What Do You Collect and Why?

What Do You Collect and Why?

Published on Thursday, May 25, 2017. This article appears in the April/May 2017 issue of American Craft Magazine.
Department Voices
Author Staff
George Rodriguez with socks

Ceramist George Rodriguez with his sock collection.

George Rodriguez

I really enjoy collecting socks. My admiration was set in motion by three distinct events: 1) Seeing artist Ron Nagle in a three-piece suit with the brightest red socks. 2) Moving to Seattle for grad school and rolling my pant legs up. (I tell people it’s for the rain, but it’s just style.) And 3) One of my [ceramics] classes pooled together to buy me creative and fun socks. I’ve not looked back since. ~George Rodriguez, ceramist, teacher, Seattle

Collecting studio pottery is more than a passion; it’s an important part of personal identity. These handmade objects placed in our home serve as art and literally reflect the touch of humanity. Furthermore, they, like us all, are intentionally imperfect. Using our handmade dishes and coffee mugs ensures we have a constant dialogue with the creative community. ~Steve Basile, collector, Minneapolis

Every piece I have ever collected has opened my eyes to new grace, values, and ideas. My favorite things are those pieces that have affected me, that delight and inspire me. For example, Tim Tate’s magical glass sculpture, Ode to Joy, transcribes Schiller’s poem into sign language in honor of a deaf Beethoven. Or Marilyn Pappas’ fantastic Artemis and Quiver, created purely with needle and thread. I am in awe. ~Gigi Huberman, collector, philanthropist, ACC trustee, Longboat Key, FL

My husband and I collect three-dimensional crafts with an emphasis on ceramic, glass, and wood sculpture. We are intrigued by the utility, beauty, and unique creativity evidenced through the imagination and talent of the artists we’ve come to know personally over the years. Annually, we celebrate our wedding anniversary with a gift of art. ~Hellena H. Tidwell, collector, civic volunteer, Atlanta

I normally collect plastic trash: used coffee lids, bottle caps, and bags. However, during my residency at the John Michael Kohler Art Center’s Arts/Industry program at Kohler Co., I am collecting ceramic cull [kitchen and bathroom parts with imperfections]. The drains and pipes not only make me think of digestion, but also reveal new and interesting shapes when cut. Butchering toilets, sinks, and urinals has added a new visual vocabulary into my practice. ~Susie Ganch, artist, educator, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA