Published December 01st 2021

For the Holidays - A Guide To Sustainable Contemporary Craft

Shopping for the holidays and want to do your part to help the environment? More and more, fine contemporary craft artists are utilizing materials and methods that encompass a sustainable component. Whether it’s repurposed items, responsibly sourced wood, or found objects, this earth-friendly way of designing and creating craft is growing more and more each year. The 2021 PMA Craft Show has a myriad of artists for which sustainability is intrinsic to what they do. Let’s take a look….

Jewelry by Roberta & David Williamson

(Above: Jewelry by Roberta & David Williamson)

Roberta & David Williamson

Roberta and David have been working together for almost five decades, creating designs in their metals studio that echo the natural world. Using found objects, and images from antique prints and postcards, they collaboratively fabricate pieces incorporating sterling silver. Their finished work goes beyond an individual component, as the final product becomes a vignette continuing the themes of nature, garden, and home.

Anne Bisone

"Sourcing fabrics in a sustainable way is a big concern for me. I am using fabrics left over post-production from the garment industry. These high quality, limited quantity fabrics are deemed unusable simply because they are past season and ultimately end up in landfills if unused. Designing within this limitation results in every garment being one of a kind." ~ Anne Bisone

Anne Bisone creates zero-waste, ethically made garments. She supports the slow fashion sustainable movement that values well-made garments with timeless design. Combining high performance technical fabrics with reclaimed and vintage fabrics, she designs within these restraints to push her creative process and support her personal philosophy of sustainable and ethical practices.

Fiber Wearable by Anne Bisone; Sculpture by John Rodgers

(Above: Fiber Wearable by Anne Bisone; Sculpture by John Rodgers)

John Rodgers
John Rodgers refers to himself as a sculptor and as an object maker. Blending older found objects with newer fabricated materials, John enjoys working with the juxtaposition of curved and straight edged forms during the design phase. For the construction of his pieces, John’s goal is to create and to join dissimilar materials in a unique and unexpected way. This creates his aesthetic, a clean contemporary feel with the metal that is softened by the rich shades and textures from both domestic and exotic woods found around the world. The final product is a compelling contrast of organic ageless beauty with a modern tone and strength.

Holly Anne Mitchell
Holly Anne’s newspaper jewelry is a unique collection of eco-friendly recycled wearables. She first began down this road while studying metalsmithing at The University Of Michigan. With an assignment to create a piece of jewelry that contained no traditional materials, she chose the Chicago Tribune newspaper comic strips because of their bold, vibrant color patterns and the character’s facial expressions. Discovering the best way to transform the aesthetics was to create beads from the newspapers, she has been exploring this medium for over three decades. Her pieces are created from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, as well as comic strips and other paper pieces like expired coupons.

Work by PMA Craft Show artists: Holly Anne Mitchell, Devin Johnson, Griffith Evans, Susan Lenz

(Above: Work by PMA Craft Show artists: Holly Anne Mitchell, Devin Johnson, Griffith Evans, Susan Lenz)

Devin Johnson

“I strive to tell a story about humanity with every piece I create, and feel any artistic endeavor should be environmentally friendly and sustainable. I accomplish all of this by using a variety of reclaimed, salvaged, antique, and found materials from all corners of my life.” ~ Devin Johnson

Since childhood, Devin Johnson has been taking things apart. His parents gave him old and broken things to disassemble and explore. This collection of odds and ends led him to putting things together to create his line of wearable, mechanical, industrial art. Each piece consists of a unique artifact, often encompassing vintage typography and signage, and is chosen for color and texture, as well as the historical and technological significance.

Susan Lenz

Susan’s wall pieces took on a different look during the pandemic, when she began creating found object mandalas. Using multiples of seemingly mundane items found around the house such as paper clips, keys, bottle caps, buttons, nails, plastic spoons, as well as vintage items, she repetitively hand-stitches them into meditative patterns on sections of old quilts, bringing new life to otherwise everyday things.

Griffith Evans

Griffith Evans designs and creates jewelry consisting of reclaimed wood, incorporating commercial furniture production techniques of steam bending and bent lamination. Griffith harvests declining walnut and fruit trees in an orchard in northern New Mexico, and feels that by repurposing dying trees, he is able to celebrate their beauty while calling attention to their plight. Seeing the exposed grain for the first time is one of the most exciting parts of the process for Griffith as he strives to craft beautiful and simple forms honoring the beauty of each piece of wood.

Lighting piece by Mick Whitcomb

(Above: Conversion Light Fixture by Mick Whitcomb)

Mick Whitcomb

Mick Whitcomb specializes in one-of-a-kind furniture and lighting made from architectural and industrial salvage. With a passion for the American Machine Age and the advent of electric lighting, Mick creates utilitarian works of art by converting 19th century machines and scientific instruments into light fixtures and sculptures. Each piece has been rediscovered, reworked, and reimagined to bring renewed function to innovative, yet obsolete, machines of the past.

The list goes on and on. We encourage you to browse and discover even more sustainably based craft on