August/September 2020

August/September 2020

The Beauty Issue
Cover of the Beauty issue of American Craft

We all need beauty, especially in times of challenge and grief. It inspires us to continue on. Even when things are at their toughest, beauty surrounds us – we just have to notice and appreciate it.

But beauty isn’t merely something you see; it engages the other senses, too. You can find it in the conceptual aromas by today’s scent crafters [“The Craft of Scent”]. It’s in the magnetic pull of ochre – a family of earth pigments that plays a vital role in our craft ecosystem [“The Ochre Whisperer”]. And it’s in the sound of a newly restored 19th-century mechanical singing bird box, which prior to its repair had been silent for years [“Beauty After Damage”].

Particularly in craft, beauty is much more than an aesthetic value; it’s also rooted in function – how a tool feels in hand, how well a basket holds belongings, how well a shoe fits, and how many miles of steps it will last. A recent letter to our editors could not have spoken to the theme of this issue more aptly: “A well-made object has value to anyone who uses it,” writes Margaret Diem. “Beauty is not just in the eye of the beholder, but also in the hand of the user.” The team behind American Craft couldn’t agree more.

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Featured Articles

Institute for Art and Olfaction workshop student

The Craft of Scent

For a growing number of independent scent makers, perfume is a powerful and delightful means of self-expression.

In This Issue