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December/January 2020

December/January 2020

December/January 2020 American Craft cover


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At the end of the year, days are short, yet remain rich with the promise of becoming long again. It’s a time when many of us reflect on our triumphs, our losses, the lessons we’ve learned, and the changes we’d like to cultivate in our lives.

In this issue, American Craft showcases both reflections on the year coming to a close and opportunities offered by the new one.

Sarah Archer writes about the value of artist residencies, which provide makers much needed time and space to experiment, to learn new skills, and, perhaps most importantly, to fail. (We hope the sampling of residencies inspires readers to make time for handwork in 2020.)

Cleveland clay artist Angelica Pozo, who recently paid off her mortgage, offers practical advice for making ends meet while also nourishing creative expression.

Bill May leads a tour of the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts’ East Tennessee campus as he shares how, with tenacity and an open heart, he’s helped rescue the school from disaster – twice – and secure its future.

Scholar, metalsmith, and futurist Beatriz Cortez presents sculptures for re-envisioning society.

And we survey exhibition highlights from the past year, noting popular themes – climate change and shared authority among them – that reflect prominent discussions and debates in the US today.

As you turn this issue’s pages, we invite you to reflect on the vital role of handwork in your own life. We also welcome you to join us as we step into the new year energized by the thinking and opportunities within our diverse and dynamic craft community.

Feature Articles

Deep Roots

Fire and finances brought the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts to the brink. A strong community and a dynamic leader came to the rescue.

Imagining New Worlds

LA metal artist Beatriz Cortez looks to the past and to the present to inspire groundbreaking visions of the future.

In Focus

Museum professionals take the pulse of American craft on the eve of a new decade by writing about pieces they exhibited in 2019.

Experimental Spaces

For makers eager to explore materials and techniques, residencies offer a mix of challenge and mentorship.

More from This Issue

Bar None Hat Company hat

Bar None Hat Company

In a small Nebraska town, Kaycee Orr-Hoffman of Bar None Hat Company makes fashionable, utilitarian hats for ranchers.
Albert Pantone Knotweed Lamp

Climate Change

Art raising the issue of climate change greets commuters in downtown Pittsburgh’s busy Steel Plaza transit station.
Alice Kagawa Parrott at the loom

Encountering Alice Kagawa Parrott

The practice of fiber artist Alice Kagawa Parrott (1929 – 2009) springs to new life in slides uncovered in the American Craft Council’s Archives.
Ashley Willemain cufflinks


Lunar-inspired craft shines 50 years after the moon landing.
David Colton Untitled

New Year, New Glass

An annual publication by the Corning Museum of Glass chronicles developments in the field.
Cliff Lee vessels

Shows to See: December / January 2020

Fiber art inspired by internet memes is on view in California, makers present stories of the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts, and in Asheville, North Carolina, contemporary Appalachian craft is celebrated.
Taisha Carrington Bun Halo

Taisha Carrington

A jewelry series by Taisha Carrington untangles complicated beliefs about natural hair.