American Craft

American Craft February/March 2019


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United States
American Craft Council
4 期號


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get your hands dirty

THERE ARE PERIODS IN LIFE when you feel stuck and out of sorts – and then, amazingly, something shifts. Whether you resolve a health problem or make a new friend or have a breakthrough of another sort, you suddenly find a new groove. I’m attributing my own recent renewal to a pottery class I started taking in September. Somehow, now that I’m spending three hours every Saturday throwing pots, I feel more balanced, energized, and optimistic. Like a lot of people these days, I live a good chunk of my life virtually. By “virtually,” I mean online, of course. But think about that phrase: “Living virtually” suggests a simulated life, a hedged life, a life that falls short of complete. And I could argue that, when I’m chatting with friends on…

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clay dreams

Courtesy of the artist, Night Gallery, and Cooper Cole (2)…

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On Our Radar Nicki Green NICKI GREEN WAS WATCHING an episode of Sex and the City a few years back, when she got to the part where Charlotte enters the Jewish ritual bath known as the mikveh, in preparation for her conversion to the faith. “I jumped up and froze the screen,” recalls Green. “The mikveh is a tiled space. Tile is ceramic. The mikveh is a ceramic object. Oh. My. God!” For someone who uses clay to explore her identity as a trans, queer, Jewish artist, this was nothing short of a religious epiphany. “Mikveh is about being with our bodies in an intimate space used for healing, celebration, and transformation,” says the San Francisco artist, who earned her MFA from the University of California, Berkeley, last year. “I wondered: How could…

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flm ceramics

“ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT things to me in making my work is connection,” says Forrest Lesch-Middelton, who uses the universal language of clay to create everyday objects that touch us in an intuitive way, like a memory. Handcrafted in his studio in Petaluma, California, Lesch-Middelton’s wares bear patterns inspired by historical pottery and textile motifs, mainly from the Middle East. He’s particularly interested in two bookending eras: the ancient Silk Road and the modern-day oil economy. Elegant florals and geometrics are screenprinted in rich, muted shades, from iron to cobalt blue. A reduction-cooling process gives the surfaces the weathered, timeworn look of ancient treasures dug up from an archaeological site. His work includes vessels and dinner ware, though tiles – launched a few years ago to offer smaller items at…

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ready to use

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shows to see

AL / Montgomery Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts About Face: Contemporary Ceramic Sculpture Feb. 2 – May 12 mmfa.org American figurative ceramics have come a long way from decorative porcelain figurines that curtsy on antiquarians’ shelves. In work by more than 40 artists, such as Russell Biles’ crouching football players and Cynthia Consentino’s person-bird hybrids, the human body is both subject matter and a catalyst for considering the cultural issues and ideas that surround it. AZ / Phoenix Heard Museum Sonwai: The Jewelry of Verma Nequatewa to Mar. 10 heard.org Verma Nequatewa signs her jewelry Sonwai, a Hopi word for beauty. Her uncle Charles Loloma (who signed with another form of the word) taught Nequatewa the jewelry-making techniques and expertise that have placed her at the forefront of lapidary artists. This is the first museum retrospective of her half-century career, with…