Anita Cazzola is a textile and installation artist currently based in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia (Mi’kma’ki). Her work inhabits the intersections between textiles, wild plants, geography, and the built human environment. Exploring the material and metaphorical complexities of cloth and plants, Anita reconsiders the destructive assumptions of decay and disintegration as means of resistance, reclamation and healing. Anita holds a BFA from OCAD University (2018) in Sculpture & Installation with a minor in Material Arts and Design (Textiles). Anita’s work has been exhibited and activated in solo and group exhibitions including Art Gallery of Guelph, Guelph, ON; Abbozzo Gallery, Toronto, ON; and Nuit Blanche, Toronto, ON. Anita spent the summer and autumn of 2021 as the Artist in Residence for the City of Guelph, developing her “Botanical Reclamation” project.
Scott Dobson has been building traditional, old-style, cedar rail fences for over 20 years. He grew up on a farm in Smiths Falls and first began building fences as a teenager. This is a job that suits him well, while he loves working creatively with his hands in the great outdoors. Traditional rail fence building has long been considered a dying art but Scott Dobson is keeping the tradition alive in Eastern Ontario. He not only loves the actual hands-on craftsmanship of building fences, and the sourcing of materials, but also delving into the history of local fence building traditions in the area.
Scott Dobson is lucky enough to run a successful business without a website. So, trust us in saying that his skills and talents are well worth passing on through his workshops.
Spencer Hillyard’s love for all things arboriculture began while studying outdoor recreation, parks, and tourism at Lakehead University. He began to hone his forestry techniques as President of the university’s Timber Sports team. Upon graduation his passion translated well into the forestry industry. From tree planter to utility arborist, Spencer has spent his career entrenched in the field, often showcasing his expertise through mentorship and instruction. As a highly trained health and safety steward and crew supervisor with Hydro One’s Forestry division, Spencer prioritizes safety while instructing individuals how to efficiently operate and maintain chainsaws.
Božena Hrycyna first learned to embroider at summer camp. Learning to cross stitch at 8 years old she developed a lifelong skill and passion in the needle arts, stitching countless gifts for family and friends over the years. Mentored by her mother, an avid embroiderer, and surrounded by the rich embroidered heritage of her Ukrainian-Canadian community, Božena has absorbed a deep appreciation and love for all things embroidered. She is particularly interested and excited about making traditional garments and ritual cloths (“rushnyky”). In her personal practice she has sought to deepen her knowledge of Ukrainian folk patterns and techniques, and has been fortunate to have received mentorship from master fibre craftsperson & artist Myroslava Boikiv (now in Canada) and continuous inspiration and encouragement from friend and artist Yura Rafaliuk (Ukraine).
She has taught introduction to cross stitch, talisman & ornament making, rushnyk (ritual cloth) making for adults, and embroidery for youth at many summer camps. Božena has also facilitated many weaving, embroidery, and textile related workshops with Myroslava Boikiv through Folk Camp, and continues to work to keep folk crafts alive in Canada through that organisation.
Bozena Hrycyna is director of FOLK CAMP, an organisation connecting people with the folk arts, crafts, music, and land based traditions of Eastern Europe in the Canadian context. As co-founder of the Kosa Kolektiv, Bozena has collaborated with many talented and skilled artists, musicians, and community organisations in Ontario (and across Canada) to promote the richness of Ukrainian and Eastern European cultures, and to facilitate meaningful connections for people (cross-culturally and within their own lineage). Bozena is an amateur singer of traditional village songs, embroiderer, pysanka maker, weaver of threads and grasses, and textile craftsperson… actively learning and sharing these artforms from her Ukrainian/Ruthenian heritage. She has taken workshops and travelled extensively in pursuit of deeper understandings of these and other folkways, and apprenticed to the land, spending the last six years on a homestead near Wilno, Ontario. She currently divides her time between the Ottawa Valley, and southern Ontario.
Zoë Lianga began working as a felt maker and instructor in 2014. Since starting this work, she has been dedicated to refining her skills and to deepening her understanding of the unique styles and ways of making felt.
