By Regina Connell.
American Craft Council‘s show in San Francisco is always good, but this year, ACC decided to shake things up a little: lots of new artists, new work by returning artists, a collaboration with California College of the Arts … and Handful of Salt jurying the Awards of Excellence and the award for best booth design.
Big honor. Big fun.
Armed with our Modern Design meets Craft lens, Nicole Bemboom and I made our way through the show (featuring the work of over 250+ artisans) and made our picks. Here are the award-winners, and some of our other favorites.
The claxons went off in our heads the minute we spied SF-based John Liston’s booth. Gorgeous orange metal chairs, a couple of to-die-for lamps, and a stunning wood sideboard we wanted to steal right off the floor.
Sexy, refined, sublime. You’ll be hearing more about this talent: check back here.
The show was particularly heavy on jewelry, but the amazing Brandon Holschuh from Ohio was the standout. Big, bold, organic, and a little badass, the look was amazing. But what really blew us away was the obsessive commitment to process and detail. It didn’t end there, though. He creates mini-stands for the jewelry, so when you’re not wearing them, they can become art. So really, it’s a two-fer, and that justifies the investment, no? We think so. And oh, and did we mention he is one great guy? He is.
Glass is so terribly hard to get modern and crisp, but hope springs eternal, and sometimes, we get lucky. Thank you, Nick Leonoff, for restoring our faith. We particularly loved the sandblasted glass vessels carved with cross-hatches and dots. We’d be proud to have these pieces in our homes. It’s just a matter of which to choose.
The ebullient, creative, talented Emiko Oye of Reware style (jewelry out of LEGO and recycled materials) was the hands-down winner for best booth design. Managing to be both girly and architectural (don’t try this at home, folks: leave it to pro’s like Emiko) the booth design and implementation showed off the real craft of display (all those white boxes, put together just like her jewelry). You can see and feel the love, sweat, and tears that went into this.
Also deserving of our love? The gorgeous jewelry (our big show acquisition) and snakeskin (yes snakeskin) work of newcomer Aliyah Gold.
We also coveted the work of Julia Turner – all clean, spare lines, highly graphical jewelry, perfect for that black-based wardrobe.
The jewelry of another newcomer, Ruth (Ruta) Reifen, was charming, accessible, sculptural, romantic … and uses auto paint. Highly covetable.
And finally, there were some great ceramists there: the breathtakingly simple, strong lines of Lilith Rockett and the gorgeous, sinuous, modern-romantic lines of Massachusetts-based Jennifer McCurdy (loving her porcelain Ribbon vessels).