This year's Society of North American Goldsmith's (SNAG) annual conference was held in Toronto, Ontario May 15th-19th and it was an amazing event! The SNAG conferences are meant to inspire, network, and educate. After such a great experience I am even more excited for the conference to come to Minneapolis next April 23rd-26th!
To find out even more information about the conference you can view the entire program on the SNAG website. The jewelry community of Toronto also went above and beyond and created the Toronto International Jewellery Festival that ran exhibitions all month long throughout the entire city. They plan to host this festival every two years.
Before each conference local organizations often take the opportunity to host master goldsmiths for 2 day workshops leading up to the conference. This year I attended George Brown College who hosted Charles Lewton-Brain for a 2 day workshop in "Fold-Forming." More info of the other workshops here. I have wanted to take a class with Charles for many years after owning some of his books-- he is a jewelry genius! He is a leader and pioneer in the field and discovered fold-forming in the '80's which was a radical new idea in metal forming. He was also co-founder of the online metalsmith forum: www.ganoksin.com. Here are some photos of the workshop.
The conference kicked off on Wednesday evening with the annual pin swap! This is a great opportunity to meet new people and bring some work for swapping! They also served pizza so what's not to love!
Tenda Do Louro hosted a SNAG VIP event for the Grand Opening of the first exclusively jewelry museum Wednesday evening. For all the other SNAG peeps the conference had an after pin-swap party at a local pub.
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, also spoke about her role at the museum and the exhibitions they have produced. We then had a series of "Rapid Fire" from established artists who were given 20 images x 20 seconds to speak about their work or specific project: Michael Belmore, sculptor from Minden, ON; Dean Davidson, jewelry designer from Toronto, ON; Arthur Hash, art jeweler from Rifton, NY; Barbara Heinrich, jeweler from Pittsford, NY; John Rais, blacksmith from Shelburne, MA. This was a great format and so exciting to hear from these established artists!
Exhibition Crawl where over 17 galleries put on exhibitions throughout the city. Not before going out for dinner and trying some poutine!
Galerie Noel Guyomarc'h from Montreal, Quebec.
Exhibition in Motion VIP event held at the Harbour Front Centre, a beautiful art space right on Lake Ontario. The VIP event was a fundraiser for SNAG but free food and drinks are always a way to entice!
The HobourFront Happening. It was filled with music, food, and exhibits along with a view into artists studios.
Jack Ogden, CEO of the Gemological Association of Great Britian, London, GB- "Tools and Technology; Gold Working In a Historical Context"
Charles Lewton-Brain, Master Goldsmith/Writer/Publisher/Educator, Calgary, AB- "An Interview with Charles Lewton-Brain"
Peter Dicristofaro, Jewelry Designer/Adviser/Lecturer, Providence, RI- "Make it Like the Masters"
Elaine Kim, Deputy Director World Jewellery Museum/Adjunt Professor, Seoul, South Korea- "Icons of Identiy"
As a jewelry history nerd, no surprise I was most inspired and engrossed in Jack Ogden's and Elaine Kim's presentation. Jack spoke of the history of working with gold and provided photos of immaculate jewellery over thousands of years old. He addressed the techniques used during different periods to help identify original and fake antiquities.
Elaine shared the collection of the World Jewellery Museum acquired by her mother's life long world travels and represented jewelery from across the world and throughout time-- specifically jewelry with cultural significance. "The 5,000 items that form the collection of the World Jewellery Museum bear the indelible marks of metamorphosis and adaptation in traditional cultures."