Who's Your Platonic Craft Crush?

Who's Your Platonic Craft Crush?

Published on Monday, February 13, 2012. This article appears in the February/March 2012 issue of American Craft Magazine.
Author Staff
Who is your Craft Crush?

Sylvie Rosenthal has been my longtime craft crush. She and her sculptures are vivacious, inventive, and endlessly energetic. I’m drawn to her detailed methods of construction in which she celebrates a certain simplicity, but her language is complex, fresh, imaginative, and magical. She’s able to combine beauty and humor with immaculate construction and remarkable conceptual depth. She is fearless.
~Carr McCuiston, owner, Signature Gallery, Atlanta

I am craft-crushing on Christina Bothwell. She masterfully employs a mix of mediums such as clay, wood, glass, paint, found objects, roadkill taxidermy – whatever – into hauntingly compelling sculpture. Although some might describe Bothwell’s sculpture as dark, I see it as work that redefines beauty and perfection. Her poetic, narrative figures ask us to go deeper, to go under the surface in our interactions, relationships, and connections. Underneath the neat and tidy surface, where fears, flaws, and decline might reside, there exists the potential for renewal. Her work leaves me gobsmacked.
~Michael Janis, co-director, Washington Glass School and Studio, Mount Rainier, MD

By my taste, the Italian jeweler Giovanni Corvaja is the finest goldsmith working today. His work leaves me in awe. He set the insane objective of trying to find a way to make gold feel like rabbit fur. His spectacular Headpiece, the crowning achievement of his Golden Fleece series, is composed of more than 5 million single gold wires, with a total length of 99 miles. It required more than 2,500 hours of labor.
~Donald Friedlich, jewelry artist, Madison, WI

I have a craft crush on Wharton Esherick, the granddaddy of all of us studio woodworkers. He defined the genre, yet managed to transcend it as well. He embodied the contradictions that lie at the heart of 20th-century craft: romantic and financially impractical, yet also joyfully inventive and productive and individual. His work combines prisms, facets, and curvaceous elements in a cohesive exuberance. It’s delicate and chunky; it’s quirky and it’s archetypal. I would love to have spent a day working with him.
~Laura Mays, lead instructor, College of the Redwoods Fine Woodworking Program, Fort Bragg, CA

My current crush is on the late fashion de-signer Alexander McQueen and on the many craftspeople who helped him execute his remarkable vision. I visited the retrospective of his work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in July, and I was blown away. The attention paid to each and every detail of his designs, whether the embroidery of a kimono fabric or the tailoring of a jacket, was exquisite. I’m still poring over the exhibition catalog, examining every inch of those amazing clothes and accessories for inspiration.
~Beth Blankenship, bead artist, Anchorage, AK

 

Curious about more crushes? See our staff picks in "Who's Your Craft Crush" and be sure to share your crushes with us.