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American Craft

American Craft February/March 2020

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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Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
American Craft Council
Frequency:
Quarterly
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4 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
what makes a home?

“HOME SWEET HOME” is a phrase that denotes grounding and comfort inside and out. For many, the phrase inspires images of driving up to a house after a family road trip, or cozying up to a fireplace. Yet for others – from US service members to recent graduates chasing employment opportunities – home can be less of a place and more of a feeling of belonging. Perhaps a quilt that reminds one of family is what makes a home; perhaps it’s having lots of plants to care for. For many, home is wherever friends, like-minded people, even pets are. But whether one chooses to define it by location, objects, or community, the fact remains that the home is a highly personal space. This issue of American Craft attempts to expand and…

5 min.
to the editor

Art and Ageism IS THE HOSTILITY TO OLDER women by both quilter Laura Preston and interviewer Sabine Heinlein an intentional swipe [“Roadtripper,” Jun./Jul. 2019]? Does it really make sense to think that when older women make quilts, it’s a “pastime,” but when young people make quilts, then it’s “art”? Do you not realize that these “moms and grandmas,” whom Ms. Preston looks down on, are the ones who, over many generations and at all stages of their lives, invented and elaborated the craft of quilting and created its cultural traditions, meanings, and methods? These are women that a young quilter could enjoy as colleagues, and learn from. If she’s lucky, she’ll live a long time and eventually become one of us.~Becky Sarah, 70-year-old mother and grandmother, via email Difference of Opinion I OFTEN BUY…

2 min.
tim miller studio

AS A CHILD, TIM MILLER loved watching his dad do projects around the house, whether he was building a woodshop in the backyard or fixing a broken chair. It inspired Miller to work with his own hands and pursue an undergraduate degree in sculpture at Taylor University in Indiana. When tasked with designing a chair during his sophomore year, he discovered both his passion for building furniture and his future career. Shortly after graduating in 2015, Miller opened his eponymous furniture and lighting studio, where he began creating pieces rooted in mathematical systems. For his designs, he starts with simple flat shapes, then repeats, rotates, or morphs them into modular, functional pieces. His designs have a strong sense of plasticity and transformation: benches coil into circles or S-shapes, tables stack to…

1 min.
making it work

Live and Learn: “The best way to critique your work is to live with the prototype,” Miller says. The practice helps him see his designs from his clients’ perspective and shows him how different materials wear with time and use. That forces him to think harder about the function of his designs, he says, “because nothing is worse than having ‘functional’ objects in your life that add more stress due to their lack of functionality.” Unexpected Pleasures: Miller’s favorite piece to live with is his Slot Shelf, which lacks hardware and can be assembled without tools. “I love the directness of the design and have discovered so many hidden functionalities that I hadn’t intended,” he says, citing how useful the semicircular shelf extensions are for displaying small objects.…

4 min.
ten dots textiles

WHEN WE MOVE FROM PLACE to place, the containers that hold and haul the stuff of our lives take on special meaning: the tie-dyed backpack, the worn leather dopp kit, the sticker-covered guitar case. As a well-traveled military veteran and maker of baskets, Tenisha Dotstry understands this better than most. “We lived out of our seabags, always running back and forth to see each other,” Dotstry recalls of the early days of her 15-year marriage, when she and her husband, Thomas, were both in the US Navy but based in different states. Together, the couple have since moved nine times, most recently settling in Seattle where he’s second-in-command of a submarine and she maintains her studio, Ten Dots Textiles. “Very simple, very clean, things that can go with every decor” is how…

1 min.
to have and to hold

Sew Happy: Dotstry’s home studio is equipped with a “big mommy” industrial sewing machine and two smaller ones. At work with her dog, Dan Schultz, by her side, she plays ’80s and ’90s teenybopper songs – Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys. “I have to listen to happy, bouncy music while I sew.” Fill ’Em Up: Don’t be afraid, she tells customers, to put her baskets to work – say, for an artful arrangement of bread, cheese and fruit. “They’re washable. People say, ‘You put food in them?’ I’m like, ‘All the time!’” As You Like It: She welcomes custom orders, such as the rose basket of pink and red handpainted petals she created for a flower girl to carry at a wedding. Gather Together: Wherever she relocates, Dotstry connects with the local craft community. “When I started…