Collected & Curated

Collected & Curated

Published on Monday, May 18, 2015. This article appears in the June/July 2015 issue of American Craft Magazine.
Author Staff

Street Craft: Guerrilla Gardening, Yarnbombing, Light Graffiti, Street Sculpture, and More 
By Riikka Kuittinen
Thames & Hudson, $30

Three-dimensional graffiti – including, as Street Craft’s subtitle notes, guerrilla gardening, yarnbombing, and street sculpture – is more ubiquitous than ever. And still this revolutionary, often political (and almost always illegal) art form continues to evolve. Curator Riikka Kuittinen’s new book covers the gamut, from artists such as Magda Sayeg, the “mother of yarnbombing,” who has been taking her craft to the streets for 10 years now, to emerging artists including Isaac Cordal; the inventive Spanish sculptor makes miniature cement statues of world-weary businessmen, placing them in puddles and grass and on the sides of buildings throughout Europe. With detailed photos and personal statements from artists around the globe, even familiar projects (such as Sayeg’s iconic knit-covered bus) are seen anew in this refreshing, comprehensive look at a radical craft practice. ~Jessica Shaykett

The New Artisans II 
By Olivier Dupon
Thames & Hudson, $50

Olivier Dupon opens The New Artisans II with an attractive assertion: “Craft – with a capital C – is no longer a trend; it is at last enshrined in contemporary life.” The skeptic’s reply is that there’s still ground to gain. And yet this volume, with 60 profiles luxuriously dispersed over 300-some pages, is persuasive. It spans mediums, aesthetics, business models, and continents. It features established artists – Diana Fayt, for example, a ceramist for some 30 years – alongside relative newcomers, such as Ladies & Gentlemen studio, founded in 2010 (a year before Dupon’s first New Artisans release). And it succeeds in revealing the threads that connect them all. The composite image is that of a global movement – one that’s growing only stronger. ~Julie K. Hanus

A Teacup Collection: Paintings of Porcelain Treasures 
By Molly Hatch Essay by Kathleen Morris
Chronicle Books, $17

In 2011, ceramist Molly Hatch was invited to the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, to examine the largely unviewed porcelain teacup collection of Francine and Sterling Clark. Captivated by the 270 cups in the collection, most from the mid-18th to early 19th centuries, Hatch took pictures and made notes, certain something would come of the visit. What emerged, ultimately, is this charming book of almost 100 teacup paintings that celebrate the sort of vintage decorative patterns we associate with Hatch’s work. Many of the teacups Hatch painted are accompanied by documentation – year of origin, factory, painters – in quaint hand-lettering. An essay by curator Kathleen Morris recounts how the Clarks came to acquire the teacups, along with paintings, drawings, and silver. A Teacup Collection is sure to delight tea enthusiasts, teacup collectors, and Hatch fans. ~Monica Moses