June 09 2021

(Above: Carafe and glasses by Baigelman Glass)

It’s that time of year when we honor the Dads, and in a year like no other, Aaron and Heather Baigelman of Baigelman Glass welcomed their son into the world. For this Father’s Day feature, we spoke with this husband and wife team about their life, craft, family, and running and sustaining their contemporary glass business through a most unusual time.

Interestingly, much of the adjustments in the last year began with the furnace. As the central point of glassblowing, it takes two weeks to turn on and off and costs a lot to run. It’s normally off in the summer to save money and energy but last year they shut it down from April to November. This turned out to be somewhat of a reprieve. They were able to pare down expenses and concentrate on alternative ways to market the business, while also building a nursery, and exploring other creative endeavors. Heather’s online marketing and social media skills plus being a photographer helped immensely while Aaron developed innovative ways to change product lines and make custom tools as blowing glass with a mask on is not possible.

As a soon-to-be-father, Aaron shared that he had been nervous about how he would dedicate so much time to work and shows while his wife was pregnant. That worry actually went away during quarantine because they were both home and there was no other option to consider. Now, being a new dad, Aaron shared this: “One of the biggest changes for me was I was kind of a workaholic. Your business is you, and you’re never really off the clock. Before my son was born, my value was directly related to my business. I used to work as much as I could, especially if I didn’t have anything specific planned. Now I find at 2pm, all I want to do is go hang out with my kid.” Heather added, “Aaron manages his time so much better now. He makes it a point to really spend time with the baby and makes sure he doesn’t miss time with him.”

(Above: Rocks glass by Baigelman Glass)

Now that shows are starting again, the PMA Craft Show was the first one the Baigelmans applied to be in, with Aaron sharing, “One of my favorite things about the show is that they have very educated buyers and clientele. The show attendees get what it takes to create the work. They understand the amount of effort we put in, and they really appreciate the art.”

Looking for a unique and special gift for a special father in your life? Check out Baigelman Glass and the fine work by the following artists, suitable for a Father’s Day present and beyond!

(Above: Scarf by Margo Petitti)

MARGO PETITTI

Margo draws inspiration for her scarf designs from the fabrics she uses; wool and cashmere sourced from the finest mills in Italy and England. Crafted by hand, Margo creates patterns and patchwork scarves that are limited edition or one of a kind works of art.

(Above: Ceramic mug by Kreg McCune)

KREG MCCUNE

Kreg crafts functional pots that are beautiful as individual pieces or in combinations. He works in stoneware and porcelain and holds a deep belief that in an age of mass production, it is deeply important to use objects envisioned, designed, and created by hand.

(Above: Chair by John Spivey)

JOHN SPIVEY

John is a studio furniture maker, working primarily in walnut, maple, and cherry. Much of his furniture retains its natural edge, accentuating the lines as if to appear brushed in sumi-e fashion, giving life and vitality to the designs.

(Above: Box by Ray Jones)

RAY JONES

Ray Jones is fascinated by the many varieties of wood available in the world and his boxes reflect that. With a history of studying aeronautical engineering, Ray’s trajectory brought him to craft where he is fascinated by wooden mechanisms and likes exploring the intersections of various geometric shapes.

(Above: Ax Handle barstool by Brad Smith)

BRADFORD SMITH

Known for his style of “farm fresh furniture”, one can’t help but be intrigued by Brad’s work. Growing up on a farm led Brad to developing his unique line of furniture, utilizing various farm equipment in his designs, including his iconic Ax Handle Stool™. His concept of using parts in ways that were never intended as elements in the furniture became a theme in his distinctive work.

(Above: Brooch by Eric Silva)

ERIC SILVA

As highlighted recently in the New York Times, brooches are back and this particular brooch by Eric Silva’s would be a stunning addition to a lapel. Hand carved using shed deer antler, Eric’s work reflects an individual artistic viewpoint combining natural and industrial materials in a small, thoughtfully constructed space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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May 26 2021

(Above: Dining chairs by Alan Daigre)

Dinner is on the table and it’s time to bring out the extra special items! From appetizers and beverages to the main course and desserts, contemporary craft artists bring beauty and functionality to the meal. We invite you to check out these selections (and more), suitable for a family feast, friends over for a summer soiree, or a romantic dinner for two. Bon appetit!

FURNITURE / WOOD

(Above: Dining table by Greg Fuguet)

Greg Fuguet

There’s nothing like setting the table when the table itself is a work of art. Greg Fuguet was an emerging artist at the 2020 PMA Craft Show and if a picture tells a thousand words, his tables (and chairs) fit the bill. The wood used in Greg’s furniture is salvaged, milled, and dried right here in the city of Philadelphia.

Alan Daigre

Comfort is the name of the game while enjoying a beautiful meal, so we are delighted to share the chairs of Alan Daigre. Known for many years for his signature rope/block design rocking chair, Alan incorporated the technique and design into dining chairs, to the delight of his customers.

(Above: Charcuterie boards & wine toppers by Christina Vincent. Bowls and spoons by Dean Babin)

Christina Vincent

Christina’s collection of wine toppers and charcuterie boards bring a utilitarian element to appetizers and beverages. Also known for her furniture, Christina’s work is made with hand-selected materials, natural finishes, and traditional joinery.

Dean Babin

A 2020 PMA Craft Show emerging artist, Dean’s trajectory into design dates back to building Lego creations in his childhood. He keeps this playful approach in mind, with the goal that his objects are unique, pleasing to the eye, and fun.

 

CERAMICS

(Above: Plates by Will Swanson, teapots by Mea Rhee, bowl by Laura Zindel, mugs by Ikuzi Teraki & Jeanne Bisson)

Will Swanson

Will Swanson’s handmade dinnerware is ready for delicious food to grace its surface. His work includes serving bowls, platters, baking dishes, mugs, and plates. Designed and built for everyday use, each piece is a work of art, crafted individually on a potter’s wheel.

Ikuzi Teraki & Jeanne Bisson

How about a hot beverage at the end of the meal? These mugs by Ikuzi Teraki and Jeanne Bisson are just the cup of tea you might be looking for. Beautiful to hold and behold, there is a subtle elegance in the design, while capturing the essential qualities of a favorite mug.

Mea Rhee

A teapot gracing the table is a beautiful way to begin or end the meal, not to mention any other moment of the day. Mea Rhee had a long career in graphic design before segueing into pottery, aligning a sensibility of form and design together.

Laura Zindel

Surely a conversation centerpiece, Laura’s ceramic pieces are the talk of the table. The surface of each piece is collaged with enamel transfers of original graphite illustrations of flora and fauna that are both detailed and delightful.

 

METAL

(Above: Bowl by Sara Thompson, ladles by Kate Dannenberg, Salad set by Ben Caldwell, spoons by Erica Moody)

Benjamin Caldwell

As a beautiful salad is often the start of the meal, how about a beautiful salad set to serve it? Metalsmith Ben Caldwell creates custom, one-of-a-kind copper, silver and enamel art, using techniques including hammering, raising, and chasing by hand with traditional tools, and tools of his own design.

Erica Moody

Recipient of the 2019 award for Excellence in Metal, Erica Moody’s metalwork is a complement to a beautifully presented dining table. Beginning with hammering and sanding sheets of brass and copper, Erica creates fine tools primarily focusing on serving food.

Kate Dannenberg

We couldn’t resist these little ladles by Kate Dannenberg, an emerging artist at the 2020 PMA Craft Show. Known for her jewelry craft, Kate’s aesthetic transitions beautifully to these delightful pieces, perfect for serving condiments.

Sara Thompson

Whether for a fruit-filled dessert bowl or a side dish or salad, Sara’s silver work adds a bright and reflective element to the table. Recipient of the 2020 prize for Excellence in Metal at the PMA Craft Show, Sara is drawn to the process of bringing a flat, two dimensional sheet of silver and hammering it into a three dimensional object.

 

GLASSWARE

(Above: Glasses by Andrew Iannazzi, vases by Nick Kekic)

Andrew Iannazzi

Raise a toast in these beautiful glasses by Andrew Iannazzi. Drawing from historical Italian and Scandinavian design as well as American popular imagery, Andrew blends traditional glass working techniques with modern design and functionality.

Nick Kekic

Completing our collection for a beautiful dining table, a vase for flowers is the icing on the cake. Nick Kekic’s vases are colorful and elegant in their design and presentation. Nick finds glass most beautiful in how it conveys its fluidity as a material while expressing its unique relationship with light and transparency.

