Last Chance: Love and Money

Love and Money

Hey Folks! Just when you thought City of Craft was totally out of your hair for 2010, Love and Money doesn't actually come down until 5 pm tomorrow. If you haven't seen it yet, you should!

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank each of the eleven exhibiting artists, as well as Janna, Valerie and everyone at the Ontario Crafts Council for their help and providing us with a really wonderful venue for satellite programming this year. Thanks also to City of Craft queen Becky (as always) for her help, advice and trust surrounding this exhibition.

Okay...here's everything you need to know about the show and where to find it. Hop to it, and see you all next year!




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Print by DEADWEIGHT. Photo by sweetie pie press

This is a hint.


Boxing Week Giveaway!

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City of Craft 2010 is over and we are just past Christmas but does that mean that all the fun has dried up around these parts? No way!

We've gone through the few leftover bits from the show (and even a couple from last year) and put together a lovely prize pack to give away to you, our faithful citizens. Consider this a Boxing week sale where the deals are so deep, you don't have to pay anything. We must be crazy!

The prize pack includes a copy of Adrian Tomine's Shortcomings from Drawn & Quarterly, Tickets to Sunday Night Live at the Comedy Bar (in Toronto), a discount coupon for music boxes or supplies from Tuned Teeth, a mini print from Hieng Tang (1% Talent), a mini craft tutorial and pinback button from Sewing School, an embroidered spore pinback from Leah Buckareff (Coldsnap Bindery), a 2011 letterpress wall calendar from Etsy & secret surprises (not pictured).

But more on those calendars - our entire package of goodies from Etsy showed up the morning after City of Craft and in it were these lovely 2011 calendars letterpressed on heavy cotton paper by Dutch Door Press from San Francisco. They were supposed to go in raffle packs and such over the big weekend but maybe this is even better. This way, even those unable to attend can have a slice of crafty goodness to kick off the new year. On top of the grand prize (above), we will be drawing five additional names to win calendars (with a few other surprise goodies throw in for good measure)!

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How to enter - to enter, just leave a comment below. For five extra entries, mention this giveaway on your own blog and post a link in the comments section. When you comment, make sure that your email address is either in your comment or available on your blogger profile. If we can't find a way to contact you, we will have to go on to the next name drawn.

You can enter as of right now. The contest will remain open all week and close at Midnight EST on December 31st - as the ball drops in New York City! I'll draw the winner at the crack of whenever-I-get-up on January 1st.

Good luck! And happy new year!



They're Talkin' 'Bout Us.

Pair of figures by The Maple Ridge
Photo of The Maple Ridge's Dinky Nubbins by the workroom

As the week moves forward and City of Craft 2010 fades into the past, it has been really lovely to watch all the post-show attention emerge all over the internet (thank you, Google Alerts).

Here's a little round-up of a few choice run-downs and mentions:

City of Craft vendors celebrated for their talents as well as for their style. Of course!

Karyn of the workroom runs down the purchases she made for herself and others.

Fashion Made Me Funky
In praise of glass works and Patrick Fisher.

Claire shares notes about and photos of the goodies that made it home with her.

A poorly colour corrected and overly-wordy report on City of Craft acquisitions. (This is my blog).

A very thoughtful and complimentary recap of the show with spotlights on a few of their favourite vendors - The Pin Pals, rcboisjoli, Old Weston Handmade Wonders, The Maple Ridge & Holly Handmade.

Big thanks to everyone who came to the show and those who spread the word (and continue to do so). Everyone is a super star to me!

For even more post-show attention and all sorts of other flotsam, check out our facebook group.

Happy Holidaze,



Craft Toronto: Ornaments from the Creative Minds of Hogtown.

Crocheted Christmas ornament

nesting doll ornaments

Crochet Christmas ornaments

As many of you are making last minute gifts, baking up a storm and/or running around the city, we thought we would share a few great handmade ornaments from the Craft Toronto photo pool of Flickr. Aren't these great?

The Craft Toronto photo pool is a rolling stream of craft projects being made in the city (and thereabouts). It is an initiative hosted by City of Craft and reflects more makers than any of our real-world events ever could. What's more? You can join!


Sign of the Times.

Photo by emily.k.cumming

Just wanted to give another big big shout-out to Beside Herself for installing the fantastic "It's All Made Up" sign at the Theatre Centre last weekend. We got non-stop compliments on it, it provided a spectacular focal point for the show and the message was perfectly on-point.

