July 23 2014

The Craft Show brings some of the country’s most notable craftspeople and their wares to our city. Today, we’re introducing a new blog series that celebrates the power and beauty of handmade objects, called “The Best Craft I Ever Bought.”  In this series, creative and passionate Philadelphians tell us the stories behind the craft objects they’ve welcomed into their lives and what the objects mean to them.

Our first blogger is Karen Karuza, a professor of fashion design who teaches at The Art Institute of Philadelphia and Moore College of Art and Design. She’s worn many (fashionable) hats, teaching ESL in Mexico, working in the fashion industry on New York’s Seventh Avenue, and as an antiques dealer specializing in religious iconography. She is a practitioner of the Mysore style of Ashtanga yoga and blogs at Confessions of A Yoga Hussy.

Nearly three decades ago, Oaxaca, Mexico found me. My son was born in Oaxaca,

I taught in a private school. I ran a cafe. But life changed and we returned to the States.

Seven years ago I was on a summer teaching sabbatical in Oaxaca documenting its incredibly rich textile tradition. Huipiles – traditional indigenous garments worn by women — have always been one of my favorite collectibles. In any crowded market, a woman’s huipile identifies what village and indigenous group she is from. Huipiles tell the story of one’s life.

One size fits all. Every woman looks lovely in a huipile. Even so, huipiles had fallen “out of fashion” in the early 21st century. Perhaps Oaxacan women wanted to appear more “North American” and ”modern.”

Wandering through a small specialty shop in the Tourist Corridor one lazy afternoon, I came across the most extraordinary “modern” version of huipiles.  Quality fabrics, scaled slightly smaller, slightly more cropped than the traditional versions, adorned with embroidered images and words.

Oaxacan artist and poet laureate Natalia Toledo, who is also the daughter of noted painter, sculptor and activist Francisco Toledo, had designed and made these huipiles. She writes in Spanish but also in Zapoteca- one of many fading indigenous dialects in Oaxaca.

An inky blue huipile caught my attention. It was embroidered with multicolored words that formed a poem, written by Natalia Toledo, one side in Spanish, one side in Zapoteca:

My house is your house

Fringes they weave on my head

Death is a cricket

That awaits on the leaf of your door

I cherish this huipile -- it reminds me of what I love about Oaxaca: the strength of the women, the lyricism of every day magic realism, the spectrum of color everywhere, the confrontation of life and death.

When I wear this huipile, feel connected to that place of my heart.

Visit 2014 Craft Show Wearable Fiber Art  to see the gorgeous, artist-made, wearable artwork that will be available from our Craft Show artists.

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July 17 2014

We’re thrilled to announce the lineup of 195 of the best contemporary fine craft artists in the country who will present their work at the 38th Annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show! Through the highly competitive jury process that considered more than 1,000 applicants, selected artists from Maine to California will offer their one-of-a-kind works at the Pennsylvania Convention Center November 6-9, 2014.

Craft Show artists present a striking variety of museum-quality work in glass, ceramics, wood, basketry, both wearable and decorative fibers, metal, paper, leather and mixed media, as well as one-of-a-kind handmade furniture and both precious and semi-precious jewelry.

Get a sneak peak at the work of our 2014 craft artists here.

In addition to work from artists who are represented in prominent museum collections nationwide, this year’s Show will feature outstanding emerging artists by top craft students from The University of the Arts, Moore College of Art & Design, Kutztown University and Savannah College of Art and Design. (Read our full press release here.)

Tickets to the Show and the November 5 Preview Party are on sale now.

Stay up to date with news from the Craft Show and this year’s artists by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Pictured above:
Desiree Delong, Brooklyn, NY; semi-precious jewelry
Christine Love Adcock, Santa Barbara, CA; basketry
Bruce Erdman, Greendale, WI; furniture

 

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July 14 2014

As much as fine craft artists turn to the PMA Craft Show Pinterest page for artistic inspiration, we’ve found that craft buyers browse our pins to preview the work available at the Show and for home décor ideas. And while we love seeing craft on display, it’s just as exciting to see artwork from professional crafters nationwide put to use at a dinner party or as part of your next fashion statement.

Our most repinned website images for the month definitely show that Pinterest users are looking through work from our craft artists with fashion in mind. Check out these top pins from our 2013 Craft Show artists--and be sure to follow us on Pinterest as we begin to share the work of our 2014 selected artists.

1. Sophie Truong, leather tote: 2013 Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, leather category. Find the Chelsea, MA-based artist at stitchandtickle.etsy.com

2. Melissa R. Schmidt, glass necklace: 2013 Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, semi-precious jewelry category. Find the Maplewood, MO-based artist at melissaschmidt.etsy.com.

3. Judith Kinghorn, sterling silver and gold pendant: 2013 Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, precious jewelry category. Find the Minneapolis, MN-based artist at judithkinghorn.com

Take a browse through our Pinterest boards, organized by artistic medium and by how you can put those crafts to use in your home or in your wardrobe.  

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June 25 2014

Can’t wait until the start of the Craft Show in November to get your craft on? The American Craft Council has a comprehensive list of schools with craft workshops and courses by state (scroll down for Pennsylvania), but we’ll make it even easier for you with a roundup of nearby offerings. Classes often sell out, so sign up, and then check out our Pinterest page for artistic inspiration!

At Museums

• For the whole family, the Philadelphia Museum of Art offers the return of ArtSplash. The Museum’s main building will be transformed into a hot spot for kids and their grown-ups, where you can drop in for family workshops that bring the Museum’s collection to life, including explorations of some of our country’s first works of art, arms and armor, and distant lands.

• Just across the street from our Craft Show venue at the Convention Center, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts offers evening and Saturday courses, one-week intensives and weekend workshops.

• Learn plein air painting, studio oil painting, or printmaking at Woodmere Art Museum in weekday classes that typically run for 5-6 weeks.

At Art Schools

• Browse through the “Adult Summer 2014” courses from the Fleisher Art Memorial, and you’ll find some tempting options, whether it’s figure painting or screenprinting.

• The Tyler School of Art offers continuing education classes in photography, ceramics, glass and more. The courses are designed for teaching professionals, but some accommodate all levels of expertise.

At Workshop Studios

• In addition to its popular lectures and “Date Night” programming, The Clay Studio offers adult classes categorized by technique: general pottery, handbuilding and wheelthrowing.

• The Philadelphia Furniture Workshop has a slew of evening or one-day courses, which are often project-based. Beginners can learn to make step stools or a coat rack; intermediate woodworkers a bureau or a kitchen table.

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June 16 2014

To get to know our PMA Craft Show jurors this year, we’re introducing a new blog series to hear what they look for when selecting artists and what craft trends they see coming through in submitted work.

Our first featured juror is Yvonne J. Markowitz, the Rita J. Kaplan and Susan B. Kaplan Curator of Jewelry in the David and Roberta Logie Department of Textile and Fashion Arts, Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Serving in the first curatorship of its kind in America, Markowitz oversees the museum's exceptional collection of jewelry. She is also the past editor of the Journal of the American Society of Jewelry Historians, an editor of Adornment, the Magazine of Jewelry and Related Arts, co-director of the annual Adornment conference (ASJRA), and the author of numerous jewelry-related books and articles. Her most recent books are Artful Adornments: Jewelry from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Jewels of Trabert & Hoeffer-Mauboussin: A History of American Style and Innovation; and Jewels of Ancient Nubia (with Denise Doxey). 

What's the most rewarding or challenging thing about serving as a juror?

I enjoyed meeting the other jurors and all those at the Philadelphia Museum of Art who organized the process. It was also exciting to see craft outside my area of expertise.

What makes the PMA Craft Show different?

Its professionalism and the quality of the artists hoping to be selected.

What do you look for when selecting artists for the PMA Craft Show?

Originality, technical skill, and a sense of the time. When I say “a sense of the time,” I’m an Egyptologist by training and oversee the MFA’s encyclopedic collection of jewelry – ancient to modern – about 20,000 objects. It makes me very aware of the historical precedents that informs jewelry as well as outside influences.

Which craft trends did you see coming through this year?

For jewelry, I see leading artists less concerned with conceptual approaches to design and meaning and a greater emphasis on wearability.

Photo: Markowitz is posed with a bejeweled Gorham decanter that was exhibited at the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, a late 19th century ladies’ watch in the Renaissance revival style by Tiffany & Co. and a necklace designed G. Paulding Farnham for Tiffany & Co. around 1900, also in the Renaissance revival style. 

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May 15 2014

Thanks to all who joined us for a Sunday afternoon at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for an author talk and book signing from Peter Korn, one of our jurors at this year’s show. The Philadelphia native, now executive director of the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine, returned home to share the memoir and philosophical exploration that is Why We Make Things and Why It Matters: The Education of a Craftsman. “I was delighted to have such an interested and inquisitive audience for the book talk,” Korn said. (Pictured: Korn with an arts fan; Korn with his father and a copy of his book.)

Why We Make Things steps beyond the how-to guides of carpentry and craftsmanship that constitutes Korn’s prior books. The Inquirer calls it the “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance for those who work in wood, though its principles apply to all creative undertakings.” An excerpt from the introduction shows Korn’s conceptual evolution that inspired him to write a book on the virtue of craft:

“When I turned my first clear pine board into a cradle, and for many years thereafter, I was beguiled by rediscovering the how of craft. How do you sharpen a chisel? How do you cut a sliding dovetail? How do you make a chair comfortable? Eventually, though, I also began to wonder about the why. What is craft and why does it matter? Why do we make things?”

In meeting that question, Korn discussed the fulfillment and meaning that people can find not just in a woodworking shop or in an artist’s studio, but in the kitchen and the garage. Collecting valuable insight from a Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show juror gave us plenty of inspiration to help hold us over until November’s Craft Show.

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April 14 2014

The 38th Annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Contemporary Craft Show is still months away, but we’re already giving you a behind the scenes look at the creative process by sponsoring a talk with author, furniture maker and 2014 Craft Show juror Peter Korn. Peter will discuss and sign his book Why We Make Things and Why It Matters at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on May 4. We hope you’ll join us!

Peter Korn Author Talk and Book Signing

Sunday, May 4, 2:00-3:00 p.m.

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Van Pelt Auditorium

Service charge applies for ticket reservation ($2.50 museum members/$3.50 non-members); registration required 

Museum admission not required to attend this program.

What does the process of making things reveal to us about ourselves? How do the products of creative work inform society? Peter Korn, Executive Director of the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine and author of the highly regarded book Why We Make Things and Why It Matters: The Education of a Craftsman, is the person to ask. He draws on four decades of hands-on experience to write eloquently, and often poignantly, about the why of craft and the satisfactions of creative work.

Press on Peter Korn’s Why We make Things and Why It Matters:

Boston Globe: A “craftsman writes that the creative process can be a professional journey.”

The New York Times: “We have a certain innate biological character, and I think that working creatively with actual materials — bringing new and meaningful things into the world with your own skills — helps us inhabit our humanity to the fullest.”

Portland Press Herald: “The book is a conversation about what it means to be human, what a good life is and how work fits into that.”

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March 07 2014

The 9th International Fiber Biennial Opening Reception is Friday, March 7 at the Snyderman-Works Galleries. This is a show and exhibition you don't want to miss. http://www.snyderman-works.com/exhibitions/9th-international-fiber-biennial

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December 16 2013

It was a great 2013 show!   Thanks!!  But now that it's over and we've taken a deep breath, it's time to get ready for an even better 2014!!  Which is why we're excited to announce that The 38th Annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show is now accepting entries for next year's juried show.   It'll be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center from November 6 to 9, 2014, with a Preview Party on November 5. The jury will accept 195 craft artists.   Learn more on the site here.

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November 15 2013

The 37th Annual was a big success thanks to everyone – artists and attendees.  A big thank you to the Lithuanian community and dignitaries for supporting the Show and guest artists from Lithuania.  Sure it's a year away -- but save the date for the 38th annual show – November 6-9, 2014.  See you there next year!

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November 11 2013

Don’t miss your chance to bid on unique and sophisticated works generously donated by participating artists.
Bidding is open now and closes on November 12th at 9pm.  Proceeds benefit the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
You can bid here.

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November 09 2013

Good Day Philadelphia's Sue Serio helped us open the 2014 Craft Show with a live broadcast on Thursday, Nov. 6.  Metal artist Stacey Lee Webber was thrilled to meet her favorite morning news anchor and show off her innovative jewelry made from pennies, dimes and quarters. Sue looked great in a very flattering raspberry-colored knit wrap from artist Elena Rosenberg!

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November 07 2013

Join us as we set up a beer tasting inside the Convention Center. Come experience Craft Beer as the brewers intended. Don Russell (aka Joe Sixpack), Executive Director of Philly Beer Week and Daily News columnist, has curated a collection of local and Lithuanian brews that cannot be found together anywhere in the city. This is your chance to MEET the brewers, SAMPLE their beer and LEARN some of the trade secrets that go into brewing one-of-a-kind brews. This is truly the ultimate experience for the beer aficionado.

•   Neshaminy Creek Brewing Co. (neshaminycreekbrewing.com) - gold medalist at Great American Beer Festival.

•   Free Will Brewing Co. (freewillbrewing.com)- Brilliant young beer stylists with new creations.

•   Barren Hill Tavern & Brewery (www.facebook.com/barrenhillbeer) - Get your first taste from the region's newest brewpub.

•   Home Sweet Homebrew (homesweethomebrew.com)- Recreating traditional Lithuanian "country" beer.

•   Biržų Alus (www.birzualus.lt/) - Unfiltered craft beer from the Lithuania's beer capital.

Tickets are limited. $45 includes the beer tasting event and Craft Show admission. You must be 21 to attend. All proceeds benefit the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

You can buy tickets online here or by mail.

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November 04 2013

Dainius has been experimenting recently with the leaven ceramics technique, popular in Vilnius in the Middle Ages. This technology is different because the fully heated vessel is immersed in specially prepared leaven while it is still steaming. The leaven may be made of wheat, rye, pea flour or oatmeal, or of beet or cabbage juice. This technology is eco-friendly and chemical-free.  Items made using it will never be identical.  The patterns on them, like frost on a window, are always unique.  Sure, you can see more of his works here.  But wouldn't it be more fun to meet him in person and learn his techniques, first-hand?  He'll be at the show.   Stop over and say hello!

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October 31 2013

Lina Auste from Vilniuns, uses various kiln forming techniques in creating her pieces. She creates glass jewelry, cast and fused glass sculptural works, as well as decorative installations for specific interiors. She's fascinated and inspired by the structures, shapes, and patterns of nature.  She'll be at the Craft Show, so stop by and say hello!  The Show is from November 7-10.   You can see more of her work here, too!

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October 28 2013

Join us as we set up a beer tasting inside the Convention Center. Come experience Craft Beer as the brewers intended. Don Russell (aka Joe Sixpack), Executive Director of Philly Beer Week and Daily News columnist, has curated a collection of local and Lithuanian brews that cannot be found together anywhere in the city. This is your chance to MEET the brewers, SAMPLE their beer and LEARN some of the trade secrets that go into brewing one-of-a-kind brews. This is truly the ultimate experience for the beer aficionado.

•   Neshaminy Creek Brewing Co. (neshaminycreekbrewing.com) - gold medalist at Great American Beer Festival.

•   Free Will Brewing Co. (freewillbrewing.com)- Brilliant young beer stylists with new creations.

•   Barren Hill Tavern & Brewery (www.facebook.com/barrenhillbeer) - Get your first taste from the region's newest brewpub.

•   Home Sweet Homebrew (homesweethomebrew.com)- Recreating traditional Lithuanian "country" beer.

•   Biržų Alus (www.birzualus.lt/) - Unfiltered craft beer from the Lithuania's beer capital.

Tickets are limited. $45 includes the beer tasting event and Craft Show admission. You must be 21 to attend. All proceeds benefit the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

You can buy tickets online here or by mail.

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October 22 2013

Works in Stone is a multi-faceted company headed and founded by Steven Ferrari, a Bucks County stone mason and artisan with over 20 years of experience. He specializes in structural stonework, hand carved pieces, lettering, historic restoration/consulting and sculpting.  Steve strives to use old world techniques and design along with those of the modern day.   Check out his sculpture here.

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October 17 2013

Lorri’s father was a furniture maker and she remembers spending countless hours in his studio, sanding, assembling and watching the artistic process. However, even at a young age she knew she was drawn to smaller objects and through the years has been passionate about painting, fibers, clay, wood, metals, mosaic and stained concrete.

She’s a firm believer in “less is more” and thinks that what is left out of a piece is just as, or more, important than what is included. Her process is intuitive and begins with shape and color but ultimately is about the wearer and how they will feel in one of her pieces. She strives to create jewelry that rise above trends and has a lasting aesthetic.  It is a very intimate process from start to finish.  You gotta see more of her great work here.

 

 

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October 14 2013

Jack Larimore makes work like good theater. He sets the scene, draws us into his story and then touches a nerve with his performance. Jack's stage is that nebulous space allotted to "furniture," roughly the immediate area that circumscribes the things we sit on or put things on, that are comfortable and that function to help us go about our daily lives. This stage is a place of interaction, more than just a good spot for chairs and tables. It is a place where the human elements confronts the mechanical, where nature collides with nurture or, when Jack waxes philosophic, where the intuitive animal in us encounters the cage of reason and science.   See how he sets the stage with his most recent portfolio of pieces.

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October 09 2013

This whole month of October, Gravers Lane Gallery will host its second annual Goblets of Fire exhibition, featuring the finest works by contemporary artists exploring the theme of drinking vessels including goblets and chalices. Artists working in glass, ceramic, metals, and mixed media will be featured in this Harry Potter theme based exhibition.  Check out the wide variety of work here.

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