We encourage you to explore the full breadth of the work of these artists and more on the PMA Craft Show website.

 

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May 12 2021

(Above: Rob & Larissa and their Bailey Console Cabinet)

Rob Spiece and Larissa Huff’s trajectory into woodworking came at different times and for different reasons but through one unlikely path. Craigslist. Yes, you read that right, and Rob and Larissa say that people get a kick out of that part of their story. Each answered an ad to be an apprentice for the noted woodworker and furniture maker Jeff Lohr. Rob started in 2006 while Larissa joined in 2012. Neither had done woodworking to speak of – Larissa was a math teacher in Florida who had moved to Philly and was seeking something new, and Rob was a film and media arts graduate from Temple University looking for something new and different that would tap into his creative background.  

(Above: Number 112 Chest of Drawers)

Learning from the best set them both on a road to becoming award-winning artists in their own right, including receiving the Wharton Esherick Museum Prize for Excellence in Wood at the 2020 Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show. This came as a welcome surprise to this woodworking team, as 2020 was their first year exhibiting at the show, and what an unusual year it was, needless to say. Though Rob and Larissa have only experienced the PMA Craft Show in the virtual sense, they understand its long legacy and how meaningful it is to be part of it. They said they don’t ever win anything so it was very exciting. “Your show is very prestigious and artists have been taking part for decades so I consider us new even though we have 10+ years experience”, says Rob. “And the award being from the Wharton Esherick Museum has a lot of meaning as his work inspires a lot of what we do. Esherick seems like someone we would have been friends with if we lived at the same time.”

(Above: Cosgriff Chair)

Rob and Larissa collaborate on each piece and their work is painstakingly crafted and exquisitely designed using time-honored woodworking techniques. Often starting by creating a small-scale model, this allows them to see the piece ahead of time, understand how the materials look and feel together, and yes, brings Larissa’s math background into play, inherently crafting ratios and proportions culminating in beautifully balanced pieces.

Pivoting to a virtual show environment may not have been by choice, but Rob and Larissa have done it seamlessly. They were already doing a great job with their online presence, and upped their game in 2020, knowing how important imagery and maintaining a professional online presence would be, perhaps more than ever. Though the pandemic forced them to reexamine show scenarios, they also saw an opportunity and necessity in the moment, to create fresh video content and increase their social media footprint. Larissa says, “It encouraged us to think more creatively about video content, and make it fun and informative. We did a lot of that this past year. The ‘virtualness’ of all of it has actually given us more time to make furniture, since we’re in the studio more, while at the same time also being productive in our marketing.”

(Above: Sofa detail)

Their shop and studio is located on a 13-acre farm in Schwenksville, PA, about 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia. They also operate a woodworking school on site, and have been able to continue in-person classes following CDC guidelines for Covid safety. Their mentor, Jeff Lohr founded the studio over 30 years ago, along with the sustaining support of his wife, Linda. They built the property, the shop, and the culture that thrives to this day. Jeff’s inspiration is steeped in the Arts & Crafts movement. He stepped back in 2016 but still works on projects. Rob and Larissa found their true calling as fine furniture makers, and with Jeff and Linda’s blessing, became partial owners of Lohr Woodworking in 2017.

Asked what their advice would be for emerging artists, Rob and Larissa referred to other aspects of the business in addition to the specific skills of their craft. Larissa brought up community and how artists support one another, talking about their businesses, and so on, while Rob spoke about putting your best foot forward, being real about what you’re doing, and, taking great photos. In closing, Rob and Larissa share that their greatest influence is Jeff Lohr and the way he taught them. It influences everything they do, from creating to teaching. What an inspiration that is to both the buyers of their work and the future students who take part in the Lohr Woodworking School.

 

 

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April 28 2021

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, we bring you a gift guide with stylish sophistication for springtime and beyond. To begin, we thought we’d introduce a very special partnership. Meet Suneera and Ana Swarup, a mother-daughter team from Los Angeles, designing and creating fine jewelry and loving the fact that they can work together. Suneera has been designing jewelry since 2001, and she and Ana began their collaboration in 2017, creating their daughter line, .925SUNEERA. Their signature collection combines silver in lush finishes with 14K polished gold and a generous sprinkling of diamonds. These casual luxury pieces are designed to be worn every day, with an elegance and flexibility suitable for any occasion.

(Above: Earrings and necklace by Suneera & Ana Swarup)

(Above: Suneera & Ana Swarup)

Do you have a favorite story about working together?

Suneera: Too many to share, but the one that stands out the most is our trip to Tucson. It was Ana’s first time at the gem shows and she was completely captivated. We had the best three days full of dreaming and designing, buying stones, and eating amazing food.

What’s your favorite aspect of working together?

Suneera: The easiness and creativity to be honest. We have such a strong bond and similar esthetic vision that allows our creativity to flow quite effortlessly. We both bring unique aspects of design and styling to the table; that is our strength.

Ana: Mine is styling and merchandising. I also love going to the shows; it is the perfect mix of fun and work, and it is exciting to travel to new cities.

Ana, did you always dream of working with your mother?

Yes. I have been doing so in one way or another since high school. I recall helping mom with different aspects of designing and fabrication, from selecting stones to seeing her interact with customers. But what I loved the most was when I accompanied her to shows, hence my favorite aspect of working with her now. I really enjoyed being surrounded by art and the community. I was so mesmerized at such a young age. This provided me with a platform to express myself as an artist as well as be involved in the business part of it all.

Suneera, same question - did you always dream of working with your daughter?

Of course, I coveted her to do so. But, as a mother I have always encouraged Ana to be an independent young woman, which she is, and therefore I wanted her to make that decision for herself. After graduating from FIT in 2013, she started working for a fashion company in New York and was all set on her career path at the time. However, after a year she decided to come back and join me. It was the most delightful surprise and a dream come true.


More Mother’s Day gift ideas from these wonderful artists….

(Above: Wall piece by Amy Gillespie)

Amy Gillespie is a fiber artist, painter, and woodworker from Cape Cod who creates colorful and sculptural wall pieces with felt, paints, and various hardwoods. Amy's background is in fiber, but she has always been fascinated by wood. To achieve integration between the materials, she lets the wood to set the tone for the pieces. 

(Above: Wine tote / handbag by Julia Hilbrandt)

Julia Hilbrandt creates her fashion forward and utilitarian bags and totes in her home studio in Rhinebeck, NY. Fascinated with texture, Julia crafts her bags from industrial felt. She finds inspiration from the density and thickness of the fabric, with simplicity being the intended result of her design decisions along the way.

(Above: Vase by Kate Tremel)

Who doesn’t love flowers? Whether it’s Mother’s Day or beyond, Kate Tremel’s striking porcelain vases are truly beautiful to behold. Click HERE to get a glimpse into her remarkable process. She uses a pre-Colombian technique she learned as an anthropology student in Peru, and is comforted by her connection to the long history of makers in clay where the fundamental processes have changed very little. Kate has continued to explore her interest in other cultures, participating in residencies in Japan and France. 

(Above: Vase by David Russell)

Rounding out our gift guide is David Russell. David’s work is timeless. Finding his passion for glass at the Penland School in the mid-1990’s, David’s career has included studying and assistant teaching at Penland and the Corning Museum of Glass, and eventually building his own hot glass studio in Camden, South Carolina.

 

 

 

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April 07 2021

After a successful 2020 PMA Craft Show in a year like no other, approaching the 2021 Show has the benefit of perspective, plus the time to plan ahead. The person leading that mission on behalf of the Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show is this year’s Chairperson, Sally Sharkey. Sally has been involved for 22 years including as Women’s Committee President, Ex-officio trustee with the museum, and she was Chair in 2005. Planning is now underway for both an in-person* and online juried PMA Craft Show in November and Sally is looking forward to the event and supporting the artists involved.

What is your favorite aspect of being Show Chair?

I love seeing the end result, the fruits of our labor, when everything is ready to go.

What will be different in 2021?

We’re happy to announce we are in the process of building a brand new website. It will be really helpful before, during, and after the event. The virtual experience will support the in-person event and we don’t have to limit the audience geographically. Exhibiting artists receive great exposure of their work which stays on the website through the following spring. We’re very excited to be branching out and taking on this new appearance and appeal. The new website will also provide better than ever exposure for our sponsors.

(Above: Desk by Robert Spiece & Larissa Huff, recipients of the 2020 Wharton Esherick Museum Prize for Excellence in Wood)

How will the in-person event and the virtual Show work simultaneously?

