I’m passionate about craft. I have great admiration for the extraordinary skills practised by craftspeople in this province. I am awed by their sense of design, their flair for colour and their bravery in making handcrafted work and putting it out there for the world to see.
2015 is Craft Year in Canada and craft councils and craftspeople are celebrating in a big way. This is the second time that all the provincial and territorial craft councils in Canada (there are 13 of us) have gotten together to declare a year to celebrate. All our events are branded with a Craft Year logo.
There’s a great website with a calendar so that you can keep track of special events from one end of the country to another. Maybe you are part of a craft event in your community that you’d like to post on the site. Go to www.craftyear.ca to submit your post. There’s also a Craft Year Facebook page, so make sure you join: https://www.facebook.com/craftsmetiersdart. It’s my turn to post every third Thursday, so watch for posts from this province.
Tweet with Craft Year 2015 using #craftselfie on Saturdays. Take a picture of yourself with your favourite craft object and post it. Janet Davis, who is an active member of the Craft Council and proud member of NLOWE often posts here. Take a look!
The “Citizens of Craft” movement proclaims the shared values of those who make and appreciate fine craft. “We stand for the locally made, for the value of tradition and the celebration of innovation. We appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit of small craft businesses because we want to know who makes the things we wear and use every day. We each define our own unique path and we are aware that our daily choices have an impact on our world.”
Join in and participate in the movement. Declare yourself a Citizen of Craft. Use the hashtag #CitizensofCraft, visit the website and wear a ‘Citizen of Craft’ button.
All these things make me excited to be part of craft in Canada. What makes me absolutely thrilled to be part of craft in Newfoundland and Labrador this year is our own project to celebrate Craft Year.
Fibre Arts NL is a gathering of some two hundred fibre enthusiasts in Gros Morne Park in October. It’s going to be a spectacular event, and personally it will be exciting for me to meet craft makers from across Canada and from around the world (we just had our first registrant from Australia). It will be amazing to hear their experiences, and learn some of their skills in one of 29 workshops. I’m going to enjoy the two fabulous fibre exhibitions and then there will be great food, fibre treasures to buy in the marketplace and all sorts of other bits and pieces that will make it a wild and wonderful time. Did I mention films? Artist talks? Tours and hikes?
And then there’s Industry Day – a full day of presentations and panel discussions about craft as a way to grow our economy. We have a lot to learn and a lot to offer!
Why don’t you join me? Visit www.fibreartsnl.ca today and check it out.
And if all that hasn’t gotten you as passionate about craft as I am, come and visit me where I work. I sit here today typing this piece, surrounded by some of the finest craft you will find anywhere. I’m proud to work on behalf of the craftspeople of Newfoundland and Labrador and I would be very happy to show you around the Devon House Craft Centre. Who knows – I might even show you a pair of my own socks!
Anne Manuel is the Executive Director of the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador – the industry organization for professional craft makers. She works from the Devon House Craft Centre in St. John’s, lives in the woods, and gardens and knits socks when she has a moment to spare!