Thursday, March 29, 2007

craft congress 2007: a note from becky johnson

craft congress logo

In a couple of days, the first ever Craft Congress will be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, bringing together craft organizers and agitators from across the world (well, mostly the States) to…um…be together. So what is the Craft Congress? That’s an interesting question. And, in its first year, probably a question the Congress will have to deal with itself. Aside from discussing the logistics, challenges and philosophies involved in producing indie craft events, the Congress also intends to be a place to discuss sweeping topics like “who we are as a movement” and further definitions of independent economy.

The Toronto contingent consists of Jen Anisef (you might know her from running this page), Leah Buckareff (of the
Church of Craft and Coldsnap Bindery) and Becky Johnson (that’s me - I run the Sweetie Pie Press and the Good Catch Craft Fair series).

The three of us have met and e-discussed a bunch of issues surrounding this event and are all interested to meet the people involved in independent craft from across the continent. We also all have questions and curiosities surrounding the general outlook of crafty folks (especially those who have taken active roles in the community). In our discussion, it became clear that we don’t even exactly know the political or philosophical climate of our own community and, in representing the city, should probably get informed. [Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments section of this post, or to
email us about it as soon as you can! - Jen]

So, Toronto, what’s up?
What are your goals in craft?
What are your thoughts on crafting as a “movement” or community?
Have you even thought of these things before?

We will try our best to allow this information to inform discussion at the Congress over the weekend. But, even if it doesn’t, it seems like as good a time as any to air some views on what we do and why, exactly, we do it.

Oh, and if there is any specific information y’all would be interested in having us report back, please feel free to make us aware of that here, too.

Love and kisses,


PS - Here are some links about the Congress that are more articulate than I am:

vendor call: red marketplace 2007

Behold this call for vendors from Lisa Pijuan-Nomura, Festival Director, RED Festival:

I am writing you all to let you know about the RED Marketplace that we will be offering at the RED Festival 2007.

This year we are having a marketplace for the full four days of the festival. After discussing with my colleagues we decided that we would be charging a very modest fee for the marketplace. We have created a few more incentives for the audience to go into the back room during the festival and we believe that it could be a lucrative opportunity for you to sell some of your lovely wares!

This year we will have short 2 minute performances during the intermissions in the Marketplace space that will invite audience members to come and see 2x2x2 installations. Which is essentially a performer on a 2x2x2 foot stage doing a two minute piece three times throughout the evening. It would bring more audience into the space to create more people browsing your work!

We hope to have about approximately 900 audience members throughout the 4 days. We have NOW media sponsorship so we are really looking to have larger audiences.

For two days we would offer you a 3x6 table for $60. For the full four days we would give you a great deal for $100. We only ask that you are ready by 6:15 and attend to your table until 10:30 to 11:00. If you know of any other artists who might be interested and who create neat and wonderful wares please do forward this.

Again the details

April 15 to April 18
RED Marketplace!
3 x 6 table
2 days = $60
4 days = $100
at the Lovely Lula Lounge!
from 6:15 to 11:00!

If you are interested please sent me a bio about yourself, some photos of your work and a weblink to your site if you have one!

I will be calling people by April 5th to let them know if they have been chosen. I want to have a diverse mix of artists in the Marketplace to ensure that it won't be a marketplace full of artisans that are all very simalar.

I hope this finds you well and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask me. I am crazy busy these days and it's best to contact me via email!

best, Lisa Pijuan-Nomura
Festival Director, RED Festival

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

CRAFTY BIZ: monster factory - doing their own thing this spring

Monster Factory spring-sale-invite

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

spring OOAK invites for you

The One of A Kind Spring Show starts tomorrow, and the invites from TCA readers are rolling in (check em out below). If you are participating in the show and would like to invite people to come by and say hey (or, you know, buy your hot gear), email me or add a comment on this post.

