Weavers Art launches student-designed rug collection

Weavers Art launch
Monday, October 2, 2017 - 3:45pm

A collection of ten beautiful hand-knotted rugs designed by OCAD U students has been launched at the Weavers Art showroom, Designers Walk, 162 Bedford Rd. in Toronto. The rugs were developed in collaboration between the Material Art & Design (MAAD) program and Weavers Art led by Assistant Professor Lynne Heller. Designed by students (now alumni) Rachel Babineau, Mariam Ben Belfadhel, Allie Gregory, Mudassir Mohammed, Domenic Sgamelluri and Hatley Walker, the rugs were hand-knotted in Nepal and India.

At the launch, designers from across the city remarked on the creativity of the rug designs. In developing designs, the students worked with Weavers Art owner Michael Pourvakil and designer Wan Ki An (MAAD, 2002) to develop a palette of colours and consider the placement of wool and silk fibres. Each designer approached his or her rug design in a different way. Allie Gregory (MAAD, 2017), considered “the juxtaposition of nature within the urban context of the city of Toronto” as seen in Petals, which was inspired by a trip to High Park during cherry blossom season. Hatley Walker’s (MAAD, 2017) Rock Formations began as a photo she took of the “aged walls” of Katra Mosque in Murshidabad, West Bengal, India that she then digitally manipulated into an abstracted design.

The designs were sent to mills in Kathmandu, Nepal and Bhadohi, India where the process of translating the image to a workable pattern begins. “Once we send them the designs, their artist hand paints them on graph papers. Each square on the graph represents one knot in the carpet,” said Pourvakil. “The average knot count for each 8’ x 10’ rug is around 800,000 individually tied knots.”

Several weavers work together at the loom simultaneously. While the students are taught weaving and surface design in the MAAD program, their focus is often on small-scale production. With this incredible project, they are able to see how they can work in the commercial market. In addition to collaborating with the students to develop this collection, Weavers Art also generously donated a student-designed rug to Project 31, OCAD U’s fundraising auction in March 2017.



Weavers Art Launch Party

Thursday, September 28, 2017 - 4:00pm to 8:00pm

Weavers Art in collaboration with six students from the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD University) have designed a limited collection of rugs. 

To kick off this project, Weavers Art is hosting a launch party at their Designers Walk showroom to reveal these dynamic new designs.

See the work of Mariam Ben Belfadhel, Alexandra Gregory, Domenic Sgambelluri, Mohammed Mudassir, Hatley Walker, Rachel Babineau.

Join us for an evening of cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and mingle with the next generation of designers.

Venue & Address: 
Designers Walk Showroom, 162 Bedford Road, Toronto
Weavers Art Launch Party
Digital Screen: 

Crafting the Future: A National Student Exhibition

Saturday, September 16, 2017 - 4:45pm to Saturday, September 23, 2017 - 5:00pm

What is the future of craft? How do today’s emerging makers navigate the historical, political, cultural, and social context of craft? With over 100 works by students from nine Canadian post-secondary craft programs, Crafting the Future: A National Student Exhibition, will examine these questions through innovative and engaging works in ceramics, fibre, furniture, glass, jewellery, textiles, metalsmithing, video and mixed materials. Juried by Audrey Hudson, Dorie Millerson, and Robert Mitchell and curated by Dorie Millerson and Robert Mitchell with support from the Faculty of Design staff, students, alumni and technicians at OCAD University.



Venue & Address: 
Great Hall. 2nd Floor, 100 McCaul Street.
Crafting The Future: A National Student Exhibition
Digital Screen: 

Canadian Craft Biennial

Canadian Craft Biennial
Friday, September 15, 2017 - 8:30am to Saturday, September 16, 2017 - 5:00pm

Aligning with Canada’s 150th anniversary, the Biennial will serve as a spotlight to celebrate and educate the public and craft professionals alike about the importance that Craft plays in our everyday lives. The biennial will provide historical contextualization of Canadian craft practise and offer critical insight into its future.


Canadian Craft Biennial Conference Can Craft? Craft Can!

September 15 and 16, 2017
Burlington and Toronto


Eleven sessions, covering a variety of themes and approaches will be presented by forty-four scholars and makers from around the world.

September 15: Holiday Inn Burlington, 3063 S Service Rd, Burlington, ON, L7N 3E9

September 16: OCADU, 100 McCaul St. Toronto, ON M5T 1W1


Registration ends September 14. 

For more information about the Exhibitions and the full program please visit CanadianCraftBiennial.ca

Venue & Address: 
Holiday Inn Burlington, 3063 S Service Rd, Burlington, ON / OCAD University, 100 McCaul

MAAD Speakers Series: David R. Harper

Thursday, October 19, 2017 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

David R. Harper (b. Toronto, Canada / Lives and Works in Sheboygan, Wisconsin) received his BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Fiber and Material Studies. 

His work has been included in group shows at museums in the US and Canada, including MASS MoCA, The National Gallery of Canada and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and has participated in numerous solo exhibitions including My Own Personal Ghost (John Michael Kohler Arts Center), Plateau (South Bend Museum of Art) Skin and Bone (Textile Museum of Canada). In 2013, the Doris McCarthy Gallery at the University of Toronto Scarborough organized a touring exhibition of his work titles Entre Le Chien et Le Loup.

He has participated in several residencies including he Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Residency (2016), Bemis Center for Contemporary Art (2014), and the Kohler Arts Industry (2012/2014).

Harper's work can be found in a number of notable collections including The Museum of Arts and Design, National Gallery of Canada, The John Michael Kohler Art Center, The Museum of Wisconsin Art, The Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation in Los Angeles, and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia to name a few. 

