Amber Zuber. The Colour of my Boredom, 2017. Glazed earthenware. Photo by Sylvain Deleu.
There has always been a strong connection between the Craft & Design Studio at Harbourfront Centre and the School of Craft and Design at Sheridan College.
It was in 1974 that an intrepid group of 16 third-year Sheridan students were hired, by then-Harbourfront Corporation to establish Sheridan Harbourfront ’74 just west of Harbourfront Centre’s current location, as a summer attraction to entice people to the waterfront. It was all part of the burgeoning vision for what is today Harbourfront Centre. The original four studios—textile, glass, ceramic and metal—were based on the departments at Sheridan College.
From its meagre beginnings in 1974, Craft & Design evolved into the world-class Artist-in-Residence Program it is today. Sheridan College graduates have been a continuous and important contribution to the legacy and reputation of Harbourfront Centre for the past forty-four years.
Form and pattern complement one another as they exist together within these vessels. The vibrancy of the glazes and the abundance of floral elements suggest an impatience and excitement for spring. Long-awaited warmer temperatures bring with them bursts of intense colour and pattern, providing joy and relief after the starkness of the winter months. With these painted pots I hope to delight the senses through not only seeing the patterned surface, but feeling the texture it creates as well. These works are an ode to spring and fresh starts, to newness and bountiful potential.
– Marissa Alexander
Marissa Alexander holds a BA in Sociology from McMaster University and received her Advanced Diploma in Craft and Design (Ceramics) from Sheridan College. She is an alumna of the Craft & Design Studio at Harbourfront Centre (Ceramics, 2014–2017), and is currently a MFA candidate at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Making both functional and sculptural works, material and process are central to her ceramics practice and she aims to make things that engage her, other people and other objects.
In my work, I am inspired by the rich histories of textile production, lace-making and the decorative arts. Drawing from these themes, my work explores the relationships and connection we feel to textile pattern and colour as a powerful visual language used to trigger memory and association. In my work, I lift imagery from traditionally hand-made objects such as macramé and lace. By playing with the transform tools in Photoshop, I am able to deconstruct familiar patterns in unexpected ways and re-imagine them as large-scale, three-dimensional, distorted and exploded views.
Watermelon, as a fruit, conjures up immediate associations to summer, sweetness and feelings of being carefree, while the stone watermelon tourmaline is known for having magical correspondences to being grounding, creating balance, calming emotions and helping to release unhealthy patterns in order to make space for new ways of thinking. Returning to my childhood fascination with stones and crystals, this work can be seen as an exploration into old interests and hobbies in support of new ways of being.
– Lizz Aston
Lizz Aston is a textile artist and design strategist based in Toronto. She holds an Advanced Diploma in Craft and Design from Sheridan College, and recently completed her Bachelor of Design in Industrial Design at OCAD University. She is an alumna of the Craft & Design Studio at Harbourfront Centre (Textiles, 2009–2012) and has since worked out of a number of downtown Toronto studio spaces. Aston is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the RBC Emerging Artist Studio Set-up Award from Craft Ontario. She has been commissioned public artworks for Holt Renfrew and Lululemon and has worked on sponsored projects with H&M Canada, the City of Toronto, 3M and the Japanese Paper Place. Her work is represented in public and private collections and has been exhibited across Canada, the US, Australia and South Korea.
In some of my recent work I have used semi-circles as both a print and paper cut-out. In this piece I have taken the simplicity of semi-circles as a canvas and created intricate hand cut images within them. Paper cutting is a meditative activity that allows my mind to construct paths and shapes that depict images to tell a story. This piece is a reflection on architecture and aerial views of landscapes that are not specific to an area, yet read like maps of my imagination.
– Alexia Bilyk
Alexia Bilyk is an alumna of the Craft & Design Studio at Harbourfront Centre (Textiles, 2013–2017), as well as a graduate of OCAD University’s Fibre program and Sheridan College’s Craft and Design Program (Textiles). Bilyk’s work is inspired by architecture, nature, and everyday objects. Her work incorporates silk screening and paper cutting to create dimensional, lively narratives that lend themselves to both art and design. Bilyk currently runs a small business creating textile goods.
