Vol. 13 No. 1
Spring / Summer 2018
Where do we start when talking about craft: with the object, with the maker, with the function, with the beauty? In this issue, these tempting starting-points are taken in different ways. As always, what we relish as we assemble the articles is rediscovering the variety of identities, perspectives and approaches that exist in Canadian craft. It is these positively crossed purposes that make craft and design political and personal, advancing and preserving, functional and transcendent.
From the moment the maker takes up an idea and looks to a material all the way to being long-finished and having retrospective exhibitions, craft and design embodies something of intangible history in its work, something of character in context. This is the functioning identity of craft. Jack Sures is our 2018 Bronfman winner and the voice of the earth of the prairies couldn’t have a more articulate expression. But then the boat building traditions of the north speak their own history, a series of traditions nearly lost but being recovered now, and preserved. Craft also serves an urgent social role as Mia Hunt tells us of a ceramic studio for marginalized women that brings empowerment by harnessing craft’s unique strengths. Sarah Swan takes a wide-angled look at how to present this shifting intangibility in the gallery space, while the Did You Know? essay questions modernity’s relationship to these tectonic plates of social history.
In amongst all this, we are excited to showcase the work of three writers who attended Studio’s successful inaugural writers’ residency last September. For 10 days they talked and worked and wrote, meeting some of craft’s interesting characters and thinking through some of making’s best questions. We hope to present more work from the residents in subsequent issues. Craft and design, as we see it, is certainly about making but it is the talking about making that is the function of these pages. Functional and abstract—it is our collected identity to make better.
Leopold Kowolik and Gord Thompson
Quotes for thought and a highlight from craft and design around the world.
Did You Know?
Michael Prokopow considers Living Heritage.
Six makers: Identity & Function.
Under the Radar
Spotting lesser known talent in Saskatchewan.
Review: Eye of the Needle and Black Gold Tapestry
Andrew Rabyniuk reviews two shows in AB.
Review: Face à Face
Linda Savineau reviews a Canadian jewellery exhibition in Paris.
Review: John Little: Forging a Life
Ray Cronin reviews the blacksmith’s retrospective in NS.
2018 Bronfman Award Winner
Julia Krueger celebrates the work of the great vesselist, recognized by the Canada Council’s highest honour.
The Making of an Identity
Victoria Stephen meets great Canadian luthier George Rizsanyi and discusses sourcing the best material.
Making Made Visible
Mia Hunt talks about the powerful work of Inspirations Studio, bringing craft and hope to lives marginalized by poverty.
Developing Ideas Through Making
Two Canadian ceramicists, Nurielle Stern and Mary McKenzie share a life- and making changing residency experience.
Outside the White Cube
What is the ideology of a decolonized gallery? What might that mean? Sarah Swan began by asking these questions – she shares some initial answers.
Skin Boats Float Hope in the North
Boat builders from across the Arctic met on the Yukon River in summer 2017 to share traditional techniques in the Dań Kwanje ‘Á-Nààn festival. Genesee Keevil met the makers.