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American Craft

American Craft April/May 2018

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.
blood, sweat, and kids

FOR THOSE OF US WHO ARE parents as well as perfectionists, life can be frustrating. Being a parent is like being a blanket that’s always too small, Fredrik Backman writes in his novel Beartown; there’s no way to cover everything you’d like to, no way to really triumph. Despite your best intentions, you will fail your child, leaving little wounds and missing big opportunities. You’ll inadvertently do damage your kid will have to repair as they grow up. I thought about this as we put together this issue about generations and families. Looking back, I regret not taking my 18-year-old to more museum exhibitions and gallery shows. I didn’t find enough time to collaborate on creative projects. I didn’t hunt down figure drawing classes. I meant well, but I didn’t make…

4 min.

On Our Radar Koe-zee IN OLDEN TIMES, YOUNG WOMen stitched artful samplers and pastoral scenes to cultivate and display their refinement and domestic skill. Today, Olivia Montoya is giving this most ladylike of traditional handcrafts a contemporary twist, capturing the zeitgeist of her generation. Working under the nom de needle Koe-zee, Montoya, 27, creates beguiling thread drawings using embroidery and cross-stitch on duck fabric. Her canvases are round and petite, from 3 to 7 inches in diameter. With equal parts sweetness and sass, they depict the issues and iconography of the here and now, in particular the multidimensional interests and sensibilities of modern women. “Feminist,” proclaims one of Koe-zee’s best sellers, the word rendered in a delicate font and embellished with tiny flowers. (It also comes in a more audacious version, “Feminist As…

4 min.
chelsea miller knives

LOOKING AT THE CHEF AND cheese knives Chelsea Miller makes from reclaimed materials, you won’t be surprised to learn that she comes from a resourceful, close-knit family. Take into account her bright voice and comfort in front of a camera, and you might even guess that the 33-year-old de voted her life to acting before establishing her Brooklyn smithy. Yet Miller’s assertion that her two divergent professions have a lot in common might seem odd – that is, until you hear her story. The knifemaker grew up on a rural Vermont homestead, where her family tended the gardens and raised the animals that sustained them. Her father was a blacksmith and carpenter, and his kids learned those skills as they assisted him in the shop attached to their home. In many…

2 min.
head, heart, and home

Handcrafted Maine: Art, Life, Harvest & Home Text by Katy Kelleher Photos by Greta Rybus Princeton Architectural Press, $40 “MAINE MEANS SOMETHING TO people,” Katy Kelleher writes in the introduction to Handcrafted Maine. “This is true even for those who didn’t grow up here, even for transplants like me. Maine signifies survival, hard work, and authenticity.” What follows is a sweeping, lovely survey of Maine’s distinct charm. Over the course of the book, Kelleher profiles 22 makers who call the Pine Tree State home. The artisans are separated into three groups – “Art & Craft,” “Building & Living,” and “Food & Harvest” – but they all share a fierce pride in their community and a passion for things lovingly and carefully created. Each maker’s story is accompanied by a range of stunning photographs from Greta Rybus,…

5 min.
shows to see

CA / Oakland Oakland Museum of California J.B. Blunk: Nature, Art & Everyday Life Apr. 21 – Sep. 9 museumca.org J.B. Blunk (1926 – 2002) was known in Northern California for the large redwood “seating sculptures” he made for public spaces. But his defining work might be considered an installation: his Marin County home. The artist built the remote cabin himself, then filled it with his own handmade tables and chairs, ceramic objects, wood and stone work, even clothing and jewelry. On view here are more than 80 examples of Blunk’s devotion to self-reliance and to handmade objects for daily use, manifestations of his belief that art and the natural world are inseparable. CA / Pomona American Museum of Ceramic Art Fahrenheit 2018 to Jul. 22 amoca.org Juror Patti Warashina chose work by 80 artists from across the country for the…

1 min.
simple pleasures

Kim Westad started as a graphic designer, but computer work didn’t quite suit her; she wanted a more hands-on life. So she took a pottery class, loved it, and, in 2004, started her own studio. Her work, such as the Whirl serving dish, is beautiful and eminently functional, designed to be used as much as looked at. kimwestad.com Tiffanie Turner’s paper flowers have won her admirers around the world and exhibitions across the US. The San Francisco maker’s new book, The Fine Art of Paper Flowers, shows you how to make your own. With step-by-step instructions and clever ideas for displaying the finished pieces, this book will have your work blooming. papelsf.com/book Araya Jensen de-signed home interiors in Minnesota for more than a decade, but when the housing bubble burst, she didn’t fret for…