February 25, 2019

Design and Making: New Craft Symposium in Prince George

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On Saturday, March 9th , join visiting artists, designers, and makers during the New Craft Symposium at Two Rivers Gallery for an afternoon of sharing focused on Art, Design and Craft processes and practices. Between 12:30 PM and 5:00 PM, immerse yourself in New Craft: discover art and craft that spans from ancient practices, to high-tech. By the end, you’ll know all about hand-carved, whistling robots, ceramics that make you think, new discoveries in 3d printing, “high up hut” building, and get the chance to make a “Mighty Ugly” creature or build a chicken automaton out of recycled materials.

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About New Craft

At Emily Carr University of Art + Design, the faculty and affiliated researchers of the Material Matters research group have been developing techniques that combine new workflows of digital manufacturing with traditional, material processes which include: ceramics, glass, textiles, and woodworking. This expanded field of endeavour calls for a wider and deeper knowledge of legacy material production techniques (craft) and the appropriation of new digital material production technologies (new craft). The New Craft of Design is Making.

Makers and DIYers combine material production techniques and the internet’s freely available library of things. The outcomes emerge as new material ecologies, extending from the material process. At Material Matters, we explore these outcomes and enable information sharing by making to know together through social + make forums. This new craft is a research creation practice of ideation, development, and assembly that is done collaboratively, together.

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12:30 – 1 PM: Doors Open

1-1:15: Intro: What is New Craft? Introduction with Keith Doyle and Emily Smith

New Craft: New Practices

1:15-1:30: Justin Miles: Karakuri Ningyo: the 18th century Precurser to modern Japanese robots

1:30-1:45: Logan Mohr

1:45-2pm: Kate Metton

2-2:15pm: BREAK

New Craft: Open Spaces

2:15-2:30: Benny Zenga

2:30-2:45: Kim Werker: Scratch That, Reverse It

3-5pm: Workshops: Build an Automaton “Cranker” or “Make it Mighty Ugly” with Kim Werker


Build a chicken automaton “cranker”

Curious about how things move? Join Justin Miles, Karakuri-Ningyo-maker extraordinaire in building a hand-cranked machine. The history of Karakuri Ningyo highlights approaches of robot development in Japan, dating way back to the 17th-19th century (If you’re interested in learning more about this, you should come see his talk!) Otherwise, participate in the charm and humour of this craft, by making a chicken machine out of recycled materials. (Pre-Registration Link). Please bring your own milk or juice carton. Note: Limited seats are available for the chicken workshop. If you’d like to sign up, please pre-register. (The cost of the symposium is free).

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Make a Mighty Ugly Creature

Join Kim Werker, author and creative adventurer, in making a creature that’s truly ugly – on purpose. And it’s going to be AWESOME. (And possibly scary. Almost certainly uncomfortable.) It will be liberating, insightful, constructive and, in the end, illuminating. Gain perspective on your creative process, shake loose any blocks that have been keeping you down, and learn how embracing the unsavoury parts of making can leave you ready to tackle your next creative project.

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Artist Bios:

Justin Miles

Justin has been tinkering with automata in his studio for many years. He has a keen interest in Japanese craft, and in particular, Karakuri Ningyo, a 300 year old Japanese tradition of automata-like devices. In 2010, he traveled to Inuyama, Japan, to visit a well known Karakuri museum. While there he had his first brief hands-on experience studying these machines. As luck would have it, some of his crude attempts at Karakuri were discovered by a Japanese Producer Shuichiro Ban, and in June of 2017, was invited to Nagoya, Japan, to be in the hour-long Tokyo TV program, “Who Wants to Come to Japan?” There he met and studied briefly with one of Japan’s Cultural Treasures, Tamaya Shobei IX, who is considered one of a few remaining leading Karakuri experts and restorers. That experience galvanized Justin’s commitment to continue studying and creating his own automata, as well as assembling the traditional designs he was exposed to during this once in a lifetime experience. He wishes to share his knowledge of automata, and karakuri, and to combine the Japanese esthetics with his creations, but retain the playfulness of automata. Justin lives in Vancouver, has a small woodshop, a kitchen workshop, a living room workbench, and two feline creative supervisors.