Whether someone attends in person or online or both, there will be a lot of coordination back and forth. There will be artists demos on the website, so if your favorite artist is live at the convention center, you’ll still be able to view the demos in the virtual space at your time and leisure. This can be helpful in planning your visit, a great way to get to know the artists, and a new way for the artists to promote themselves and their work by bringing you (virtually) into their studio.

What would you like artists to know that are considering applying?

The link to apply is HERE and the extended deadline is April 19th. To help the artists, there will be no increase in the application fee for the extended deadline. Artists receive 100% of their sales and we do all we can to help them throughout the Show. We’re not only philanthropists for the museum, we’re ambassadors for the artists. There is a sense of belonging and being supported. We are a devoted group of volunteers that was dedicated to having a Show last year and we figured out a way. Now with more time to prepare, we can reflect on what the audience and artists liked, and make it an even better experience, online and in-person.

(Above: Bowl by Delores Fortuna, recipient of the 2020 Prize for Excellence in Clay)

What would you want attendees to know about the artists and their work?

It’s just amazing to see the talent of the craft world at its best. To actually see what goes into each work of art is fun and educational. How the artists execute and complete each piece is more impactful when you see the process in action, which attendees will be able to do via the artist demos on the website. It brings a new appreciation and value to the entire experience.

Any closing remarks?

It’s a great honor and a privilege to help promote artists and watch people learn about their talents. What a sad lonely world we would have without the arts. They bring us joy, contentment, and a sense of awe. To promote the artists and to see people get that “aha” moment and realize what it takes to make the beautiful objects they’re purchasing, I feel like we’ve done our job.

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The 45th Annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, a juried exhibition and retail sale, will be held in-person at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and online from November 5-7, 2021, with a Preview Party on Thursday, November 4.

*The Show Committee reserves the right to make any changes to an in-person Show in 2021 based on pending status with regard to health and safety. Complying with any CDC, state, and local guidelines will be the first priority.

Exhibitor Application: bit.ly/PMACSApplication

 

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March 10 2021

 

(Above: Silver teardrop necklace by Emily Shaffer, and Emily in her booth.)

“The Philadelphia Museum of Art Contemporary Craft Show is a great opportunity for emerging artists to try a large, high quality show containing buyers and collectors who know and appreciate fine craft. The opportunity to have a booth within the same environment as experienced, successful artists from around the country can make an impact and facilitate connections that can last long after the show. I hope emerging artists will consider and apply to this category knowing that it’s a great step towards a career in craft.” ~ Emily Shaffer

Each year for over four decades, the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show has held their juried application process, and 2021 is no different. Following a successful 2020 virtual event, the Show committee has begun planning for both an in-person* and online juried Craft Show in November 2021. The first deadline to apply is April 6th, with an extended deadline of April 19th. Click HERE for more information and to apply. 

(Above: Fiber wearable by 2020 emerging artist Melissa Pare, recipient of the 2020 Louise K. Binswanger Prize for Best Artist New to the Show)

Approximately 10,000 visitors attend the PMA Craft Show each November. Out of the 160 artists exhibiting last year, 35 were new to the Show, including ten in the emerging artist category. This particular category is not only an integral part of the Show but a very important component for someone to begin establishing themselves in the contemporary craft world, both as an artist and an entrepreneurial business person. This is highlighted so well by one of our 2020 artists, Emily Shaffer, whose trajectory to her own successful business routed right through the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show. During her video presentation last year, Emily explains why the PMA Craft Show has become so important to her. “It has a special place in my heart and I honestly wouldn’t be sitting here in this career path without it.” As a student at Kutztown University, Emily was given the opportunity to participate in the student booth at the PMA Craft Show. “I knew it was a big deal, but don’t think I realized the gravity of that opportunity till I was actually at the show”, she said. This led to her applying and being accepted into the emerging artist category. “It was great to exhibit at the show”, says Emily. “I sold pieces and that was a very new experience for me. One of the most impactful things that came out of it was the opportunity to walk around and see artists….women…making money from their craft and sharing it with the world, and that showed me that I can do this. I’m going to look for this path and learn from these amazing craftspeople and pursue this career.” 

Emily did just that. Connections she made at the Show led to an apprenticeship with New Hampshire artist Molly Grant and an internship with Maine artist Cara Romano, which helped in developing her craft skills while also gaining important business knowledge. “There’s nothing like a real world experience. I learned how to run a business, I learned how to open a gallery, and I learned how to speak with retail partners and customers. 
To wrap up, Emily says, “The PMA Craft Show is really a pivotal show in my career.”

(Above: 1) Sculptural neck piece by 2020 emerging artist Maya Rose Weiss, recipient of the 2020 Prize for Excellence in Fiber Art, 2) Wood & Light pieces by 2020 Emerging Artist Dean Babin.)

The emerging artist category is one of 13 categories, including ceramics, metal, furniture, fiber, glass, and more. The 45th Annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, a juried exhibition and retail sale, will be held in-person at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and online from November 5-7, 2021, with a Preview Party on Thursday, November 4. 

*The Show Committee reserves the right to make any changes to an in-person show in 2021 based on pending status with regard to health and safety. Complying with any CDC, state, and local guidelines will be our first priority. 

 

 

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February 03 2021

(Above: Felt jewelry pins by Danielle Gori-Montanelli)

Hearts and flowers. Champagne and chocolate. Ah, Valentine’s Day.

With this special celebration on the horizon, here is a timely gift guide featuring work from some of our artists that offer a unique take on a season of love.

 

HEARTS...

(Above: Heart earrings by Baiyang Qiu)

Baiyang Qui 

You can’t say Valentine’s Day without thinking hearts, and when it comes to just the right gift, we bring you the beautiful fine craft of Baiyang Qui. Her award winning pieces are stunning to behold. With delicacy in their appearance and strength in their construction, Baiyang’s work is inspired by the nature around her that brings her designs to life.

(Above: Heart brooch by Judith Kinghorn)

Judith Kinghorn 

Truly showpieces, Judith’s jewelry is crafted primarily in high karat gold, sterling silver and precious stones. She credits her lifelong love of her city of Minneapolis blended with the nature that surrounds it as her inspiration. Judith’s approach to design relies on the exchange between the materials she uses and the manner in which they relate together. There is clearly love in each piece she creates, especially one centered in the heart.

(Above: Heart necklace by Jacqueline Sanchez)

Jacqueline Sanchez 

Lego love has a nice ring to it and so does this whimsical necklace by Jacqueline Sanchez. Though she also works with fine gems, Jacqueline is known for incorporating Lego pieces into her jewelry. A nod to love itself, Jacqueline has made her livelihood by leading from the heart. Years ago she discovered her love for creating jewelry while on the road with her boyfriend, passing the time at Grateful Dead concerts by making jewelry.

 

CHAMPAGNE...

(Above: Champagne diamond bracelet by Suneera & Ana Swarup; Champagne flute by Amy Ropwer Lyons)

Suneera & Ana Swarup 

Champagne isn’t only for sipping. In this instance, champagne refers to diamonds and you can’t get much more luxury than that. A mother and daughter dynamic duo, Suneera and Ana Swarup Rubenstein began collaborating in 2017, designing collections for both men and women, with a simple yet sophisticated casualness. This bracelet has black rhodium sterling silver links with 14K gold accent links and champagne diamonds, a sweet gift idea for the special one in your life.

Amy Roper Lyons 

Owning a piece of work by Amy Roper Lyons is like owning an object fit for a museum, or perhaps the table settings of royalty. A goldsmith and enamellist, Amy’s work is next level, blending and fabricating a myriad of processes and techniques including cloisonné, plique a jour, and basse-taille. Fascinated by metal and glass, Amy endeavors to capture the tension and balance between these two materials, one fragile, and one strong.

 

FLOWERS...

(Above: Floral shawl by Alison Kelly; Floral vase by Dwo Wen Chen)

Alison Kelly – Floral fiber art to wear 

The soft beauty of Alison Kelly’s wearables are just the right accompaniment to this time of year, when cozy is the calling. With floral prints created directly from laying flora onto cloth, the recipient of Alison’s creations can sense the incomparable nuance of being one with nature. Her ancient dye techniques are both timeless and sustainable, thus offering a bridge between wearable art and sustainable fashion.

Dwo Wen Chen

Contrasting the various ways that flowers are used in fine craft, next we bring you Three Wheels Studio and the work of Dwo Wen Chen. Both beautiful and utilitarian, this vase, imprinted with wildflowers, can be used year-round, while it would be extra special for Valentine’s Day accompanied by a dozen roses for the special someone in your life.

