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American Craft

American Craft February/March 2018

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.
good work is not enough

SOMETIMES WHEN I SEE artists at a craft show, selling their work, I daydream about having a booth myself. I wonder: Would I be the cheerful potter surrounded by customers? Or maybe the chatty weaver who loves to explain her process? But my secret fear is that I’d be that frowning guy in the corner, barricaded behind a counter, glued to my phone. By day three, my aloof body language would be a full-blown force field, keeping people 10 feet away. And if you could see my thought bubbles, you’d read: “Damn, why aren’t people buying?” and “My work sucks” and “How will I pay the rent?” If you’ve been to a craft show, you might have seen these artists who are their own worst enemies. Instead of connecting with potential customers…

4 min.

On Our Radar Hiromi Takizawa WHEN HIROMI TAKIZAWA came to the United States from Japan as a 22-year-old, her primary goal was linguistic. “I grew up in a tiny town, where we had one foreigner,” she says. “I was always so curious about learning English.” She decided the best way to learn was to enroll in a language course at Santa Ana College in Southern California. A chance visit to the school’s glassblowing studio, though, would soon provide her a different kind of fluency. “I was immediately drawn to the fluidity of the material – it’s always moving when it’s hot, so it’s very challenging. I also like the optics it creates – transparent, reflective, refractive,” says Takizawa, now 39. “At the time, I had such a sense of longing for my…

3 min.
product placement blanc creatives

WITH A WAIT TIME OF SEVERAL weeks for Blanc Creatives’ hand-forged cookware, it’s hard to believe that head blacksmith Corry Blanc once couldn’t sell a single pan. The Virginia craftsman apprenticed at his uncle’s metal fabrication shop and worked for a blacksmith before branching out on his own in 2008. He made architectural metalwork while working in restaurants, where he started to notice the metal in kitchens. He decided to make a frying pan and took it to the Charlottesville City Market, where he’d been selling small items like meat skewers and bottle openers. “Someone saw it, and they said, ‘Hey, if you made these, people would buy them,’” says Blanc, 34. He set about creating a batch to bring back a few weeks later. None sold. “No one even had interest,”…

3 min.
shop talk mobilia

WHEN JOANNE COOPER WAS asked to arrange a time to discuss Mobilia, the craft gallery she runs with her sister in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she handed the task to her sister, Libby. “She’s much better with scheduling,” she explains. Libby Cooper also handles pricing and the rest of the business side. JoAnne says that’s also not her strength. “But I love performing and speaking, so when we have an opening reception, I’m the one who talks about the work and gives tours – whereas Libby has these visions for displaying work that are amazing.” Together, they decide on exhibitions and installations. The gallery, which turns 40 this year, benefits from the sisters’ complementary skills and from their unified vision. “We both have the same kind of tastes, and we collaborate on everything,” JoAnne…

5 min.
shows to see

What’s new? The Craft & Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles presents groundbreaking works in clay, while Cooper Hewitt in New York sparkles with cutting-edge jewelry. And the Boca Raton Museum of Art’s show of ceramics by George Ohr (along with other innovators) celebrates a potter born in 1857 who was so far ahead of his time, the world is still catching up. AR / Bentonville Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power Feb. 3 – Apr. 23 crystalbridges.org This is a look back in time at the civil rights era of the 1960s and the Black Power movement that grew out of it. In works by 60 artists such as Betye Saar, Faith Ringgold, and Melvin Edwards, this show, organized by London’s Tate Modern, considers…

2 min.
the short list everyday energy

DATING BACK MORE THAN 10,000 years, baskets are among the most essential and versatile of objects. For those who appreciate the basket’s role in history, domestic life, education, therapy, and fine art, there is this lovely, sweeping book. Rooted, Revived, Reinvented takes its name from an exhibition that opened in 2017 at the University of Missouri and is slated to travel through 2019. If there’s a thread that runs through the book, it’s how industrialization has transformed the presence and the meaning of the basket. Nine meaty essays provide context. Four examine basket-making traditions: in the Native American South, the South Carolina Lowcountry, Brown County, Indiana, and Nantucket Island. The others consider the basket’s emergence in studio craft, the art world, and cultural commentary. More than 250 color images trace the evolution…