One of the most common questions from passersby when encountering the Craft Studios is, “How is that made?” The answer is often a technical explanation but that leaves out a vast amount of information that each of these four artists and designers has amassed and integrated into their daily practice. The realization of their ideas depends on a sophisticated ability to organize and compose various systems that translate into methods of fabrication. Developing conceptual ideas, tacit material understanding and an acute appreciation of process and experimentation allows them to construct ideas into tangible works.
– Melanie Egan, Head, Craft, Harbourfront Centre
Patrick Macaulay, Head, Visual Arts, Harbourfront Centre
George Jae Hyun Cho
My love of art, clay and respect for tradition inform my practice, which allows me to express myself and seek universal validity without the boundaries of language and stereotype. Throughout my practice, I have been trying to balance two very different ideological approaches – one trying to transcend tradition, and the other trying to rediscover the spirit of tradition. Understanding the traditional values and history of ceramics, my work has been a consistent approach into increasing abstraction and experimentation. It questions our fascination with history and the ideologies behind them. By infusing abstracted nomenclatures of classical pots with modern aesthetics, I am able construct multiple definitions within my work. Using the vocabulary of art, craft, and architecture, I aim to unfold preconceived constructs of classical values and traditions of ceramic practice.
– George Jae Hyun Cho
George Jae Hyun Cho earned his BFA in Ceramics from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University and a Diploma in Ceramics from Sheridan Institute. He was awarded the NSCAD-Lunenburg Community Studio Residency position in 2010 and was accepted into Harbourfront Centre’s Artist-in-Residence programme in 2011.
Pocket Square is a look at new designs in an upcoming collection that developed with a compelling feminine and effortless dandy combination in mind. Working with floral imagery while continuing to explore stripes and geometric shapes in itajime shibori.
Stephanie Fortin graduated from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University with a BFA focused on textiles and art history in 2009 and an illustration diploma from Sheridan Institute in 2004. Fortin creates unique hand-dyed and printed textiles, incorporating itajime shibori, immersion and removal dyeing with contemporary practices of silk screening. She is interested in the interaction and play between line, shape, colour, form and pattern.
Fortin has been an artist-in-residence in the Textile Studio at Harbourfront Centre since 2011. She launched her company, Coeur De Lion Textiles this past year, offering a line of home and fashion accessories and has shown her work in exhibitions with NSCAD University, Harbourfront Centre, The National Ballet of Canada and the Design Exchange.
Like any sketching process, it all begins with a line. Connecting line to line creates a plane and a combination of points, lines and planes form a visible discernible shape. I convey a passion for innovative design and architecture by combining organic, geometric and clean minimalist dynamic forms with lines and joints.
My work is about how one line connects to another, and by connecting them, I create shape, figure and three dimensional structures. I have utilized existing platonic structures and through manipulation and removing lines reduce the planes of the configuration. The piece retains some trace of the original but through the process becomes something new.
– Jay Joo
Originally from Korea, Jay Joo received his BFA in Jewellery and Metalsmithing at the Ontario College of Art and Design University. During his formal years at OCAD University, he has acquired a diverse skill set that includes traditional fabrication, metalsmithing techniques such as chasing and repoussé as well as computer-aided design. Most of his work carries a social commentary and address societal issue.
He was accepted into Harbourfront Centre’s Artist-in-Residence programme and awarded a scholarship in 2012.
Grace Eun Mi Lee
I am interested in things that are unnoticed and appear to have little or no significance on a regular basis. Using forms inspired by micro-organisms, I want to emphasize the importance of the individuality and the collective entity. By taking the time to observe and give our attention to these small details, we are soon faced with another form of existence waiting for our recognition. My work is presented in a monumental presence through an accrual of small imaginative elements.
I like to create whatever shapes I can imagine in my head using my hands and tools I have at my disposal. My goal is to create one-of-a-kind shapes that are precise and detailed while still having the “handmade” look and feel. I try to use my surrounding environment and personal experiences to influence the shapes I create.
–Grace Eun Mi Lee
Grace Eun Mi Lee is a Toronto-based ceramic artist who was born and raised in Seoul, Korea and moved to Canada in 2010. She received her BFA in Craft Design at Suwon University in 2005, and her MFA in Ceramics at Hongik University in 2009. She has been working with clay since 2000. She is currently an artist-in-residence at Harbourfront Centre. Lee has received numerous awards including recognition at the 2009 “Out of the Box” Cheongju International Craft Competition in Korea.
More recently, her work has been featured in television, magazines and numerous online articles.