The Metal Museum—officially the National Ornamental Metal Museum—was founded by Jim Wallace in Memphis in 1976. It’s an achievement in itself to pull off the establishment and continuation of a museum, but the Metal Museum has come up with a beautiful three-acre site overlooking the Mississippi, using several historic buildings associated with a landmarked late 19th-century military hospital, now derelict but perhaps to become residential condos.
At the end of the American Craft Council's last conference, "Shaping the Future of Craft," in 2006, audience members were allowed to put forward questions they had developed during the three-day event. I had grown twitchy with mine, about the lack of representation there from the DIY craft scene.
Since then, DIY craft has become a major American export. I've given over a dozen lectures on DIY at international venues, and my artwork has been included in major international exhibitions dedicated to DIY, such as "Extreme Crafts" (2007) in Lithuania.
The biggest and most joyous craft event of the year is staged every September on a gigantic playa, a clay lakebed over 30,000 years old, in the middle of Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada. This is the site of the Burning Man festival (Aug. 31-Sept. 7, 2009). I have wanted to attend for 10 years. Having regularly read about it and discussed it with veteran “burners,” I thought I had a good idea of what to expect. But it was a hundred times more than I imagined. It cannot be fully explained; it can only be experienced. Here is a snapshot.