 

(Above: Floral artwork by Deborah Falls; Stained Glass by Karen & Geoffrey Caldwell)

Deborah Falls

As many have taken this time to do some home redecorating, here is a framed piece of art ready for the wall. Painting with fiber reactive silk dyes on handwoven Indian dupioni textured silk, Deborah is drawn to working with silk and dyes because of the vibrant colors and textures. She is self-taught and has developed her own way of applying and managing the materials to create the finished product.

Karen & Geoffrey Caldwell

If home is where the heart is, than the art of glass offers just the right lightness in the form of fine craft. The glass panels are a combination of three different, difficult, and disparate glass techniques. This wife and husband team have been artists and artisans together in life and craft for over 40 years, first inspired from a shared fascination for rainbows that are cast by prisms.

 

And last but not least, CHOCOLATE (the non-edible type....pictured above)

Danielle Gori-Montanelli 

With truly something for everyone, who can resist chocolate, especially when it has zero calories! These non-edible chocolate pins are not only full of whimsy and creativity, at just $35 each, you can get a bunch to hand out like candy! Danielle Gori-Montanelli’s hope is that her work captures the joy she finds in celebrating intrinsic beauty of everyday objects and nature.

 

 

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December 28 2020

This Year’s Virtual Event Was About Supporting Artists and Raising Funds

Philadelphia, PA — With great appreciation to everyone who supported the 2020 Virtual Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, we are pleased to announce this year’s fundraising total of  $155,500. In a year like no other, the ability of Show organizers to pivot to a virtual platform allowed for the event to go on and thus help support the participating artists and raise funds for the museum. In an ongoing effort, the Craft Show will continue online throughout the winter months. Museum Director Timothy Rub accepted the check, presented virtually by 2020 Show Chair Robin Blumenfeld Switzenbaum and Show Manager Nancy O’Meara, wrapping up a most unique year for the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show.

(Above: Craft Show Manager, Nancy O'Meara delivers ribbon to 2020 Best in Show Winner, Stacey Lee Webber)

The museum’s largest single fundraiser, the Craft Show has raised almost 14 million dollars in its now 44-year history. Presented by The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, funds raised help support museum initiatives, including education, acquisitions, and special exhibitions. Thanks and appreciation goes to all the sponsors, patrons, artists, and volunteers involved. This year’s Craft Show featured 161 juried artists from around the country, representing the finest in contemporary craft. The application process for the 2021 Show will open in January 2021. Craft Show organizers will consider options for next year’s Show based on ongoing CDC guidelines.

Stay tuned to www.pmacraftshow.org for updates and follow @pmacraftshow across social media channels.

 

 

 

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December 02 2020

As the Craft Show continues online, so does the opportunity to find wonderful and unique holiday gifts while simultaneously supporting artists in these challenging times. We’ve put together a collection including gifts under $300, something for the culinary enthusiast, and wrapping it up with crafts that embrace HOME.

(Above: Bracelet by Holly Anne Mitchell, Ornament by Jason Howard, Handbag by Julia Hilbrandt, Necklace by Martha Collins)

$300 & UNDER

Within the 13 categories of the Show, there are many items by our artists that fall under $300. Starting off with great creativity, skill, and whimsy, we bring you the eclectic and eco-friendly jewelry of Holly Anne Mitchell. Holly uses the unlikely medium of newspaper, transformed into beads and turned into bracelets, necklaces, and more. Have fun perusing through her creations made from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, crossword puzzles, store coupons, and of course the quintessential Sunday funnies.

We couldn’t do a holiday gift guide and not have something holiday related, right? These beautiful ornaments by glass artist Jason Howard are not only for the tree, but also for year round decorating.

Martha Collins’ woodworking is a treat for the eyes and a brainteaser for the mind and she’s been at it for over four decades. Martha creates intricate jewelry pieces and tableware with 1000 pieces of wood using a process of lamination. She loves the variations and how they fit together with the natural color and grains of sustainable hardwoods and hand-dyed maple veneer and we do too!

Julia Hilbrandt’s handbags are constructed of industrial felt and are the ideal fashion forward and useful accessory whether carrying your laptop or your lipstick. Architectural in design, these lightweight and stylish handbags are ready for the road ahead.

(Above: Nesting bowls by Alexandra Geller, Plate by Three Wheels Studio, Knife by Harold Kalmus, Cookware by Yates Spencer)

CULINARY

Working in stoneware, earthenware, and porcelain, ceramics from Three Wheels Studio make the perfect holiday gift. With so many illustrations from flower patterns to the cutest little birds you ever saw, you’ll surely find something charming to wrap up with a bow. 

Harold Kalmus’s knives are surely a treat for the kitchen; truly works of art and meant for every day use. Highly functional and beautifully crafted, Harold’s knives are constructed out of domestic and tropical hardwoods including maple, cherry, and walnut.

Alexandra Geller’s ceramics are a fresh foray into color and function. Known for her line of nesting bowls, her pieces are lightweight for ease of use and washing, and bring a creative flair to the culinary kitchen.

Yates Spencer began his metalwork journey at 12 years old when a local blacksmith took him under his wing. Fascinated by the process, it became a career over four decades of fabricating sculpture, architectural work, furniture, and jewelry. He eventually made his way to carbon steel cookware to the delight of many chefs around the country.

(Above: Lamp by Nick Moen, Bench by Christina Vincent, Axe-Handle Stool by Brad Smith, Stoneware by Kreg McCune)

 

HOME

Nick Moen is founder and owner of The Bright Angle, a porcelain design studio in Asheville NC, whose mission is to create intentionally-designed and well-crafted products that add meaning to life and combat disposable culture. Exploring the possibilities of using porcelain to diffuse light, Nick’s latest collection is lighting that utilizes a system he developed to create geometric vessels that glow when illuminated from within.

Bradford Smith’s furniture has a familiarity to it and that is not by accident. Raised on a Pennsylvania farm, Brad is known for incorporating farm related parts into his furniture such as his iconic Ax Handle Stool™. His concept is to make something special out of something ordinary, like an ax handle for a chair leg, or a pitchfork for a chair back. What a great concept to bring to your living room, kitchen, den, or home office!

Kreg McCune is a studio potter living in a farmhouse on Mt. Desert Island, Maine. His utilitarian work embodies elements of simple sophistication, beautifully crafted and visually appealing, making the ideal gift for multiple occasions.

Wrapping up our holiday gift guide is Christina Vincent, whose work ranges from cheese boards that are ideal for holiday treats to mirrors and furniture that would be a creative addition to the home. From a stunning bench inspired by the nature of Maine where she lives, to a live-edge tapered leg table that embodies luminescence, Christina’s work uses traditional joinery and the beauty of the natural wood to inform her designs.

 

 

 

 

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November 18 2020

In a year like no other, the official Craft Show dates are behind us, but supporting the artists is full steam ahead. The Show will continue online, so you can shop to your heart’s content through the holiday season and beyond into the New Year. Now more than ever, we know how important it is to celebrate and support artists at work so they can continue to stay in business, and provide their creativity and talents to the world. At this time of Thanksgiving, we give thanks to everyone that participated, shopped, volunteered, and sponsored this year’s Craft Show. We hope and encourage you to keep visiting the Show website for your holiday shopping!

The Craft Show Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show is pleased to announce this year’s award winners, chosen from over 150 artists across 30 states in 13 categories. We congratulate all the recipients and thank the judges and award sponsors for their dedication and commitment to keeping fine contemporary craft artists at work.

(Above: Jewelry by Stacey Lee Webber)

Best of Show: STACEY LEE WEBBER, Philadelphia, PA

Judge: John Levitties

Stacey cherishes working with found materials such as coins, whose history is physically evident. Her work is often described as meticulous, pushing the boundaries of everyday recognizable objects.

 

The Prize for Excellence in Design: BEN GILLESPIE, Philadelphia PA

Judge: Doug Bucci

Ben Gillespie designs and fabricates custom lighting in his Philadelphia studio. Each piece is fabricated from locally sourced materials, including oak, ash, and walnut. The lighting pieces combine cutting-edge technology, natural materials, and minimalist design.

 

The Wharton Esherick Museum Prize for Excellence in Wood: ROBERT SPIECE & LARISSA HUFF, Schwenksville, Pa

Judge: Emily Zilber

Rob Spiece and Larissa Huff are the designers and craftspeople at Lohr Woodworking Studio. They make pieces that are as functional as they are beautiful, combining a studio furniture ethos with our own take on joinery.