We believe that elegant and simple constructions from the past, imbued with energy and intention, are worth saving. We came across a number of chairs saved from a defunct felt factory in a salvage shop in the Junction. We saw the potential in these well-used chairs and took all 93 of them to transform them into new seating. They’re tubular steel-frame school assembly chairs with flat maple plywood seats and curved plywood backs that were made in Canada. We have revitalized this old institutional icon with solid wood braces as new legs; the frame, seat, back and legs will be old and new, augmented, reinforced and upholstered to create chairs that are refreshed and avoid a premature end.
– Brothers Dressler
Brothers Dressler have been creating original furniture, lighting and installations from their Toronto studio since 2003. With a focus on responsibly sourced materials, craftsmanship and process they have created an extensive catalogue of heirloom quality works in addition to custom creations of all scales. Continuously exploring the potential of materials, they work primarily in wood and also incorporate metal and found objects, employing traditional and modern techniques to create unexpected and unique outcomes. Their work is owned and exhibited in collections across Canada and around the world.
My vessels straddle utility and sculptural expression. The approach to the glassblowing process is as a meditation—carving a moment of peace from a chaotic mind. The results are forms which resonate quietly with simplicity and humility. I draw on a range of esoteric references including East Asian and Scandinavian design, vernacular objects and everyday consumer products. In the Shadow Vases series, surfaces vibrate in soft tension with their surroundings—form becomes absence and presence simultaneously.
– Blaise Campbell
Blaise Campbell started a career in glass-making in 1987 at the Sheridan College School of Craft and Design. Since that time he has worked as a glassblower, educator and resident artist in numerous locations around the world, from Canada to the US to Scandinavia and East Asia. He is currently a glassblower, designer and project manager at Jeff Goodman Studio in Toronto. Campbell is an alumnus of the Craft & Design Studio at Harbourfront Centre (1990-93) and is now an advisor to the Studio.
The inspiration for my art is derived in large part from the textures and patterns that I discover in urban and natural landscapes. I experiment with ways to emulate these textures and transfer them onto blown glass shapes. For instance, wood grains can be photographed at high resolution and then sandblasted right onto the glass surface; white glue applied directly to a vessel can mimic reflected light; saw-carving can emulate the lines of a budding flower. The organic properties of the glass itself bestows its own qualities on the pieces, allowing me to play with colour and light, density, fragility, and an infinite number of shapes.
– Nick Chase
Nick Chase was born and raised in Sackville, New Brunswick. Nick has spent time in the animation field and also as a woodworker. In 2002, he found his true calling when he attended Sheridan College and completed the Craft and Design Program in Glass. He is an alumnus of the Craft & Design Studio at Harbourfront Centre (Glass, 2010–2014). Chase currently resides in Toronto, where he creates his glass art. He is consistently influenced by the natural and urban landscapes around him and often refers back to his Eastern Canadian roots, which are rich in vegetation and natural bodies of water such as the Bay of Fundy and the Atlantic Ocean.
Through their partnership, Charuk & Ford have produced a new body of original work that they hope will help to reinvigorate craft’s standing in Canada and internationally. Their partnership focuses on bridging the traditional craft market with the new global economy by producing objects that are exceptional in quality but also commercially viable and accessible to a wide audience. Their work employs traditional furniture making techniques in a contemporary fashion while using sustainably harvested and domestically sourced materials. Their ambition is to showcase Canadian craft by making it available for the many rather than the few, and in so doing create a sustainable model for other makers to follow.
Chris Charuk and Simon Ford are co-founders of Charuk & Ford, a start-up focused on small-batch furniture production. Charuk and Ford are both graduates of the University of Guelph, with Charuk having earned a BA in Studio Art (2008), and Ford a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture (2004). Charuk and Ford met while studying furniture design at Sheridan College’s Craft and Design Program. Prior to partnering they have worked in various capacities designing and producing custom and commissioned furniture in Toronto. Their career paths have also taken them both back to Sheridan College, where they currently teach in the Furniture program.
