Craft and the New Economy Symposium.


Greetings, Citizens.

I am just dropping a line to let you all know about a very exciting and fast-approaching conference that City of Craft is involved in. I can let their press copy do most of the explaining (see below); I mostly wanted to share this information because this event is doing a lot to bridge those ever-present gaps between divergent craft communities and practices in our area (and beyond). With speakers flying in from all over, this is the sort of convergence that the indie/DIY scene can rarely muster the resources to produce. That's why we are so fortunate that the Ontario Crafts Council took the project on. And here it is, in our city and open to all!

As a side note, yours truly (Becky Johnson) will be present and will be moderating a session on DIY and Craftivism and City of Craft co-founder Jen Anisef, will be presenting her findings from a brand new study of craft in non-urban Onatrio (commissioned by the OCC). I am really excited for that latter happning.

The run-down:

Craft and the New Economy Symposium
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Registration opens 8:45 am l Symposium from 9:45 am - 6:00 pm l Reception 6 - 8 pm
OCAD University, 100 McCaul Street, Auditorium

Craft and the New Economy is a one day symposium that will create a conversation around the different contexts of making a living, and the intersections between craft, technology, DIY, design, and architecture.

We’ve got a lineup of incredible local, national and international speakers, including
Sandra Alfoldy, Jen Anisef, Maria Buszek, Melanie Egan, Neil Forrest, Kriston Gene, Rachel Gotlieb, Becky Johnson, Garth Jonhson, Patty Johnson, Shelia Kennedy, Marie O'Mahony, Justin Novak, Matthew Ratto and Ruth Scheuing.

Topics include Sustainable Business Practice and Commercial Contexts, DIY and Craftivism and well as Engaging with Technology and Design.

The day finishes with a closing reception for registrants to be held onsite at OCADU in the Great Hall from 6 - 8 pm.

This is not only your chance to think through some of today's challenges and opportunities, but to meet up with other people who care about the same things you do. Who knows where ideas and connections will lead to? Come to
Craft and the New Economy to find out.


Craft Toronto: A History of Hunger by Tara Bursey.

A History of Hunger

I have to admit that it has been far too long since I took a wander through the Craft Toronto pool on Flickr. The array of new work is astounding. Pre-emptively planning for the thaw, City of Craft staffer, Tara Bursey, seems to be hatching her own brood of food-based histories. Enigmatically, these delicate "books" have little writing with which to explain themselves. I am sure this is a situation that will rectify itself soon enough - Tara is one of the sharpest critical craft writers going (says me). For the best mastery of foodcraft I have ever witnessed, I also recommend a stroll through her portfolio site.

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!


New Design!

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Greetings, Citizens!

As you may or may not know, City of Craft works with a different local designer every year. That person is responsible for coming up with and entire design theme for the year. The motifs they choose then get extended into the website, his blog, posters, flyers, merchandise and more!

This year we are very pleased to have the lovely Caitlyn Murphy on deck as our designer. Caitlyn has been a part of the family since we set up shop, designing our event programs, flyers, t-shirts and more along the way. Her hand-drawn touch is definitely woven into the very fibre of us. She is also endlessly active away from the fair as both a full-time student at OCADU and in her personal art practice (a collaborative series with 2011 design Sandi Falconer, countless illustrations and hand-drawn multiples, zines - the list goes on...)

For 2012, Caitlyn has decided to overhaul City of Craft with a quintessentially Canadian motif - the rocky art of curling. With its skips and hollers and crests, the rink can probably feel a bit like a craft event to a different generation. The sport certainly provides a similar social club to the craft scene. And oh, the fashion! Tams and pins, anyone? Hopefully she will find time to share some of her own thoughts and processes with us over the year. It's always hard to paraphrase and it's always great to hear Caitlyn's thoughts on things.

But until then, hurry hard! Check out her hard work! And get ready for a year of icy smoothness and woolly sweaters.


Bring Out Your Bottles!


Throughout 2012, City of Craft will be embarking on an exciting new partnership with local bar room lecture series, Trampoline Hall. We will be programming a series of 3-4 craft artists to create the one-night-only sets for the show.

The first installation in this series will be coming to life on March 5, 2012. It will feature the work of the brilliant and inimitable Tosca Teran and will be constructed from a massive collection of plastic bottles. This is where you come in. In order to execute her fantastical vision, Tosca needs way more plastic bottles than she can come upon alone so she needs you to help. Any and all sizes and colours are welcome - as long as they are plastic.

Got bottles? Contributions can be dropped off at her studio:
322 Harbord Street

Thank you in advance and we will see you all at the show!

Update: We will be doing one last collection push at February Quilt Sunday at the workroom. February 26, 2012. 1pm-3pm. 1340 Queen Street West.