Saturday, February 26, 2011

why we need fine craft

I have been thinking a lot these last couple days about why we need fine craft. Indeed we discussed this very issue at a Table Topics I went to before the Baltimore Show opened up. A good question. One feeling is that we need to have that connection with the maker in today's world. How true that is when we can just go down to the local mall and buy whatever we want made in China or maybe Singapore--does that even matter.

But I think there is an even more important reason we need fine craft and that is that we need something to aspire to. By being well made it reminds us of what we as a people are capable of making. We need to marvel at the creative process and the creator and feel humbled by them.

I think I will have more to say on this--it is early Saturday morning after an eleven hour day at the show and another eight hour day today.  This has been my home away from home for a number of days now--Booth 1122. Yes, I do have neighbors now.

So for now let me just share some images of work that I admire and hope that you will enjoy it.

First here is the work of Gabrielle Kanter. These are floor cloths made by cutting the canvas and then stitching it back together in wonderful designs. This is the first time I have seen her work--indeed it is the first time she has done this show--but I was struck by the simple beauty of her rugs and the lush wonderful colors. For more info her web site is Aren't they wonderful?

Next I stop and visit my friend Nell Devitt from Indiana. I have known Nell and her husband Will for a long long time. She makes absolutely wonderful wall pieces of fired clay. So simple and yet so complex in their design. And yes if you look closely you can see that she even does add a bit of color to her work--I always kid her about that. Most of the pieces are large but a few are small studies that can be grouped in sets. For more info:

How essential and honest I feel her work is.

These are a couple of her smaller pieces only a few inches in height. The color is more pronounced in them if you look closely.

Finally I stopped by the booth of Erin Wilson--a wonderful quilt maker whose work I have admired for several years. It turns out she also grew up in Indiana where as a child she went to craft shows with her parents. I guess sometimes it just gets in the blood. She makes her blocks herself as inspiration strikes her. Look at the detail on the pieces. For more info check out

These are small works--about the size of Nell's small blocks. Aren't they fun?

Great detail. Sometimes she pieces them together into larger quilts. Just look at the wonderful quilting on this piece.

And then sometimes she joins them using the colors of the blocks she has created to form the patterns of the quilts. Amazing work isn't it?

So what do you think? Work to be inspired by? Work to admire? I think I will have more to say but now off to my own booth.


  1. Thanks for these links--so beautiful, all of them! Good luck at the show.

  2. I'm crossing my fingers for all of you!
    (Erin and her work, are particular favorites of mine.)

  3. Thank you Ann, for posting these images and words. We have shared ideas and experiences about making art for many years and I continue to find your work fascinating and "new".

  4. Thanks, Ann. A very nice p0st and beautiful w0rk fr0m all f0ur 0f y0u. It is especially exciting t0 see s0mething new in fl00rcl0ths. I l00k f0rward t0 seeing them in per0n.

  5. Hi, Ann -- I couldn't agree more completely about the need for fine craft (and thank goodness for wonderful weekend neighbors!)It was just lovely meeting you and spending the weekend looking at your beautiful work.

  6. Thanks everyone. Susan--I see what you mean about your blog--it is truly special.