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American Craft

American Craft June/July 2019

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
$12.51(Incl. tax)
$93.92(Incl. tax)
4 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
common bonds

AS THE WORLD CONTINUES to grow smaller, thanks to technology, we find ourselves at once better connected and a little overwhelmed. It’s easier to learn more about countries and cultures outside of our own – to share information and converse in real time – but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easier to understand different perspectives. Because of the internet, the dilemma that’s been around since the dawn of humankind has intensified: How do we, as complex people, learn to live respectfully with one another on the planet that we share? A solution, it turns out, is at our fingertips. “What is interesting to me about making objects is what a powerful non-verbal communication tool they can be,” says LA artist Tanya Aguiñiga, who speaks about craft as a vehicle for self-and…

3 min.

On Our Radar Sophie Southgate FROM A DISTANCE, SOPHIE Southgate’s brilliant bowls appear chunky and heavy, with painted shapes adorning a flat, level surface, like a tabletop. But first looks can be deceiving. “An object is more intriguing if you don’t know what it’s made from,” says Southgate, who lives and works in Orpington, Kent, about 40 minutes southeast of London. It will draw you in more, she says, if you don’t know whether it’s soft or hard, light or heavy, solid or hollow. Only on close inspection do viewers see how Southgate has used hue, texture, and negative space to play with perception. First, they realize the piece isn’t solid after all. “Then I say, ‘Here, hold one.’ I hand them a piece and they’re immediately shocked because they expect it to be heavy,…

1 min.
driving forces

Behind the wheel: Southgate spent five years as a delivery driver, navigating a small van around London neighborhoods to drop off automotive parts. “I knew I wasn’t going to be a delivery driver forever, but I still know the roads very well.” The right hemisphere: During a six-month stay in New Zealand in 2008, Southgate met creatives working several jobs to pursue their passions. “From then on, I decided I was only going to do a job I loved.” As soon as she returned to England, she enrolled in art classes. Back to basics: When Southgate is not making her own work, she teaches ceramics at the Clay Room UK. “I really enjoy teaching, and it’s good to put yourself back to square one. You have to think about every element, so…

3 min.
made by rain

MOST PEOPLE RUN FROM THE rain, but Aliki van der Kruijs heads straight into it. During drizzles and downpours, the Dutch textile designer has been known to hastily end phone calls or excuse herself from social events to get outside and capture precipitation on her wares. Van der Kruijs, who is based in The Hague, Netherlands, devised a way for people to “wear the weather.” She calls it “pluviagraphy.” Fabric is coated with a water-sensitive film that records the raindrops as they fall, resulting in leopard-like patterns. For her Made by Rain line, Van der Kruijs, 35, makes silk scarves, each marked with the weather conditions, date, time, and location it was made. She recently tweaked the technique to work with porcelain, during a residency in Arita, Japan. In collaboration with ceramist…

1 min.
drop by drop

Early soaking: Van der Kruijs’ first childhood memories are of the monsoon rain in Nigeria, where she lived until she was 4; her father, a soil scientist, was doing research there. “We would run from the carport and get totally soaked. It was very loud.” Dry spell: She has a backlog of scarves, which came in handy in 2018, when the Netherlands faced a severe drought. “The year before, I made 30. Last year, it was so dry that I hardly made any textiles.” Up on the roof: For years, Van der Kruijs treated fabric on her apartment building’s rooftop, but new rules prohibit residents from going there. “Now I use a big parking lot behind my studio. It works fine, but it’s not so romantic.”…

5 min.
shows to see

CA / Los Angeles Craft Contemporary The Riddle Effect Jun. 2 – Sep. 8 cafam.org Artist John T. Riddle Jr. was also a curator, teacher, and driving force in the black arts movement of the 1960s and ’70s in Los Angeles. He used his mastery of ironwork, ceramics, printmaking, painting, and assemblage to place his own life in the context of his turbulent times (he died in 2002), and to inspire others to do the same. Twenty of his works are on view here, some for the first time, alongside others by students and colleagues. CA / San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design Dead Nuts: A Search for the Ultimate Machined Object Jul. 27 – Dec. 1 sfmcd.org This show evolved from a question posed in the online forum Practical Machinist in 2009: “What is the ultimate machined object/mechanism?” Some…