Tania Denyer: Orange Blossom Tea Cosy
Posted: Mar 22nd, 2023 | Gathering

In the podcast below, Tania Denyer investigates a tea cosy from Ontario, Canada. Tania asks the question — why are familiar household items, traditionally made by women with so much labour, skill, time and thought involved in their making, so often overlooked? Women’s art forms have often taken the form of household objects such like tablecloths, napkins, tea towels, and oven mitts. Tania invites listeners to look into the hidden history, stories and meaning behind this particular household object. 


Below is the orange blossom tea cosy that got Tania thinking. Learn more about this piece in our online collection by clicking on the live link below.

Tea Cosy [T93.0144]
North America: Canada, Central Canada, Ontario, 1933
Gift of Joan Forsey to the Textile Museum of Canada



Tania Denyer is a textile artist and illustrator. She began quilting over 20 years ago and since that time much has changed but fabric and thread will always be her preferred canvas and paint. Her work focuses on images of every day, in particular, the food we buy, prepare, eat and share. One of her first and favorite pieces in this style is a quilted can of Unico chickpeas. Denyer believes that everyone possesses a creative heart, they may just need some help connecting with it. Tania lives in Hamilton, Ontario where her explorations of the city continue to inspire her art.  

Denyer’s work has been featured in magazines such as Cottage Life, Make Modern, Gastro Obscura and SBS (a food network in Australia) and her most current textile work – a three-piece work composed of a candy apple, fairy floss and pink elephant popcorn – was shown at the Art Gallery of Hamilton as part of their Funhouse exhibition. 

This work is created as part of Gathering, the inaugural installation of our new Collection Gallery, featuring community stories told through our global collection. Grounded in community participation, the installation presents over 40 pieces from the Museum’s permanent collection of over 15,000 objects from around the world. Choices of objects, responses, and retellings were gathered via open online calls for reflection, through partnerships with local organizations, and through artists’ interventions. Gathering explores themes related to migration and diaspora, the search for comfort in the domestic and familial, reclamation of ancestral traditions through contemporary artistic responses, and the relationship between textiles and the environment. 

This video is part of a digital project generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Now initiative.

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