The One of a Kind Spring Show
Wednesday, March 28 - Sunday, April 1, 2007
Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place, Toronto
Weekdays 11am - 10pm
Saturday 10am - 9pm
Sunday 10am - 6pm

lines by: davis
booth G-49
Davis will be showcasing his spring 07 collection at the show.
lines by: davis OOAK invite

Izik Levy
booth J-41
Izik will be bringing new work including his
Monster Pendants and fresh colour variations of Junior (pictured below). Blossom Pendants, Cloud and Robots will also be presented at this show.
izik levy glass robot: junior (for Spring)

Tara Shelton
booth C-8
Come see Tara’s new body of miniature sculpture work, "Animal & Insects" along with a collection of fine silver and gold handmade jewellery using gemstones, with antique cameos and intaglios for a contemporary retake on Roman inspired jewels.
Tara Shelton: Bee Pendant w/Goldleaf

bookhou design
booth E-9
bookhou will have bags & home décor at their booth.

Carmi Cimicata

booth N-8
Carmi will have art cards on offer.
Carmi's Art Cards @ OOAK

street food cart design competition

In your travels abroad have you ever lamented the fact that other places have MUCH better street food options than we have here in town? I know I have - on a recent trip to Peru I had this very thought when enjoying a freshly fried bag of Taro chips, and I often think back with longing to the stemed sweet potato carts that surrounded the temples in Nara, Japan (can you tell I'm a tuber fan??).

Anyhow, when I heard about
Multistory Complex's vendor cart design competition geared towards diversifying street food life in T.O. I got really excited. Go here for all the deets & check out their call for submissions & poster below.


In such a diverse city, why does the hot dog rule? Where's the tasty, healthy street food? Where's the street life? What do vendors think about Toronto's street vending culture? What do you think about it?

Multistory Complex, in partnership with Ryerson University and Alphabet City ,
is launching a

We're asking you to propose a new, mobile vending cart for the City of Toronto. Designs should support the sale of healthy, affordable food and should consider things like current vending regulations; the conditions and needs of Toronto's street food vendors; the social spaces that vending carts create; the contribution of street vending to pedestrian-friendly environments; and the cart's location in Toronto's diverse neighbourhoods, including those without access to healthy, affordable food. Winning designs will be prototyped, exhibited in Alphabet City's Food Festival and used in a citywide pilot project. The deadline for design submissions is June 15, 2007 .

Want to learn more about street vending?

As part of the design competition, Multistory Complex and Ryerson University will be hosting "Snack Chats". These informal talks will be given by vendors, planners, designers, food security advocates and others. It will be a chance to learn about vending issues like food security, employment, and the construction and regulation of public space. Email us at to register and receive updates on Snack Chat dates, times and locations.

Click to enlarge in flickr

Saturday, March 24, 2007

call for submissions: she said boom! window space

Call for Submissions: She Said Boom! Window Space

She Said Boom! Window Space is a street-level, in-store, 24-hour window gallery seeking art for bi-monthly exhibitions. We are looking for engaging, contemporary sculpture/installation, video/new media and two-dimentional
work for consideration. To apply, email us a short proposal, an updated CV, bio and 3-5 jpgs of recent work. For more information, contact Tara Bursey at ssbwindowspace(AT)

She Said Boom! Window Space
372 College Street, Toronto.

maple cottage vintage sale

Maple Cottage Vintage Sale April 14, 2007

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

time to start thinking about back alley art...

local art in local garages

Open Call for Submission
Deadline: May 1, 2007

ALLEYJAUNT is Toronto's alternative, urban, community arts event. Through the transformation of garages and alleys into exhibition spaces, ALLEYJAUNT gives exposure to local artists, encourages public interaction with art, integrates contemporary art into public space, and reaches out to a diverse community of all ages within the Trinity Bellwoods Park neighbourhood setting.

