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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Hello Rickson-
I love it that you've started the Canadian Can Craft!( the more the merrier).I lived 20 yrs in the Montreal Area, then 10 near Toronto, and now 20 here in BC--used to feel fairly comfortablespeaking French, missed hearing it in Toronto, but actually hear quite a bit in Squamish & Whistler. Lots of young french canadians come for the various outdoor recreation & to work on Whistler /Blackcomb Mtns in the winter.

I've sure seen a big change in the Canadian Craft scene in those years-- I know Montreal has a very vibrant arts sector, with a style thats unique. When i was beginning as a weaver
years ago, things were pretty conservative,-- thats changed a lot.: altho I must say when I
took workshops at Basket Focus conferences in Toronto & the Okanagan in the late 90's,
it was innovative US craft artists that really got me going in new directions-- John
Garrett, Dorothy Gill Barnes, & Arline Fisch.

Vancouver & BC has wonderful craft artists, but few galleries to really support them, --the public aren't as knowledgable perhaps as in Toronto/Montreal. In2009 there were 4 galleries from Montreal & Ottawa that exhibited at SOFA NY, don't know about 2010.-but
none from the West.The Circle Craft Xmas show is quite good,and getting better, but still doesn't have top level work.I exhibited at One of a Kind for several years in toronto, 25 yrs ago & even then the top artists could do well-- but i have no idea what the situation is now with the show.

I LOVED the video clip -language cops & Bill 101--I was there--HA!
Hi Frances,

Thanks for all these great comments! I love that you've experienced arts and crafts all over Canada. May I ask you to post your comment in some of the other discussions? I'd love people to read about your craft show knowledge in the 'craft show' discussion, and would also like people to see your comments on French Canadian Craft in that discussion as well. You can just copy and past your comments that apply. THey are great! These are the links:

French Canadian:
Craft Shows:

Isn't that video amazing!? It's what always comes to mind when we discuss French Canadian culture, it's just so funny. :)

Thanks agian, your comments are really valued.

Hey Kerin,

No I don't think one needs to identify themselves by where they live. Personally I like to look at the world as one area. I don't like boarders and countries really. But I do like studying cultures, which often relate to the area one grew up in. But with immigration and emmigration, cultures are starting to be defined by their own definitions as apposed to their geography. I generally think Canadian and US cultures run parrallel, but of course there are large differences between the two countries. Your description of floating between the two craft worlds reminds me of my friend Sharlene Bamboat's thesis on Diaspora, becuase she was born in Pakistan but grew up in Canada from the age of 7, so she doesn't feel truly at home in either country. I would say you can define your own identity based on more than the area you live in, which you probably do already. :)

For the purpose of this group I define by area becuase geography by country effects us a great deal when exhibiting, applying for funding, and working with artists locally. But other than those elements I usually don't assess myself or people by where they live, but by how they define themselves as artists. :)

Thanks for this comment, really got me thinking.



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