For a first-time visitor, the American Craft Council’s Baltimore Show can be somewhat overwhelming - in the best possible way. I experienced that today when I entered the Baltimore Convention Center for a sneak peek at the exhibitors in our 34th annual show. I was immediately struck not only by the sheer number of artists, but also by the eclectic variety of the work on display. It’s an incredible sensory experience to encounter exquisitely handcrafted goods in such a range of colors, shapes, textures and materials.
Many wearables artists wear their merchandise and change regularly during show hours. Sometimes the switching of jackets or shawls was going on at such a pace that I couldn’t tell for a moment who was the customer and who the maker.
Randall Darwall, who weaves complex plaids with a luxurious feel and makes garments with partner Brian Murphy, was no exception. He made his own fashion show with vivid shirts. It was also fascinating to watch the two men pair scarves with jackets, not trying to match but to slightly shift the color conversation.