Gals, you have really outdone yourselves.

For more work from Beside Herself (both big and small) look here.

Last-Minute Shopping (or Staying Indie Under the Gun).

Photo and knit gun by Emily Cumming

Feeling under the gun?

The big City of Craft weekend has come and gone and we've taken a day to recover (with a lunar eclipse thrown in, no less). But now you all have four days left to finish all your shopping if you do that Christmas thing. Online shopping is now pretty much out if you want delivery before the weekend, so you are going to have to venture out into the world yourself.

If you are in the Toronto area, may we suggest this little clutch of vendors and sponsors (past and present) who run bricks and mortar shops and galleries:

1. the workroom - not only can you buy perfectly selected fabrics and crafting supplies (mostly geared towards sewing and quilting) here; the workroom also sells gift certificates that can be used for materials or workshops.

2. The Knit Cafe - The Knit Cafe offers supplies geared to the knitter and/or crocheter in your life. They have a great selection of yarns and tools (and a ball winder!). The Knit Cafe also sells gift certificates for their materials and full roster of workshops.

3. Kid Icarus - Situated in Kensignton Market, Kid Icarus carries a wide selection of their own impeccably hand printed posters, cards, calendars and more. They also stock a small yet focused collection of locally made work by other makers.

4. Coriander Girl - Looking for a lovely floral arrangement to bring to a holiday party or to decorate your own celebration? This is your place. Coriander Girl also stocks a little collection of handmade items that loosely relate to flowers and the home - vases, soaps, lotions, gift cards. Alison has a really focused eye and puts a clean collection of beautiful goods together. Plus, all of her florals are ethically sourced and arrangements can be made for almost every budget.

5. The Ontario Crafts Council Gallery - Love & Money is still on display until the end of the month, and almost everything is for sale. You wouldn't be able to collect your purchases until early January but something clever could be placed under the tree if you choose to give the gift of art. Shows like this are a great place to make really inexpensive purchases from emerging artists. Some pieces were even as low as $10! That's unheard of. And there is a surprising amount under the $200/$250 range. One way or another, make sure to go see the show.

6. tealish - former sponsor and total tea stars, tealish, will hook you up with tea and related supplies for anyone on your list. They are incredibly nice, knowledgeable and helpful in there, too. For me, tea makes a perfect hostess gift or present for those who have everything or want nothing.

7. Robber - Not only do these guys have an excellent collection of clothes and accessories (for men and women) but if you spy carefully you may see a City of Craft vendor or two behind the counter. Me, I want those awesome two-tone tights.

8. The Paper Place - packed full of making supplies for the paper craft set, The Paper Place also stocks a wide selection of locally made giftware and Japanese imports. Amid everything you could need for the book binder or origimist in your life, you will also find a veritable treasure trove of stocking stuffers for the design-oriented.

9. Type - Books! Lovingly selected books! Again, you may spy a City of Crafter working the shop. And it's right by the Paper Place for some one-stop shopping.

10. Art History - Art History (and adjoining shop, The Melissa) sell a great variety of locally made goods as well as vintage housewares, ephemera and miscellany. As handmade stuff goes, Art History probably focuses more on art multiples than most other shops. It is co-run by gallery owner and artist rep, Katharine Mulherin, so the smaller works from her amazing roster tend to pop up there are reasonable prices, too. Her roster is pretty swank.

If you are in the Vancouver area, may we suggest the annual Free Store hosted by our friends at Little Mountain Gallery. There is rad stuff every year and my mom always donates. Last year, she gave them her entire loom! Like, seriously. This year, it is on the 23rd.

Happy Madness,


PS - Our friend, Anabela also published two awesome local (Toronto) shopping guides here and here. There are some great ideas there (and some overlap because great minds think alike).


The City Sleeps.

Photo by emily.k.cumming

Thank you, Toronto (and beyond), for another great year. It was pretty magical.

Thank you to all the attendees, vendors, staff, sponsors, artists, contributors, volunteers, partners and venues.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Plans are already underway for City of Craft 2011 (not to mention a little trunk show here and there), so keep posted through this blog, our participant and news mailing lists, twitter and facebook. We're hooked up!

But for now, we rest.

Sleep tight, City of Craft.


Reminder: Love and Money.

