Summer reading is something I've kept up even though I've been out of school longer than I was ever in it ... although I usually have a book going at all times, I do go through more during the summer. Perhaps it's the extra hours of daylight - who knows? But this one came with the assignment of talking about it, and so I will.
I received a copy of Vickie Howell's Craft Corps (published by Lark Books) a couple of months ago, and through the recent moving, production, shows and all of life's distractions, it's been a fun little retreat to read about all kinds of crafty folk, how they got started, what motivates and inspires them, etc. It's been an interesting read too as I am in a city and region that is brimming with crafty folk of all kinds, and when I saw the title I expected I'd know most if not all of the names in the book ... not so!
|Vickie Howell, author of Craft Corps|
It's always fun to read about other artists and how they work - what moves them, what scares them, what blows their skirts up. And of course if we artists don't love talking about ourselves, we do love talking about our work, which is the next best way to get us to talk about ourselves. I know this is how I felt when I did an interview myself for Big Fat Art Cloth, which is the blog of art therapist and textile artist K. Crane in Lexington.
|Big Fat Art Cloth recently|
got some blog love
She's developing a series of interviews with artists in all disciplines, and she's asking artists the questions I think she asks herself, and seeing different artists answer similar questions is always illuminating and entertaining (well at least for other artists). I think we artists always want to know how it is for others around us, and the cool thing about the crafting community is that it includes every form of art you can find - if there's an artist, there's a craft involved, and we all want to know what the other is doing, how they're doing it, and what they go through in the process.
See how I relate back to my own craft community? It'll keep happening - that's the glory of the craft community I think, the global appeal and local connection. That and I tend to ramble... oh look, something shiny!
|At the Crafty Chica's blog site|
(she's featured in the book),
you can learn how to make a wall sconce
out of a plastic shopping bag - awesome!
|Project Runway winner and master crafter|
Jay McCarroll is also profiled...
DC peeps will find him and his cool designs
at the Oct. 2 Crafty Bastard.
I know in every corner of the planet there are volumes' worth of people who are crafting from the most quiet level of basement/bedroom tatting to indie-designer to Lady GaGa's personal stylist (ok that's not my medium but how crazy fun would that be?!).
|Lady GaGa is working with|
some very crafty people...
'art masquerading as craft, craft masquerading as art'
|RetroCrafts, by Suzie Millions|
incredible artists/crafters like Brooke Priddy, exquisite designer and owner of Ship to Shore, Suzie Millions of .. just about every cool craft known (and who has written books of her own), Carol Motley of Bury Me Naturally, making the most personal kind of craft imaginable, each of the dedicated artists and crafters who sat in the rain for this weekend's 2nd Saturday Artist Market hawking their wares, and of course clay crafters like ... well, ok, me if I'm writing the book, Becca Floyd who creates layers of texture with stamps and glaze in her functional ware, The Button Florist Celia Barbieri who makes bouquets that never die...
|potter heather tinnaro with|
Empty Bowls founder John Hartom
crafters who spread the love like the artists and crafters involved in the annual Asheville Empty Bowls Project, including Empty Bowls founders John Hartom and Lisa Blackburn, everyone at the newly minted Dry Goods Shop (home of the United Craft Front) where you can either bring your craft for guidance and community or go learn it from the start, Laurie Corral of Asheville Bookworks, where letter press and hand made books come alive for the experienced and the newly smitten...
|ubiquitous Chocolate Lounge plug...|
this is the Theros, Orange & Fennel Truffle.
Seriously crafty little nugget of bliss.
and how about Dan and Jael Rattigan of French Broad Chocolate Lounge (seriously, can she write a post without a ChoLo shout out? ...er, no.), Jody Rhoden of Short Street Cakes (who is also on a tour of Cake Ladies for her own book), Suzy Phillips of Gypsy Queen Cuisine, potentially Zeytoon and hopefully soon the coolest mobile kitchen serving the best hand-crafted savories you've ever tasted (you think craft can't be edible? why do they call it craft services?)
Like I said, there are many more chapters to be written and new ones in development every day, and each interview I read made me think of ten more crafty folk I know - I bet you know some too. And those I listed above merely scratch the surface and that's just here in Asheville. I could come up with equally long lists for Atlanta, Chicago and DC (my former resident cities), and don't even get me started on what's going on in my home state of Vermont - the craft movement is indeed alive, growing and thriving. If you don't see it all around you, you're just not paying attention.
|actually, click here|
Pick up a copy of Craft Corps and get your own crafty mojo bubbling! And...if you come see me at Echo Gallery at Biltmore Park next Friday or Saturday (September 17 or 18) and are the first one to say you saw it here, you can have my dog-eared copy to read yourself! And in the spirit of true craft-hood, I'll just ask you to pass it on to the next crafter you see after you finish. Unless of course you use it to create an incredible work of craft ... like a chandelier (no, too martha...), or perhaps a yurt for your dog (now that's a good thing!). Go get yer craft on! peace.