My work narrates life and death. Objects are made from funeral urns, reliquaries, and church items. Sculptures that I make celebrate each and every moment of life rather than the short glory at the end.
Craftalks are community presentations by professionals in the field that explore contemporary craft practice.
Where: Online presentation via Zoom
When: Sunday, April 25, 3:00 - 4:00 pm EST
From the Figurative to Whimsical: The Art of Erin Robertson
What is the appeal of clay as a material? Erin Robertson will discuss how she creates sculptures and where she gets her inspirations for the various mediums she works in; how her creations shifted from papier-mâché to clay and the learning processes involved; as well as the influence of certain artists she met along the way. Erin will share examples of her work, including ceramics, other sculpture mediums, and public art.
Biography: Erin Robertson is a sculptor and painter whose studio practice includes an exploration of figurative and environmental themes through experimentation and the use of many materials, including clay, paper, resin, painting and bronze. Driven by curiosity in the possible relationships between medium and meaning, she creates work that references mythology, folk traditions, popular culture and art histories.
Erin exhibits in private and public galleries and has been awarded Public Art Commissions for both sculptural and painting installations. She was bestowed a CALQ partnership grant for her recent public exhibit "Seed", installed at Gallery Montcalm in Gatineau, Quebec. Her works can be found in Public and Private Collections in Canada and abroad, including the City of Ottawa. Erin built River Road Studio on the Gatineau River in Quebec, where she lives and works.
Image: Ceramic sculpture by Erin Robertson. A white hare with magnificent long ears is comfortably posed next to an enticing carrot.
Panel: Kathy Hattori, Laura Sansone, Mackenzie Kelly-Frere, Becky Porlier.
Moderator: Thea Haines
Join us for this panel discussion, where four leading voices in the area of textiles and sustainability discuss questions around the use and understanding of natural colorants. Kathy Hattori, with us from Seattle, will discuss her experience in scaling up the use of natural dyes and various applications for brands and within industry. Artist Mackenzie Kelly-Frere will look at how natural dyes fit into his own artistic practice as well as considering the interest amongst new generations of students. Becky Porlier of Upper Canada Fibreshed will talk about the movement towards local fibre and colour in Canada, while Laura Sansone will join us from New York to discuss developments in re-shoring and regional production. Chromatic Geography co-curator Thea Haines will moderate.
Kathy Hattori is often described as the “guru” of the natural dye world. Since 2003, she has worked with artisans and industry to promote the understanding and use of natural dyes. Her company, Botanical Colors in Seattle, USA, supplies artisans and industry with dye materials, and provides consulting and support for emerging designers, brands and artisans, as well as consulting with established retail brands. She has developed numerous processes involving natural dye extracts for use in industrial textile production, as well as having created natural dye programs for the largest organically certified tannery in Europe. In 2013, she was awarded a USDA VAPG grant for natural dye research. Kathy is in high demand around the world as a speaker, teacher and researcher in the area of natural dyes. http://botanicalcolors.com/
Laura Sansone is a textile designer, activist, and consultant. She is the creator of Textile Lab, an organization that works to build and promote environmentally responsible textiles, and regional systems of production. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Alternative Fashion Systems at Parsons The New School For Design, School for Design Strategies (SDS). She has lectured about the economic revitalization of regional textile production at the following venues: Textile Society Of America’s Symposium, Cross Currents/2016, Surface Design Association’s Made/Aware Symposium/ 2015, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design’s, Sow To Sow conference/ 2014, and the Textile Society Of America’s Symposium, New Directions/ 2014. Laura has worked as a woven textile designer for the commercial and residential market at the following companies: Burlington House Fabrics, Maharam, and American Silk Mills. http://textilelab.org/
Rebecca Porlier is the Co-Founder of Upper Canada Fibreshed and has a B.A. in Anthropology from Wilfrid Laurier University and a M.Sc. in Capacity Development and Extension from the University of Guelph. Her work and research focus on sustainability and material culture through the lens of permaculture. Her research explores strategies for organizational development, group facilitation, qualitative research, communication and community building in the context of organic agriculture and rural development. https://uppercanadafibreshed.ca