ALLEJYAUNT invites artists and collectives to submit proposals for 2007. We are soliciting proposals for garage exhibitions as well as proposals for installations, performances and other works that animate the park and alleyway spaces. ALLEYJAUNT supports experimentation and collaboration within contemporary art, and we are open to diverse media and practices.

We are seeking projects that touch upon one or several of these criteria:
Projects designed for a specific site (garage, alley, park, etc.)
Projects that connect the diverse community that uses the garage and alley spaces
Projects that provide critical reflection on the nature of urban experience
Artistic interventions that captures the flux, chance and accident of everyday life.

Proposals will be evaluated according to the critical merit of the overall theme/concept, the adherence to ALLEYJAUNT'S mandate, and the feasibility of the project

The 5th annual ALLEYJAUNT will be held on August 11 & 12, 2007

Submission Requirements
CV & Bio
Description of proposed work, including space required
5 - 8 images of representative work in jpg format)
Please send all written & visual material on a CD
Include SASE if you want support material returned

Please send submissions to:

17 Bank StreetToronto, ON
M6K 1R4


Monday, March 19, 2007

celebrate april showers at good catch

A note from Becky, Good Catch Craft Fair curator-thus-far:

we're doing another craft fair!

the good catch craft fairs are curated little craft events held monthly in the heart of parkdale.
they are now usually paired with some sort of monthly art hanging.
they are graciously supported by the good catch general store - toronto's best and only pirate-themed general store.

here are some details:
the good catch april showers craft fair
saturday, april 21, 2007
noon - 5:00pm
the good catch general store
1556 queen street west
(right next to mitzi's sister)

**fyi: daryl vocat just realized he was double booked and had to back out...but the poster was already made.**

Sunday, March 18, 2007

OCAD students at IDS

In response to my call for reader photos of the 2007 Interior Design Show OCAD artist Erin McCutcheon sent in an image of her own and her classmate Wille Tsang's contribution to the OCAD booth. Check 'em out below.

Left: Acrylic, wiggle board, and veneer chair by Wille Tsang .
Right: Foam and Jersey cotton chair by Erin McCutcheon.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

etobicokers: craft show today

Hanging out in Etobicoke with nothing to do?

There is a craft show on 10am to 3pm at Building 7 and 9 Michael Power Place (a 15 minute walk from the Islington subway station, in between Dundas and Bloor).

There. Problem solved.

Friday, March 16, 2007

sew be it knits for a good cause

Announcement from Sew Be It Studio :

Knitting For A Good Cause

Due to the success of the first Knitting For A Good Cause, Sew Be It Studio is once again opening its doors to knitters who want to help make a difference in the community.
This night will be about knitting hats, scarves and mittens for the homeless in Toronto.
We welcome all levels of experienced knitters.
We will also be offering very basic beginner knitting lessons to those who need them.
All items made will be donated to Streetknit ( and then distributed to organizations that help keep the homeless warm

Admission is by donation. Experienced knitters should bring/make items for the homeless.
Those who are coming to learn to knit should bring non perishable donations for the food bank.

This event will be a great chance to hang out with other knitters and chat, work on projects and to help those less fortunate during these cold months.

We are also now a donation drop off point for Streetknit. So bring hand knit scarves, hats and mittens by anytime to drop off.

Date: Saturday April 21st
Time: 6:30pm - 10pm
Bring your own yarn and knitting needles.
We have some yarn available that was donated as well.

Admission by donation of knit items or non-perishable food items.

Sew Be It Studio
2156 Yonge Street

textured: quilts from the african diaspora

Textured - NFB

There is still time to catch the Textured: Quilts from the African Diaspora exhibition on at the NFB Mediatheque, which involved FREE quiltmaking workshops & a Quilts of Gee's Bend film screening (bummed to have missed these!).
The show includes historic quilts on loan from the Buxton Historical Museum and private collections, alongside works by contemporary quilt maker Quita Alfred of InQb8 quilt.

The exhibition will continue to Saturday March 24th. The final event (March 24, 7pm) i
s "QUILTING AS AN ARTFORM & UNVEILING OF AFRICAN DIAPSPORA-INSPIRED QUILT", which will include an in-depth discussion on quilting as an art form and the official unveiling of the final African Diaspora-inspired quilt created during the workshops.

Please call 416-973-2273 to RSVP.

Monday to Wednesday: 3 - 7 pm
Thursday - Friday: 5 - 9 pm
Saturday: 10 am - 9 pm
Sunday: 12 - 4 pm

150 John Street (at Richmond W)

stitch: fibre beyond beauty

Thanks to Marnie for tipping me off to Stitch: Fibre Beyond Beauty - a show currently on at the Ontario Crafts Council Guild Shop in Yorkville:

Fibre artist, Magda Trzaski, leads a group exhibition of Fibre/Textile artists at the Guild Shop. Magda Trzaski received her BFA in New Media from Ryerson University, Toronto in 1999. Since then, she has exhibited her new series of framed multi-media works at C1 Art Space and Prime Gallery, both in Toronto and Bau-Xi Gallery, Vancouver, BC.

“Magda’s works are moments frozen in time. Compelling in their starkness, they beg a closer look, then another. Her cats, rabbits & birds are displayed under glass in forestalled activity as new- found species of animals might have been in the Victorian era. Balloons float in mid-air and balls hover mid-juggle as her creatures balance in a limbo of thought and activity. I find her pieces simply alluring in their form, and utterly thought provoking in story. “ - Jen O’Connor of

Also participating: Tricia Burney, Kate Busby, Emily Hamill, Thea Haines, Maggie Hogan, Chung Im Kim, Arounna Khounnoraj, Marta Zimerisk Panek, Carmella Karijo Rother, Katherine Walter.

118 Cumberland St. (Yorkville)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
March 15-April 10

Magda Trzaski "animam edere" 2006
N.B. This piece was available at Prime Gallery

EXHIBITIONS: harbourfront action

A couple of good-looking shows by exciting locals starting this weekend as part of the Spring Exhibitions at the York Quay Centre at Harbourfront Centre:

Last Night I Dreamt I Was...
Kate Jackson & Suzanne Carlsen

A collaboration between textile resident Kate Jackson and metal resident Suzanne Carlsen focuses on the icons and archetypes of their favorite fantasy occupations.


the object of Objects
Vest Collective
Mathew Birtch, Sally McCubbin, Katy Chan, Jennifer Graham, Jessica Lertvilai,
Shannon McLeod, Jordan McDonald, Erin Neal, Marta Marie Pietrzyk and Jonathan

Vest Collective is a loosely knit group of designers and craft practitioners based in
Toronto. Work produced under the Vest moniker adheres to the principle that objects
can affect positive change on the people and other objects with which they come in
contact. Equal emphasis is put on the quality/longevity of the work produced, and its
relevance to contemporary culture. With an appreciation for different disciplines, Vest
produces work demonstrating that design is full of the potential to communicate a wide
range of ideas.


Saturday March 17 — Sunday May 13, 2007
Public Opening Reception: Friday, March 16
6 pm – 9 pm

235 Queens Quay West
Telephone: 416-973-4000

Edited to add:

I just visited and highly recommend checking out the felt & embroidery millenry of Norah Deacon and Thea Haines in Shadows & Veils, found in the wall-mounted cases by the artists in residence studios. There are also a couple of interesting craft-related pieces (a quilt made from film & a short film concept piece involving crochet) in the York Quay Gallery as part of the Mechanics of the Medium show.

fred flare's next big thing

Fred Flare's Next Big Thing 3

It's that time of year again, where truly cutie crafters vie to be counted among the winners of Fred Flare's Next Big Thing. I'd love to see more Canucks in the Hall of Fame, like 2006 winner and localish sweetie Karissa Cove.

KC - Fred Flare Next Big Thing

Click here for all the details.

paper crafts & wet felting at nathalie-roze & co.

