Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Not your average craft show!

When we moved to Maryland, I began hearing buzz about the American Craft Council Show at the Baltimore Convention Center. This year I finally put it on my calendar and made plans to go! Kristin LaFlamme even drove up from Charlottesville to join me. We had a great time and were so impressed by the variety, quality and creativity of the work.

I made one purchase... wonderful pair of earrings from Mullanium. They also had cute little boxes and pins. I love the layers of elements and symbols.

Wonderfully whimsical -- but in a refined way -- ceramic jewelry from Courtney DeYoung. Gosh, looking at this image again, I wish I would have bought some.

Apparently wood is particularly hot right now. I can see why. Some artists are doing amazing work in work. Check out Michael Bauermeister.
I love the texture and color he had acheived on this vessel -- it's probably at least three feet tall. It was exciting to watch a customer request help in rearranging and examining some of his small wall pieces. She bought several!

Felt jewelry and bracelets created with 3D printing by Maria Eife.
Maria also had some cool bracelets created with a 3D printer. I've heard some stories and watched some videos of 3D printing lately, so I felt pretty smart when I said to her, "Are you using a 3D printer?!" We had a nice chat with her about the possibilities of this new technology. Here is a pretty good video about 3D printing.

I almost bought a coffee cup from Three Wheel Studio. Isn't this super cute?

I almost bought another coffee cup from Justin Rothshank Ceramics.
Justin's work has been on my list of favorite shops on Etsy for years. It was lovely to see his full collection in real life.

Kristin and I were both pretty entranced by these bracelets by Jennifer Fecker of is-felt.

We were also delighted to chat with Gustav Reyes who told us all about his innovative process which involves steaming wood then compressing it and slicing off strips which are completely flexible and can be wound into beautiful shapes like this.

The bracelet still retains some flexibility. I was especially impressed with Gustav as he spent lots of time sharing his process and ideas about the possibilities of wood with many people in his booth.

I was happy to see Stacy Lee Webber because I recognized her work from the 40 Under 40 at the Smithsonian. She creates beautiful and provocative work with coins.

We ran into Cathy Kleeman who told us to look for the great designs on floorcloths by Faith Wilson. Wow. She was right. They were awesome. Kristin and I especially liked her repeated use of the phrase, "here now."

Probably my favorite work of the whole show was by McLean Bronze. I loved these small assemblages set on bronze. If I took one thing away from the show, it's the desire to create work that is a bit more spare.

Brandon Holschuh is a jewelry designer... and much more. He actually sells his jewelry with the mounting stands all together. This is a brooch... or a beautiful sculptural object. He said he sometimes spends as much time designing the armature as he does designing the jewelry. His booth was beautifully styled and it was very clear he thinks about all the details! Inspiring.

Jewelry combining metal and stitching by Lauren Markley. Of course, I was drawn to anything that involved stitching and fiber.

No wait, maybe this was my favorite. Mixed media by Graceann Warn. I am still swooning over these compositions. I think it's fascinating that each of these 16 pieces incorporate the same basic design, but small changes, adjustments and details make them each unique.
Is that enough eye candy for you?! I hope not because later this week, I'll share with you the actual ART QUILTERS who were showing their work at ACC.


Natalya Khorover Aikens said...

Thanks for the review! how I wish I could have come....

Kristin L said...

Great review! And now I don;t have to blog about it because i think you said pretty much everything I was going to say. It was great to see so much thoughtful, well made, beautiful work. It was also great to be able to chat with many of the artists and learn a bit about their process, their motivation, their interests. The best part though, was to be able to go with a friend (you) and talk together about what we had seen and our reactions to it. Having a "processing partner" added much to the experience.

Vivien Zepf said...

Oh man, so wish I could have gone! Thanks for sharing.