Whose Work Are You Admiring Now?

Whose Work Are You Admiring Now?

Published on Monday, March 21, 2011. This article appears in the April/May 2011 issue of American Craft Magazine.

Logan Hirsh; Faith, detail

In each issue, we ask members of the craft community to answer a question. For the April/May 2011, we asked, "Who's work are you admiring now?"

Tonya Hedgeman

The movement, grace, and delicate forms solidify my continued admiration for the work of [ceramic artist] Jennifer McCurdy. Each piece tells a story of simplicity and of a natural existence. I appreciate her unique expression; to me, that should be the goal of every artist. Other artists that continue to capture my admiration are [sculptural ceramist] Ron Artman, for the sense of fire and warmth that he brings to his forms, which are reminiscent of an ancient time; [portrait sculptor] Philippe Faraut, who seems to breathe life into clay; [potter] Shuji Ikeda, for his intricate craftsmanship; and the masters of old, M.C. Escher and Frank Lloyd Wright. ~Tonya Hedgeman, ceramic artist, Woodstock, GA

Dennis StevensLately i have been captivated by the work of the German porcelain manufacturer Nymphenburg. The company has partnered with artists and designers since the mid-18th century, and today they are a luxury brand that is known for impeccable craftsmanship and high-quality design. I find their work to be both conceptually and visually sophisticated. For example, I am really fond of Khashayar Naimanan's Hidden Wealth series, which challenges the social conventions of the traditional porcelain dinner service. Also, if I thought I could get away with it stylistically, I would totally rock one of Patrik Muff's Bone pendants. ~Dennis Stevens, doctor of education, and art, craft, and design interlocutor, New York

Lin Nelson-MaysonAnna Lee makes exotic head coverings under the name Ruby3. A Minneapolis-based designer, she creates frothy fascinators, cozy winter hoods, and dramatic headdresses, exploring the range of the milliner's art. Her innovative headwear demands recognition for its unique personalities. Anna is also the founder of MNFashion, a rapidly growing nonprofit that promotes and provides resources for dynamic apparel designers in the Twin Cities, and the producer of "Voltage: Fashion Amplified," an annual fashion show featuring local designers and musicians. ~Lin Nelson-Mayson, director, Goldstein Museum of Design, St. Paul, MN

Michael LamarJustin Rothshank of Goshen, Indiana, and Bryan Hopkins of Buffalo, New York, are earnest potters who are producing fresh and beautiful work. They are relatively young and stylistically different in approach and intent. Whether it's ridiculously loose thrown tableware paired with decals (Justin), or massive hunks and delicate sheets of porcelain paired with gold luster (Bryan), their pieces capture the visceral nature of clay with all its vitality and wit. There's also irony in what they do, but it isn't cynical. Seeing this work makes me excited and optimistic, and also hopeful about the future of our field. ~Michael Lamar, Altamira Lighting, American Craft Council trustee, Providence, RI

Stephanie SwindleI'm admiring the young talent in the metals world these days and am looking forward to their contributions to the field. Una Barrett, a jewelry artist from Asheville, North Carolina, is someone to watch. As far as blacksmiths go, Logan Hirsh (an SIU-Carbondale alum, Rickert-Ziebold Trust Award winner, and Metal Museum artist-in-residence) is incredibly talented. I've also got to give it to "The York" (Jason York, another SIU-Carbondale alum). These three artists are at the top of my list. ~Stephanie Swindle, marketing and exhibitions coordinator, Metal Museum, Memphis, TN

Antonia Boström

British ceramic artist Edmund de Waal is renowned for his restrained, monochrome pots grouped in ensembles, often in architectural settings. His aesthetic betrays a training within the British studio pottery tradition and his study of Japanese ceramics. More recently, he has been working on a larger scale, as witnessed by his commission Signs and Wonders for the cupola in the newly reinstalled Ceramics Galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Simultaneously with his ceramics, de Waal's moving biography of his paternal family, recounted in The Hare with Amber Eyes (2010), has brought him great public acclaim as an author, as well as garnering various national book awards. ~Antonia Boström, senior curator of sculpture and decorative arts, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Anthony TammaroRecently i have become very interested in the work of Joseph Gower, who is trained in the traditional craft medium of ceramics. At present he is exploring new technology to expand his vocabulary as an object maker and designer. His thought process begins with form and content supported by precision and craftsmanship. Recently we have begun a collaboration that combines our expertise in the handmade and digitally based processes to create domestic utilitarian objects. ~Anthony Tammaro, artist, Conshohocken, PA