As a designer, I am heavily influenced by the human form. The sweeping lines of a collarbone, the roundness of a flexed muscle, and the crisp shadows of folded skin find expression in all of my pieces. By referring to the body for inspiration, echoing the juxtaposition between hard and soft, the skeletal and the muscular, I hope to imbue my work with humanity. Whatever the personality of a piece – elegant, earnest or playful – I want it to be recognizable and approachable. Good design, after all, is human. It mirrors us, it completes us and it fills the spaces we inhabit with life.
– Stephen Dalrymple
Stephen Dalrymple is a Toronto-based designer and maker. He spent eight years as a high school teacher before attending the Craft and Design Program (Furniture) at Sheridan College. He is currently the Director of Creative Development at Coolican & Company.
Working at the intersection of craft and contemporary design, Heidi Earnshaw’s work is rooted in the woodworking traditions of Scandinavia, Europe, Japan and the American Shakers. Characterized by clean lines, careful detailing and enduring materials, function is at the heart of the design process, with each decision made to support our human needs in a straightforward and poetic way.
Woven Cube combines a geometric frame with the beautiful texture of a traditional Danish cord weave to create a light and versatile seat.
Heidi Earnshaw has been a furniture designer-maker in Toronto since 2000, building solid wood furniture through private commission and a growing made-to-order collection. After graduating with High Distinction from the department of Fine Art at the University of Toronto in 1993, Earnshaw continued to develop her making skills in a variety of studio environments. In 1999 she attended Sheridan College’s School of Craft and Design (Furniture) where she has also been a faculty member and a professional mentor. In 2016 she co-founded Junction Workshop, a community-based education space and recently became a faculty member at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine.
Water falls from the sky.
It scours the landscape dissolving rock and eroding soil,
washes cities, sweeping away garbage and grime,
flows through bodies filtering and flushing waste.
The effluent is carried through rivers, ditches, and drains to collect in lakes and oceans downstream. Having laid its burden down the water rises to form clouds and starts the cycle again.
This piece explores the idea of water flowing through natural landscapes, built environments, and through living organisms. It represents an act of searching through making, trying to make sense out of a collection of related ideas through exploration of materials, form and surface rather than building to a pre-determined concept or plan – swimming, not bridge building.
– Marc Egan
Marc Egan is a ceramic artist living and working in Toronto. His work draws heavily on historical ceramic and decorative arts traditions exploring themes of botany, ecology, and the built environment. Egan currently teaches part-time in the ceramics department at Sheridan College and is a ceramics instructor at the Gardiner Museum. He is an alumnus of of the Craft & Design Studio at Harbourfront Centre (Ceramics, 1991–1994) and has also served as an Artistic Adviser to the Studio. His work is in numerous private collections as well as the collections of the Gardiner Museum and Royal Ontario Museum, and the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery. Egan is represented by David Kaye Gallery in Toronto.
Composed of subtle details and sculptural excavations, the ‘Bound’ stools are a sturdy and delicate collection of duple sculptures. Working from a reductive process, the focus was put into the details, carefully carving out elegantly shaped connections and joinery. The ‘Bound’ stools are a refreshed take on the forms and ideals of Danish Modernism. The contrast between the smooth, sweeping curves and the crisp edges and textures, gently balance one another and create juxtaposing yet pleasing impressions. The desire is to create lasting relationships between a piece and its beholder. This piece reflects furniture that is both sculptural and practical, a piece that exists somewhere in the varied space between fine art and contemporary design.
– Emily Falconer
Emily Falconer is a Winnipeg-born furniture designer. She spent her childhood years observing her parents love of woodworking and craft. Influenced by their enthusiasm for handicraft and ingenuity she enrolled in the Craft and Design Program (Furniture) at Sheridan College. Her studio is now based in Toronto where she continues to focus on creating objects that hero both composition and craftsmanship.
Isolation is a material representation of individuality, family, and state of mind. Similar in form and pattern, the borosilicate glass houses are grouped to create one unit – the family. Yet each house is unique and alone, sitting precariously on top of thin stilts to illustrate the contrasting nature inherent in material, individual, and family life – all together in isolation.
– Sylvia Lee
Sylvia Lee is the Executive Director of Jeff Goodman Studio. She joined the studio in 2001 and since that time has successfully managed and designed a variety of projects from large architectural projects to bespoke private commissions. Lee completed a BFA in Design at Concordia University, followed by a Diploma in Craft and Design (Furniture) at Sheridan College, which serendipitously launched a 15 year career in the art glass industry.
Blue a. 1. Of the colour of the sky and the deep sea, or a hue resembling it. b. Of a flame or flash without a red glare; esp. in phr. To burn b., as a candle is said to do as an omen of death, or as indicating the presence of ghosts or of the Devil 1594. c. Taken as the colour of constancy. Hence true b. (fig.) 1500. 2. Livid, leaden-coloured ME. 3. fig. Affected with fear, discomfort, anxiety, etc. ; low-spirited; esp. in To look b. 1550. 4. transf. Belonging to the political party which has chosen blue for its colour. (In England usu. the Conservative party.) 1835. 5. Of women: Learned, pedantic. See BLUESTOCKING. (Usu. contemptuous.) 1788. 6. fig. As the colour of plagues and things hurtful. Cf. Blue Devil. 1742. 7. colloq. Obscene 1840.
– Oxford English Dictionary
Thea Haines is a textile designer, artist, and educator from Hamilton. Currently an instructor in textile design at Sheridan College, she is an alumna of of the Craft & Design Studio at Harbourfront Centre (Textiles, 2006–2009), and a member of the Contemporary Textile Studio Co-operative, Toronto. Her practice is focused on the use of natural colourants in textile printing and site-specific installation, including the cultivation and harvest of colour-producing plants. Recent projects include a study of colours produced from food waste, and a regional survey of dye plants in Hamilton. She received her MA in Textile Design from Chelsea College of Art and Design in London, UK.
Each time I move, I start by copying myself. Going forward requires looking back sometimes. Moving several times over the past five years, there has been a push and pull in my practice to remove elements, tricks and techniques from my work to make room for new discoveries. Sometimes it helps to see the parts anew. Disentangle the vessel from the ornamentation. Separate surface from form. Set up some restrictions; maybe do exactly the opposite! Eliminate, make room for something new, then look back, add something back in, then see things differently. What tempts me? What do I want to keep doing? What could I do without? Clarify, then complicate. Some things add value, and some things hold me back, I parse it all out to see what’s what. I revisited some forms that are not quite resolved, but still offer up some possibilities. I get the feeling that this is not “new,” but only a variation on the theme. In a new place, I know I need to make the awkward, the not-quite-right, the uncomfortable work sometimes. Returning to Canada after 15 years, I wonder, am I doing the same thing?
– Laura Kukkee
Laura Kukkee is originally from Toronto. She is an alumna of Sheridan College’s Craft and Design Program (Ceramics) and the Craft & Design Studio at Harbourfront Centre (Ceramics, 1999–2002). She subsequently earned her MFA from Kent State University. In 2004, Kukkee was offered a full-time position as Professor and Head of Ceramics in the Department of Art at Northwest Missouri State University, where she taught in the undergraduate BFA program, managed the ceramics studio and the department gallery program. In 2016, she was offered the position of Head of the Ceramics studio in the new Honours Bachelor of Craft and Design Program at Sheridan College. It’s a great time! She currently lives in Dundas, Ontario, with her family.
Hybrids present us with two things happening simultaneously. They are in flux, one always alluding to and challenging the other. The borders between humans and animals, the manufactured and the natural, the spiritual and the visceral are permeable, illustrating differences while creating spaces for wonder and uncertainty.
Influenced by my Catholic upbringing, I investigate hybridity within the context of Christian ideology, examining an array of sources from the margins of illuminated manuscripts, to depictions of medieval monsters. Using molds cast from found toy animals, hunting decoys and religious statues, I dismantle and re-compose these objects to create forms that subtly reveal a discomforting reality. Animal heads and bodies are interchanged, vegetation grows in peculiar places, and faces are masked and obscured. Wrapping forms in damp porcelain sheets – binding, the figures, contemplating the intentions of these gestures, I examine the boundaries between devotion and coercion, animal impulse and domesticity.
– Janet Macpherson
Janet Macpherson studied ceramics at Sheridan College, and earned her MFA at the Ohio State University. She has exhibited her work extensively in Canada and the US, and recently had a solo exhibition at the Gardiner Museum. She was the 2013 recipient of the Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics, and has been awarded several grants from the Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, and Craft Ontario. She is an alumna of the Craft & Design Studio at Harbourfront Centre (Ceramics, 2011–2014), and the Zentrum für Keramik in Berlin, Germany.