Mackenzie Kelly-Frère is an artist and educator whose work has been exhibited across Canada. His international exhibitions have included China, Japan, Korea and the United States. He has also contributed texts to various Canadian and international publications including Craft Perception & Practice Vol III and recently to Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture. Mackenzie teaches in the School of Craft & Emerging Media at the Alberta College of Art & Design in Calgary, Canada where he lives with his husband Kristofer Kelly-Frère and daughter Elizabeth. His current work can be found at www.mackenziefrere.com
Thea Haines is a textile designer, artist, educator, and educator. She holds an MA in Textile design from Chelsea College of Art and Design, in London, UK. She previously studied Textile Design at Sheridan College and holds a BA Honours in Art And Comparative Literature from McMaster University. Currently an instructor in textile design at Sheridan College, she was previously artist-in-residence in the Craft Studio at Harbourfront Centre and a member of the Contemporary Textile Studio Co-operative, Toronto. Her research, practice and consultancy is focused on the use of natural colourants in surface design, printing and small-scale production, including the cultivation and harvest of colour-producing plants. Her recent natural dye research makes the case for natural dyes as sustainable alternatives to chemical dyes in craft production for printed and dyed textiles. http://www.theahaines.ca/
Studio space can be essential to the success of an emerging maker, but where do you begin? Where can you find other artists to partner with? How do you build a community? Where can you find space?
Our round-table speakers consist of a variety of artists, at various stages of their career from some of the city's most notable studios including the Junction Workshop, Akin Collective, Studio Huddle, and the Harbourfront Centre Craft and Design Studio. Each of them will bring their distinct personal experience building and contributing to shared studio space, offering you an exclusive opportunity to ask your most pressing questions.
This round-table will provide guests with an honest, worthwhile, and solution-driven discussion that will offer insights, tools, strategies, and examples to use when embarking on your own journey to collaborate and find your space.
Don't miss this vital conversation! We look forward to seeing you there.
Anouk Desloges is a fibre artist currently practicing in shared-studio space, and was an artist in residence at the Harbourfront Craft and Design Centre from 2013-2016 for which she received the Daglish Foundation Venture Award. Anouk’s work has also been awarded a number of prizes and fellowships from both the Ontario and Québec Art Councils, and the Helen Frances Gregor Scholarship from Craft Ontario. She has received a BFA from Université Laval and a Diploma in Sculpture from Maison des Métiers d’Art de Québec where her work was awarded first honors. Anouk has exhibited her work in Canada, France, Guatemala, Latvia, and it can be found in various public and private collections across Canada.
Heidi Earnshaw is a furniture designer and maker living and working in downtown Toronto. In 2016 she co-founded the Junction workshop, a collaborative, community-based education space for woodworking. Heidi is also a faculty member at Sheridan College’s furniture studio, and sits on Craft Ontario’s board of directors. Made with responsibly harvested materials, her work is designed with a multigenerational lifespan in mind, which is characterized by clean lines and rich detailing that aims to create simple, useful and timeless pieces that enhance our daily rituals. Heidi’s work has been exhibited across Canada and has been recognized through the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts council and the Canada Council for the Arts. In 2014 she was awarded a Fellowship Residency from the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado.
Sally McCubbin is a glassblower, designer, educator, and has worked as an independent glass designer since 2005. In 2010 she founded a multi-disciplinary studio of 12 artists in downtown Toronto, called Studio Huddle. She currently teaches hot-glass and business practice at Sheridan College, and is newly Craft Ontario’s communications coordinator. Her passion for problem solving is the keystone in her approach to creativity. For her commitment to excellence in glass, Sally has received national recognition in the way of grants and awards. In 2011 she was given the Royal Bank of Canada Award for Glass.
Natalie Waddell is a Toronto based ceramic artist, and an active member of Akin Artist Collective. Since establishing her studio practice, she has integrated herself into Toronto artist community through the Toronto Potters Guild, Hamilton Potters Guild, FUSION: The Ontario Clay and Glass Association, the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, and Craft Ontario. Natalie also exhibits and sells her work at the Gardiner Museum shop as well as other galleries and venues throughout the province.