A couple of neat-o workshops coming up real soon at nathalie-roze & co.....

Sunday March 18th, 1pm to 4pm
Paper Crafts (Retro CD Holder & Envelope Book)
Learn about the basic tools and materials used in bookbinding, then make your own expandable, multi-pocket CD case using recycled LP covers. Participants will also create a super-easy booklet using envelopes made from recycled papers, which can be used to file receipts, ticket stubs, love notes, and other ephemera.
$45+GST, including some tools, gourmet tea & baked goodies during break.
Project kit for sale by instructor (additional $12).
Instructor: Natalie Leblanc of Paper Muse

Tuesday March 20th, 6pm - 9:30pm
Beginner WET Felting
Participants will be introduced to the process of wet felting – creating
fabric or objects from raw wool fleece. Inspiring samples projects, idea sheets and various resources will be discussed - plus step-by-step reference hand-outs to take home.
Everyone should leave with a project or two, at least, 3/4 done.
Instructor: Julie Sinden of Salt & Pepper Textiles

WHERE: at the studio (in the back of the shop) at nathalie-roze & co.
1015 Queen St. East (at Pape) in Leslieville
Closest subway stop: Pape, and also easily accessible via any Eastbound Queen St. 501 streetcar

Register by phone with a credit card at: 416-792-1699 OR in-person using debit, cash or credit (M/C or Visa only).

Monday, March 12, 2007

t.o. cribs

I posted about Om Home designer, Oorbee Roy’s incredible apartment a little while ago, and it turns out she may be featured in Designer’s Library blogger (and designer) Meg Mateo Illasco’s upcoming interior decor book that, “shows how people have brought in their family history, heritage, or culture into the styling of their home.” Anyhoo, to entice Meg northward, we are looking for another Toronto designer’s home to profile. This should be a piece of cake in our multiculti, design-conscious city.

The call for submission can be found here. Please contact her directly if you think your pad is coffee-table worthy.

Another shot of Oorbee (& husband Sanjeev)’s apartment

japanese design today

Longtime readers will know I'm a bit of a Japan-o-file (well, who isn't!?) , so I was excited to learn about this collection of contemporary Japanese design on display at the Design Exchange.

Here's the scoop:

Japanese Design Today 100

This international traveling exhibition consists of approximately 100 of the finest examples of Japanese design created between the 1990s and today. The exhibition focuses on products used in everyday life and gives a vivid picture of the hopes and dreams of the Japanese designers and corporations who create them.

Visitors will learn about recent trends and characteristics of Japanese design, and will gain insight into the nature of contemporary Japanese culture. Thirteen objects of modern design are included from the early postwar years to show the origin of today’s design. Among the designs are the Akari Lamp by Isamu Noguchi, the Butterfly Stool by Sori Yanagi, A-POC clothing by Issey Miyake, Silent Violin by Masaharu Ohno and the AIBO Entertainment Robot by Hajime Sorayama.

"Japanese design has been characterized by precision, attention to detail, emphasis on technique, inventiveness and creating new combinations of form, practicality and adaptation to the environment, and intelligent structure. Now designers are also responding to new requirements for universal and ecological design." (Nobuko Shimuta, Chief Producer at Nippon Design Centre)

Co-presented with:
Japan Foundation

Japanese Design Today 100 is on display:
Design Exchange, 234 Bay Street
February 8-April 29, 2007
Mon-Fri 10-5pm, Sat-Sun 12-5pm,
$5 general admission, $4 students & seniors

76 mogu - Japanese Design Today Show
57 Taketlery EPS C. - Japanese Design Today Show
13b 35N+ST5 - Japanese Design Today Show
Thanks to HKC Marketing for providing show images above.

p.s. for another Japanese design fix, be sure to check out the Masahiro Mori Ceramic Design Exhibition on at the Japan Foundation (131 Bloor Street West) until May 5, 2007.


