F
or the second in our series of articles on the national schools of art and design across Canada, the editors of Ornamentvm asked a number of students from ACAD to speak about their work: why they were interested in particular materials, how they found and formulated their ideas, questions of concept and design, techniques of fabrication and finally, the ways in which they situated their work in the world around them. Their answers and ideas were as diverse as the objects they chose to propose to us as examples of their ideas and their craft. Yet two common threads ran through much of what these five young artists said: a concern and defense of the environment, the natural world and process as a source of inspiration.


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Maggie Finlayson
I have come to associate beauty with growth and process. Everywhere I watch for pattern, infinitely regressive, progressive, the small repetitions of almost-nothings that grow into weather, water, matter.
In my functional ceramics I use loosely thrown, slip-cast, and press-moulded earthenware to celebrate the porosity of body and environment: simple forms, weather layered slips and glazes, brush-strokes, fingerprints, handling marks. Scratched drawings and pattern suggest clouds, rain, birds, peeling paint: the found joys of the moment, the found moments of a connected life.
Image: Bowl, 2007.
Maggie Finlayson
Slip-cast earthenware, decals, lustres, china paints.
6.4 x 19 cm in diameter
Cynthia Hartum
This series focuses on the beginnings of plant life and its potential. These glass works are derived from the seeds of plants. Electron microscope images of spores, their forms, surfaces and transportation spikes were my inspiration. I am affected by the natural world and interested in the seemingly insignificant, the unseen, the overlooked.

The medium is varied: some are sandcast, some blown and carved glass, some hot sculpted glass and some are two or three of these processes combined. The clustering of the objects appears to be random – as if I were throwing a handful of seeds to the ground -but of course I am arranging them either consciously or subconsciously by colour, texture and form.

Untitled, Cynthia Hartum

Untitled, Cynthia Hartum

Image: Untitled, 2007.
Cynthia Hartum
Various glass processes.
Sizes ranging from 1.9 x 1.9 to 14 x 26.7 cm.