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American Craft

American Craft April/May 2019

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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
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4 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
the avian influence

TERESA FARIS BELIEVES animals deserve the utmost respect. So she’s a vegan, she doesn’t use animal parts in her artwork, and the creative partner she calls her “greatest teacher” is an umbrella cockatoo named Charmin. The metalsmith isn’t sure how she arrived at her reverence for the animal kingdom; maybe it’s the Sami ancestral knowledge in her DNA. “I’ve always had these beliefs,” she says. In any case, her views have been cemented by her bond with Charmin. Now living in Madison, Wisconsin, Faris was an undergrad in Oshkosh in 1993 when she rescued the cockatoo, abandoned in a toilet-paper box outside her apartment. Today, bird and human are so close they practically read each other’s minds. With one glance at the lie of Charmin’s feathers, Faris knows whether the bird is…

2 min.
animal as metaphor

4 min.

On Our Radar Elliott Kayser IT’S THE SERENE FIGURE IN the pasture, the wholesome symbol on packages of cheese, the embodiment of sustenance and plenty. For Elliott Kayser, the cow is also a deep well of exploration into culture, place, and the disconnection of modern life from nature. “I never set out to be ‘the cow guy,’” the artist, 33, says of the bovine theme he’s pursued intensely for five years now. “But I have to follow the inspiration. I feel really passionate about it.” Sculpted in clay and sometimes bronze, Kayser’s scaled-down, anatomically faithful cattle are placed in startling situations. Delilah (2015), a sweet heifer, appears marked up as cuts of beef. (The sculpture emerged from an accident, exploding when Kayser opened the kiln too soon; he reassembled the pieces.) The cows in…

3 min.
dani ives

AS AN EDUCATOR AT DICKERson Park Zoo in Springfield, Missouri, Dani Ives spent 10 years handling an eclectic crew of critters, including hedgehogs, chinchillas, snakes, rats, turtles, owls, and pigeons. Ives, who has a bachelor’s degree in biology, would tote the animals to schools, teaching students about their behavior and roles in nature. Nowadays, instead of handling animals, the 34-year-old uses her biology background to realistically render their likenesses in needle-felted artwork, including commissioned pet portraits. Ives, who now lives in Rogers, Arkansas, calls her technique “painting with wool.” In the “half-and-half” pictures she posts on her Instagram page – half an animal’s digital portrait, half its felted image – it’s often difficult to tell which side is the photo. Ives, who excelled in painting during high school but never thought of…

2 min.
best in show

2 min.
strength training

The Sculpture of Robyn Horn University of Arkansas Press, $65 EQUALLY FEARLESS AND contemplative, Arkansas artist Robyn Horn chops, carves, and chisels wood into geometric wonders that often appear to be in motion despite their heft. This book illustrates the evolution of her three-decade career with more than 200 of her gravity-defying works – in both modest and monumental scale – in chronological order. Essays by Henry Adams, Cindi Strauss, Rachel Golden, Janet Koplos, and Joyce Lovelace (American Craft’s contributing editor) cover her life, work, and influences. Perhaps even more illuminating, however, are the photos of Horn at work. In one, the sculptor stands strong and secure, wielding a chainsaw with a 4-foot blade as if it were a butter knife. Take the physical feat of creating such work into account, and Horn’s…