Photo by city of craft

Coming by the show tomorrow? If so, we highly recommend taking a short jaunt to Ossington to check in with Love & Money at the Ontario Crafts Council.

It's All Made Up.

Photo by city of craft

Consider this a hint.

Y'all ready for the morning?


Midway Update: Hand Modelling from Handmodel.ca


We, at City of Craft HQ, just got this very mysterious communique from the folks at HAND MODEL. Very mysterious, indeed.

Attention all artists: On December 18th & 19th HAND MODEL will be providing complimentary “professional” modeling of the art/craft item of your choice. Participants can bring items from home or use items purchased at City of Craft (they can be made by the participant or by someone else). A professional photograph will be taken on site as items are hand modeled. Modeled items will appear on the website handmodel.ca. Participants will be emailed a large digital copy of their photographed item.

Print & frame your hand-modeled artwork and give it as a gift to someone special this Christmas! Use it on your promotional website! This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Don’t let it pass you by!

HAND MODEL encourages local artists to bring their own work. Please make sure that it is a manageable size.

I guess you will just have to come to the Midway and experience this for yourself. And in spite of the freeness of this service, I have also encouraged the hand models to put out a donation jar. I can't imagine all this hand modelling doesn't take some kind of toll.

Total Totes.

2010 tote
Totes designed by Nicholas Kennedy

As you probably already know, the first 100 people through the door on each day will get an awesome tote bag filled with handmade, local and indie goodness. For more information on the swag bag stuffings, check this tag.

But the bags themselves may be the biggest gems this year. Feeling a little cruddy about buying relatively inexpensive and flimsy totes in the past (don't get me wrong, the old totes are all good but they could be better), I wanted to make the bags as durable as possible this time around. I just didn't want to add to any more waste in what we do. So I approached our long-time partners at Etsy with the dilemma. You see, buying indestructible recycled cotton canvas totes is not within our normal budget. And guess what? They agreed with my concerns and stepped up to sponsor the investment in these super-sturdy totes.

So these awesome totes that will last forever (or thereabouts) are generously supported by Etsy. It is very gratifying to have such an amazing collection of friends, partners and sponsors who 'get things.'

If you miss the morning rushes, there will be a few more for sale at $15 each. Just look at the merch and reception table.



It's a Wrap with the Theatre Centre's Gift Wrap Station.

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When I stopped by a couple of days ago, the office at The Theatre Centre was scattered with test runs at gift wrapping. Why? This year, for the first time ever, The Theatre Centre is going to have an actual presence at the show. Don't be fooled. The Theatre Centre is always present at City of Craft. Although the bulk of work we do with them is behind the scenes, the importance of our relationship with The Theatre Centre should not be underplayed.

So why are they offering to wrap your gifts this year? The Theatre Centre is currently raising $5 million to retrofit and move into a new, permanent space a few doors down. Of course, gift wrapping is not the focus of their capital campaign (there is municipal, federal, foundation and private funding involved), but the point is that every donation helps. Plus, the word needs to get out! So help them help you and help City of Craft move on up with them!

Read more from the Theatre Centre folks themselves:
Wrapping our way to a new home!

Have your gift wrapped by The Theatre Centre team and make a donation towards our new home!

As one of the city’s oldest performing arts collectives, it has been a long-standing ambition of The Theatre Centre to find a permanent home.

Our new home will be at 1115 Queen Street West (just a hop and a skip from the Great Hall) in a retrofitted Carnegie Library in the heart of the West Queen West neighbourhood. The adaptive reuse of this magnificent building will give us a beautiful, flexible, and accessible theatre. We will be able to support more artists and present more work. The building will house an installation space and a café, which the community will be encouraged to use as a meeting place.

The Theatre Centre has had to move ten times in its 31-year history as a result of gentrification and rising rents. In April 2010, City Council announced its decision to offer a long-term lease for the former Carnegie Library at 1115 Queen Street West to The Theatre Centre as sole tenant. The move will reinstate the former glory of the library that closed in 1964 and enable the residents of Toronto to enjoy the building once more. The Theatre Centre is extremely proud to steward the reanimation of this public space and to play a role in Toronto’s heritage conservation.

The City of Toronto has contributed $1 million towards the renovations and we have also received significant donations from the George C. Metcalf Foundation, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Canadian Heritage and from a private donor.

