So I was asked to speak at SOFA in 2011 as an emerging artist (if I get into one of the galleries there, ya!) and was told that my work stands out amongst my fellow Canadian jewellery artists. As flattered as I am, it got me thinking about what it means, in terms of artistic style, to be ‘Canadian’? Do Canadian craft artists have a style? Where do we fit in the world of art jewellery? Are we respected? If I were of a different culture would my work be received differently?


To get a better grasp of what ‘Canadian Craft’ looks like, I started browsing Canadian artists on Crafthaus, and our talent is obvious. But I still couldn't put my finger on any one style, concept, or really anything that linked us together, aside from the overwhelming amount of women! (This is a topic for another blog post, but you go girls!)

Then I went to a meeting about SNAG being held in Toronto in 2013! It’s so exciting, like the Olympics of jewellery design! The theme is going to be 'Meta-Mosaic', in other words, a mosaic of people, as opposed to a ‘melting pot’. And that’s when it hit me, it’s not our similarities that unite us, it’s our differences. Generally when identity is discussed, Canadians feel lacking, in that we embrace so many cultures, ‘ours’ gets lost, but that is the strength of our culture, accepting, embracing and uniting everyone, despite our differences. Our identity is a blending of identities making a new ‘Meta-Mosaic’.


Similarly I’ve noticed that in new art and craft work, there is a blending of styles, techniques and materials. ‘Low’ materials are mixed with ‘high’ ones, demolishing the hierarchy of materials and styles. Artists are not only represented by their medium, but the way in which they use it. Sketches are made into gallery worthy artwork, rocks are set like diamonds, and chain is made from hair. I love this movement in style. And it doesn’t seem to be arising from one geographical location, it seems to be a worldwide event, because everyone feels it, the combination and mixing of regimented rules from the past is our legacy. I love it!


So having indulged in all that glorious modern Craft and Canadian pride, I have for you a little sampling of some of the great Canadian jewellery, ceramics, and miscellaneous craft artists I’ve come across in my travels:
(click on the image if a link isn't written) (scroll down with this link for Amanda's


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That blood splattered bride is hilarious ! Congratulations too on being invited to speak at SOFA. Quite the honor ! You go girl :-))
I saw this fashion show, and the model strutted to the end of the runway.... then bit down hard and started dripping tons of blood from her mouth! It was an amazing performance.

Thanks for the cudos! Now I have to choose between SNAG 2013 (if I get accepted) and SOFA 2011. Apparently they want to vary the speakers, but maybe I'll argue since they are different years. :)

A good problem to have :-)
Haha yeah what a snob I am! I was just chatting with Farha about how Canadians are too humble...maybe I am adopted! haha. :)
HEY CONGRATULATIONS! I may not be Canadian, but I'm close enough :-P
Thanks! Congradulate me when I get into one of the galleries. :)
Beautiful work. I appreciate you telling us about Canada Craft. There is also some French aspect to this, non ? Would it be possible to maybe talk about the French part of Canada sometime during a future post ? Or maybe: Do you think that the language differences matter in the Canada craft field ? Maybe it does not ?
Thanks for this comment. I actually just took, a long time writing a response because you opened up some issues I hadn't thought of in depth before.

I have actually started to 'collect' craft artists from Quebec specifically to mention on this blog, as I don't know many personally and there is a slight cultural gap. Generally Montreal is considered a very cool place to visit for the arts and many of us went there for New Years and March break as teens. But there is some bitterness since the province wants to separate, even though polls show less than %49 actually want to. So the bitterness is unreasonable, but it's still there and effects all social interaction, so undertones of this leak into craft shows. At the same time there is this respect and allure people have for Quebec artists. I think it's because Quebec has separated itself 'theoretically' from the rest of the country, so the arts have an exotic quality, similar to how countries other than your home seem exotic and have the 'other' quality.

When I travel people outside of North America always think I am fluent in French, and when I say I am not they say 'it's a bi-lingual country no?'. Good point! So maybe there is bitterness in Quebec over this. Everything is written in both languages, but both languages are not used in speech nationally. What do you think? Where are you from? I couldn’t find it on your profile.

Thanks again, very good thoughts. I'll try to do a post devoted to this topic.
Yes, you can definately see the immense artistic influence of Montreal just in the Mont. Jazz fest and its HUGE amount of participants and observers. I believe it's over 2 million people now.
We are extremely envious of the incredible government support the arts enjoy in Canada. The creativity and infrastructure of the artistic communities in Canada are a model of how things CAN work. Perhaps you could invade America sometime soon. Oh yeah, bring your medical system with you too.
haha, definetly! I hope to do a post specifically on funding opportunities becuase there are so many it's hard to keep track and apply for them all!

I heard Obama made a possitive change to the Medical system. Is it still not on par with Canada?
gosh Rickson, this is such big stuff to think about....I wonder about myself...I feel sort of floating between two craft worlds, a dual citizenry gal, living in the US...with a heart that belongs in Canada...does one need to "identify"?......hmmmmm?


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