Crafts

Sibylle Peretti

Posted January 16, 2015

New Orleans, LA


German-born glass artist Sibylle Peretti has lived in New Orleans since 1996. Using glass as a canvas, Peretti creates dreamlike figurative works that can incorporate drawing or photography. She has recently created a series of works on the theme of feral children, which allows her to explore the often-fraught relationship between humans and nature. Peretti has taught at the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington and the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina.

 Thaw, 2012; photo credit Will Crocker

Thaw, 2012; photo credit Will Crocker

Rowland Ricketts

Posted January 16, 2015

Bloomington, IN


Rowland Ricketts uses natural materials and traditional techniques to create contemporary textiles. Ricketts trained in indigo farming and dyeing in Japan. He now farms the dye in rural Indiana and uses it to make geometric forms in textiles that vary in scale, at times becoming large-scale installations. Ricketts, an Assistant Professor of Textiles at Indiana University, runs the IndiGrowing Blue project at the school with participants who grow and harvest Japanese indigo as a way to gain “unique insight into how we live, create, and consume as contemporary Americans.”

 Fields of Indigo, 2012; photo credit Rowland Ricketts

Fields of Indigo, 2012; photo credit Rowland Ricketts

Kurt Weiser

Posted January 16, 2015

Tempe, AZ


Kurt Weiser is a ceramic artist who works in the tradition of china paint on porcelain. Around 1990, Weiser first began painting on porcelain by covering a teapot with botanical imagery. He eventually started using color and incorporating narrative scenes drawn from both art history and his imagination. His mostly nude figures appear to float across the surfaces of his vessels within surreal, junglelike landscapes. In his most recent works, the images appear to blend so seamlessly with the shape of the pots that the vessels almost disappear and the depicted fantasies dominate.

 Blue Perfume, 2012; photo credit Kurt Weiser

Blue Perfume, 2012; photo credit Kurt Weiser

Sonya Clark

Posted January 16, 2015

Richmond, VA


Sonya Clark creates textile works, sculptures, installations, and photographs. Clark is known for her work with hair as a material to address race and identity issues. She has extended the idea of cloth to include hairdressing, in particular traditional African techniques such as cornrows and Bantu knots, in sculptures such as the Wig Series (1997–2000) and Hair Series (2001–present). In the Beaded Prayer Project (1998–2009), she collaborated with 4000 people from 35 countries who each contributed a beaded amulet. Clark is the Chair of the Craft and Material Studies department at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

 Afro Abe II (with peacock feathers), 2010; photo credit Taylor Dabney

Afro Abe II (with peacock feathers), 2010; photo credit Taylor Dabney

Tom Joyce

Posted January 16, 2015

Santa Fe, NM


Blacksmith and sculptor Tom Joyce uses traditional forging techniques in contemporary ways. He left high school in 1974 to apprentice with blacksmith Peter Wells and to dedicate himself to his craft. Joyce’s works range from smaller sculptural pieces to larger architectural elements, including lighting fixtures and gates. For his Rio Grande Gates (1998), which included a blacksmithing mentorship program for students, he worked with community members in Albuquerque to salvage iron refuse from the river to use as material for the final project. Joyce won a MacArthur Fellowship in 2003.

 Stack, 2009; photo credit the artist

Stack, 2009; photo credit the artist

Beth Lipman

Posted January 16, 2015

Sheboygan Falls, WI


Glass artist Beth Lipman produces large-scale, three-dimensional renditions of still lifes in clear blown glass, which are glittering depictions of abundance and chaos. In Bancketje (2003), 15 people worked with her to create over 500 components found on the table, a metaphor for the aftermath of an excessive banquet. Lipman has more recently begun producing photographs of her assembled sculptures, scaling the final prints to actual size and then destroying and recycling the glass.

 One and Others, 2011; photo credit Robb Quinn

One and Others, 2011; photo credit Robb Quinn

Jon Eric Riis

Posted January 16, 2015

Atlanta, GA


Informed by his research into the historical textiles of Pre-Columbian Peru, Imperial China, and Russian ecclesiastical vestments, tapestry artist Jon Eric Riis produces tapestries that are imbued with social content. One of his main forms is a “universal coat,” which he meticulously creates with metallic thread, silk, beads, and semi-precious stones. He often addresses socio-political content within the hidden, equally detailed interior of each piece.    

 Greed Tapestry Coat, 2007, woven metallic thread; photo credit Indianapolis Museum of Art

Greed Tapestry Coat, 2007, woven metallic thread; photo credit Indianapolis Museum of Art

Akio Takamori

Posted January 16, 2015

Seattle,WA


Akio Takamori is a ceramist who produces hand-painted figurative works. After studying ceramics in Japan, Takamori moved to the U.S. in 1974 to attend the Kansas City Art Institute and Alfred University, New York. His earliest works were figures in vessel forms. During a 1996 residency in the Netherlands, Takamori began emphasizing the space between works by grouping larger figures in sculptural installations, a transition that would mark his future direction. His subjects include rural Japanese villagers from his childhood, historical and art historical characters, and contemporary people, at times accompanied by drawings. He is Professor of Art and Ceramics at the University of Washington, Seattle.

 Boys, 2010; photo credit the artist

Boys, 2010; photo credit the artist

Aaron Yakim

Posted January 16, 2015

Parkersburg, WV


Basketmaker Aaron Yakim works with white oak to create rustic rib baskets. He learned the craft in 1979 while apprenticing with fifth-generation basketmaker, Oral “Nick” Nicholson of West Virginia. Yakim harvests his materials from the local forest, using hand tools to split the wood into flexible thin strips, which he then manipulates by hand into vessel forms without the use of molds. His innovations include a framework design for creating a swing-handled rib basket and an interwoven hinged lid.     

 Egg Baskets, 2004; © Robert Batey Photography

Egg Baskets, 2004; © Robert Batey Photography

Jeremy Frey

Posted January 16, 2015

Princeton, ME


Jeremy Frey is a Passamaquoddy basketmaker who learned weaving from his mother and apprenticed at the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance (of which he is now a board member). Frey learned the traditional techniques of weaving brown ash and sweetgrass into baskets and now introduces new styles and techniques such as unique shapes and very fine weaves. He is dedicated to serving as a model to younger Native artists and to passing the tradition of basketmaking onto the next generation.

 Point curl barrel basket with quill feathers, brown ash, sweet grass, porcupine quills, and birch bark, 2003, 9

Point curl barrel basket with quill feathers, brown ash, sweet grass, porcupine quills, and birch bark, 2003, 9″ w x 13″ h: photo credit the artist