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American Craft

American Craft August - September 2015

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.
better together

HUMAN BEINGS ARE SOCIAL animals, Aristotle said; we want to live around other people. But building a community – and maintaining it – is not a straightforward process; it relies on a blend of intention and serendipity. I live in a wonderfully sociable neighborhood, but it took a hit a few years ago when one of the most connected of the families on our block moved away. Things have never been quite the same; you can’t count on neighborhood celebrations around Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, or Labor Day anymore. There are fences – and distance – that weren’t there before. You can’t force community – but you can nudge it. You can set up the right conditions and push it along. Glass artist Duncan McClellan tried for three years to…

3 min.
to the editor

Familiar Faces Wonderful to see Jaydan Moore so honored with his intriguing work [“Next Generation,” Jun./Jul.]. He was in Houston for a time in the residency program at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. Nice to be able to say “we knew him when.” ~Judith R. Shamp via the website I harvested and processed indigo in Bloomington with Rowland Ricketts [“On the Farm, in the Blue: Traditional Indigo Dye,” online] while I was in grad school. He is a kind, smart, and generous person. It’s such a nice surprise (though not one, really) to see him featured here. ~Thomas Agran via What Is Craft? I love this magazine and read it cover to cover every month, but I’ve come to realize that it’s become more focused on art than craft. I think you need to…

2 min.
now online

American Craft is published by the nonprofit American Craft Council, which also presents craft shows in four cities each year, offers educational programming, and recognizes outstanding work through its awards programs. Read stories from the magazine, and find these extras and more at craftcouncil.org/extras. Turning Point When champion marksman Dennis Stelz went nearly blind in 2009, he fell into a deep depression. In a new video by digital producer Andrew Ranallo, Stelz describes how teaching himself to turn wood, along with the support of friends, led him to find new purpose. A Star Is Reborn In the early 2000s, more than 1,000 people lost their jobs in tiny Star, North Carolina, when the sock factory closed, leaving decaying infrastructure. Read the story of STARworks, the small-business/arts incubator that is transforming the abandoned 187,000-squarefoot textile…

3 min.
ties that bind

GROWING UP, SHENEQUA A. Brooks and her younger sister were like many siblings – frequently at odds. “We never saw eye to eye,” says Brooks, 22. “But when she would do my hair, we were at peace. We would hear one another, and we would laugh.” For Brooks, hair came to symbolize family and love. No wonder, then, that ever since she’s been making art, her go-to material has been hair – synthetic locks that she braids, twists, weaves on a floor loom, and combines with beads, yarn, and other elements to make richly textured wall sculptures. In 2014, her senior year at the Kansas City Art Institute, she made hair the theme of her thesis show, “Synthetic Ties,” and hung her pieces on the walls of a local beauty salon. Throughout…

4 min.
pushing print

RONALD RAEL AND VIRGINIA San Fratello are your classic early adopters. Their office in West Oakland, California, is home to several 3D printers and the objects they have spawned – from flower-shaped nylon rings to Seat Slug, a serpentine cement bench inspired both by a species of sea slug called Flabellina goddardi and the infinite tessellations of Japanese karakusa patterns. (It was also spontaneously strength-tested at an exhibition by the vigorous stomps of a flamenco dancer.) “We were educated at the birth of digital design,” explains Rael, 43, an associate professor in architecture at UC Berkeley, who met his wife and business partner when they were students at the Columbia University school of architecture. “Ours was the first paperless studio, and we were playing with these new tools when it was…

6 min.
shows to see

AL / Mobile Mobile Museum of Art Charles Smith: Black Hands/I Am to Oct. 11 mobilemuseumofart.com This retrospective of Mobile native Charles Smith’s 40 years in clay embodies his view of art as “a maturing process, not a series of radical departures.” He adorns his classic forms with hand-carved and sgraffito patterns and imagery, expressing themes from the natural world that he has returned to since his early days as an artist. CA / Los Angeles Hammer Museum The Afghan Carpet Project to Sep. 27 hammer.ucla.edu This is a tale of shuttling. Last year, Los Angeles artists Lisa Anne Auerbach, Liz Craft, Meg Cranston, Francesca Gabbiani, Jennifer Guidi, and Toba Khedoori traveled to Afghanistan to study how carpet weavers there live and work. Back home, each artist created a carpet design. The six designs were sent off to Afghanistan to be…