October 24 – 27, 2012

The second annual A Handmade Assembly, presented by the Owens Art Gallery and Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre with support from the Fine Arts Department at Mount Allison University, featured talks, workshop, and projects by Nicole Burisch (Montreal, QC), Joanna Close (Halifax, NS), Paula Jean Cowan (Sackville, NB), Daniel Espeset (Halifax, NS), Chris Foster (Toronto, ON), Gay Hansen (Jolicure, NB), Lydia Haywood-Munn (Ottawa, ON), Lucy MacDonald (Sackville, NB), Allyson Mitchell (Toronto, ON), Graeme Patterson (Sackville, NB), Sandy Plotnikoff (Toronto, ON), Karen Reimer (Chicago, IL), Ryan Statz (Calgary, AB), Karen Stentaford (Sackville, NB) and Jayne Wark (Halifax, NS).

Opening Night Roundtable Discussion

Wednesday, October 24, 7:30pm
Sackville Curling Club

The Assembly began with a roundtable discussion moderated by Nicole Burisch with Paula Jean Cowan, Allyson Mitchell, and Ryan Statz.

Workshop: Clip Tricks: bread clip ephemera workshop - Sandy Plotnikoff

Thursday, October 25, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre

What's the best thing since sliced bread? Breadclips! Actually, the ubiquitous plastic tabs are often overlooked in value, accumulating in junk drawers or tossed aside long before their true expiration date. This workshop explored practical, and less practical but wildly inventive re-use of breadclips. We started by examining a wide range of available clip shapes, colours, and imprints - then embarked on a production session to creatively expand on the form. Think outside the bag...

Exhibition: Endless Set – Karen Reimer

Owens Art Gallery

This piece is a set of a theoretically unlimited number of pillowcases decorated with prime numbers. Each pillowcase is made of the same number of fabric scraps as the prime number decorating it, i.e. prime number 3 is appliqued onto a pillowcase made of 3 scraps of fabric, prime number 5 is appliquéd onto a pillowcase made of 5 scraps of fabric, and so forth. The white fabric prime number is the same inches high as itself, i.e., prime number 3 is 3 inches high, 5 is 5 inches high, etc. As the prime numbers get larger than the pillowcase’s footprint of 20 x 30 inches, the excess white fabric is folded back and layered over. As the prime numbers get increasingly larger, there is more and more layering and they more completely obscure the pillowcase made of increasingly smaller scraps. Eventually the pillowcases become very thick, useless as pillowcases, becoming the thickness of pillows themselves, and eventually becoming taller than the tables they are currently displayed on. I plan to continue the series until I am no longer physically able to make the pillowcases according to this system. I expect the breakdown of the system to occur at the point where the number of fabric scraps making up the underlying pillowcase will be so large that the scraps will be too tiny to sew together. This series is a contest between the concept of infinity and the limitations of the physical world, including my body.

Artist Talk - Graeme Patterson

Thursday, October 25, 10:00am
Struts & Faucet, 7 Lorne Street.

Workshop: Bookbinding - Lucy MacDonald

Thursday, October 25, 3:00pm - 5:00pm
Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre

In this workshop we made books without glue, exploring two decorative sewing variations for single-section books and finishing our two-volume set with a practically-instant slipcase. For all levels, from beginner binders to those with experience.

Workshop: Needle Felting in 3D - Paula Jean Cowan

Friday, October 26, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre

Everything else is in 3D, so why not needle felting too? This workshop offered the basics of needle felting and moved into working with the material to create 3D objects - broaches, barrette embellishments, voodoo dolls. Participants could make a bit of art to wear on their lapel (or get some sweet revenge).

Exhibition: New Civilizations // Land of Enchantment – Daniel Espeset & Chris Foster

Thunder & Lightning Ltd.

This exhibition presented two recent printed matter works by Halifax based artists Chris Foster and Daniel Espeset. Both bodies of work explored ideas of technological oblivion and dystopia through the representation of landscape. Foster's New Civilizations is a bound book of 21 elaborate collages. The works depict improbable landscapes that integrate modern civilizations with ancient architecture, suggesting a state of flux. The publication features an essay by Halifax based Artist and Curator Kate Walchuk. Espeset's Land of Enchantment is an unbound portfolio of seven offset-lithographic prints, a series of photographs shot over the course of several years which explore notions of tension and control inherent in the act of enchanting & being enchanted. Both works are self-published by the artists in first editions of 250 copies.

Workshop: Make do and Mend!

Saturday, October 27, 3:00pm - 5:00pm
Owens Art Gallery

This Handmade Study Break participants were invited to join menders Gay Hansen and Karen Stentaford for an afternoon of repairing, remaking and re-imagining old clothes. Gay Hansen is an accomplished knitter, skilled sewer, weaver and basket maker. Karen Stentaford is a re-worker of clothes with an experimental approach, employing pleats, zippers and fabric additions

Artist Talk - Nicole Burisch

Thursday, October 25, 11:00am
Struts & Faucet, 7 Lorne Street.

Artist Talk - Allyson Mitchell

Friday, October 26, 10:00am
Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre

Artist Talk - Ryan Statz

Friday, October 26, 11:00am
Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre

Workshop: Where the Rubber Hits the Road - Allyson Mitchell

Friday, October 26, 3:00pm - 6:00pm
Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre

This workshop was an opportunity for artists, community activists, academics, and event organizers to connect and share their own artwork, theoretical frameworks, and technical practices. Together we rallied our respective projects to participate in a "group hug" to helping each other get our projects done.

Exhibition: Handmade Members' Show

Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre

Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre installed a group show of work by their members. All members were invited to bring in their work for inclusion in the exhibition.


Artist Talk - Karen Reimer

Saturday, October 27, 11:00am
Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre

Artist Talk - Lydia Haywood-Munn

Saturday, October 27, 12:00pm
Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre

Closing Address - Jayne Wark

Saturday, October 27, 8:00pm
Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre

Jayne Wark is Professor of Art History at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She has published articles and exhibition catalogue essays on performance, video and conceptual art and is the author of Radical Gestures: Feminist Performance Art in North America (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2006). She is curator of the Atlantic section of the touring exhibition Traffic: Conceptual Art in Canada – 1965-1980 (2010-2013) and a contributor to its accompanying exhibition (Douglas & MacIntyre, 2012).