparente puis l’EXPO 67, à Montréal, me fait découvrir les œuvres de Stanislav Libensky. 


Susan Surette, Ph.D. : Tundra Life: Questions of Earth, Images, and Surfaces

Canada’s Tundra Restaurant at Expo 67 participated in the construction and promotion of an authentic Canadian culture through its food and décor.


Mary Ann Steggles, Ph.D.: Searching for Utopia:  The Vietnam Era Resistors Who Helped Shape Canada’s Craft Revival in Ceramics

From the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963 to the fall of Saigon in 1975, approximately 100,000 Americans came to Canada as an act of resistance. 


Pierre Wilson: Expo ’67 Revisited

From September 10 to October 22 2017, The Musée des maîtres et artisans du Québec (MMAQ) will host Expo67 revisitée ! Imaginer 100 ans de métiers d’art.  


Session 8

Craft’s Collaborations

Convener: Mireille Perron, Alberta College of Art + Design


Tamadher Alfahal: New Approach for Islamic Creative Expression

In traditional Islamic philosophy, ‘Sana’a’ or art has always been associated with ‘I’lm’ or Knowledge.


Kathryn Walter: Between FELT and architecture

My presentation will focus on my practice working with industrial felt in collaboration with architects by showing examples of specific projects that integrate feature walls into an overall project design, and to consider this collaborative relationship in the tradition of the allied arts.


Raine McKay: Craft Council of BC & Joe Ink Performance Society

We would like present our experience to date about around a collaboration between Joe Ink and the Craft Council of British Columbia involving 5 craft artists, 6 dancers and choreographer Joe Laughlin.


Jennifer E. Salahub, PhD. :The “Unfriending” of Sloyd

This paper argues that Sloyd, a descriptive that has apparently been “unfriended” from the craft lexicon, was the driving force behind a short lived (1900-1903) educational reform movement that prioritized craft education and collaboration in Canada in the early part of the twentieth century.