Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


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The American Craft Council Show Part 2

Here are 10 more artists from the ACC show with stunning work.

John Christopher Borrero:  John is a mixed media/found object artist.  He creates paintings, illustrations, and sculptures inspired by mythology, archeology, anthropology, and theology.

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Carol Owen:  Carol is a mixed media artist who creates altered books, spirit houses and shrines.  She is also the author of the book Crafting Personal Shrines.  I first discovered Carol’s work through her book and find it very inspiring.  It was wonderful to meet her and see her work up close.

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Virginia McKinney:  Virginia creates sculptures and vessels from earthenware clay and fabricated steel.  The idea of home or a dwelling is a recurring theme in her work, often being presented with quirky personalities.

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Kimberly Willcox:  Kimberly creates what she calls “3-dimensional objectes from transformed materials.”  Many of her pieces are influenced by the human form.  Several of her sculptures are kinetic.  Please visit her web site to see her awesome work.

Laura Peery:  I first saw Laura’s work here in Boston at the Craft Boston show.  She makes these lovely decorative teapots from porcelain clay.

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Christine Kaiser:  Christine describes her work as being created from “hardwork, decent tools, and time.”  Her mixed media pieces are fairytale-like and humorous.

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Christina Goodman:  Christina creates delicate handpainted minatures and jewelry.  She draws inspiration from landscapes by Giovanni Bellini, Lorenzo Lotto, Jan Van Eyck and utilizes 14th and 16th century gilding and painting techniques.

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Reina Mia Brill:  I fell in love with Reina’s work when I first saw it on Polymer Clay Notes and it was a joy to see her work in-person.  Reina creates fantastic knitted wire sculptures that bring a smile to your face, followed by a giggle.  As Reina says, she “illustrates a world of childhood memories and experiences” from wire.

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Thomas Wargin:  Thomas is a sculpture whose pieces begin as sketches that are sculpted and then cast in bronze and aluminum.  Thomas says his work represents the merger of man into the modern world.  He draws inspiration from Michaelangeo, Da Vinci, and Picasso.

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McNally Instruments:  Bob McNally “had a dream” that people would learn to play music on an instrument that anyone could play…even those with little musical training or ability.  Out of this dream was born The Strumstick, an instrument that reminded me of a guitar and a ukele.  Strumsticks incorporate a combination of diatronic scale and drone tuning.  I don’t completely understand what that means but when you play the Strumstick, it sounds really good!

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Phew!  And those are only artists from half of the show.  If you ever have the opportunity to visit the ACC show, I encourage you to do so.  Wear a pair of comfy shoes and buy a bottle of water to stay hydrated.

I hope you are inspired by these artists.  I know I am.


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The American Craft Council Show Part 1

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′

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Tomorrow: 10 more artists with stunning work.