American Craft Council Baltimore Show 2017 Opens This Week!

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In just a few days, the American Craft Council (ACC) @ the Baltimore Convention Center opens their wholesale (February 22-23) and retail (February 24-26) American Craft Shows.

More than 650 top contemporary jewelry, clothing, furniture, and home décor artists from across the country will gather in Baltimore at the Convention Center. Touch, feel, and explore high-quality American craft and meet the makers behind the fabulous work. This is a HUGE show – a must-attend for craft lovers! Make sure you see incredible glass works by Kenny Pieper, ceramics by Joe Hicks and Ani Kasten, and wearable wood accessories by Drew Graham.

The ACC has also invited 20 makers from Craft Scotland to their flagship Baltimore show in 2017 – so the show will be extra ossum! Click HERE for more info. Click Here to jump to ACC event tickets.

Retail Show Dates:

February 24: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
February 25: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
February 26: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Baltimore Convention Center
1 West Pratt Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

Mindful: Exploring Mental Health Through Art

WGS’ Michael Janis is one of the artists featured in the Society of Contemporary Craft‘s exhibit “Mindful: Exploring Mental Health Through Art“. This show explores the impact that mental illness is having on society, and the role the arts can play to both encourage positive self-expression and guide effective mental health promotion and treatment. The (traveling) show highlights a variety of techniques and forms that include innovative art expressions rooted in traditional craft materials, as well as art that explores unexpected relationships between craft and painting, sculpture, conceptual, and installation art. American Craft Magazine will have a short story about the show in their next issue – out early next year! The SCC has made a short video of the exhibit and their goals in the show – in the link below

Can A Craftsperson Succeed Today?

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American Craft Oct/Nov 2012 issue

It’s not realistic for most craftspeople to make a living working alone (on their craft). That was the provocative argument made by Garth Clark, award-winning historian, writer, dealer, and auction specialist in ceramic art, in the Oct/Nov American Craft Magazine. In the interview by Monica Moses, Garth urges crafters to emulate designers who partner with industry as a way to find success. American Craft asked him to elaborate in the interview – a few samples from the interview: 
You’ve said “the crafts are a threatened field,” suggesting that purely handmade work can’t compete with more scalable, cost-efficient work. What is threatening craft now? The big weakness is a failing economic studio model. Overheads rise constantly, but each maker has only two hands and can’t make more work to bring in more money. There is an output ceiling. This threat is self-imposed, coming from adherence to a medieval concept of craft and refusal to employ low-key industrial techniques to produce more inventory. Another threat: Craft galleries are withering and in some cases closing. Then, of course, there is the damage to the brand of craft done when institutions such as the flagship American Craft Museum [predecessor to the Museum of Arts and Design], drop the term craft and seek to join the fine arts world.

As you’ve suggested, for a number of years craftspeople aimed to be accepted in the fine art world, with limited success. Your view is that, in general, the design world is a more promising avenue for craftspeople. Why? Most crafters are not fine artists, even when they use fine art as their muse. The ones who have crossed over are about .0001 of the craft community. It’s a tiny handful: Ken Price, Josiah McElheny, Betty Woodman. The odds are hardly encouraging. On the other hand, designers and crafters do exactly the same thing; they make vases, jewelry, furniture, mugs, hats, fire irons. It’s exactly the same class of objects. Both are designed. The difference is the means of production: Crafters work by hand, while designers employ industry. Designers have learned to have it all – some unique works, some limited works, and some mass-produced works. Crafters can do the same. And the market is gigantic and growing.

What advice would you offer today’s aspiring craftsperson?

Decide what you want to be – be it fine artist, designer, or for that matter, crafter. And live there. If you believe you are, say, a sculptor and not a crafter, then the day you leave college, take the strengths of your craft education and head to a sculpture community and make your home there. Don’t remain in the relatively protected world of the crafts and whine that you are a misunderstood artist trapped in the craft world. Leave the nest, and learn to fly. 

Click here to jump to the full online version of the article – or look for in the Oct/Nov hard copy magazine at the shops. That American Craft issue also has a great review of the Smithsonian’s 40 Under 40 Craft Futures exhibit.

Garth Clark at lecture on Ai Weiwei at University of Sunderland, March 2012

Garth Clark is one of the leading experts on design and craft. The blog has posted previous lectures that Garth has had on the changing nature of craft. 

While at the University of Sunderland, the WGS Fulbright directors were able to attend Garth Clark’s lecture on Ai Weiwei Ceramics. The lecture was most interesting and gave great insight into Ai Weiwei’s work with clay.

I Heart American Craft Council

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Love is in the air

I ♥ Glass

In time for Valentines, the Feb/March 2012 issue of American Craft magazine (published by the American Craft Council) features Washington Glass School Director Michael Janis answering the romantic question: “Who’s Your Platonic Craft Crush”. The new issue also has some great articles about Harvey Littleton and the Studio Glass Movement, and an article about ceramic sculptor Cristina Córdova.

For some reason tho, Michael is made to be yellow. Very yellow. I am (overly) Curious Yellow.

Michael Janis looking either very jaundiced or he’s Bart Simpson’s twin, Hugo.

And just who is Michael Craft Crushing on? Its no secret that it is glass & ceramic artist Christina Bothwell.

The American Craft Council is the voice for craft in America, celebrating the remarkable achievement of the many gifted artists working in the media of clay, fiber, glass, metal, wood and other materials. Programs through which the Council supports the field include the bimonthly magazine American Craft. Click HERE to jump to the Craft Council website.

American Craft on Tim Tate & Marc Petrovic Collaborations

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Sins Under Glass
The April/May issue of American Craft magazine has an 8 page review of Tim Tate & Marc Petrovic‘s collaborative work.

Tim Tate & Marc Petrovic
photo by Pete Duvall/Anything Photographic


The article, written by American Craft‘s Senior Editor, Julie Hanus; with photos by Pete Duvall of Anything Photographic, talks of “Connectivity and collaboration” and the ways they are molding our lives. The author profiles in-depth their two recent joint works
Apothecarium Moderne and Seven Deadly Sins, and how, within the two works, Marc and Tim are model­­ing one vision of the interconnected future of art: genuine collaboration.

Above: Two works from the Seven Deadly Sins series.


Shattered found pottery lends sculptural interest to
Wrath. For the finial, Marc made a tiny maple rolling pin on a lathe. Visually, I like the look of Envy a lot,” says Marc. They designed the piece around the video concept: a creepy eye, peering through a keyhole. Each piece is loaded with detail. The green finial that sits atop Envy, for example, is a cast-glass likeness of Michael Janis, a tongue-in-cheek poke at an artist with whom Tim shares workspace at the Washington Glass School (…or is it?). The tiny gate is Marc’s handiwork – a rare opportunity to exercise a long-ago minor in metals, he says. His wife, artist Kari Russell-Pool (with whom Marc also has collaborated), lent a hand with the grass.


Above: “Vanity” from the Seven Deadly Sins series
blown and cast glass, camera and audio soundwave electronics, found objects

In Vanity, a small video screen displays the image of all who approach. Peek into this technological mirror and a recorded voice gushes, “You look wonderful. Have you lost weight? You look younger every time I see you.”
Drawing in viewers to interact with the work is, arguably, the pièce de résistance of their collaborative process – the sharing of a work that transforms everyone who sees it into an active participant.

For the entire article – click HERE (or check out your newsstands!)
Email for Pete Duvall: pete@anythingphoto.net