The 7th Triennial Canadian Clay Symposium ~ R:evolution – tradition – technology

Saturday, March 18th, 2017
Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, Burnaby, BC

Where do you sit on the technological continuum in your ceramic
practice? Are you forging ahead, finding new and exciting ways to use
modern digital technologies in the creation or marketing of your work…
or hunkering down and finding ways to continue to explore your making in
traditional ways?
R:evolution – tradition – technology is a one
day ceramics symposium exploring the ways contemporary ceramic artists
interact with and employ new digital technologies; as a tool for making
work, in their artistic enquiry, or as a means to connect with peers and
their market. Attendees will also have the opportunity to investigate
the relevance and role of traditional methods in contemporary society.

The Canadian Clay Symposium will feature ten national and international
artists who have been invited to share their expertise with ceramic
arts students and professionals. Through numerous simultaneous
presentations of images, lectures, demonstrations, critiques, panel
discussions and a topical keynote address, the topics of presentation
cover theoretical topics, as well as practical techniques in areas such
as sculpture, hand-building, wheel-throwing, glaze and firing technology
and clay bodies.

Over the next months we will share through
this newsletter some information about each of the ten Symposium
presenters as well as report about other events and workshops that will
run in conjunction with the Symposium.

Currently Aaron Nelson is
the Associate Director at Medalta, a museum, residency, research and
education centre in Medicine Hat Alberta. In addition to his work as an
arts administrator, consultant and technical educator, Aaron also
maintains an active studio practice. Currently Aaron’s studio research
focuses on the intersection of digital technology and traditional
ceramic practice. He has lectured on this topic throughout Canada and
his research has been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, The
Alberta Foundation of the Arts, and the National Research Council.

In his “Connectivity” project, Aaron’s handmade traditional tea cups,
platters, vases and porcelain chandeliers are connected, sometimes by
way of their decorative gold luster, with electrical and electronic
circuitry, telephones, iPods, generators, light bulbs and audio
speakers. The gilded decoration works as a simple circuit board – the
surfaces of the ceramics become energized with flowing electrons as they
transmit electrical current and data. Visitors are invited to ‘turn on’
and interact with the pieces physically or through their electronic

Learn more about Aaron and his work at these links:
• “The Big Idea” video
• Colour changing chandelier video link:

Gwendolyn Yoppolo uses words, ceramic objects, and food to stretch
boundaries and transform perception. She creates sensuous kitchen- and
table-wares that use the physical experience of hunger and satiation to
allude to larger issues of human desire and relationship. Her visionary
designs challenge us to rethink the ways we nourish ourselves and others
within contemporary food culture. “The pieces I make are questions, and
they remain open-ended until fulfilled through use.”
earned an MFA in Ceramics from Penn State University, has been a
resident artist at the Penland School of Crafts, the Anderson Ranch Arts
Center, and the Archie Bray Foundation. Gwendolyn has taught at Ohio
University, The Ohio State University, and Juniata College, as well as
at art centers such as Arrowmont School of Crafts and Anderson Ranch
Arts Center. A passionate educator and thinker as well as a maker, her
writing can be found in Studio Potter, Pottery Making Illustrated, and
Passion and Pedagogy.

Learn more about Gwendolyn and her work at
Learn More!

For full symposium information, please visit
• All participants must be pre-registered.
• Registration is now open. Early Bird Registration is $125 for Adults
or $110 for Seniors (plus GST) until January 15th, after that date
Registration will be $150 for Adults or $131.25 for Seniors (plus GST).
• Seniors Discount is only available through phone, in-person and mail-in registration,
on-line registration includes only the pricing option for regular Adult registration.
• All Fees include lunch.
• Register by mail (cheque payable to the City of Burnaby) or by phone to set up a new account: 604-291-6864.
• Those previously registered in Burnaby programs can access webreg online at:

Virginia McClure Ceramic Biennale: Épisode

• Phoebe Cummings, Benjamin DeMott, Janet Macpherson, Meghan Smythe. Curator: Linda Swanson
Vernissage : Thursday, October 27, 2016 at 6 pm
Exhibition : October 28 to November 26
Artists and Curator Exchange: Friday, October 28 at 7 pm

Épisode is curated by invited artist/curator Linda Swanson.
The exhibition features four artists whose works speak not only to
excellence and innovation in ceramics, but to its relevance as a
discipline that allows for a specifically corporeal, embodied
articulation of contemporary human experience. Swanson’s choice of
artists — Phoebe Cummings (Stafford, UK), Benjamin DeMott (Chicago,
U.S.), Janet Macpherson (Toronto, Canada) and Meghan Smythe (Los
Angeles, U.S.) — has resulted in an inspiring, materially seductive
exhibition. Indeed, there is something collectively subversive about
their work – subversive in the sense of undermining staid narratives,
restrictive tropes, or assumptions about our perceived reality. Each
artist recognizes the historical heritage of ceramics, yet offers a
highly original and imaginatively provocative vision. Épisode is the second of five biennales taking place between 2014 and 2022.

Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Friday 12 pm to 6 pm; Saturday 12 pm to 5 pm

CALL FOR PAPERS: Canadian Craft Biennial Conference Can Craft? Craft Can!

September 15 and 16, 2017
Burlington and Toronto

Art Gallery of Burlington in collaboration with Craft Ontario is
organizing the first Canadian Craft Biennial Conference to be held
September 15 and 16, 2017 in Burlington and Toronto, Ontario.

are eleven sessions covering a variety of themes and approaches. To
submit a proposal to a session, please send an abstract (250 words) with
your contact information, a short biography (100 words) to the convener
of the session you would like to join by 30 November 2016. The full description for each session can be found at

sessions will include four (4) presentations of twenty (20) minutes
each followed by a question period. Number of Pecha Kucha presentations
in session five is at the discretion of the conveners. All sessions are 1
hour 45 minutes in length.

1. Indigenous Craft Today: Tradition, Innovation, Action
Convener: Elizabeth Kalbfleisch, Independent Scholar

2. Craft and Wilderness: Combatting Territorial Amnesia
Convener: Amanda Shore

3. Somewhere Between Folklore, Modernity and Utopia: Expo’67 and the development of Fine Crafts and Métiers d’art in Canada
Convener: Bruno Andrus

Note: Bilingual Session; Propositions in French and English are welcome.

4. Decolonizing Craft: contemporary craft, race, and decolonial practice in Canada
Conveners: Anthea Black, OCAD University & Nicole Burisch, Independent critic/curator
Email: &

5. The Openness of Craft: Complexity in Current Practices
Convener: Ruth Chambers, University of Regina

6. Identity, Craft / Métiers d’art and Marketing
Convener: Susan Surette, PhD, NSCAD University and Concordia University

Note: Bilingual Session; Propositions in French and English are welcome.

7. Round-Table Session Title: Making Sense: Exploring Creative Methodologies
Convener: Julie Hollenbach PhD Candidate, Department of Art (Art History), Queen’s University.

8. Craft and Public Art
Kathy Kranias, PhD Student, Humanities Department, York University, and
Lera Kotsyuba, Research Assistant Intern, Ontario Heritage Trust
Email: &

9. Making Education: The Changing Nature of Teaching Craft
Convener: Dorie Millerson, Assistant Professor, Chair, Material Art & Design, OCAD University

10. Craft’s Collaborations
Convener: Mireille Perron, Alberta College of Art + Design

11. The digital ties that bind: Practice-lead research in craft
Convener: Stephen Bottomley, Senior lecturer, Edinburgh College of Art/ University of Edinburgh

The full description for each session can be found at