Karen Konzuk, Set Bracelet, Concrete + Stainless Steel, 2010 Image Jason Dziver

INNOVATORS + IDEAS 2012: Karen Konzuk

January 28, 2012

Throughout the year, the Craft Department offers a series of dynamic, high-calibre programmes supporting the professional development of its artists-in-residence, craft and design students and the greater community. Programme content reflects current, national and international ideas and directions relevant to contemporary craft and design practice.

Craft at Harbourfront Centre is a dynamic axis point for contemporary craft in Canada and an integral part of the country’s largest, public, multidisciplinary arts complex. Harbourfront Centre inspires people to engage with ideas expressed by today’s craft designers and artists. We advocate collaboration between craft, design and art and actively engage the disciplines in mutual exhibition and event opportunities.

Feature Lecture with Karen Konzuk
with viva voce- Voices from the Craft Studio

January 28, 2012
Brigantine Room

January is traditionally the time of year when Harbourfront Centre focuses on contemporary craft with exhibitions and presentations.

This year we invited Karen Konzuk – jewellery designer from British Columbia, and former artist-in-residence to present a solo exhibition, Aggregate – to give an illustrated lecture for Innovators + Ideas. She will speak about her successful career, her innovative solutions to jewellery design, her inspiration and future aspirations.

Joining Karen Konzuk will be four current artists-in-residence for viva voce – Voices from the Craft Studio. Shuyu Lu, Clayton Haigh, Deborah Freeman and Adriana McNeely are all in their final year of residency at Harbourfront Centre. They will also give illustrated talks about their work and careers and how being at Harbourfront Centre helped in their artistic development.

Karen Konzuk, Set Pendant, Concrete + Stainless Steel, image Jason Dziver

Karen Konzuk aspires to create jewellery that is more wearable architecture than simple accessory.

A graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Konzuk earned a BFA majoring in Jewellery Design and minoring in Art History. Upon graduation she spent two years at Harbourfront Centre and shortly afterward launched her KONZUK brand.

Although Karen’s formal education focused heavily on working with traditional precious metals, the designer has always shied away from mainstream expectations. Karen began to experiment with stainless steel shortly after completing her studies. While the unorthodox material inspired her, its use required that she retrain herself since standard jewellery making rarely calls for stainless steel. The properties of this metal call for an understanding of unusual tools and manufacturing methods.

Through trial and error, Karen persevered to create a line that was unlike anything her peers and mentors were creating. Her diligence resulted in a collection of pieces that reflected the designer’s keen interest in industrial design and architecture.

Through a studied use of clean lines and an unwavering commitment to a minimalist aesthetic, Karen has evolved KONZUK into an internationally renowned modern line of jewellery for the contemporary man and woman.

viva voce Speakers:

Shuyu Lu, Community Vehicular Reclaimation Project, Screen printed and hand embroidery on silk organza, 2010, Image courtesy of artist.

Shuyu Lu utilizes archetypal Chinese images and embroiders them onto 18th-century French toile de jouy. Harmony and awkwardness are juxtaposed. Her work creates numerous relationships – the handmade versus mass production, old versus new, east versus west, traditional versus contemporary and slow versus fast. Lu graduated from OCAD University with a Bachelor of Design in Textiles. Her work strikes a balance between art, craft and design and focuses on screen-printing and embroidery. She was accepted into Harbourfront Centre’s artist-in-residency programme in 2009.

Clayton Haigh, Hive Tumblers, Glass, 2009, Image courtesy of artist

Clayton Haigh is a graduate of the Sheridan Institute’s Crafts and Design programme majoring in Glass, and the Haliburton School of the Arts’ artist-blacksmithing programme. He focuses his practice on two distinct bodies of work: sculptural installations and a refined series of designed objects for the home. He was accepted into Harbourfront Centre’s artist-in-residency programme in 2009.

Deborah Freeman, APPI-CADDY, porcelain and stoneware, 2010 Image courtesy of the artist

Deborah Freeman earned a BFA in sculpture and a Masters of Environmental Studies at York University and graduated from Sheridan Institute’s Crafts and Design programme. After apprenticing with a highly successful studio potter she was accepted as an artist-in-residence at Harbourfront Centre in 2009. Freeman creates functional pottery, has been published in several journals and books, and has regularly shown her work in exhibitions, and has won numerous awards.

Adriana McNeely, Pearl Fleur Rings, sterling silver, fine silver, freshwater pearls, 2011, Image courtesy of artist

Adriana McNeely graduated from York University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours Degree, and George Brown College with a Jewellery Arts Diploma. She is dedicated to creating beautiful handmade jewellery and wearable art. McNeely has been an artist-in-residence at Harbourfront Centre since 2009 where she makes and designs new collections, participates in exhibitions and works with clients to fulfill their custom design needs.