One-click access to over 250 makers through the Online Artists Directory! Explore Now ×

August/September 2020

August/September 2020

The Beauty Issue

Cover of the Beauty issue of American Craft

We all need beauty, especially in times of challenge and grief. It inspires us to continue on. Even when things are at their toughest, beauty surrounds us – we just have to notice and appreciate it.

But beauty isn’t merely something you see; it engages the other senses, too. You can find it in the conceptual aromas by today’s scent crafters [“The Craft of Scent”]. It’s in the magnetic pull of ochre – a family of earth pigments that plays a vital role in our craft ecosystem [“The Ochre Whisperer”]. And it’s in the sound of a newly restored 19th-century mechanical singing bird box, which prior to its repair had been silent for years [“Beauty After Damage”].

Particularly in craft, beauty is much more than an aesthetic value; it’s also rooted in function – how a tool feels in hand, how well a basket holds belongings, how well a shoe fits, and how many miles of steps it will last. A recent letter to our editors could not have spoken to the theme of this issue more aptly: “A well-made object has value to anyone who uses it,” writes Margaret Diem. “Beauty is not just in the eye of the beholder, but also in the hand of the user.” The team behind American Craft couldn’t agree more.

Experience our magazine as a member

In addition to making all of our nonprofit programs possible, American Craft Council members receive our magazine, access to our shows, and more. Stay connected to the world of making and help grow the number of lives craft has touched.

Join to get your subscription


Feature Articles

Funk and the Spirit

Acclaimed fiber artist Xenobia Bailey’s practice is rooted in African American design aesthetics.

The Ochre Whisperer

Heidi Gustafson’s foraging and archival work connects people to the earth and to their ancestors.

Color Vision

A conversation with Keith Recker on the virtue of natural dyes.

The Craft of Scent

For a growing number of independent scent makers, perfume is a powerful and delightful means of self-expression.

More from This Issue

Beauty issue mixed media cover graphic

From Our Library: Mixed Media

Dive deeper into the themes of the Beauty issue through these four new craft titles, an interactive app, and a podcast specifically for makers.