Warm Fuzzies

Warm Fuzzies

Published on Tuesday, January 20, 2015. This article appears in the February/March 2015 issue of American Craft Magazine.
Author Staff
Elaine Bradford Crochet Cover

Elaine Bradford crochet covering; Photo: Dennis Nance

Comfort is both a physical sensation and an emotional state, the moment when warmth and well-being meet. And a range of creative objects can ferry us there.

Quilts are icons of comfort; what better theme, then, for one to tackle than the complications of everyday life? Paula Kovarik’s striking Worry is entirely free-motion quilted and hand-stitched; the Memphis-based artist was inspired by the imperfections of her worn, reclaimed fabric. At the top, the stitched arrow pattern – back and forth – recalls the familiar struggle of an unresolved mind. 

When Stephanie Metz became a parent, she recognized in herself a distinctly animal drive to protect, nourish, and comfort her young. The Bay Area textile artist explores that mammalian kinship in her Pelt series, combining found garments with felted, fur-like wool. 

Colorful, cozy crochet coverings render taxidermy mounts curious and compelling in Elaine Bradford’s work. The Houston artist uses crochet and mixed media to conceal, connect, and challenge our perceptions of familiar forms. 

Can a cup of tea put us right again? Georgia-based Jeff Campana’s porcelain vessel seems to pay apt homage to the restorative ritual, with its exquisitely segmented and reassembled form. 

How we define “home” is inextricably bound to our sense of comfort. Amy Tavern began her recent body of work, I Live Here Now, during a nomadic stretch – a type of transience particular to artists, who constantly uproot themselves for residencies and more. This necklace, Since 1882, Since 1976, includes stone from the foundation of her childhood home. 

Sit for a spell. Ignore your email, shut off your phone. The straightforward lines of Chicago-based Jason Lewis’ rocker, in black walnut and wool, are an invitation to a simpler, heirloom-quality kind of life. 

For Creatures of Comfort, the multi-talented Sisley Leung created miniature objects and domestic settings, installing them in nooks and crannies of Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel. The piece was part of the 2014 “Come Up to My Room” exhibition, an annual event in which Canadian artists transform the historic property.