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ACC's Artisan Craft Crushes

Tod Von Mertens Fir Slab Dining Table
Photo gallery (5 images)

In the spirit of the February/March issue of American Craft's Voices question, we asked around the American Craft Council office to see who likes who, and what objects they've been coveting. Amid the chocolate and flowers hubbub of today, we blushingly reveal our craft crushes.

I am experiencing craft promiscuity… I just can’t pick only one craft crush. I have too many. I have to say I’m crushing on all the ACC artists. Every ACC artist brings their talent and creativity to our shows. I’m looking forward to show season this year and falling in love again and again.
~Joanne Smith, advertising sales manager, American Craft

I’m a fickle person, really, when it comes to the artists I admire. I’m entertaining new craft crushes all the time. One I’ve had for a while, however, is Therman Statom, who works primarily in glass. I love art, abstract and atmospheric, that somehow implies functionality and suggests data. Why? As adults in the concrete world, we have to work continually to make sense of information in our environment. We have to figure out how to make things function, we have to understand data to navigate the world. But the pressure is off in Statom’s work. Pieces like Zeppelines De Invierno (2010) play with the conventions of function and data, compartments and communication, slathering them with colors from a child’s exuberant palette.
~Monica Moses, editor in chief, American Craft

Give me clean lines, straightforward shapes, and wood, and I’m incredibly happy. That’s why I’ve been digging the work of Tod Von Mertens. His work is modern and clean, and made mostly of steel and wood. He’s very earth-conscious when it comes to materials. His steel is 80–95% recycled, and his wood is all reclaimed. I also like that he’s chasing his dream. He closed his successful metal fabrication shop in Seattle and moved back to his home state (New Hampshire) to make furniture, live in an old farmhouse, and grow some of his own food, too.
~Andrew Zoellner, assistant editor, American Craft

I've been crushing on Michael James' art quilts for almost 30 years. In the 1980s his colorful geometric abstractions were highly appealing to me as a young person. Over the years his designs have become ever more complex and evocative; as my own eye and outlook have evolved, I've continued to respond to them. It's great to see a maker with such a deep, longstanding commitment, still keeping it fresh.
~Joyce Lovelace, contributing editor, American Craft

My craft crush is on artist Geoffrey Gorman. My first exposure to his work was through American Craft magazine ("Unnatural History," Oct./Nov. 2011) and I was taken with how he utilizes cast-off objects to create amazing animal figures. His use of materials and the personality of the animal that he creates captures my imagination. I am especially drawn to his Plegadis Prepares to Plunder sculpture. I had the opportunity to meet and talk to Geoffrey at the Jane Sauer Gallery booth at Chicago SOFA in November. Seeing his objects in person and getting the chance to hear more about his work was great. This is what I love about craft – amazing work and amazing artists.
~Chris Amundsen, executive director, American Craft Council

Have a craft crush? Please share it with us in the comments.

 

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I believe in polyamorous relationships... therefore my crushing definitely goes out to my 3 glass women... Judith Schaechter, Susan Taylor Glasgow and Christina Bothwell. What man would not want to come home to them every night!? I have fantasies of them caring for my every need, and then helping me cold work all day. (If you met any of these women, you know what a fantasy that is!) In my fantasy we live in a California canyon home filled with Judith's stained glass windows, and sculptures throughout the house from Christina and Susan! Judith's and Christina's work gives me nightmares, but Susan's calms me back to sleep.

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