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American Craft

American Craft June/July 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.
in the clouds, down to earth

I’M ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WITH A rich inner life, and my imaginings can be distracting. I’m aware of this every time I drive the wrong way down a one-way street. It takes me years to learn to navigate a new city, which was a problem when I lived in seven cities in 15 years. When some nice stranger would venture to give me directions – “You know the big purple building shaped like an ice cream cone with the flashing red lights?” – all they’d get back was a blank stare. Buildings? Sidewalks? Signs? I have to concentrate to see them. As an abstract, rather than a concrete, thinker, I’m agog at the artists in this issue, devoted to public art and play. Most of them are keenly aware of the…

3 min.
to the editor

Dust and Disappointment I recently ordered Dust Free Friends based on a book review in American Craft [“Labor of Love,” Aug./Sep. 2016]. It purports to provide inexpensive yet stylish furniture designs for the DIY crowd that “require neither fancy tools nor prior training.” I bought it to give to a young friend who is moving into an apartment. But according to the book, the only way you make the furniture dust free is to invest in expensive equipment. The authors recommend the “Festool circular saw, matching guide and extractor.” Never having heard of that brand, I looked it up. That combo costs more than $1,400! That seems like a pretty fancy tool to me; and all the diagrams are geared to the blade thickness of that machine. I’m sure you might…

4 min.

On Our Radar Maria Molteni “IT’S AN AMERICAN TALE,” Maria Molteni says, describing how often she hears traumatic childhood memories of sports teams and physical education. “Gym class is really pressurized,” she says. The 33-year-old artist grew up playing sports in Nashville, Tennessee, and vividly recalls that pressure. “You’re having to look at each other’s bodies and prove yourself to each other, so it’s really stressful,” she says. “But when you’re just playing around outside, hopefully that can be a liberating experience.” So when Molteni, now a Bostonian, installs crocheted basketball nets on naked hoops in urban neighborhoods, she’s not just another yarn-bomber. Along with her collective, New Craft Artists in Action (which artfully borrows the NCAA acronym from college sports), she’s out to reframe sport and recreation, with a view toward inclusion. Take,…

3 min.
american skillet co.

ALISA TONINATO’S FIRST iron pour came when she was a sculpture student at Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. “We had this adjunct teacher who invited us to make molds and bring them by,” she says. “What I think he really wanted was people to help break iron.” Curious about the process, she arrived at a field and was tasked with smashing radiators and vintage bathtubs into bitesize pieces of iron. She also poured her own molds: a corn stalk, which she says turned out beautifully, and a waffle maker, which did not. But the scene – where iron is melted at more than 2,500 degrees and poured into molds to make castings – enthralled her. “The fact that the furnace was handbuilt and powered by a Kirby vacuum on reverse was the first taste…

1 min.
united skillets of america

Lovefest: Every February, FeLion Studios holds Pour’n Yer Heart Out, a community iron pour. This year, at its eighth event, 3,000 pounds of iron were melted and used by artisans and novices to cast iron using simple molds. “It’s so great, because we’ll have people from ages 5 to 75 all working together,” Toninato says. “It’s also a chance to demystify our process. That’s important to me, be - cause there’s a pret ty major disconnect these days about how things are made.” Horse whisperer: Raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Toninato spent much of her childhood on the back of a horse. “The barn was like the Little Rascals barn of English riding. If we could break the horses, we could ride for free. We were 12 or 14 years old,…

1 min.
what’s your favorite work of public art?

Miami International Airport presents artwork that reflects the region and alleviates the stress of travel. Harmonic Convergence (2011), an interactive work by Christopher Janney, does this by capturing the light, color, and sounds of our South Florida natural environment, while Peace & Love (2013) by R&R Studios presents a universal message that reminds travelers of what is most necessary in our turbulent times. ~YOLANDASáNCHEZ, former director, Fine Arts and Cultural Affairs Division, Miami International Airport I loved creating Old Growth (2016) for the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina. At no point did I feel I had a full grasp of the piece, so it never lost the anticipation of discovery. Every time I climbed up into its canopy, I would think, “This is nuts.” I think that was a good…