Kate Metten

Kate Metten situates herself within the intersection of painting and ceramics. Her first solo show Untitled opened in January at Wil Aballe Art Projects, Vancouver. Recent group shows include The Form Will Find Its Way: Contemporary Ceramic Sculptural Abstraction, NCECA (2019), Katherine E. Nash Gallery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Leaning Out of Windows (LOoW) Process Design, Art and Physics Collaborations through Aesthetic Transformation, Emily Carr University of Art and Design (2018); and 88 Artists from 88 Years, Emily Carr University of Art and Design (2017). Winner of the Thelma Ruck Keen Memorial Award for Ceramics when graduating with her BFA at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2017, she recently completed a formal apprenticeship with ceramicist Gailan Ngan with funding from the BC Arts Council early career development program. She will undertake an artist’s residency at the Burrard Arts Foundation in 2019.

Kim Werker

Kim Werker believes that acts of creativity can be fun even when they’re scary, and that the first attempt at making any new kind of thing is utterly perfect especially when it’s a disaster. She is the author of half a dozen crochet books and Make It Mighty Ugly, a guide to vanquishing creative demons, and she speaks and leads workshops on embracing the ugly side of creativity as an essential element to making meaningful projects. An instructor with both Craftsy/Bluprint and CreativeLive, she lives in Vancouver, BC, where she works as a writer and editor, and hosts an online community of creative adventurers.

Benny Zenga

Benny Zenga is a filmmaker who builds and embodies the movies he makes. Since building his first High Up Hut out of sticks, the artist’s self-described structures of solitude have grown to a human scale. Often found atop abandoned poles, Zenga’s High Up Huts represent his desire to savour a clear mind.

High Up Hut #3, installed on Two Rivers Gallery’s Sculpture Court, is a hybrid design inspired by High Up Hut #1 (Belcarra) and High Up Hut #2 (Vancouver). Unlike its predecessors, this hut is not located on a vacant pole, but rather on the high-up location of the Sculpture Court. Utilizing forgotten posts and pillars, these ‘graffiti living’ spaces are a refuge for the everyday adventurer and a lighthouse for the public, invoking them to look up.

Logan Mohr

Logan Mohr is a Material Matters Researcher and Studio Technician at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver. He graduated from Emily Carr with a Bachelor of Industrial Design Degree in the Spring of 2016. As an emergent scholar, he is able to apply his own knowledge and research creation practice to student and faculty-led projects. His technology creation projects inspire and enable others to learn and discover. Logan gives form to our relationships with the spaces and individuals around us through Computer Aided Design, parametric interfaces and additive material production technologies.

Emily Smith

Educator, producer, and hands-on learning advocate, Emily Smith loves to share knowledge, whether through workshops, art, events, or demonstrations. She has devoted much of her time to fostering environments that encourage learning by making. Emily has been producing arts and culture events since 2010 as cofounder of the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire, founder of the Vancouver Fibreshed, and former Education Director of VIVO Media Arts Centre. She has hosted youth mentorship programs, ladies’ hacking nights, circuit bending events, textile happenings, artist residencies, and a BC-wide ADST initiative to create Maker Clubs in schools in partnership with the Industry Training Authority. She recently completed her Masters in Design at Emily Carr and she continues to teach, conduct research, create art, and hosts professional development days throughout the year.

Keith Doyle

Keith Doyle is an Assistant Professor Industrial Design, Faculty of Design + Dynamic Media, and Faculty of Graduate Studies at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. He is a Lead/co-lead Investigator on a few University material research initiatives including, design-led applied research partnerships enabled by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, National Research Council Canada, and Research Creation activities funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. He is a Serial Collaborator and Maker. Doyle is an alumni researcher of GRAND NCE and founding faculty member and Director of the Material Matters Research Centre. He maintains an active design and material practice presenting scholarly works and exhibitions locally and abroad. Material Matters’ mandate is to explore sustainable yet innovative material practice through material practice, material research, co-operative partnerships, social forums and workshops for knowledge transfer.

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