Venue & Address: 
Room MCA230, 100 McCaul Street
Free. Open to the public
MAAD Speakers Series: Davir Harper
Digital Screen: 

Dorie Millerson, Profiled in the new book Artistry in Fiber, Volume 2: Sculpture

 Artistry in Fiber, Volume 2: Sculpture edited by Anne Lee and E. Ashley Rooney. Published by Schiffer.
Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - 9:30am

Dorie Millerson (Assistant Professor and Chair, Material Art & Design) has been profiled as one of 76 international artists in the new book Artistry in Fiber, Volume 2: Sculpture edited by Anne Lee and E. Ashley Rooney. The book is published by Schiffer.


About the book:

Nearly 500 photos of artwork with personal insights from 76 of today’s most noteworthy artists show the tremendously broad range of possibilities that working in three dimensions can offer. In conjunction with the other two books in this acclaimed series, it invites readers to re-examine fiber art through a multifaceted contemporary lens. Both established artists and emerging artists whose work is attracting notice are gathered here. Carol Milne’s knitted glass and Peter Gentenaar’s technique of vacuum forming and air-drying paper fibers are but a few examples of artists using new materials with traditional methods.

Ken Vickerson at Makers Extravaganza

Ken Vickerson Maker Extravaganza
Saturday, July 8, 2017 - 10:00am to Sunday, July 9, 2017 - 5:00pm

Material Art and Design Tenured Professor Ken Vickerson will be showing his cigar box guitars with collaborator Mark Brose at the Maker Extravaganza at the Toronto Reference Library this weekend, July 8th and 9th! Find him on the 3rd floor, booth 309. 

Check out the video below or at this link which starts with our MAAD alumna Danica Drago's bike powered potters wheel! 


Here are some highlights to expect at the Maker Extravaganza this weekend:

- Watch robot builders compete in an all weekend ROBOT BATTLE
- Keep an eye out for the giant whale puppet & cardboard mammoth
- Meet over 100 makers and check out their projects + process
- Take part in a drop in workshop – knit a neuron, pick a lock or solder your own LED light up trash panda 
- Experience an interactive installation – including VR and projection art
- Fuel up at a food truck – grab a poutine, ice cream or coffee

More event info here too: http://makerfestival.ca/extravaganza/ 

Venue & Address: 
Toronto Reference Library. 789 Yonge St., Toronto, Ontario, M4W 2G8
Embed Video: 

MAAD Rugs at Weavers Art Showroom

Students from the Surface Design 1 classes and Rachel Babineau
Wednesday, May 17, 2017 - 1:15pm

Nine rugs designed by OCADU students in the Material Art & Design program are featured in the Weavers Art's flagship showroom at 1400 Castlefield Avenue and on their website in the "New and Exciting" collection.

Although the rugs are currently up in the showroom, there will also be a launch in the fall. Congratulations to students with rugs on display!

Faculty facilitator: Lynne Heller

Student designers:

Rachel Babineau (alumna)

Mariam Ben Belfadhel

Allie Gregory

Mudassir Mohammed

Domenic Sgamelluri

Hatley Walker

Michael Pourvakil, President and owner of Weavers Art, also gave out three prizes for rug designs to the students of MAAD-2009 Surface Design 1.

Faculty facilitators: Chung-Im Kim, Ana Galindo

Prize winners:

First place and the winner of $500 cash prize, Emma Enright 

Second place and the winner of $250 cash prize, Amanda Larsson

Third place and the winner of $100 cash price, Derry Gunawan

Many thanks to faculty facilitators Lynne Heller, Ana Galindo and Chung-Im Kim!
The rugs can be found on the website: http://www.weaversart.com 


MAAD-2009 Surface Design 1's student Emma Enright
Weavers Art Showroom

MAAD Grads at Harbourfront Centre's Craft & Design artist-in-residency program

Friday, May 12, 2017 - 3:00pm

Congratulations to Material Art and Design Graduates Yu Han (Avis) Ho, Emma Schnurr, Kaley Flowers and Current Student Charlie Nhung Nguyen, who have been accepted into Harbourfront Centre's Craft & Design artist-in-residency program! 

Thank you also to Robert Mitchell, Ken Vickerson and Van McKenzie for holding "Mock Interviews" again this year to help our students prepare for their interviews.

Yu Han (Avis) Ho - MAAD 2017
Emma Schnurr - MAAD 2017

Kaley Flowers - MAAD 2015

Charlie Nhung Nguyen - Current student  

About Harbourfront Centre's Craft & Design artist-in-residency program:

The Craft & Design Studio is a unique Canadian career-oriented program and facility. It is an artist-in-residency, incubator and training centre that uses a self-directed and transformative learning ethos, which is open to post-graduates demonstrating a thorough and comprehensive understanding, conceptually as well as technically, in one of five areas: Textiles, Glass, Ceramics, Design or Jewellery. We make long-term commitments to artists by offering a broad range of resources and opportunities. We play a significant role in the growth and promotion of craft and design as a creative discipline in Canada.

MAAD Pop-Up Shop

maad pop up shop banner
Friday, March 24, 2017 - 10:00am to Monday, March 27, 2017 - 5:00pm

We are delighted to invite you to the MAAD@Home Pop Up that will be selling work made by Textile and Jewellery students from the Material Art and Design Program as part of the MAAD Professional Practice course.

The Pop Up is taking place at OCAD U’s Main Campus Lobby, 100 McCaul St. from March 24th-27th, 2017, From 10 am-5 pm

The Pop Up Shop will be hosting various small events and activities during the event days.

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Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul Street, Lobby
MAAD  At Home Pop Up Shop