However, there are still funds to be raised and we will need the generous support of individual and corporate donors to meet our final goal of $5 million.

By making a donation – however large or small – you will help us find a new home.

For more information visit the website.

Swag Update: Mini Prints from 1% Talent.


Hey, guess who gets mini prints from 1% Talent! The first 100 people each day do, that's who - in your swag bags!

I think Hieng Tang has left a couple zeros off the end of that number up there. Check his work out at the show, too!

What, me Worried?


With one more sleep left until City of Craft 2010, there are still all sorts of finishing touches being put on the show from all ends of the city (and beyond) - vendors are buffing their gold teeth, pulling ink across screens, making business cards, stamping packaging, shooting things with Karyn's laser and (in a few cases) driving into town.

There is lots of ferrying around that yours truly will have to do, too. Tables to set up, tote bags to deliver, raffle prizes to display...

Basically, this city is all abuzz with prep work, even if you can't tell.

Well, everyone, I think Sandi's message (above) is worth taking to heart. And I have another one: make sure to get some rest.

Here we go!




Get Stamped.

city of craft stamps

This weekend, when you make it out to the show, be prepared to be festooned with these brand new City of Craft stamps (no more tacky date stamps for us!) I mean, if you are going to get a temporary branding, it may as well look slick. This lettering was stolen from an envelope addressed to us last year by Sandi Falconer (don't worry, I asked permission). Her lettering is so much better than mine and really stood out to me as i sifted through mail last winter.

These stamps were expertly made by the fine folks at Toronto Stamp who practice great customer service and speedy turn-around/delivery. Just sayin'.

I also find it funny that the first page on Sandi's site pretty clearly features another Toronto Stamp stamp.

You know what else? Sandi is a vendor at the show (under her business name, Deadweight) so you can bring her artful creations into your life, too!

For Vendors and Volunteers.

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Becky and I discussed making badges for vendors, and volunteers, so that they would be easily recognizable at the show [and maybe also so we'd all have something fun to wear together]. I knew I wanted to make horse-show-winner style badges, due to two sources of inspiration:
my friend amanda's birthday ribbons, and also the giant ribbon made for me by my friend Cara, for my kentucky derby themed surprise birthday party this year [yes, I have amazing friends!].


So here are a few finished ones, and the heap of ruffles and snipped ribbons waiting to be assembled. do you really, really want one? We are still looking for a few good volunteers for Sunday, drop Becky a line at cityofcraft@gmail.com , and you too, can feel like a show pony!

For Keeps Sneak Peek

For Keeps is one of two gallery shows presented for this year's City of Craft and is currently up in Cream Tangerine, the gallery/cafe that hosts some vendors on the weekend of the show (read: totally convenient to check it out before or after perusing hot crafts). It is a different kind of exhibition in that the pieces (and stories behind them) have been lent to us by generous and trusting souls rather than by artists producing work - though there is no denying the beauty and artistry involved in some of the mending here! These mended pieces are displayed alongside interpretive and evocative portraits by photographer Danijela Pruginic in an in an exploration of the relationships that exist between object and owner. It's poignant stuff!

For those of you who can't make it out to see this exhibition in the flesh or who need a bit of enticement to check it out, here's a peek at four of the photographic portraits accompanied by statements by the people who provided these pieces. The exhibition runs until December 22 - gallery hours are by appointment - please contact jen@torontocraftalert.ca to arrange or just show up this weekend!

For Keeps photography
Big Ted Little Ted, Angela Turner

The bears are about 60 years old. The bigger one was named "Empty Stomach" because he was thin and lost some stuffing, the small one was just "Little Ted". They originally belonged to my cousin who was about ten years older than me - she got them from her grandmother. I played with them from the time I was three or four years old. They were mended by her grandmother...then my mother...and me...different people at different times.

I still remember very clearly my cousin giving them to me with the provision that I take care of them - that the bears had a car accident and had to have surgery. Nobody in our family even had cars in those days, but that was probably the most dramatic thing we could think of that anyone could go through. I really believed it... I was so careful not to touch the stitched parts, their scars, and would never let anyone touch the paws because I thought it would hurt them. I never passed them on to anyone because no-one would have them; they look old and ugly to everyone but me. I have lived in a few different places - England, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Canada...and they have always gone with me.