(Above: Silver bowls by Sara Thompson)

The Eric Berg Memorial Prize for Excellence in Metal: SARA THOMPSON, Portland, OR

Judge: Adam Kamens

Sara Thompson has been working on her craft since she was a child. Apprenticing for a bench jeweler from age 11 to 16, she learned metalsmithing while gaining experience in making a living as a jeweler and simultaneously running a retail store on Martha’s Vineyard.

 

(Above: Hand painted scarf by Melissa Pare)

The Louise K. Binswanger Prize for Best Artist New to the Show: MELISSA PARE, Milwaukee, WI

Judges: Janet Binswanger, Jill Garrett, and John Binswanger

Melissa Paré primarily works with wood and silk, creating silk pieces using dyes and batik.

 

The Cohn Family Trust Prize for Excellence in Glass: PATTI & DAVE HEGLAND, Chestertown, MD

Judge: Sean Jonathan Cohn

Patti and Dave are a design-focused husband and wife team known for their complex construction and precise finishing of their art glass.

 

The Prize for Excellence in Fiber Art: MAYA ROSE WEISS, Boulder, CO

Judges: Elisabeth Agro and Gwen Goodwill Bianchi

Maya Rose Weiss explores the interconnection of jewelry and weaving as a way to localize the unique intersection of history, craft, tradition and lineage in her work.

 

The Jane and Leonard Korman Family Prize for Excellence in Clay: DELORES FORTUNA, Galena, Il

Judge: Cathy Altman

Delores Fortuna’s work begins with basic wheel thrown shapes, altering and rejoining forms to create utilitarian vessels.

 

The Carolyn Benesh Ornament Magazine Prize for Excellence in Art to Wear: MINA NORTON, New York, NY

Judge: Patrick Benesh-Liu           

Mina’s designs are influenced by her fine art background and training as a textile designer. Her custom made pieces are hand-loomed with the finest merino wool, dyed and finally felted by hand.

           

The Prize for Excellence in Jewelry: LISA & SCOTT CYLINDER, Brunswick, ME

Judges: Katharine & Louis Padulo

Lisa and Scott first met while studying jewelry and metalsmithing at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. They began collaborating in 1988, and their influences include modern art, scientific phenomena, 20th century artifacts, and film.

 

The Craft Show is presented by The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and has raised over 13.4 million dollars over its long history. The museum’s largest single fundraiser, funds go to supporting museum initiatives, including education, art and fine craft acquisitions, state-of-the-art equipment, and special exhibitions.

More information: pmacraftshow.org

@pmacraftshow on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter

 

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November 04 2020

All the Information You Need To Know To Attend the Virtual Event

A lot happens behind the scenes for any Show of this size and scope. To make the shift to virtual has taken the efforts of many, including the Craft Show artists, the Craft Show Committee, our technical team and so many others. As a result, we are thrilled to bring you the ONLINE version of the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show! The team effort has been built upon our over-arching mission of supporting the artists who like so many others have had to get extra creative in being able to continue their work throughout this year.

In order for you to have the best experience possible online, we have included Show information and an FAQ below. We hope you will enjoy perusing and scrolling through the incredible array of contemporary American craft brought to you by over 150 artists from 30 states in 13 categories, selected from more than 600 applicants. In these ever changing times, connecting with people in creative ways has become even more important and with a Show like the PMA Craft Show, it is paramount for having a way to get to know the artists and their work. In order to provide a more direct connection, each artist has created a two-minute introductory video that you can find on their individual pages within the Show website.

SHOW DATES:

Friday, Nov 6, 2020 -- 10am – 6pm EST

Saturday, Nov 7, 2020 -- 10am – 6pm EST

Sunday, Nov 8, 2020 -- 10am – 6pm EST

 

TICKETS:

Suggested Gift $10, click HERE to purchase.

On November 6th through the 8th, admission is free with a suggested gift of $10 to support The Philadelphia Museum of Art.

 

PREVIEW PARTY:

Thursday, November 5th: 4pm – 8pm eastern time.

Enjoy early access to the Show by attending the virtual preview party and awards ceremony.

Purchase tickets and experience a First Look at the artists and their work.

 

ARTIST TALKS

Check out the full schedule and stay tuned to our home page for 15 different artist talks over the three-day Show. From livestreams to Q & A’s to pre-recorded demonstrations, see the inner workings of studio life that is so inherent in creating the finished products of the beautiful and unique contemporary craft pieces that you know and love.

 

FAQ

How do I access the Show?

Access to the Show is via the website. Go to www.pmacraftshow.org during Show hours. Please be sure to SCROLL SCROLL SCROLL down each page to see the many facets of the Show, including the Preview Party, artist pages, artist talks, sponsors, and more.

Is there a fee to access the Show?

Entry to the virtual Show is complimentary, but there is a suggested donation of $10.00 to help support museum programs and exhibits.

How do I purchase tickets to the Preview Party?

Click HERE to purchase tickets to the Virtual Preview Party. Your ticket cost is 100% tax-deductible.

How do I contact the artists?

Each artist has their own page on our website, including their contact information. Artists will be online and available throughout the Show weekend to share their techniques, answer questions and assist with purchases.

How do I purchase crafts?

Go to the SHOP ARTISTS tab on the home page to browse work from over 150 artists. When you click an individual artist’s page, look for the SHOP button. This will take you to the individual artist’s online shop.

What are the Artist Talks?

We have 15 separate Artist Talks – five per day over the 3-day Show, bringing livestreamed and pre-recorded talks, demonstrations, and even Q & A’s to the Craft Show audience. Click HERE for the schedule (scroll down if needed).

What if I need technical help on the Show website?

We will have technical support on hand throughout the weekend. If you need assistance, please email us at twcpma@philamuseum.org or call 215-684-7930 during show hours. Quickest response will be during posted Show hours.

What time zone is the Show in, including Artist Talks?

All show hours and specific events are in EST (Eastern Standard Time).

Is the Show taking a percentage of artist sales?

After a reduced exhibitor fee, 100% of all artist sales go directly to the artist.

What is the social media for the Show?

Follow @pmacraftshow across Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Many artists are active on social media so keep an eye out, follow them, and you might even see some LIVEstreams and/or Show specials!

How can I arrange to Zoom with an artist?

We are leaving this up to individual artists. Please contact them directly via their artist page.

Can I donate to the Show?

YES! Your support of the Show is encouraged and appreciated so that we can continue to help support museum programs, exhibitions, and education. Click HERE to donate. 

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Produced by The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show is the longest running show of its type in the United States and is the largest fundraiser for the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Though access to the virtual Show is free, when you purchase a ticket and make an additional donation, you are directly supporting the work of the museum.

 

 

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October 21 2020

(Above: Valerie and Jean having too much fun!)

These iconic New York women have been featured on The Today Show website, spotted at New York Fashion Week, and included in Ari Seth Cohen’s hugely popular Advanced Style blog. They’ve been attending the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show for well over a decade and are looking forward to this year’s online Show. Jean and Valerie met in 2008 at the Manhattan Vintage Show. Connecting over their shared love of hats and fashion, the rest is herstory and they’ve been friends ever since. They started their blog over 10 years ago and have a wildly popular presence on Instagram. Tried and true New Yorkers, their love of craft and fashion have taken them around the world and around the region including their annual visit to Philadelphia. As this year’s Craft Show goes virtual, we asked what they have in mind for their online experience...

 

What are you looking forward to at this year’s online Show?

Jean: In the current climate, supporting craft artists is especially important. Besides seeing what known artists are up to, I’m looking forward to seeing the work of emerging artists.

Valerie: I’m excited to see new color combinations, new shapes, new textures, new techniques, and new uses for materials that I’d never thought of. I’m looking forward to seeing things that will wake my brain out of the artistic slumber that modern life lures us into.

(Above: The gals at a lecture they gave at Parsons School of Design in NYC)

 

What advice would you give for ways to enjoy the online version of the Show?

Jean: My advice is to relax and go with the flow. Look at new categories and artists as well as old favorites.

Valerie: Use it as a springboard!  When you see an artist whose work intrigues you, look further into that artist’s work. The online possibilities are endless and joyful.

 

What would you like people to know about the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show?

Jean: It features the best of the best craft artists and is not to be missed. The behind-the-scenes support of donors, museum members, show committee and attendees is critical to its continued success.