New technology and unconventional glass techniques are key elements in my artistic process. In striving to create work that looks visually perfect, I still enjoy crafted and handmade qualities. My influences include Scandinavian Functionalism and Mid-Century Modern design. Both are highly stringent in detail and concept, but dependent on the expertise of the craftsman. Having this kind of scrutiny increases the artistic value, but allows for flexibility and innovation in the design process. In teaming up with high calibre designers and fabricators, I have respect for individual strengths, which allows for a greater sense of collaboration and increases the capacity for growth.
– Sally McCubbin
Sally McCubbin is a designer, artist and educator, working as an independent creative since 2005. Passion for problem solving and new technology is the keystone to her approach; she leverages user experience design and design thinking in all her professional activities, as these tools are also relevant to the analog world. For artistic excellence, McCubbin has received national recognition in the way of grants and awards. She is an alumna of the Craft & Design Studio at Harbourfront Centre (Glass, 2005–2008) and the Craft and Design Program (Glass) at Sheridan College. She currently teaches hot glass and business practice at Sheridan College and is the Manager of Design and Digital Solutions at Craft Ontario.
NOMI CYLINDER is a simple tall vase with an unexpected crisp groove in the side. NOMI is derived from the Japanese Oire Nomi which are chisels used in traditional Japanese carpentry and cabinetry. The NOMI design honours this beautiful, ancient tool, with its’ signature groove in the body of the vessel. The NOMI CYLINDER is the precursor to Soffi’s Nomi pendant
– Eva Milinkovic
Eva Milinkovic is the creative director and co-owner of Tsunami Glassworks & Soffi Lighting. She is an alumna of the Craft & Design Studio at Harbourfront Centre (Glass, 2001–2004) and the Craft and Design Program (Glass) at Sheridan College.
Tsunami Glassworks has been supplying decorative glass and lighting to commercial and hospitality clients worldwide since 2004. Soffi formed in 2018 out of a dream to create exclusive, original, sculptural statement lighting utilizing Tsunami Glassworks facility and expertise. Soffi is a supplier of spectacular lighting from concept to finished product. The Soffi facility houses some of the finest craftsman and designers in the country. With extensive experience in metal and glass fabrication, Soffi provides beautifully tailored lighting that suits the finest spaces and environments.
My recent Neo-Istoriato series re-imagines Italian Maiolica ceramics and medieval manuscript illustrations to create narratives, myths, and cautionary tales. My imagery and forms explore pagan rituals, animal archetypes, modes of power, and encounters with the dead or supernatural, to highlight the persistent tensions with monarchy, colonialism, and feminism that continue to perpetuate destruction and inequality today. The Istoriato, or “story painted” vessel from Renaissance Italy provided an opportunity to reclaim a device that propagated patriarchal classical social norms. In response, my work, uses the practice of an ancient craft to communicate through images and narrative forms which I continue to expand upon as this ongoing project evolves.
– Lindsay Montgomery
Lindsay Montgomery works across a variety of media including ceramics, painting and puppetry to create narrative videos, performances and objects. Her work is focused on creating personal mythologies that address a wide range of topics and issues including death and mysticism, family dynamics, and evolving modes of power. She earned a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and received her MFA from the University of Minnesota. Montgomery is an alumna of the Craft & Design Studio at Harbourfront Centre (Ceramics, 2006–2007, 2013) and the Craft and Design Program (Ceramics) at Sheridan College.
The 6063 Stool owes its name to the pure aluminum alloy from which it’s made. Designed to echo the spirit of mid-century American manufacturing, the 6063 Stool combines a sophisticated contemporary design with traditional craft to make something entirely unique.
MSDS Studio is a Toronto based design practice that works in interior, furniture, and product design. The studio is dedicated to material exploration, resourcefulness, and commitment to client needs. MSDS has realized numerous interiors, licensed products for production, and undertaken speculative works. Clients include Muuto, Normann Copenhagen, and Good Thing.