Earlier, Zoe completed a two-year program in fashion design and then spent a year biking around New Zealand. It was there that she continually stumbled upon beautiful works in felt by a wide range of New Zealand felt makers. She sought out two well-established felt makers who were also instructors, and spent 6 intensive days learning from them. The methods she learned there have enabled her to design and construct her work from single fibres to finished pieces. The nature and characteristics of the individual fibres fascinates Zoë, as does the felt making process itself – a process that dates back to 4000 BC.
For the past two years Zoë has worked to connect with local sheep, alpaca, and goat farmers, and with local fibre mills, so that she can integrate more ethical and sustainable practices into her business. Zoë’s choice to be part of of her local ‘fibre shed’ means she does not support unethical animal husbandry practices and poor working conditions for factory workers. It also means the environmental impact of worldwide shipping is lessened. The hard working individuals within her own fibre shed have become her working family. It’s a lovely family to be a part of.
Zoë continues to make strong community connections and to derive inspiration for her work from property and forests surrounding her home. She is the owner and operator of the Cordwood Studio, where she lives with her husband, Ben Hendry, and their two children.
Chenoa Marshall is a fruit tree grafting enthusiast who first attempted grafting (unsuccessfully) as a teenager. She finally succeeded years later after discovering detailed grafting instructions and stubbornly making repeated attempts, over a few years, analyzing results and researching the topic until her first grafts took. She has been growing her own rootstock and grafting actively for the last 8 years. Due to popular demand, she started putting on workshops in order to help fellow enthusiasts to try their hand at grafting.
Danielle’s path to tanning was meandering and certainly not the most obvious choice of a then vegetarian, budding biologist. However, upon seeing and treading that path, she was drawn in and continues to go deeper into this old and arguably endangered craft. Over the past 8 years, Danielle has sought out traditional and natural practitioners to apprentice under. Through much experiment, persistence and research, she continues to hone her practice and continues to fall deeper in love with the work.
She finds it an honour to do and share this craft, and has found that it really engages folks, and ignites an old remembering. Based in the lovely woods of Brooke Valley, Danielle wears a few hats but feels truly called to the tending of this ancient craft, as it satisfies many needs. The desire to learn, to share, to participate in something old with one’s hands, to keep something alive and to co-create things of beauty.
The art of brain and smoke tanning is a practice that mostly carried forward on turtle island. Many communities still have very skilled practitioners and Danielle is ever thankful for the chance to share in this craft, as a settler, especially knowing that this craft and its remembering have slipped from some communities.
Meghan Robinson has been a student of herbal medicine for over 20 years. She has learned from a variety of teachers, books and experientially through the maiden and motherhood stages of her life. She considers herself a ‘community herbalist’ and has a passion for wild harvesting and growing. She runs her own small business, Clarendon Herbals – an herb farm and apothecary. Her aim is to reunite people with plants and the age-old relationship between us.
Johnny is a willow grower, basketmaker and hand-craft enthusiast. He can often be found tending willow coppice, gathering sticks, foraging for weaving materials, making baskets, and generally being a keen basketry sponge. Since 2018, he has been exploring this heritage craft and spreading his love for basketry. Starting his own willow coppice in 2022, he is now growing willow for use in his work, and making cuttings available for people who would like to grow their own. Descendant of English and German Mennonite ancestors, he currently resides in Paris, Ontario.
Graham is a visual artist who has been studying blacksmithing and bladesmithing since 2018.
He graduated from OCADU in 2007, and maintained a practice and studio in Toronto for a decade,
branching into illustration. In 2018 he took a one day workshop on axe making and was immediately
taken with the craft. In 2019 he attended the Haliburton School of Art and Design, living in a small cabin
for the winter. His focus on blacksmithing brought together his love for art & design, traditional skills, the
outdoors, science and history. In 2020 he began working as an apprentice to Douglas Morlock,
immeasurably benefiting from his years of experience and expertise. Graham hopes to pass on his love for
this once ubiquitous craft through teaching and demonstrating traditional metal artistry.