This past weekend, the American Craft Council—one of the country's oldest organizations championing handicrafts—celebrated its 70th birthday at its annual show at Fort Mason in San Francisco. Just over one month ago, I was roaming through the floors of the Festival Pavilion for the Renegade Craft Fair, which I can only describe as the rebellious, punky, and often cheeky little sister of the Craft Council show. Aside from the fact that most everything was handmade, the comparisons between the two exhibitions really stop there. Most of the wares at Renegade were of the crocheted, embroidered, or screenprinted persuasion; at the Craft council show there were ample blown glass pieces, ceramics, and rich woods that were carved and lovingly stained or oiled—essentially, everything reflected much more mature sensibility. What I appreciated most about the Council show was the level of workmanship in the designs on view. Most of the 230 exhibitors seemed to have decades of experience in their crafts and that was imbued in each object. Here, I share a few of my favorites.
August 15, 2011