Episode 14: Habiba El-Sayed
Inspired by Islamic architecture and human vulnerability, Toronto-based ceramic artist Habiba El-Sayed uses a variety of materials, performance and temporal techniques to illustrate her concepts. Her work focuses on connecting to, exploring and interpreting aspects of her identity, particularly as a Muslim woman living in a post-9/11 world.
El-Sayed’s work was on display at the Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery as part of the Disruption exhibition, February 5 to May 15, 2022.
Episode 13: Heidi McKenzie
McKenzie’s Illuminated series was on display at the Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery as part of the Disruption exhibition, February 5 to May 15, 2022. Disruption investigates how four women of colour use their practices to disrupt a predominantly white, male, Eurocentric art narrative. This exhibition is part of the larger project to deconstruct society’s racist and sexist structural underpinnings with the aim of building a new foundation of multiplicity. Natalia Arbelaez, Magdolene Dykstra, Habiba El-Sayed, and Heidi McKenzie work to fashion a more egalitarian canon through artistic practices that delve into diverse histories. Arbelaez and McKenzie draw our attention to narratives that have long been overlooked. El-Sayed and Dykstra use abstraction to subvert the spectator’s gaze, while simultaneously insisting upon their visibility. Magdolene Dykstra and Heidi McKenzie would like to acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.
Episode 12: Magdolene Dykstra
In this episode, Magdolene Dykstra shares her process of working with raw clay and mixed pigments to create pieces that explore mortality, anonymity and individuality.
Dykstra’s site-specific work ‘Rupture’ was on display at the Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery as part of the Disruption exhibition, February 5 to May 15, 2022. Disruption investigates how four women of colour use their practices to disrupt a predominantly white, male, Eurocentric art narrative. This exhibition is part of the larger project to deconstruct society’s racist and sexist structural underpinnings with the aim of building a new foundation of multiplicity. Natalia Arbelaez, Magdolene Dykstra, Habiba El-Sayed, and Heidi McKenzie work to fashion a more egalitarian canon through artistic practices that delve into diverse histories. Arbelaez and McKenzie draw our attention to narratives that have long been overlooked. El-Sayed and Dykstra use abstraction to subvert the spectator’s gaze, while simultaneously insisting upon their visibility. Magdolene Dykstra and Heidi McKenzie would like to acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.
Artworks featured in video: ‘Polyanthroponemia’ and ‘Rupture’ by Magdolene Dysktra
Episode 11: Stephen Hawes
In this episode, Stephen Hawes gives us a full demonstration on how he creates his thrown and altered cups, surface decoration, and the glazing process. Stephen also gives us tour of his garden and studio space.
Stephen Hawes took his first class in clay at the Waterloo Potters’ Workshop. He was hooked. Subsequently he took courses at Sheridan College, Sir Sanford Fleming College and has attended many workshops.
Since 1987, he has been making wheel-thrown and hand-built functional pottery. Through the use of colour and design, the pots Stephen makes are visually appealing. Influences from his earlier career as a microbiologist are evident. He is also influenced by abstract paintings and “road constuction paintings” found on urban streets. Great pleasure is found with the use of his pottery. His pots feel comfortable in one’s hand. There is delight when one handles one of his bowls. A certain intimacy is felt as the lip of a cup touches the lips of the user. He makes pots that he hopes will make us slow down and enjoy the food or drink that they contain.
He is a member of the Waterloo Potters’ Workshop, A Mess of Potters, Fusion and Craft Ontario. You can find Stephen’s work here in the Gallery Shop at the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery.
Episode 10: Behnaz Fatemi
In this special episode, Behnaz Fatemi gives us insight into the many inspirations, ideas, and thought processes behind a number of her bodies of work, including the series she is currently working on as the 2020 Kitchener Artist in Residence.
Behnaz Fatemi was born in Isfahan, Iran in 1991 and moved to Canada in 2018. Fatemi received her BFA in painting from University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran.
