July 8 - September 29, 2013
Students of the ceramics program at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, created pieces inspired by – and in a response to – work from the Gardiner Museum’s historical collection as part of their curriculum.
Two pieces – by Tine DeRuiter and Habiba El-Sayed – were selected to be displayed among the Museum’s permanent collection where they present a contemporary twist on 17th century English delftware and 18th century Meissen porcelain.
As a second year Ceramics student at Sheridan College, I chose the Meissen thimble for my historical research. Historically, thimbles were used in what is still largely considered “women’s work.” Being a Muslim woman I face stereotypes of the “passive homemaker.”
Using 400 slip-cast thimbles to create a “quilt” with an Islamic-inspired motif, my work suggests the idea of strength in numbers. The thimble being a small, domestic and relatively benign object is indeed quite strong and serves to protect the wearer. Together the thimbles form elements of a dynamic whole.
I’m fascinated by creatures and the gardens that surround them. In my first year Ceramics assignment at Sheridan College I was asked to draw inspiration from the historical collection at the Gardiner Museum. My two characters under the tree are in conversation with the Adam and Eve chargers in the English delftware collection. I heard my teacher Linda say: “Highlight the bird that flies over the bridge of the lovers that are killed in the willows.” I wrote it down and knew I had to use it for something.