Glasswork often illustrates the nuanced complexity of objects made by hand; a series of gestures made by the artist, recorded in the material. The work I’ve created for this exhibition asks how this gestural approach may be translated into a virtual space. To make the work, a gesture created in virtual reality was used as a model to 3D print a plaster mould, which was used for kiln-casting the glass. The resulting glass object emerges as a gesture directly from a virtual space. An aspect of the gesture has also been machine drawn with a ball-point pen, both works occupying a space between hand and machine made, and analogue and virtual reality.
– Aaron Oussoren
Aaron Oussoren is an alumnus of the Craft and Design Program (Glass) at Sheridan College and the Craft & Design Studio at Harbourfront Centre (Glass, 2008–2012). He completed a Master of Design degree at Emily Carr University in 2016. He has worked on a wide range of glass design projects, from public artwork to tableware, and currently has a research practice that integrates 3D printing and a variety of digital manufacturing methods with traditional craft materials. Presently, he a sessional instructor at Emily Carr in Design, and an affiliated researcher with the Material Matters group.
The concept of this installation is a study of light and line. Lumos is a visceral approach to seeing reflections in light, whereas the threaded cube forms are a play on how light can hold and define space. Metaphorically, the cube forms represent light particles coming from Lumos. While creating Lumos, I was immediately brought back to my days of screenprinting yardage at Sheridan College in the Craft and Design Program. I achieved a similar look through etching and dry point on gampi fibre, a Japanese paper. Some of the aluminum plates used to print Lumos are also part of the installation.
– Loree Ovens
Loree Ovens studied Fashion Technique and Design at PEI’s Holland College (1998-99). She continued her studies at Sheridan College’s Craft and Design Program (Textiles, 1992) and is an alumna of the Craft & Design Studio at Harbourfront Centre (Textiles, 1993–1995). In 2008, she earned a BFA in Printmaking from OCAD University. Loree has exhibited in Canada, Japan, the US, Taiwan, Australia and Scotland. Her work is in private and public collections including the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Art Gallery of New South Wales and represented by David Kaye Gallery and Open Studio.
Burlap Coat is an artwork inspired by the nostalgic memories of growing up with my grandmother, Shobhavati Raina, who we lovingly called Babi. Babi was a young widow with five children. She would eventually take five grandchildren—me, my two siblings and two cousins—under her wing when we lost our mothers at a young age. Babi was a strong woman who taught us the art of survival. Watching her pot dyeing, mending, darning, patching up clothing and fabrics to give them a new lease of life taught me the most important lesson: “Do not yearn the most perfect things in life, instead bring out the beauty in the humble things you already have.”
This artwork traces the memories of the little journeys of my childhood with the strongest woman in my life, going to the grist mill by the river with her to buy rice and whole wheat grains (to be stone ground into flour) in burlap bags. I created this wearable piece of artwork with burlap fabric, dyed in organic black tea and silk screened with pigment dyes. These childhood memories with Babi remind me of the strength and resilience I have within, every time the challenges of life seem overwhelming.
Burlap Coat is a tribute to my Babi.
– Anu Raina
Anu Raina is an Oakville-based textile artist and designer. She is an alumna of the Craft and Design Program (Textiles) at Sheridan College and the Craft & Design Studio at Harbourfront Centre (Textiles, 2010-2011). She was nominated by Colleges Ontario for the 2012 Premier’s Awards for outstanding achievement by recent graduates. Raina debuted her ready-to-wear clothing and accessories collection at Toronto Fashion Week in 2010. Since then, she has done exclusive collaborations with several prestigious organizations such as the AGO, The Law Society of Upper Canada, eBay Canada, and Keilhauer. Her Skyline print was recently selected by the Textile Museum of Canada for a contemporary art exhibit in New York and London, UK, Raina has been featured in national media outlets such as the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, National Post, CBC Radio and CTV. She is a member of Craft and Design Program Advisory Committee at Sheridan College, and has been a jury member at the Ontario Arts Council, and Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition.
Raina currently lives in Oakville with her husband and two children.
Botanicals and flowers have long been a source of inspiration for adorning the body in a jewelry format. I have been exploring this idea on a larger scale and refer to this new series as ‘wall brooches’. Holding the light, the glass contrasts the airiness of the wire form, which plays on the idea of reversing the density of steel and the translucency of glass. The shadow cast by the wire form also speaks of transparency and the movement of light, while the glass holds the colour and brilliance of the blossom in the moment.