Valerie: It's easier than ever to visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show now because it's online. You can drop in even if you're in your armchair in Australia, and even if it's 2am. Stay as long as you like, and it’s okay to bring a snack (or a cocktail!). Treat yourself. Particularly during these pandemic times, your new objet d’art will not only spark joy, it will help keep an artist in business.

(Above: A sign of the times)

We heard you were spotted by the actress Olympia Dukakis on the streets of New York and acknowledged by famed Vogue editor Anna Wintour at a press event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. What else do you enjoy about your fame as the Idiosyncratic Fashionistas?

Jean: I love the opportunity to meet people IRL (in real life) from other countries with whom I've connected online. Also, meeting British milliner Stephen Jones and designer Jean Paul Gaultier and reconnecting with both of them at the Metropolitan Museum's 2018 Heavenly Bodies exhibition are my all-time highlights! 

Valerie: Numerous older women have written to thank us for demonstrating that older women are fun and funny, engaged and engaging, smart and thoughtful. Numerous younger women have also written, saying they dreaded growing old until they read our blog. We unwittingly became role models just by doing what interests us. I’m so glad to have been able to do that.

 

What are some common questions you get asked?

Jean: People ask if I'm an artist or a designer. Because I have no skills in either area, I say that I am neither, but support those who do.

Valerie: We get asked: Are you artists? Are you designers? Are you models? Are you actors? Are you going to a party?

Above: A sampling of the many artists at this year's Show. From upper left to lower right: Kathleen Dustin, Biba Schutz, Steven Ford & David Forlano, and Danielle Gori-Montanelli

(Photos of the Idiosyncratic Fashionistas provided courtesy of themselves.)

 

Follow the Fashionistas on Instagram: @idiosyncraticfashionistas - and tune in to the Craft Show November 6th -8th, with a virtual preview on November 5th

 

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October 15 2020

(Above: wood artist Phil Roberts in studio)

As with our previous blog, we’re introducing an artist from each category to set the stage for this year’s online Craft Show. Since attending the Show can now be from anywhere, we encourage you to get to know the artists in advance in anticipation of the main event. Follow our social media @pmacraftshow for continued updates and save the dates for this year’s online Show, November 6th-8th, with a virtual preview event on November 5th.

(Above: necklace by Baiyang Qiu)

(Above: leather jacket by Toshiki & Maryszka)

JEWELRY

Baiyang Qiu combines traditional handwork with cutting-edge technology, using extremely fine gauge wire of high-karat gold and platinum to create her delicate designs of the highest quality. From a raindrop on a leaf to an emerging butterfly from its chrysalis, her timeless jewelry captures and preserves moments in nature.

See all the jewelry artists HERE.

 

LEATHER

Toshiki & Maryszka have been designing together ever since discovering a shared a sense of style 40 years ago. Maryszka grew up around fabric and sewing. Her grandmother came from Poland as a child and sewed for a living in the US. Maryszka’s mother and aunts taught her about fabric and she earned a degree in Designer Crafts from the University of Utah. Toshiki grew up in Tokyo, studied fashion design and is the great-grandson of a metalsmith to the Meiji Emperor, whose work is in the permanent collection of The National Museum of Japan.

See all the leather artists HERE.

 

(Above: silver cups by Sara Thompson)

(Above: Raku by Ellen Silberlicht)

METAL

Sara Thompson has been working on her craft since she was a child. Apprenticing for a bench jeweler from age 11 to 16, she learned metalsmithing while gaining experience in making a living as a jeweler and simultaneously running a retail store on Martha’s Vineyard. Sara is drawn to the simplicity of taking a flat, two-dimensional sheet of silver and hammering it into her three-dimensional utilitarian objects and vessels, which she does by using an ancient metalsmithing technique.

See all the metal artists HERE.

 

MIXED MEDIA

Ellen Silberlicht developed her passion for the raku process during a clay class at the Wayne Arts Center in conjunction with the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Her focus became handbuilding small and large jars and vessels. Her pots reflect the awe and wonder of nature that has always been her inspiration.

See all the mixed media artists HERE.

 

(Above: Hand-bound books by Judith Cohen)

(Above: Wood relief sculpture by Phil Roberts)

 

PAPER 

Judith Cohen developed her passion for bookbinding while handsewing books in a commercial bindery. Judith makes fine handcrafted contemporary objects using paper and cloth from around the world. Her work represents a current and eclectic aesthetic while maintaining a timeless sensibility using bookbinding techniques going back to the 2nd century. 

See all the paper artists HERE.

 

WOOD

Working with precise laser-cut pieces of super thin plywood, Phil Roberts calls his layered pieces relief sculptures. Each starts with a digital illustration that is transformed into wood, with the individual components finished and glued by hand. Phil’s love of art, design, machinery, and a long history of traditional woodworking informs his passion for his work while his ability to use technology helps bring his designs to life.

See all the wood artists HERE.

 

(Above: Teapot by Stacey Lee Webber)

BONUS CATEGORY – METAL

Sometimes an artist comes to us that crosses over into two categories. Such is the case with Stacey Lee Webber. Stacey holds an MFA and has taught at Tyler School of Art, University of the Arts, and Rowan University. Working with found materials whose history is physically evident, her work is often described as meticulous, pushing the boundaries of everyday recognizable objects to the point of unidentifiable.

See all the metal artists HERE.

 

Go HERE to see the full list of artists and we’ll see you online soon!

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October 09 2020

The artists are getting ready, the website is being updated, and the internet will be the portal to joining this year’s online Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show from wherever you are. We’ve highlighted an artist from each category in this preview to get you started. Stay tuned for Part Two next week and follow our social media @pmacraftshow for continued updates.

(Above: pendant by Hannah Long)

(Above: baskets by Kari Lonning)

EMERGING ARTISTS

Hannah Long describes her work as sculptural modern jewelry and adornment evocative of bohemian culture with an organic flair. Hannah ethically sources much of her materials, digging for fossils and gemstones and collecting black coral washed up on the beaches near her home in south Florida.

See all the emerging artists HERE.

 

BASKETRY

Kari Lonning’s artist-dyed rattan reed baskets are distinctive and functional. A basketmaker since 1975, Kari is best known for her complex weaving process she refers to as her “hairy technique.”

See all the basketry artists HERE.

(Above: plates by Ryan Greenheck)

(Above: quilt by Erin Wilson)

CERAMICS 

Ryan Greenheck is currently a practicing studio potter and lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania and his work is represented in galleries throughout the US. Ryan’s vessels are monochromatic in color, emphasizing the infrastructure, an essential component in his pottery. 

See all the ceramic artists HERE.

 

FIBER DECORATIVE

Erin Wilson’s quilts are rooted in hand-dyed color, architectural imagery, and intricate piecework. Her natural affinity to color and fabric developed into an extended study of the urban environment. Her quilts are about cities, inspired in part by the view out the window.

See all the fiber decorative artists HERE.

(Above: outfit by Nicole Haddad)

(Above: lighting by Ben Gillespie)

(Above: glass sphere by Scott Pernicka)

FIBER WEARABLE

Nicole Haddad started her distinctive clothing line Lobo Mau as a way to provide an alternative to fast fashion, a process she sees as a polluting and ethically controversial industry. She describes her process as slow fashion, with extensive fabric research and testing, and careful design and fitting. She and her brother Jordan run the business in south Philadelphia and have expanded their reach to New York, LA, and London.

See all the fiber wearable artists HERE.

 

FURNITURE

Ben Gillespie designs and fabricates custom lighting in his Philadelphia studio. The lighting pieces combine cutting-edge technology, natural materials, and minimalist design. His brand OVUUD evolved from the desire to keep design simple yet interesting.

See all the furniture artists HERE.

 

GLASS

Scott Pernicka started experimenting with three-dimensional space in sculpture during his college years. Known for his vortex marble spheres, Scott pushes the boundaries of color and form as spirals of color create visual depths and optical illusions.

See all the glass artists HERE.

 

Go HERE to see the full list of artists, and save the dates for this year’s online Show, November 6th-8th, with a virtual preview event on November 5th.

 

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September 24 2020

(Above: JAGR Projects - Park City, Utah. Ceramic bowl on sideboard by Melissa Weiss. Photo by Paul Richer)

A lot goes into shifting to an online event and while we’re busy at work behind the scenes, we are also taking time to talk with longtime attendees about their Show experiences and what they’re looking forward to this year. Today we introduce you to interior designer John Levitties. John has attended the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show since the mid 1990’s and will be attending the online event this year. As principal of JAGR Projects, a highly regarded design firm in Philadelphia, John and his staff have been placing craft in the home for many years. John’s background in cultural history and preservation and as an art and furniture dealer specializing in late 19th and early 20th century British and European design led him to utilizing contemporary craft in interior design.

