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What Craft Object Do You Use Most Often?

What Craft Object Do You Use Most Often?

What Craft Object Do You Use Most Often?

February/March 2014 issue of American Craft magazine
Author Staff
Joe Cariati, Glass Decanters

Glass decanters by Joe Cariati. Photo: Phillip Jon Cybulski

I have been told that the former director of the Metal Museum would present his new employees with a pocketknife. I have never been good about carrying a pocketknife and secretly hoped he would carry on the tradition, thinking this would be the one that stuck with me. When it became clear I was on my own, I commissioned Andrew Meers to make a folding knife that is worn as a pendant. I often take its dual purpose for granted (I don’t think TSA would consider it jewelry), but it is always there when I need it. ~Carissa Hussong, executive director, Metal Museum, Memphis, TN

When preparing my home-cooked meals, I always turn to my handmade Japanese kitchen knife. I’ve had it for over 10 years, since college, and it is something that I deeply appreciate for its craftsmanship. I take great care in maintaining it through periodic sharpening on a sharpening stone and properly storing it to prevent damage. Using the knife also allows me to hone my own crafting skills. ~Koji Tanaka, wood sculptor, Santa Barbara, CA

My 8-foot-long oak harvest table was originally given to family friends as a wedding gift in 1937, handcrafted by the bride’s father. They have been married for 76 years now, and for most of that time, the table was home to lively conversations and idea sharing for their family. They gave me the table almost a decade ago, and it continues to serve an important purpose today, as a spot for inspiration and connection as I work. I’m really just a grateful caretaker, and it’s just getting broken in! ~Marcia Young, editor in chief, Fiber Art Now, East Freetown, MA

When I was a young boy, a work of glass that caught my attention in our home was a handcrafted Blenko decanter. This decanter is known as the pinch decanter, as three sides of the vessel were pinched in with a tool. Likewise, the lip of the work was hand-tooled, and thus called my attention not only to the elastic quality of glass, but also the unique residue of the human hand at work. I ended up with this particular decanter in my possession (once age appropriate); it remains one of my favorite unique objects that I reach for on a regular basis. ~Joe Cariati, glassblower and designer, Los Angeles

I’m a letterpress fanatic. When I visit the Franklin Flea or Art Star Craft Bazaar in Philly, I head straight for the paper goods. Black Heart Letterpress has a line of local greeting cards featuring Ben Franklin (veteran printer!), Edgar Allan Poe, and Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture. There’s something really gratifying about being able to mail a handcrafted object that reflects your local scene. ~Sarah Archer, curator and writer, Philadelphia

The everyday use item you can find on my tabletop is a simple wine coaster. These have been around for centuries, and I associate them with community, family, and celebration. I like
to relax with a nice glass of wine after a hard day’s work in the studio, so I keep one of my coasters around and put it to good use. ~Tom Wallick, potter and owner of Wallick Designs, Newport Beach, CA