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American Craft

American Craft August/September 2017

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.
question authority

if you’re reading this, you no doubt believe the arts are important. Like Sara Kass, a doctor who’s seen creative activities practically save the lives of people with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries, you might say that participating in the arts is as essential to healthy living as are food and sleep and shelter (page 90). You probably think we’d be a more stable, enlightened society if arts organizations were bringing more people – and more kinds of people – through their doors. The problem is that, right now, there aren’t enough of us who believe this. Organizations devoted to art, music, theater, and dance are forever scrounging for money. In schools, the arts are electives, their teachers first to be laid off. Legislatures across the country view the arts as…

1 min.
mulch and movement

Location, location: At SCAD, Song started working with mulch, a material she saw everywhere. She collected mulch chips from three sites – downtown Savannah, Tybee Island, and Savannah River Street – to create three distinctly different necklaces. “I thought it was interesting that, even though the mulch probably all came from the same manufacturer, the different places where it had been placed gave the chips their own characteristics over time,” she says. Material she collected from the city center remained almost unchanged, whereas mulch taken from near the river turned out to be heavily damaged by pollutants in the water. New life for laces: Song’s longtime passion for ballet found expression in a series of necklaces she created at SCAD. “Rond de jambe is a term from ballet that describes a…

3 min.
yufei song

at 17, yufei song stood at the Air China gate in Beijing, preparing to leave behind her life in China. She grew up taking ballet and appreciating fine objects and art, and she would have liked to have pursued her artistic interests in college. Instead, at her parents’ request, she was headed for business school in Atlanta. “I was a little bit scared,” she says, recalling that moment seven years ago. In one of her suitcases was an unusual parting gift from her mother: a plastic bag filled with nine small cardboard boxes of staples. “My mother thought that when I would first get to Atlanta, I would not be familiar with the place. What if I needed staples for school purposes?” Song was reluctant to take them, since the staples…

3 min.
d. patterson design studio

THOUGH MOST OF D. PATTERSON Design Studio’s products are made for the kitchen, food is not the central inspiration for Darryl Patterson. “I’m inspired by architects,” Patterson says. In particular, he cites modernist Mies van der Rohe, aiming for “simple lines that produce strong forms.” That architectural connection is clear in the Baltimore designer’s serving trays and cutting boards. Each design – such as the Hive collection of hexagonal cutting boards, the twotone Padoru serving board, and the Wa serving platter – features bold shapes and a clear purpose: to hold food and look beautiful doing it. Each emerges after a deliberative development process. “I will do 15 different prototypes, and maybe three will make it to presentation,” says Patterson, 53. Then it’s on to his “focus group,” a community of designers and…

1 min.
a finer grain

Balance: Though the artist puts in 80 to 90 hours a week, he does take time off. Two days a week, “I don’t do anything,” he says. “I have a very tolerant partner.” In the DNA: The designer comes from a family of artists: His mother was a jazz singer, his father was a professional saxophonist, and his three siblings all draw, paint, or perform. Small Batch: Patterson is in the process of whittling his collection of products from nearly 150 to just 30 unique items, produced in limited quantities. “I don’t want to be a serial producer,” he says.…

1 min.
earth, bird, & stone