For Keeps photography
My Favorite Mittens, Mary Kroetsch

My Mother was the best knitter I knew. She taught herself how to knit when she was a young girl and could adapt a pattern like no one else could. These mittens are the last pair she made me. I wore them with pride while she was still alive and when I got a hole in my right mitten thumb she expertly darned it for me. But she passed away in 2007 and never got around to teaching me how to darn. Now a new hole on my left mitten thumb has developed and keeps getting bigger.

My grieving process has taken on many different stages in the past three years as she and I were exceptionally close. My artwork has always dealt with memory and this past year I have been exploring it in a different concept by participating in collaborative events like this one to deposit treasured bits of memory of my mother in unusual places. A mending of a different kind if you know what I mean.

As for the material repair of the mittens, I will tackle that someday – I just need a little more time to make that happen on an emotional level. I love these mittens and must learn how to darn and preserve the memory of my Mom, the knitter.

For Keeps photography
I can fix it myself, can't afford the gold, Jacqueline Lawson

My father, a proud Scotsman, received his ring as a gift from his father shortly after he was sworn into the Mason's organization. It was symbol of an organization to which he and his father and his father- in-law all belonged and a special gift from his Dad that he cherished.

Following many successful years working as a farrier, my father found himself as a part owner of a manufacturing firm that made aluminium horseshoes for thoroughbred horses. This new adventure was to be his retirement security, while in fact the opposite happened. When his ring broke he was not in the financial position to have it repaired by a jeweller. The solution to mend it himself was an easy one. He took it to his workshop and repaired it with his blacksmithing tools and materials. My ring now represents my father, his pride, his love of what he did and I wear it proudly just the way it is.

For Keeps photography
A Disappearing Dress, Serene Daoud

Although I was born in Saudi Arabia, I grew up hearing my family's story of escape from Palestine after the Israeli take-over in 1948. I was raised the daughter of exiles; even after becoming a Canadian citizen, this identity did not disappear. In 1994, when the first "peace-talks" between Israeli and Palestinian leaders was televised, my Humanities teacher and friend Helen, a Jewish Montrealer, handed me this dress. Helen had received the tattered folk-dress from her friend, who had traveled in Israel in the early sixties. Her friend purchased the dress from a Palestinian woman at an open market who sold it at a cheap price because of the scar that cut through the intricate embroidery on the chest panel, right in front of the heart. The cut was made during an emergency birth. Much of the patchwork found on the dress was made by the woman who sold it; only a few patches of synthetic velvet were added by Helen's friend. Helen passed it on to me to commemorate what she felt was a sign of hope for peace in Palestine/Israel. She felt if anyone should inherit this antique dress it should be a young Palestinian woman on the eve of a new era.

I was touched, but also angered, though not at Helen directly. I felt like I was inheriting an 80-year-old corpse, and I was the closest living relative found. I still have very conflicted feelings about this dress; the holes in it keep growing and soon the whole thing will disappear just like its people's memory of their past.


For Keeps: a mending show
December 9-22 (contact jen@torontocraftalert.ca to arrange viewing)
Cream Tangerine Gallery and Café Gallery at the Great Hall
1087 Queen St W
Toronto, ON

Curated by Jen Anisef and Marsya Maharani
Photography by Danijela Pruginic
Presented by Toronto Craft Alert and WORN Fashion Journal with support from Freedom Clothing Collective for City of Craft 2010

Swag Update: Surprising Book Works from Pas de Chance Publishing.


Hey Citizens,

We just got a very generous offer from local handmade book publisher, Pas de Chance. For those who don't know, Pas de Chance is a publisher of no ordinary ilk. All of their editions are handmade (sometimes in layers - handmade paper, screen prints, hand binding) but, even more uniquely, their editions tend to blend strong graphic and interactive elements with literature.

For City of Craft, proprietor, Ian Phillips, has offered us a few copies of Pink Candy Popcorn, a veritable grab bag of writing and design. Ian puts it best himself:
There are three new books by Elissa Joy that come inside boxes of pink candy popcorn -- like a cracker jack prize -- you don't know which of the three books you are getting until you eat the popcorn!
These will find their way into the raffle and possibly into one very luck swag bag. Surprise!


Swag Update: Mystery Print Pack from Kid Icarus.

kid icarus mysetery pack
Mystery Pack from Kid Icarus*

Another update from Raffle Central: Kid Icarus has given us one of their fabulous mystery packs (valued at $50). These pretty little chipboard envelopes are chock full of all sorts of printed matter and ephemera from the Kid Icarus archive, and the only way to get one is to buy raffle tickets at the show.

