Furniture students reveal their talents


Members of the design community squished together inside a Toronto gallery to admire the work produced by Sheridan’s 16 graduating Furniture students during the opening reception of Reveal, on Jan. 21.

The exhibit was organized by students in the three-year Craft and Design Furniture program with the help and support of Janna Hiemstra, curator and director of programs at Craft Ontario.

“Having these exhibitions exposes their work to the public, which is very valuable because people need to know that kind of work exists and that they can purchase it,” said Peter Fleming, studio head and professor in the Furniture program.

“It ensures that the students will get their work done to a high level of craft because it will be critiqued and analyzed while on display, but that’s also why a lot of the work is from last semester.”

According to Stephen Dalrymple, one of the main student organizers of Reveal, there were many steps and tasks involved in the process of putting together the exhibit and finding a gallery.

Students were responsible for choosing the pieces, naming the exhibit, creating a portfolio of their work, moving and setting up the furniture on the plinths at the gallery, labelling everything and more.

“It’s a lot of work organizing and curating a show,” said Dalrymple.

“At times it was stressful because there’s a lot of content that needs to be produced and stuff that needs to be done in order to prepare for the opening of the show, but it’s a really good learning experience.”

To demonstrate the great opportunities that are available teachers in the Furniture program make sure their students are aware of and start going to exhibitions and the shows of their previous classmates.


“I’m always doing my best to come out and support students,” said Gordon Thompson, coordinator of the Bachelor of Craft and Design program. “However I know that this offsite show, which the Furniture students have been doing for a number of years is one of the best shows Sheridan students put up and I can’t miss it.

“The quality of the work is so high and to come in and see the pieces that are developed after 2 ½ years of study is good way to get people excited about craft, fine high end furniture and design.”

This is also the fourth year in a row the Furniture graduates’ exhibition has been a part of the annual Toronto Design Offsite Festival, which occurs in mid-January and during design week.

“It’s something that is a great vehicle for promotion of the program and for the individual student’s work because everyone is aware of and attends these events,” said Fleming. “So it was a logical situation for us to partner up with the Toronto Design Offsite Festival.”

The exhibition’s title, Reveal, is a term used in furniture building. According to Dalrymple, reveals are known as a shadow line or space between two pieces of wood that creates a line of negative space.

“We liked that word because we use it when we discuss furniture and composition of objects and we wanted to pick a title that was short, snappy and suggested that it was our first show,” said Dalrymple.

During design week, different magazines and the Toronto Design Offsite Festival gave awards to the designers. Designlines Love tags, created by the Designlines magazine to identify the best hundred products spotted during design week were placed on two of the pieces at Reveal.

“It feels fantastic, this piece was really hard to build, but it turned out nicely and I’m very proud of it,” said Maggie McCutcheon, a third-year Furniture student who received a love tag for her chair. “It’s just really nice to get validation and to be featured in press that I read.”

“I’ve hardly been able to get around because it’s so busy, but everyone’s work is so strong and it’s artfully put together.”