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American Craft

American Craft April - May 2016

Get American Craft digital magazine subscription today for its memorable stories and images that inspire readers to craft a conscientious, expressive life they feel good about. The magazine celebrates the age-old human impulse to make things by hand, in order to communicate, learn, heal, and connect. Our readers value community, sustainability, quality and authenticity.

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United States
American Craft Council
$11.37(Incl. tax)
$85.37(Incl. tax)
4 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
the power of place

WE LEARN OUR MOST PROFOUND lessons in childhood, ceramist Roberto Lugo believes, when we are open and wide-eyed and defenseless. And we spend the rest of our lives sifting through those lessons, making sense of them, and responding. We learn very different lessons, of course, depending on where we start out. As children, we’re like the fabled blind men with the elephant, groping in the dark for understanding – where we are placed matters. Some of us are positioned to feel the elephant’s trunk, so we decide that life is a tree branch. Others reach up to feel the torso and infer that life is a wall. Whatever we conclude, those earliest lessons have an outsize impact on us, and we move through life and around the world seeking experiences that deepen…

5 min.
to the editor

Readers Respond to Sloppy Craft Interesting that this subject is written about [“Taking Skill Down a Peg,” Dec./Jan.]. I am a mosaic artist, and once I had someone suggest to me not to stress about perfection. I tried this, and at times still think about it; sometimes I want to master this, but it is very hard for me to do. But the concept is intriguing. For a final piece to come out amazing and yet be put together without some sense of skilled handiwork would be truly a wonder. ~JoAnn Guile via the website The unfortunate thing going on here is the word “sloppy,” because it automatically disregards a particular art/craft form as less. Yes, there are some who lazily throw their work together and do indeed lack skill. (And, let’s be…

1 min.
on the web

Find these extras and more at craftcouncil.org/extras. More to see: After you dig into our cover story on ceramist Roberto Lugo (page 44), head online to view more images of his multicultural mash-ups. Local flavor: The American Craft Library is home to a wealth of craft-related magazines, and we’ve handpicked some favorites that evoke a strong sense of place. State of glass: Monica Moses recaps a new report on glass art in the United States. The study is a joint project of the Glass Art Society, Chihuly Garden and Glass, and GMA Research. Showtime: Find extended profiles of the designers and stylists in the St. Paul American Craft Show preview (page S84).…

4 min.
aric verrastro

“YOU TAKE THE HOME FROM THE boy, but not the boy from his home,” Jon Bon Jovi croons in “Who Says You Can’t Go Home.” And it’s true of Aric Verrastro. Growing up in Buffalo, New York, Verrastro didn’t always appreciate his hometown. He recalls visiting the Rust Belt city’s abandoned Central Terminal train station with his siblings and throwing rocks at the windows of the dilapidated building. It was only well after he left home, to pursue his MFA at Indiana University in Bloomington, that Verrastro became so inspired by his hometown that he dedicated his thesis project, Timekeepers, to the city. A key moment came in 2014, in the midst of his study of metalsmithing, when he had finished a body of work and wasn’t sure what would come…

4 min.
haptic lab

“PEOPLE MOVE A LOT NOW. We don’t stay put anymore. I can’t tell you how many apartments I’ve lived in since I’ve been in New York,” says Emily Fischer. The 36-year-old is the founder of Haptic Lab, a design firm based in Brooklyn, where she recently bought a townhouse. “I’m about to settle into a home for the first time in my adult life. I feel like it’s a real human need, to have that. People want to feel rooted, have a place – or at least remember one, have some kind of sentimental representation of place that they can take with them.” If you can’t be in the place you love, you can wrap yourself in it, in the form of one of Haptic’s intricately stitched, geographically accurate quilts depicting…

2 min.
what places have inspired your work?

About four years ago, I felt really fed up with life in New York and moved to a cabin in Arkansas with a good friend. It was completely secluded. We didn’t know anybody. But that isolation allowed me time to play, to really hone my technique. Before Arkansas, I really wasn’t creating much. It was such a push forward. ~ALY BAROHN, fiber artist, Denver Right now I live in Amish Country in Pennsylvania, so I’m inspired by the aesthetic of Amish farms, by the contour lines you can see from a hilltop, by hex signs on the side of barns, and the quilts here. There’s a quilt pattern called tumbling blocks, which I first saw in nature, on a fish skeleton, and now see everywhere. ~DANA BECHERT, ceramist, Nottingham, PA Growing up in West…