She is an interdisciplinary artist currently based in the KW region. Fatemi expresses her artistic ideas and visions through various media and techniques including but not limited to painting, sculpture, and installation. She focuses on the deep connection between humans and their behaviors. This is an answer to her question of how human sensibility is interconnected with topics such as society, politics, religion, personal beliefs and the like.
Fatemi is currently the 2020 Kitchener Artist in Residence, working on immigrant- and immigration-related themes in the Pegman project. She is also a member of Art$pay Artist in Incubator program supported by Region of Waterloo.
Episode 9: Andrea Vuletin
In this episode, Andrea Vuletin demonstrates her practice while sharing her photography and the ways in which she draws inspiration from nature for her functional ceramic pieces.
I am a Canadian potter. I have a Bachelor of Design from Ontario of Art and Design University. My ceramic education however began as a child in the home of a part time potter, my mother, and expanded after university with studies at George Brown College, continuing still with personal study and regular work shop participation. I have been working as a full-time potter for the better part of twenty years and will continue as long as I can. I make porcelain vessels that are decorated with botanical imagery that reflect my interest in the environment. My goal is to celebrate the local flora and fauna, drawing attention to small moments from nature and to provide functional works for people to enjoy.
Episode 8: Heather Wood
In this episode, Heather Wood discusses her 35 year career creating glass pieces and the ways in which in environment influences her practice.
Much of Heather’s work revolves around the use of plant, tree and animal imagery. Her exploration of vegetation and animal life as cultural symbols, references man’s need for contact with the natural world. Using images representing the environment both literally and metaphorically, Heather’s work explores the connection between our spiritual and physical worlds and emphasizes our need for nature.
Heather uses vitreous glass enamels, both fusible and recycled glasses, and a kiln to create both functional and non-functional work in her studio located close to river and forest in scenic Elora, Ontario.
Heather graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Arts with a Studio Specialization in Sculpture from the University of Waterloo, Ontario.
Episode 7: Shawna Redskye
In this episode, Shawna Redskye gives us insight into her process and the inspirations behind her designs.
Shawna Redskye of Morningstarr Ceramics is a queer Nishnaabe-Irish ceramic artist living and learning in Nogojiwanong | Peterborough. As a graduate of the Ceramic Certificate program at the Haliburton School of Art and Design in 2016, her work continues to shift and grow. Her current work focuses on the telling and carrying of stories on story vessels. Through process of creation and reduction, she explores storytelling with elements of shape and colour using sgraffito technique on clay vessels. In her work, she strives to honour various narratives of the land, water & intricate systems of kinship.
Episode 6: Gayle Temple
In this episode, Gayle Temple shows us around her studio and garden, discussing her kiln-fired glass works, her process, and the influences that inspire her practice. Gayle has been drawn to glass for many years; how it interacts with light and appears to absorb the light’s energy. Her work is greatly influenced by this concept of energy living within glass. As a self-taught artist, Gayle is continually learning. Not knowing exactly how a piece is going to turn out, and the endless possibilities of what can be created inspire her practice.
Episode 5: Tobias Tomlinson
In this episode, Tobias Tomlinson walks us through his studio spaces and shares insight on the many facets of his multi-media practice. Explaining some of the many techniques he uses in his varied practice as well as many of the spiritual and cultural meanings behind the imagery and motifs used in his works, Tobias shares his personal connections with his pieces and the meanings that they hold. Videographer: Millie Schulz
Tobias Tomlinson has been a working potter for nearly 50 years. He received his degree in Fine Arts from the University of Calgary in 1971, a major in printmaking, and a minor in ceramics. Some of his instructors included Harlan House, Hal Regar, Jack Surs, Marylin Levine, Roy Kiyooka, Santo Mignosa and Léopold Foulem. Tobias also weaves, fuses dichroic glass, produces torch-work beads, and creates sterling jewelry.
Tobias discovered several years ago that his great grandmother was a Chickasaw-First Nations woman from the Cherokee Federation. He incorporates the designs of medicinal plants, ceremonial images, as well as figurative work with the symbols of my Nation such as Weaver Womyn, and Weeping Man, the four winged flying serpent, the medicine wheel and other motifs from his Nation.
