Faculty of Animation, Arts & Design
Degree: Crafts and Design - Glass
Year of graduation: 2008
It didn’t take long for Emma Gerard to realize that she made the right decision in coming to Sheridan to study glassmaking. Not far into her first year, she grew to appreciate the conflicting elements of the medium which have inspired Emma to create a variety of glass-based art, from fun and funky jewellery to sculptural work with a social message.
“Glass appeals to me because, although it is very loose and free, it also requires a great deal of control. It’s this balance of fluidity and control that I love,” says Emma, who further fuelled her passion for glass through a summer residency at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto during her Sheridan studies. Upon graduating with high honours, Emma was selected as a teaching assistant at the college for the following academic year, thus gaining time to refine her skills. She continued to make fun and interesting work as a Resident Artist and Flameworking Instructor at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga. A very active glass artist, Emma has participated in craft shows, such as the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, One-of-a-Kind Show and Sale, and various Ontario Crafts Council-sponsored events and exhibitions. Her sculptural work has been shown alongside some of the biggest names in craft, both locally and internationally.
In 2011 Emma left Ontario to pursue studies in jewellery at the NSCAD University (Nova Scotia College of Art and Design). “After three years of making production glass jewellery, I yearned to be back in a school environment to have the opportunity to explore other materials and re-ignite my creativity. In particular, I wanted to learn metalsmithing techniques to combine with my glass work.”
Emma sees her art as a balance of the theoretical and the playful. “It explores the fine line between excessive planning and experimenting – whether it’s the research that goes into conceptual work or the more flexible studio time.” The intention is to create work that is both fun and thought-provoking.
Integral to the development of her artistic vision were the many lessons Emma learned at Sheridan. “Each faculty member taught me important lessons about myself, how and why I make art, and professional practice which I carry with me today.”
Her advice to current Sheridan students: “Become a sponge. Soak up every bit of information and take advantage of every situation where you can learn. Your time and experience at Sheridan will be invaluable to your success when you leave.”