Q-type mug by Masahiro Mori

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

margie jewellery studio opening (softly)!

Great news – Michelle of MaRGie Jewellery (and the driving force behind our Motherlode craft fair list) has opened a Jewellery Studio. The studio will offer four core services: Classes, Rentals, Custom Work and Parties + Events (see website for deets).

From March 17-April 29 they will be offering 4 different one time "teaser" classes to introduce people to the studio. Classes are listed below. And stay tuned for a Grand Opening Party in the middle of April and full length classes (4 week and 6 week) in May. Feel free to contact Michelle with questions, hi-fives, or to arrange a studio visit.

Michelle Goldfinger

MaRGie Jewellery Studio
1402 Queen St East Unit C4
Enter on WEST side of building
(416) 916-6072

Class Schedule
March 12 2007-April 29 2007

Mondays 6:30-9:30 pm
Description: in one class learn to use tiger tail and crimps to properly secure jewellery. Make a necklace, pair of earrings or bracelet.
Teacher: Michelle Goldfinger
Cost: $45 +GST (bring your own beads)
$75 +GST (all materials provided)

Glass Fusing
Tuesdays 6:30-9:30 pm
Description: in one class make two glass necklace pendants.
Teacher: Michelle Goldfinger
Cost: $80 +GST (includes all materials)

Glass Flameworking
Wednesdays 6:30-9:30 pm
Description: in one class learn how to make simple glass beads.
Teacher: Michelle Goldfinger
Cost: $80 +GST (includes all materials)

Saturdays 12-4pm
Description: in one class make your own silver band ring.
Teacher: Suzanne Crudden
Cost: $125 +GST (plus the cost of silver approx. $5-20)

Sundays 12-4pm
Description: in one class make your own silver pendant.
Teacher: Scott Wilk
Cost: $125 +GST (plus the cost of silver approx. $5-20)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

IDS coverage & blog love

As I mentioned in a previous post, the death of my camera batteries prevented me from covering the 2007 Interior Design Show. Lucky for us, other bloggers out there were on it – check out the pics & coverage over at Bloesem, a Toronto-based blogger with great taste, here, here and here, as well as a little shot of the Om Home booth over at Oorbee’s blog. While you’re there, be sure to check out the photo shoot of her beautifully customized Montreal apartment. Yum.

Also, visit bookhou at home, bookhou design’s new blog, for photos of some of the new work that they exhibited at their IDS booth. I’m loving this new piece by Arounna…looking forward to seeing more at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition in the summertime (whatever that is <<shiver shiver>>).

Oh, and for more (and dare I admit, better) pics of Come Up To My Room, visit MoCo Loco.

roy-shah_bathroom OM HOME
ccfc_bolsters_images1 OM HOME
Top: Om Home designer Oorbee Roy's bathroom
Bottom: Om Home CCFC Bolsters

Thursday, March 01, 2007

plug n socket reminder

Emily was kind/on-top-of-the-ball enough to remind me about the Plug 'N Socket Art & Music Festival happening this Saturday (6pm-1am) at the Tranzac. Check out the original post here.

p.s. get outfitted in your saturday night finery at this seriously awesome vintage clothes & textile sale.

distill anniversary sale

Scooped from Nathalie-Roze’s Frugal Fashionista column:

A four day sale (25-50% all items) begins today at Distillery District gallery & boutique Distill, in celebration of their four year anniversary. Distill is a great little shop stocked with crafty, fine craft & fashion-y items by local makers like Julie Gibb, Jack and Marjorie, Snoflake, Dagg & Stacey and Izik Levy (and many many more).

Check out the Distill website for their full roster of
designers and happenings.

Also, while on the website I noticed that they hold a Distill Cup, "a biennial national juried exhibition... of 'cups' as interpreted by ceramists, glassblowers, jewelers and mixed media artists". The exhibition taked place Applications are available here.

55 Mill St. # 56