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August/September 2019

August/September 2019

August/September 2019 cover


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If all the world’s a stage, then craftspeople are its builders. Yet because craft, like the air we breathe, is such an integral part of our lives, we don’t always notice the vital supporting role it plays. This issue, we’re turning the spotlight on the often overlooked theatrical artisans who make the props, sets, costumes, puppets, instruments, and wigs –yes, wigs – that bring a show to life.

You’ll meet luthier Anne Cole, who has been making custom violins, violas, and cellos that have filled the world with music for close to 50 years. Wayne White’s name might not immediately ring a bell, but you’ll likely recognize his outrageous puppets and set pieces from Pee-wee’s Playhouse. Brooklyn dancer, musician, and costume and fashion designer Wunmi has made an impact in just about every area of performance. And then there’s the Guthrie Theater’s wig team, which welcomed us into their Minneapolis studio to learn about their craft.

The stage is a fascinating place, but what goes on behind its curtains can be even more captivating. So, theater craftspeople, take a bow. You’re in the spotlight now.

Find it on newsstands now or in your mailbox as an American Craft Council membership benefit.


Feature Articles

Made to Move

The clothing of musician, dancer, and designer Wunmi captures and encourages a vibrant, joyful life.

Life on Earth

With her beaded figures, Betsy Youngquist speaks to the enduring power of mystery and imagination.

Crowning Achievements

Theatrical wigs and the stories they tell take center stage.

King of the Weird Frontier

Wayne White’s outsized imagination and sense of humor have taken him from Pee-wee’s Playhouse to music videos and art galleries.

More from This Issue

Anne Cole

Anne Cole

New Mexico luthier Anne Cole builds violins that are custom in both look and sound.
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Bright Future

Hoi An, Vietnam, has become a tourism hotspot, thanks in large part to its artisan legacy.
Cyclepedia cover

From Our Library

Explore 90 years of bicycle design and learn about handmade masks from Mexico. Plus: A must-listen-to podcast on makers from traditional mediums and emerging ones, too.
Positano hat by Tracywatts Inc.

Lazy Days

Make the most of your summer with handmade gear for maximum relaxation.
Christine Jones Maquette for Spring Awakening

Maquettes at the McNay

All the world’s a teeny-tiny stage at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, home to an impressive theater arts collection.
Sofía Padilla and Davey T. Steinman

Paradox Teatro

International puppet company Paradox Teatro bridges cultures using music, movement, and technology.
Yinka Shonibare, Planets in My Head (Trumpet Girl)

Starry Sound

To perform is to distill, to share accumulated knowledge in the moment through a personal perspective.