*Note: Mystery items may not be exactly as pictured. This is a picture of another mystery pack. If we told you what was in the one we have, it wouldn't be much of a mystery, would it?

Swag Update: Coupons!


Greetings Citizens,

Just a small reminder that those of you who get swag bags will not just be getting gifts in them, you will also be getting all sorts of coupons, like the ones pictured above from one of our fantastic vendors, Grace Design. There will be a good selection of vendor coupons to check out that are only good for the weekend. As well, you will find some great discounts from friendly local shops and boutiques such as The Knit Cafe, Coriander Girl and others! Use them up and meet some of the talented and like-minded folks who work in retail in our fair city.

Swag Update: Mini Cross Stitch Patterns from Stitchalicious.


Look what else snuck into our care package from Berlin, these charming mini-cross-stitch patterns from Stitchalicious. See? A new craft does not have to be so daunting. Each lucky swag bag recipient will get one of these babies to get you started on your post-holiday dalliances.

Swag Update: Ceramics from Krystal Speck.

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The term swag is starting to feel wrong, actually it has for a while. Probably because I don't even know what it means.

But anyway, these beyond-swag ceramic marvels were generously donated to us by the incomparable Krystal Speck. Krystal is a lovely part of the City of Craft family and we miss her presence at the show since she moved on to bigger outlets and all-encompassing commissions. That's why it is extra-fantastic to have her there in vase form at the very least. These pieces are going to find their way into the raffle. Can you even believe it?

You want to know what else? There is more! I dropped that super-vessel off yesterday afternoon at Coriander Girl to be filled with a lovely and ethical floral arrangement and the whole shebang will be raffled off together. This marks our first sponsor collaboration and will be the last raffle item on Sunday.

Alison, the Coriander Girl herself, will be sharing images on the final arrangement with us on Friday. Flowers wilt, after all, and we want them fresh for the show! Amazing!


Vendor Hype: Meet Caitlyn Lemonade.

Guys, have you met Caitlyn yet or seen her work? If you have been to City of Craft before, you have almost definitely seen her work as she has had the daunting task of hand drawing our program every year since 2008. We have also used her artwork for vendor call flyers and a super popular run of t-shirts and totes we did in 2009 (there are still a very few totes and tees left that will be at the show...but, like, two tees).

On her own, Caitlyn draws, prints and makes under the moniker lemonade in a way that is dreamy and spacious. She is one of those increasingly rare craft fair makers that is not "in business". Not to say that she isn't professional, it's just that Caitlyn is more inclined to follow her aesthetic whims than to create "product". For that reason, you will find small-run prints and printed matter at her table as well as one-of-a-kind illustrations and, this year, faceted wooden jewellery that takes palette really seriously.

A quick jaunt through her flickr stream will reveal that Caitlyn is a daydreamer of no light dimension. As much of our programming this year would suggest, it is very nice to feel the dream alive in the craft scene nowadays. Miss lemonade brings crates of that to the City of Craft family and we're really thankful for it.

Love and Money Sneak Preview

Love and Money Sneak Preview

Love and Money Sneak Preview

Love and Money Sneak Preview

Love and Money Sneak Preview

That's all you're getting, folks! The show opens tomorrow! Come out and see it for yourself...

Love and Money
Thursday, December 16, 2010
at the Ontario Crafts Council Gallery
990 Queen Street West


All Buttoned Up.

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I spent part of last night making these new 2010 buttons for our illustrious merch table (right by reception). They were all designed by Nicholas Kennedy to match the pinwheel fever of our entire year's design theme. To me, his designs look everything from playful to quilted to Southwestern. I love them!

In the process of making these, I went back and made a few more designs from years past. These include Amy Borkwood's architectural designs from last year (the first ones pictured below). Those pins never actually saw the light of day last year. They are like the lost buttons of the City of Craft - an underground city only unearthed years later.

Below that are Shannon Garard's designs from 2008 and the humble buttons I made for our first show in 2007. Were we ever so young?

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Paper Chain Party!