Craft as a design element in the home was a natural progression from the advent of the arts and crafts movement at the turn of the 20th century, designed to celebrate traditional craft skills and blur the lines between fine and decorative arts. That work appealed not only to people that appreciated craft and history but also to early voices in modernist design. Toward the end of the 20th century, John saw more experimentation with modern materials and forms, and it became clear the pendulum would swing back to artists and artisans skilled in drawing and design turning to more traditional forms of making. The results are often new ways of thinking about craft, intermixing modern styles with traditional craft skills and thus, an ideal combination for utilizing craft at home.

(Above: JAGR Projects - Home in Park City, Utah. Three legged stool by Keunho Peter Park. Photo by Paul Richer)

John is looking forward to this year’s Show, and though it will be different than being there in person, there is a silver lining of being able to view the exhibitors collectively with his staff. To help facilitate this at his studio, they will be projecting the Show onto a big screen, where he and the staff can discover new artists, see some of their favorite artists, and talk about what pieces to use in different projects.

“The Craft Show affords collectors – whether seasoned or first time – a venue to interact with artists whose work evokes something in them. And it might feel like this opportunity is lost in a virtual fair, but that isn’t necessarily the case. The communication between maker and consumer through the works, themselves, is an important interaction, but beyond that synergy I’ve never found any artist at the show to be other than excited at the opportunity to discuss their work with an interested collector, and visitors should take advantage of that whether face-to-face or virtual”. ~ John Levitties

(Above: JAGR Projects - Center City, Philadelphia. Ceramic vases by Ani Kasten. Photo by Jeffrey Totaro)

John points out the materiality of craft, how the surface and materials encompass the hand of the artist and how the Show is a great place to discover that and talk to artists about their work. Interior design is an ideal complement to fine contemporary craft, and John and his team get excited about utilizing crafts by specific artists, such as Ani Kasten, Jenifer Thoem, or Alexandra Geller to name a few. They may choose the crafts at the end of a project where they can see what spaces they have for objects, or during the design and layout process itself. Functionality of items is important in the selection process, especially with furniture or items like dinnerware, but it’s not always the primary motive aesthetically speaking.

In closing, we asked John what guidance he would give someone new to acquiring craft for their home. His advice is to buy what they love and engage with artists by asking intelligent questions. The opportunity to speak with an artist about their work enhances it immeasurably and the experience can be very rewarding.

There will be opportunity to get to know some of the artists during the online event, and there is also more time to learn about them in advance and during the Show. We encourage people to explore this year’s artists, and follow their social media in the lead up to the Show.

 

 

 

 

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September 10 2020

(Above: bracelet by Hannah Long)

Premier Showcase of Contemporary Craft & Design Scheduled Online for

Thursday, November 5 – Sunday, November 8, 2020

Philadelphia, PA — Following CDC and City of Philadelphia guidelines in light of COVID-19 and public health and safety, the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show is moving to an online event for 2020. Virtual options are in development on the website and via social media to enable presenting the talents of the selected 2020 artists in an exciting and interactive manner. Online shopping will be available as well as virtual meet & greets, and a preview event featuring awards and exclusive content. Show management will continue to communicate news and updates regarding plans for the 2020 Show.

(Vase by David Grey Russell)

Philadelphia is highly regarded for museum quality contemporary craft and design, and the PMA Craft Show is one of the city’s premier events. Each November, 195 fine craft artists showcase their best work in over a dozen categories, including ceramics, furniture, jewelry, fiber, wood, metal, and more. There is also a category showcasing emerging artists. Now in its 44th year, The Craft Show, presented by The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, has raised over 13.4 million dollars over its long history. The museum’s largest single fundraiser, funds go to supporting museum initiatives, including education, art and fine craft acquisitions, state-of-the-art equipment, and special exhibitions.

Jenifer Thoem, recipient of Best of Show award in 2019 shares her experience from last year. “Everything at the PMA Craft Show was top-notch, from the show communication to the caliber of work”, she says. “The patrons were very engaging and had a sophisticated eye for art/fine craft. I had my best show of the year and can attribute it to the reputation of the PMA Craft Show and the fact that people came to buy.” 

The Craft Show Committee is dedicated to helping showcase artists leading up to the Show. The public is encouraged to follow Craft Show artists online, via their social media and websites. Follow @pmacraftshow across social media channels and search #pmacraftshow to help locate artists and their work.

(Above: coat by Amy Nguyen)

To learn more about the Craft Show, visit www.pmacraftshow.org

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September 03 2020

(Above: Handwoven shawl by Julie Simpson)

Gearing up for our first-ever online event, we’ve been perusing through the amazing list of artists that will be joining us this year and are excited to share these profiles. As we anticipate the cooler months ahead, we’ve gathered some cozy comfort in this collection. With some for the home and some for the wardrobe, enjoy a cup of tea, a cozy shawl, a tailored shirt, and home accents filled with color.

(Above: Teapot and cups by Ruth Easterbrook)

From Ruth Easterbrook’s early days working with clay, she has loved the physical process including the magical transformations that happen with firing and glazing. Ruth finds inspiration through watching nature as well as depictions of flowers in art. After graduating from Syracuse University, Ruth earned an M.F.A. from the prestigious ceramic program at Alfred University. She has also studied at the Penland School of Craft, and Rhode Island School of Design. Most recently, Ruth joined the Artist In Residence Ceramic program at Harvard University.

(Above: Jacket by Elizabeth Holliday)

Elizabeth Holliday’s wearables focus on fit, function, and comfort. Her pieces are tailored yet comfortable, and her patterns engage mathematical rule following as well as rule breaking, providing the creative process. With fabrics including alpaca, cashmere, and mohair, the highest quality construction techniques go into creating each item. Elizabeth’s inspiration dates back to her grandmother who was a very skilled seamstress. She made patterns from newspaper and created department store replications for Elizabeth’s mother who in turn taught Elizabeth how to sew which led to her passion for fashion.

(Above: Custom menswear by Catherine Joseph)

We are pleased to bring you the custom handcrafted menswear designs by Catherine Joseph. Her love of fine tailoring and luxury fabrics led her to designing men’s clothing and her company has been in business in New York since 1986. As a designer of luxury menswear in fine wools, tweeds and cashmere, Catherine’s shirts and softly tailored shirt-jackets are unique and timeless fashion pieces in casual and modern styles. Her one-of-a-kind handmade silk or cashmere scarves are the ideal accessories to pair with these classic garments.

As a textile designer and painter, Julie Simpson has been creating art in many forms since she was a child. She eventually gravitated toward textiles and earned a degree in Textile Design from the Rhode Island School of Design. Julie creates innovative contemporary scarves and shawls that are functional and versatile with a beautiful design aesthetic woven in. Keeping up with trending color palettes while blending different fibers and inventing her own weave structures, her pieces are singular, with a sculptural quality. Utilizing sustainable natural fibers including cashmere, merino wool, bamboo, silk and certified organic wool, Julie’s one-of-a-kind wearable art is the perfect gift for the upcoming fall and winter season.

(Above: Glass mugs by Andrew Iannazzi)

Andrew Iannazzi began his glassblowing journey at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York. Honing his skills over the last decade, Andrew creatively blends traditional glass techniques with modern design and functionality. His offerings include colorful and whimsical tiki mugs, bouquet vases, glass bowls, and custom lighting pieces. Andrew draws inspiration from historical Italian and Scandinavian design, and American popular imagery. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Imbibe Magazine, The Boston Globe and more.

(Above: Basket by Kari Lonning)

The technique of basket making is an art as well as a feat of engineering. Kari Lonning has been a full-time basketmaker for over four decades. Best known for her double-walled constructions and complex weaving process, she applies both bold and subtle color schemes. Kari designs and weaves each basket herself and finds inspiration in horticulture as well as architecture. Her work is in numerous public and private collections including the White House Craft Collection, the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, The Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC and the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand.

Stay tuned for upcoming information on our website and social media about this year’s Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show and save the dates for joining us online November 5th  – November 8th. 

 

Filed Under:
August 12 2020

“The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show has not only been an incredible opportunity to connect with many great artists around the United States, but also a great gateway to meeting new clients for my work.”

