American Craft

American Craft August/September 2018

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United States
American Craft Council
6 期號


3 最少
my favorite illusion

“IN KINDERGARTEN, ONE LEARNS to love and use colors,” designer Verner Panton wrote; “later on, at school and in life, one learns something called taste. For most people this means limiting their use of colors.” I’m not sure where Panton stood, but I come down squarely on the side of the kindergartners. I love color. No, I’m wild about it. For me, color represents unmitigated joy, passion, energy, and wonder. It’s a fabulous dessert you can’t – and shouldn’t – resist. It’s one of the best parts of life. And I don’t really understand people who are cautious about color, limiting themselves to neutrals in their homes and fretting about what goes with what. I can’t imagine being tasteful and sparing with color when you can swim in it, taking big…

2 最少
rainbow people

French-born Elodie Blanchard is a Brooklyn textile designer who uses her fabric scraps to make tree-like sculptures such as Odile (2017). Her design work is methodical; she gathers thousands of woven samples and assembles color boards to decide how to combine hues in a given textile. Constructing her Trees series is much freer: “I put the colors together as I go, change, add,” she says. “It’s an organic process.” Cassandria Blackmore paints on glass, then shatters, reverses, and reassembles the painting. The California artist is inspired by the contrasting emotional register of different hues and loves to see what happens “when they collide within a painting.” The pinks, reds, oranges, and blues in Iliovasilema II (2013) are a case in point. “Colors can be charged with tension, or color can pacify,”…

4 最少
damien davis

DAMIEN DAVIS IS DOING EVERYTHING everybody told him not to do. And it’s paying off. The artist (Louisiana-born, Arizona-bred, and now living in Brooklyn) recites a long list of taboos: “Don’t make work about race or racism. Don’t make work about design. Don’t make work that looks too polished. Don’t make work with craft materials.” Despite graduating from New York University with a BFA in 2010, Davis had given up on art. “I had decided I’d never be a successful visual artist because there are all these people who are successful telling me the things I want to make aren’t the things I should be making,” says Davis, 33. Grad school changed his outlook. He earned his MA in visual arts administration from NYU in 2013; only after getting that degree, he says,…

4 最少
lite brite neon

THE FIRST NEON SIGN IN the US lit up in 1923 at a Packard dealership in Los Angeles, and it didn’t take long for the glowing letters and images to become synonymous with the 20thcentury American landscape. The lighting reached its heyday in the 1950s, but most of the signs have gradually disappeared, thanks to laws banning them and the introduction of cheaper LED bulbs. Today, those that remain inspire a wistful nostalgia for a lost art form. But that art form hasn’t vanished entirely. Lite Brite Neon continues to make neon art, including pieces by the group’s members, as well as work for commercial clients such as Bergdorf Goodman and for other artists, such as Glenn Ligon. Whether it’s a detailed rendering or a sketch on a napkin, if it…

1 最少
scratch ’n’ sniff

Michelle Stangl thinks that jewelry should do more than please the eye. Her Twin Cities company, My Naptime Jewelry, specializes in pieces that diffuse essential oils for on-the-go aromatherapy. The white and black lava stone beads in the Balance bracelet absorb oils readily, for a daylong olfactory pick-me-up. mynaptimejewelry.com Christina Boy Design is named for its sole proprietor, who lives in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Her designs are modern – hard angles, ingenious swoops – but she’s connected to the land, using local and salvaged wood. The Recon ciliation Rocker features a dash of whimsy: a pair of lime-green seats atop a long, balance-challenging curve. christinaboydesign.com Liz Woll, the San Francisco artist behind Woll Jewelry, draws inspiration for her handmade acrylic pieces from vintage design. Her creations – mostly earrings,…

4 最少
shows to see

AZ / Phoenix Heard Museum Dear Listener: Works by Nicholas Galanin to Sep. 3 heard.org dearlistener.org Indigenous culture, colonial power, and what happens when they cross paths are the themes of this show by Tlingit/Unangax artist Nicholas Galanin, with about 50 diverse pieces – sculpture, performance art, works on paper, installation, and fashion – that fill three galleries. CA / Los Angeles Craft in America Center Kiff Slemmons: Collective Presence Aug. 11 – Oct. 6 craftinamerica.org For two decades, jewelry artist Kiff Slemmons has worked with Taller Arte Papel, a papermaking cooperative in Oaxaca, Mexico. Fruits of the partnership are on view here: Slemmons’ sketches, handmade paper models, and about three dozen pieces of her ingenious paper jewelry. CA/Sacramento Crocker Art Museum The Elaine and Sidney Cohen Collection of Contemporary Ceramics Aug. 5 – Nov. 18 crockerart.org Elaine and Sidney Cohen gathered what they loved, resulting in a…