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While you are wandering around the Theatre Centre and Cream Tangerine cafe on the weekend, you may notice the space festooned with paper chains. These are all the result of an evening spent in my living room making chains and chatting with some of the 2010 staff (Jen, Sara, Michelle and Angelune). It was really nice to spend an evening just making in the midst of all the emailing, blogging and driving around that inevitably leads up to the show. In the end, I estimated that we made 80-100 feet of chains. We will see if my calculations hold water when we start to load in.

The garlands, by the way, are made from some incredible 100% cotton paper donated from the off-cuts stash of Kid Icarus. Noticing a theme here? They are heroes.

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Danijela Pruginic's Silhouette Cameos return to the Midway!


A massive hit at our 2008 show, the silhouette cameo photo booth will be back on the upper mezzanine/balcony again for the 2010 show! We are very excited to welcome Danijela Pruginic back to fill the South West corner of the upper level with vintage-inspired joy. Dani is, after all, a very in-demand photographer about town. I keep seeing her work pop up everywhere from weddings to new-style product photography to editorial work to interpretative fine art photography (see For Keeps: a mending show for some great examples of the latter).

The cameos are available as flat magnets and, from personal experience, I can tell you that these items make great gifts for loved ones and/or proud parents who really just want a memento of you for the holidays. I also saw some super sweet couples cameos last time around which I sort of regret not getting. Don't you regret anything! Get on the silhouettes!

Read more here.


Love and Money Artist Profiles: Stephanie Cormier and Steven Tippin

Steven Tippin is a glass artist living and working in Toronto, Ontario. He is currently a board member and the Ontario representative for the Glass Art Association of Canada.

Tippin received his Undergraduate Bachelor degree in Printmaking and Sculpture from the University of Guelph in 2002. He returned to school in 2005 to study at the Glass Department of Sheridan College where he tried to incorporate the mindset of printmaker and sculptor. He has recently returned home to Toronto after studying for his Masters of Fine Arts degree at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

From his The LUX Artist Statement:

"...The LUX lounge had glassware made for them that featured the bar's logo on a sturdy and simple cup. The students of the two nearby universities often stole these cups to use in their homes. I thought that it was a strange type of ritual that I should probably experience while studying abroad. But I wanted to do it in a different way.
I began stealing the cups from the bar and modifying them by sandblasting imagery similar to the bar's decor into it. Once the cup was completed, I would smuggle it back into the LUX lounge and leave it unannounced on the bar or on a table. I used the same stealth returning the glassware as I did stealing it..."

Stephanie Cormier was born in Montreal, Quebec, raised in Barbados in the Caribbean and is based in Toronto, Ontario. Her practice includes photography, video and sculpture installation. Cormier “sculpts, draws and paints” with everyday materials and uses objects that are either plentiful and recycled or conversely nostalgic or obsolete. She enjoys giving these humble objects a new and honorable context. Her work also often involves community intervention attempting to create a more nurturing communal public experience. Stephanie studied at the Ontario College of Art and Design where she completed her BFA. Her work has been exhibited across Canada as well as in London, England and New York City. She has earned several national grants and awards and her work can be found in the Carte Blanche Photographers Book.

"...This new work comprises three components and introduces an effigy representing one of the matriarchal gods of the Anti-Logo League Girls. The fabric used to create this effigy was purchased at a thrift store and specifically chosen because it still carries a label identifying its previous owner. For the Anti-Logo League Girls these are important clues to an identity of those who came before. They celebrate these “anonymous” names and create their inspired mythical deities. In the photograph, the deity takes on a wig-like form. The sculptural elements are made from this same fabric and created in the spirit of Victorian Mourning jewellery where decorative mementos were crafted out of a deceased loved ones hair. The smaller multiples will be sold to support “Reconceptualization”, a belief in reuse, repurpose and rediscovery.

At the end of this project I will do some detective work to find the “Christine Maila” who donated her used blanket to the thrift store. I will give her some documentation of the project and ask her to choose a charity to donate the money raised, thus completing a cyclical and altruistic gesture. Foundations exist today in what seems like an ego-based system of "who’s who" of the elite. My intention is to undermine this system by creating a foundation honouring benevolence and an everyday citizen whose donation of a blanket has inspired this project."

Love and Money opens at the Ontario Crafts Council TOMORROW from 6-9 pm, and runs from December 16-31, 2010.

Images, from top: Steven Tippin, The LUX, Stephanie Cormier, The Christine Maila Foundation medallion multiples