Spring 2021

Spring 2021


American Craft Spring 2021 Issue Cover

American Craft magazine introduces you to the inspiring people who make up our craft community today. Its pages share artists' stories, shed light on their practices, and reveal the ways making shapes our contemporary lives. To enjoy a full-year subscription to our award-winning publication, become an American Craft Council member today.



From the Editor

Nourish. It’s been a long, difficult, heartbreaking year since the United States went into shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic and experienced widespread social and political upheaval. We’re a nation in shock—and grief.

Here at the American Craft Council, we believe that in this difficult moment craft can console us and offer us a more grounded way forward. Craft connects us to ourselves, our shared humanity, and the land. It inspires us through the beauty of the earth’s materials, the power of creativity, the satisfaction of shaping a well-made thing, and the joy that comes with encountering something wonderful that another person made with their own two hands.

So we offer this issue as a balm, as nourishment in difficult times. We hope that the work of artists who incorporated positive messages into textiles this past year inspires you. We’re delighted to share the visual story of the transformation of grass to wool to blankets in a visual piece about the Nordt Family Farm.

Care is at the heart of most of the stories in this issue. In “A Letter from Penelope”, artist Indira Allegra encourages us to tend to our grief. When writer Jon Spayde reached out to artists to explore the connections between craft and care, he discovered a road map for “Crafting a Culture of Care”; it’s the first article in our new State of Craft series, which explores the cultural significance of craft. Longtime contributor Sarah Archer shares Michele Quan’s tips for nurturing a creative practice, even in challenging times.

I hope you’ll enjoy these and the rest of the moving stories in this issue, which unveils American Craft’s new look, designed to meet this moment in American life, with a nod to the magazine’s history in the new logo.

Now more than ever, after all our country and the world have been through, may you find some comfort and nourishment in these pages, in craft, and in your life. May you find ways to nurture your vision and creativity. May you stay safe and well.


American Craft Council publishes American Craft magazine on a quarterly basis but reserves the right to change the number of issues in an annual term, including discontinuing any format and substituting and/or modifying the manner in which the subscription is distributed.

Feature Articles

From Sheep to Blanket

The story of how the Nordt Family Farm transforms natural and hand-dyed merino wool into finished woven goods.

Circle of Knowledge

ACC's 2020 Craft Labs curator-in-residence recounts how three Ojibwe artists shared their knowledge and mentored each other to evolve their artistic practices.

Crafting a Culture of Care

As we rebuild our collective life, we look to what craft can teach us.

More from This Issue

Glass lemons in a glass bowl

Got Lemons? Make Lemon-Aid.

These glass lemons are part of a project supporting artists by the Museum of Craft and Design and the nonprofit Public Glass, both in San Francisco.
Two artists working on large ceramic vessels at respective tables in studio space with shelves

In Our Studio: Studio Alluvium

Mitch Iburg and Zoë Powell welcome you into their workspace and showroom dedicated to the use of Minnesota clays and minerals.
Embroidery hoop artwork with porcupine quill embedded in honeycomb

Maker: Ava Roth

An encaustic artist who also does embroidery and textile work, Ava Roth says she started collaborating with bees to create art in 2017.
Sarita Westrup weaving a basket

Maker: Sarita Westrup

Weaver and sculptor Sarita Westrup was in high school in the Rio Grande Valley when she watched the PBS show "Craft in America" and first saw a loom on the screen.
Wooden try with black and white mountain pattern on a couch with plant and other objects

Market: Wood Trays for Nourishing Moments

Handcrafted trays help create meaningful experiences—like enjoying breakfast outside in the sunshine, gathering the things you need to care for someone you love, or holding your most treasured objects.
Black pennant with white lettering hanging on wall beside plant

Shining Some Light

Through textile pieces that highlight positive messages, artists such as Jeffrey Gibson, Andy Li, and Roachele Negron of Rayo & Honey are inspiring us to keep seeing the good that surrounds us every day.