– Susan Rankin
Susan Rankin lives and works from her home in Apsley, Ontario. She is an alumna of the Craft and Design Program (Glass) at Sheridan College and the Craft & Design Studio at Harbourfront Centre (Glass, 1989–1992). In her 30-year career as a glass artist, Rankin has drawn her inspiration from the landscape in which she lives. As an avid gardener, she continues to explore the idea of garden through her vessel and sculptural works and is well known for her vibrant floral vessels. Rankin examines how glass has been used historically and transitions form and style with a contemporary feel.
Two-tone is a playful exploration of shape and colour, inspired by clusters of spring flowers. Like much of my work, it involves repetition, variation and a degree of randomness – qualities inherent to both the glassblowing process and the natural world. It is with joy that I fill the glass with light, its synergistic companion.
Since 2014, I have collaborated with Orly and Giora Meyer from AM Studio, a Toronto-based custom glass lighting manufacturer and showroom. Together we have developed a range of lighting designs in blown glass. Drawing on the fluid forms and glowing colours specific to my past practice in glass the fixtures become illuminated sculptures.
– Karli Sears
Karli Sears has worked with hot glass for almost 20 years creating luminous, botanically-inspired sculpture, a collection of art jewellery and currently, custom lighting designs in blown glass. She is an alumna of the Craft and Design Program (Glass) at Sheridan College and the Craft & Design Studio at Harbourfront Centre (Glass, 1999–2002). Her work has been supported by numerous grants and is found in the collections of the Corning Museum of Glass, the Royal Bank of Canada, the Celebrity Equinox and Norwegian Escape cruise ships and the Glasmuseet Ebeltoft, Denmark. Sears is a member of Glen Williams Glass, a collective hot glass studio in the lovely hamlet of Glen Williams, Ontario.
Noise Maker considers the intersections of craft, design, and play. My past, present, and future work is defined by the collective memory of a unique community which allows me to explore materiality in both traditional and experimental ways. As part of the first alumni class from Sheridan College’s Bachelor of Craft and Design Degree program, and as a joining Artist-in- Residence in Harbourfront Centre’s bourgeoning design studio I look forward to witnessing a new phase of this forty-four year partnership and legacy.
– Natalie Sirianni
Natalie Sirianni is a designer/maker based in Toronto. She recently graduated from Sheridan College’s Bachelor of Craft and Design Program with a studio focus in Furniture, and will be joining the Craft & Design Studio (Design) at Harbourfront Centre this coming fall.
County Chair is an homage to rural life and to it’s source of inspiration: the milking stool. Unornamented, ready to work.
– Katrina Tompkins
Katrina Tompkins graduated from the Craft and Design Program (Furniture) at Sheridan College in 2009 and is currently working towards her Masters of Design degree at OCAD University. She has worked for both commercial and residential clients in object, furniture, lighting and spacial design. With a great appreciation for the culture of making, she has visited the wood studios at Anderson Ranch in Colorado, Haystack Mountain School of Craft in Maine and spent time studying under renown makers. Tompkins is currently setting up her workshop in Prince Edward County.
I seek a dynamic and collaborative relationship with clay, the core material of my practice. Working abstractly and directly with the material in different stages of plasticity, my work is process oriented and expressive. I explore the tactile and emotional qualities of the material and the act of making. I stretch, rip, roll and push the material to collapse and near ruin in search of discovery. The hand is wholly evident, even aggressively obvious, as my fingers are my tools of intervention. A rather intuitive approach, I embrace chance and work with an immediacy. Time, movement, the inherent simplicity of the material and existence are marked. I feel while I am making what I cannot say and I hope to make visible the impossible to describe.
– Amber Zuber
Amber Zuber is an artist from Toronto. She is an alumna of McMaster University (BA, History), the Craft & Design Program at Sheridan College (Ceramics, 2013), and the Craft & Design Studio at Harbourfront Centre (Ceramics, 2013–2015). She recently completed her MA in Ceramics at the Royal College of Art in London, UK. In 2017, she was shortlisted for the Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize.