After a long day Friday, I got some rest at the glamorous sounding but not so glamorous Lord Baltimore Hotel about six blocks from the convention center. I woke up Saturday morning refreshed and ready to take in more from the over 700 exhibiting makers. I made my way through the streets of Baltimore thinking about The Wire until I got to the convention center where the crowds were already packed in to see, shop and enjoy the sights.
If you believed the news this morning, Baltimore was in the path of a messy, winter storm. But as is often the case, this prediction of wind-driven snow happily never materialized and life continues here at a rapid pace. Regardless of the temperature, every February for the past 32 years the American Craft Council has been heating up Baltimore like the Orioles-at least back in the days of Cal Ripken-with the largest, indoor, juried craft show in the United States.
The meditative nature of the San Francisco Museum of Craft + Design's garden entrance has been transformed by the arrival of a day glo, solar grid. Twenty-five electro-luminescent yellow wires run parallel the ground, climb to clear a dwarf Japanese maple tree, and part to skirt Fletcher Benton's geometric steel sculpture. Rows of narrow, luminous posts support the wires, encompassing the garden in a matrix of glowing filaments, which finally scale the museum's façade to a row of solar panels.
Located in the southern Appalachian mountain region, Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina, has made a specialty of celebrating the handwork of yesterday and today. In October it reunited the master ceramists Don Reitz and John Jessiman , old friends from the 1960s, for a workshop-Reitz's first since his heart surgery two years ago. The event launched the university's brand new Randall and Susan Parrott Ward Endowment Fund for Ceramics.
In "Catalyst," an installation of prints on paper and kilnformed glass, the Chicago artist Carrie Iverson is intent on capturing the processes of memory. Much of this group of work, says Iverson, "deals with states of change, motion and imagery submerged slightly below the surface." The lithographs and the glass pieces are meant to be viewed as a "cumulative environment" and to complement each other by offering "two slightly different investigations of the same imagery."