Imagine if parts from a recycled skateboard were repurposed and crafted into beautiful and singular works of contemporary craft jewelry art that are truly statement pieces. Meet Tara Locklear, the visionary artist and designer behind exactly that. Tara began working with her material of choice while in college when she worked at a skateboard shop and became steeped in the culture. That was the genesis of her trajectory, merging her skateboarding community with the craft she loves and the process in which she creates. Exploring and forming the unique graphic and color qualities of the materials she works with are at the heart of her studio practice. Whether using sheet steel, cast cement, or recycled skateboards, Tara describes her work as everyday jewelry – wearable and different. She enjoys pushing the boundaries of color and pattern with the worn, street patinas of the broken, recycled skateboards. Co-mingled with handmade sterling silver designs result in playful but powerful jewelry.

Inspiration comes in many forms for Tara Locklear, including urban landscapes, the architecture within, industrial materials, and color, but she is most influenced by the women in her life. “The ones I have studied historically and the women in my day-to-day that I am lucky to have as family and friends”, she says. “All of these elements inspire my forms and the movements in my work.” The resulting creations are all together bold, bright, cheerful, and edgy.

Tara has exhibited at the PMA Craft Show four times, and will be back this year for the PMA Craft Show Online Event. Last year she received the award for Excellence in Jewelry. Surprised, humbled, and grateful for the accolade, Tara shares, “I was extremely shocked! It was a very surreal moment. You have no idea when and if these moments will happen or if you are even considered. You just always try to put your best foot forward and make work that you believe in.”

(Tara Locklear in her studio)

Tara is appreciative of how the PMA Craft Show garners a diverse community of attendees that truly support the show. “It’s a testament to the PMA Craft Show Committee and its marketing efforts”, she says. “They treat the artists very well and there is great customer service all around.” Creating genuine connections through jewelry is paramount for Tara, and seeing the delight her jewelry brings to people as they wear it is the greatest part of the whole process for her. “To me, success is having someone connect to my work enough to want to own it and wear it. Knowing that my jewelry is comfortable and that it brings a smile to the customer wearing it. Whenever I hear that, that is what brings me the most joy.”

(Above, ring and earrings)

As the PMA Craft Show prepares to move to an online event, we asked Tara how she has been gearing up to present her work in this format. She spoke about goals and how the situation at hand is actually accelerating her previous 2019 goal which was to redesign her website to incorporate a more efficient e-commerce store. Knowing it was long overdue, it’s now on her current list of goals and she plans on being ready. She has also been developing more editorial photo stories to accompany her work and participates with others virtually via Instagram live platforms and Zoom trunk shows. We also wanted to know what advice she might have for an emerging jewelry artist. With tried and true guidance, Tara says, “Trust the process and stay true to your vision. Also, engage actively online through podcasts and organizations around your craft because community is so important. Creating a supportive community around you to stay connected and grow with is vital. I am grateful every day for my craft community that is family for me.”

Look for Tara and all the artists this November at the PMA Craft Show Online Event! Details will be forthcoming. Please continue to follow our social media channels for the latest updates.

 

 

 

Filed Under:
July 29 2020

(Above: Wood serving board by Phil Gautreau)

Home. Kitchens. Holidays. Weddings. Gifts embrace a sense of place and time, whether you’re staying home, planning a new kind of holiday season, or looking ahead to a postponed wedding and what to give the happy couple. A gift registry utilizing crafts from Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show artists can be a great way for event guests to choose a present they know is truly wanted, while also supporting artists during this challenging time. Gifts can of course be for yourself as well, so whether for you or others, today we offer a selection of beautiful contemporary crafts by some of our 2020 artists.

One of the most versatile gifts, appropriate for so many occasions is a cutting board or cheese board. Crafted from locally-sourced, repurposed wood, Phil Gautreau takes this to a new level, creating wood furnishings and accessories that may be based on traditional styles, but are nuanced with contemporary line and shape. By photographing his pieces amid the color of nature with both flowers and fruits, plus leafy greens, he not only showcases the complement of color and design, but shows how his work can be used in daily life. Phil has been featured in Interior Design, Fine Woodworking, Tableware Today and Edible Brooklyn magazines and he has received multiple accolades including the Eco Choice Award at NY NOW.

Gabriel Craig’s aesthetic is both utilitarian and visually stunning as shown in the photo below. A highly skilled metalsmith, Gabriel’s work has been exhibited at Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The National Ornamental Metal Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Craft. This beautiful and functional kitchen set would not only be useful but a well-placed artful centerpiece on a wall.

(Above: Utensil set by Gabriel Craig)

Laura Zindel’s ceramics are the ideal complement to any kitchen, or elsewhere in the home for that matter. Pencil drawings inspired by nature are the genesis of Laura’s designs, combined with the pragmatism of the Arts & Crafts movement and the curiosity of the Victorian collectibles era. Her work has been featured widely in publications including Oprah’s O magazine, Bon Appetit, and Vogue Living.

(Above: Ceramic canisters by Laura Zindel)

Utensils are more than their function when it comes to the fine craft of kitchen wares. These elegant designs by Erica Moody and Jonathan Simons respectively are a good example of that. Recipient of the 2019 award for excellence in metal, Erica’s work is forged and fabricated by hand in her Maine studio out of mostly brass, copper, and steel. Her pieces work as stand alone creations or parts of a set, and would look ideal paired with a Phil Gautreau cheese board!

Jonathan’s spoons are functional and whimsical all at the same time, and he has been featured in Oprah’s O Magazine as well as chef Rachael Ray’s magazine. Originally from Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, Jonathan’s work is partly inspired by the plethora of wood, tile, and stained glass work that surrounded him in places like the Bryn Athyn Cathedral and several area mansions built at the turn of the 20th century. He considers the elegant simplicity of design developed during that time as evolutionary in his work.

(Above: Wedding cake set by metalsmith Erica Moody. Wooden serving ware by Jonathan Simons)

Rounding out this grouping, what could be better for the ultimate home chef than this stunning cookware? Created by Yates Spencer, each skillet is a work of art, reflecting the skill of this longtime blacksmith. Focusing on sculpture, furniture, and architectural ironwork for over 30 years, Yates brought the steel into the kitchen, where he has been ever since, to the delight of his customers and renowned chefs throughout the country.

(Above: Hand forged skillets by Yates Spencer)

We encourage you to keep an eye on our website as plans move forward with moving the 2020 PMA Craft Show to an online event. Stay tuned for show announcements and artist updates, and follow @pmacraftshow social media to stay connected.

 

Filed Under:
July 22 2020

(Above: Metal artist Erica Moody)

SAVE THE DATE FOR THIS YEAR’S SHOWCASE OF CONTEMPORARY CRAFT AND DESIGN

Thursday, November 5 – Sunday, November 8, 2020

The PMA Contemporary Craft Show is following CDC and City of Philadelphia guidelines.  The Show Committee and staff have been operating remotely and continue to work toward holding our event.

It has become apparent that presenting our Show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in November is not possible under the current circumstances.  The health and safety of our attendees, artists, staff and committee are our highest priority.  We are researching various virtual options that will enable us to present the talents of the selected 2020 artists in an exciting and responsible manner.  We will continue to communicate news and updates regarding our plans for the 2020 Show.

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When there are so many unknowns in the world, one thing that is known is the power of creativity and the role that the arts have played throughout history. This time is no different, and this year’s Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show will surely reflect the vision and talents of our artists in a whole new light. 

Philadelphia has become highly regarded as a destination for museum quality contemporary craft and design, and the PMA Craft Show is one of the city’s premier events. Each November, 195 fine craft artists showcase their best work over three days in over a dozen categories, including ceramics, furniture, jewelry, fiber, and more. Now in its 44th year, The Craft Show, presented by The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, has raised over 13.4million dollars over its long history. The museum’s largest single fundraiser, funds go to supporting museum initiatives, including education, art and fine craft acquisitions, state-of-the-art equipment, and special exhibitions. Ticket sales are integral to the success of the show. When you purchase a ticket or become a sponsor, you are directly supporting the work of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

(Above: Jeweler Petra Class)

Save the 2020 Show dates and please follow our social media. We continue to be inspired by the dedication of our artists and the contemporary craft community at large. We appreciate the support of our craft artists who are experiencing a major disruption to their income stream due to spring show cancellations. Instagram is a great way to find artists online as is our website. 

(Above: Woodworker Ray Jones)

Whether you’ve never been to the Show, attend regularly, or somewhere in between, we hope you will join us this November for what promises to be a Show to remember.  

 

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