Mixed Media and Emerging Artists: An Eclectic Mix of Whimsy and Functionality

(Above: Knives by Harold Kalmus)

The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show features a wide variety and assortment of contemporary crafts, and in that mix, you’ll see whimsy, style, and items that are utilitarian in their functionality. In this week’s blog, we give you all three.

(BONUS: Scroll down for info about the PMA Craft Show Preview Party, plus info about a chance to win two tickets and a $200 gift certificate to the 2019 Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show!) 

Shirley Weffer

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Simply Mila was founded in 2017 with the idea and conviction to create a sophisticated, avant-garde collection made in the USA by using local and family businesses. Simply Mila is committed to the research of fabrics that include linen, cotton, viscose, silk, bamboo, wool, etc. The easy to wear pieces are designed for a confident woman who has a desire for a basic look with a pinch of emotion.

Caroline Simpson

Philadelphia, PA

Viscosity describes a fluid's resistance to flow. As the flow of dripping-hot metal solidifies, its viscosity is so high that it no longer flows and its flow is stuck in time. My Viscosity designs are, in essence, these precious moments I have captured in time. As I learned the art of jewelry making, I became fascinated by the molten metal I was injecting into my molds and the solder I was flowing onto joints. I enjoy exploring the possibilities of coalescing traditional jewelry-making and 3D digital fabrication.

Emily Shaffer

Belfast, ME

My focus is to create jewelry that is clean, modern and versatile. It's made to be functional and to compliment the wearer's individuality. Using silver, I seek compositions of line and negative space. Limiting my color palette allows for a greater emphasis on the body and the linear quality of my work. My interest in contemporary jewelry and adornment fuels my will to create work that is both finely crafted and designed.

Ian Petrie

Philadelphia, PA

Born from the inherently black and white nature (in aesthetics and ethics) of the comics/manga universe, the surfaces of my pieces are used as utilitarian canvases to explore individuals' narratives. To this end, my work is made using very traditional comic/manga materials and processes. The illustrations are drawn with a crow-quill pen, shaded with an application of half-tones, and ultimately screen printed by hand. On some of my pieces I utilize gold or silver luster to intentionally censor part of my drawing.

Brian Peters

Pittsburgh, PA

Coded Clay is a newly formed Pittsburgh-based studio that blends craftsmanship with technology through the design and fabrication of 3D printed ceramic home decor products and works of art. Our pieces explore intricate, three-dimensional surfaces that are integral to the fabrication process. These woven or wicker-like textures create very tactile surfaces that encourage users to feel and explore the objects. Each of our designs are first sketched by hand, then digitally modeled in the computer.

Kate Norris

Baltimore, MD

My collages are inspired by vintage scientific illustrations with a focus on human anatomy and insects. My work is as much about the process, the juxtapositions of images creating the whole as it is about the final image. My process reminds me of assembling a jigsaw puzzle. The difference is that in my collages, I formulate the joining of the pieces as I go along.

Harold Kalmus

Arden, DE

I make knives exclusively for the kitchen. While adhering to the highest levels of craftsmanship, design and aesthetics, my knives are made to be used, used hard and used every day. I approach the design of a knife as a relationship of arcs, lines and forms; my goal being to make that relationship as pleasing as possible.

Nicholas Ireys

Baltimore, MD

The forging process creates a relationship between the maker and the material that is unique to the art. This relationship is made from the physical and mental energy that is needed to shape a piece of metal using fire and force. The material itself has a physicality that embodies the idea of presence. As a blacksmith I work to blur the line between sculptural and functional.

Jewelyn Franz

Wernersville, PA

I see myself as a culmination and result of all of the ancestors that came before me. The ritual of making feels sacred and spiritual to me. My main body of work consists of woven works for the home, ranging from rugs to decorative fine art pieces, inspired by aspects of nature and my Cherokee heritage.


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