Craft Awards

Leigh Dotey
Don McKinley Award for Excellence in Wood

Leigh Dotey's practice is rooted in their relationship to materials, playfulness and humour. They grew up exploring and adventuring along the Scarborough bluffs in Toronto. They went on to work as a tree planter moving back and forth across Canada for many years. Dotey's relationship with materials is physical and experimental as well as practical and functional. Their understanding of wood starts in farming and planting and now resides in building. They work with woods that are sustainable and accessible. In their pieces, they use a variety of materials including rope, metal and stone. They allow “space” for the materials not forcing them to undergo extensive manipulation but rather letting the quality of the wood speak for themselves. In their designs they make works that focuses on human interaction; as a gender nonconforming wood worker they are committed to social justice in all areas of their life. This is evident in thier studio practice as they make small and large objects that precipitate interactions as well as being affordable and useful.



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Formerly the Ontario Crafts Council, Craft Ontario is a not-for-profit service organization that works to have craft recognized as a valuable part of life. We promote and celebrate professional craft through providing member opportunities, and advocate for craft practice by educating and empowering diverse audiences.