The American Craft Council (ACC) shows started in 1966 as a way to present outstanding works by America’s leading craftspersons to the public and to the trade. The ACC show in Baltimore last month exemplified this standard with over 700 artists in various media including basketry, ceramics, fashion, fiber, furniture & lighting, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, paper, stone, and wood.
The ACC also showcases a variety of upcoming artists in new programs, such as:
Searchlight Artists: Emerging artists are artists nominated by leaders in their field who are given the opportunity to exhibit their work for the first time at a national craft show.
School to Market: ACC invites undergraduate students in craft and materials studies programs to curate an exhibition of their work at the show.
New Wave Craft: 300 artists in the “new wave craft movement” were invited by ACC to apply to the show; 15 were accepted.
GreenCraft: Artists who use eco-friendly materials and/or techniques at ACC and who posted “GreenCraft” signs in their booths.
Craft4Kids: An expanded, new category that features artists making clothing, toys, and other accessories specifically for children.
I had limited time to visit the ACC show; however, I did pick up a few business cards and postcards and will share the first 7 artists with you today.
Jung Yeon Choi: Jung is a Fiber Artist and was one of several Searchlight Artists featured at ACC. This piece featured at the show is titled Uninvited and is made from organza, wire, and paper and is dyed and sewn. Uninvited measures 15′ by 20′
Joh Ricci is a basketmaker and sculptural fiber artist. She uses knotting, crochet, and netting to create delicate sculptures that are created around hand carved bases or gourds. Joh calls her form of expression “both tedious and time intensive with a hypnotic rhythm to the process.”
James Borden of Timeshapes creates clockwork sculptures made from walnut, cherry and “other Minnesota hardwoods.” These were definitely eye-catching as James had several pieces suspended from the ceiling at ACC. Yes, I wanted to say “My time must fly when you’re having fun.”
Karen Smith creates fiber jewelry that combined metal, fiber work, and gemstones. These were truly small, wearable sculptures. Unfortunately she does not have a web site.
Chase Deforest Hosewares gave me a chuckle. Talk about inventive. As a longtime basket maker and avid gardner, Chase decided to merge these two interests to create a basket with a garden hose. Using zip ties and the coiling method, the first hose basket was created years ago. In addition to baskets, products now include a pet bed, a patio chair, and chaise.
Pat Kazi is inspired by fantasy world that finds it origins in her childhood in Maine. She uses stoneware or porcelain clay to create animals, warriors, sorcerers and other figures in her fantasy world. Her sculptures are adorned with antique findings, jewelry and clothing.
Andy Rogers is a ceramic artist inspired by “untouched areas around us.” This inspiration includes seeds, pods, bulbs, and pollen spores. He uses a mix of clays to achieve his desired look. They are rich in texture and color.
Tomorrow: 10 more artists with stunning work.