Tobias has always been interested in textiles, the use of natural fibres and plants used for dyes. He has raised sheep, sheared wool, spun, and created woven material from “scratch to finish”. Today, the main fibres used are rayon, silk, linen, cotton, viscose, and rayon chenille. With these, rugs, shawls, and scarves are lovingly made. Colour and texture, forms and function, this is the historical essence of humanity and craft history, as well as ingenuity combined with practicality. Like the myth of the girl, the womyn, and the crone, weaving the threads of Life.
Tobias Tomlinson is an artisan who works in a variety of media; fused glass, torch work beads, porcelain, woven textiles, sterling silver, copper forms, and printmaking.
Episode 4: Susan Rankin
In this episode, Susan Rankin discusses her glass practice and the ways in which she is inspired by nature and her garden. Bringing the natural environment and florals into her glass practice through spectacularly detailed decorations, Rankin also brings her glass practice to the natural environment through her abstract installations.
Susan Rankin lives and works from her home in Apsley, Ontario. Susan graduated from Sheridan College in 1989. She received a three-year artist in residency at the Harbourfront Centre glass studio, in Toronto from 1989 – 91. In her 33-year career as a glass artist, Susan has drawn her inspiration from the landscape in which she lives. As an avid gardener she continues to explore the Idea of garden through her vessel and sculptural works and is well-known for her vibrant floral vessels. Susan examines how glass has been used historically and transitions form and style with a contemporary feel.
Episode 3: Julian Covey
In this episode, Julian Covey shows us his practice creating both sculptural and functional ceramic pieces through mould-making and casting. Using both traditional and modern methods, Julian’s varied forms and bold glazes create juicy textures and striking pieces.
Julian Covey is a Halifax based ceramic artist. He was born in Sydney, Nova Scotia and has spent much of his life in Montreal. He completed his ceramics education at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 2018 and he maintains both sculptural and utilitarian ceramic practices. Beyond the studio, Julian works as a kiln technician, teaches classes and is currently the president of the board of directors of Visual Arts Nova Scotia. He is passionate about ceramic art and its ability to record and communicate complex concepts through material culture. Since completing his studies, Julian was selected for the Centre for Craft Nova Scotia’s airCRAFT and Craft LAIR residencies and was awarded a creation grant from Arts Nova Scotia’s Equity Initiative.
Episode 2: Becky Lauzon
In this episode, Becky Lauzon shows us her engraving studio where she finishes clear glass pieces that she has blown in a hot shop. Finishing the pieces by adding soil and a variety of native plants, Becky discusses the ways in which city life and the natural environment are brought together in her practice.
Becky Lauzon is a glass artist and engraver currently based out of Toronto, Ontario. Born and raised in Cochrane Ontario, Becky takes inspiration from the urban landscape and its juxtaposition with the natural world. After graduating from Sheridan College in 2014, she began a four-year residency at the Toronto Harbourfront Center. Through combining living elements with her hand blown free hand engraved transparent glass and the use of optics Becky creates an urban landscape throughout her work. Most recently, Becky has been exploring the use of avocado trees, with her glass creations, creating living installations that she has shown at the Gladstone Hotel’s Grow Op exhibition and the Toronto Artist Project’s Installation Zone.
Episode 1: Toni Losey
In this episode, Toni Losey shows us a small corner of her studio to provide us a look into the sculptural forms she creates that are influenced by growth patterns in the natural environment. With several demonstrations and a discussion of her use of building blocks to develop larger, more complex forms, Losey gives a glimpse into her process and the many steps involved in creating her many-layered works!
Toni Losey, is a Ceramic Artist working in the city of Dartmouth, NS. She received her BFA focus on Ceramics from NSCAD in 2017. While there she drew upon her 15 years of experience as a studio potter to develop an exciting body of sculptural work. She was named one of Ceramics Monthly Emerging Artists 2020. She now shows her work internationally in several galleries in the United States, as a participant in Ceramics Art London and has an upcoming show in Belgium.