normal goods, untitled, 2013. Sand cast aluminum, oak, soapstone, alabaster, brass. Rendering by Tomas Rojcik.

INNOVATORS + IDEAS: Craft + Design Lecture Series

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Throughout the year, Craft & Design at Harbourfront Centre 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.

Feature Speakers: normal goods
viva voce Speakers: Jesse Bromm,
Sarah Dobranowski, Stephanie Fortin
and Janet Macpherson

Saturday, January 25
Studio Theatre
Harbourfront Centre
235 Queens Quay West

This event is part of:

Toronto Design Offsite Festival


Left: Chris Charuk, "Wilfrid Rocker," 2011. Hard maple. Images courtesy of the artists. Right: Tomas Rojcik, "Oleg," 2013. Image courtesy of the artist.

Left: Chris Charuk, “Wilfrid Rocker,” 2011. Hard maple. Images courtesy of the artists. Right: Tomas Rojcik, “Olej,” 2013. Image courtesy of the artist.

normal goods

Chris Charuk and Tomas Rojcik, the duo behind the new Toronto-based furniture and lighting collaboration normal goods and participants in the SMALL exhibition,  will present an illustrated lecture. They will speak about establishing their company, the role of the designer/maker, the relationship between technology and traditional craft skills, future projects, and normality.


Joining normal goods for viva voce will be four current Harbourfront Centre Artists-in-Residence: Jesse Bromm, Sarah Dobranowski, Stephanie Fortin, and Janet Macpherson.


Jesse Bromm. “Landscape ‘Free as a Bird”, 2013. Taxidermy and mixed media. Image courtesy of the artist.

Jesse Bromm

Bromm graduated from Sheridan Institute: Crafts and Design majoring in glass. Bromm’s work reflects his inner discomfort and perception of the outside world. He creates miniature dioramas of human behavior that address these concerns. Figures are tangible and relatable, but the found objects are hidden; mediated by the glass’s quality to distort. The glass becomes a metaphor for our altered perception of reality. He was accepted into Harbourfront Centre’s artist-in-residency programme and awarded a scholarship in 2011.


Sarah Dobranowski, Assorted Lace Rings, 2013. Sterling silver, 10k gold, freshwater pearl. Image courtesy of the artist.

Sarah Dobranowski

Sarah Dobranowski grew up just north of Toronto. She graduated from Concordia University’s Art Education Specialization program where she received a BFA and a teaching certificate (2005). She returned to school in 2006 to complete the three year Jewellery Arts Diploma program at George Brown College. Currently, Dobranowski is an artist-in-residence at Harbourfront Centre where she spends her days making one-of-a-kind, unique pieces of jewellery. Recently Sarah has been exploring the history of lace and its context in the history of fashion. Sarah creates modern day lace collars, ring, earrings and cuffs that explore the relationship between delicate, airy lace and the heavier weight of metal.


Stephanie Fortin. Pinwheel shibori, 2013. Ramie case, feather insert, hidden zip closure. Images courtesy of the artist.

Stephanie Fortin

Under the name Coeur De Lion Textiles, Stephanie Fortin designs and produces hand dyed and printed textiles for fashion and home. Fortin graduated from NSCAD University with a BFA focused on textiles and art history and an illustration diploma from Sheridan Institute. Fortin has been an artist-in-residence in the Textile Studio at Harbourfront Centre since 2011 and has shown her work in exhibitions at NSCAD University, Harbourfront Centre, The National Ballet of Canada, The Ontario Craft Council and the Design Exchange.



Janet Macpherson. “Bliss,” 2013. Slip-cast porcelain, paper clay. Image courtesy of the artist

Janet Macpherson

Janet Macpherson earned her Bachelor of Arts from York University, and studied ceramics at Sheridan College. She holds an MFA from The Ohio State University where she also was employed as a lecturer in the Department of Art. She recently held a resident artist/faculty position at Sheridan College, and is currently an artist in residence at Harbourfront Centre. In 2013 Janet was a recipient of a research and creation grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, and received the 2013 Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics. Janet is working towards an exhibition at the Ontario Arts Council in Toronto, and a solo exhibition at the Sculpture Center in Cleveland.