Bookmarks with Heather Carroll

Bookmarks with Heather Carroll

Heather Carroll

Heather Carroll; Photo: Courtesy of Heather Carroll

Thanks to the Windgate Museum Internship Program, administered by the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design, we recently welcomed graduate student Heather Carroll to the ACC Library. Carroll is an art historian with an interest in museums and archives – a knowledge base she'll be putting to good use while processing archival film footage at the ACC. We'll be sharing more of Heather's archival findings this summer, but in the meantime, here are a few interesting resources Carroll has already found.   

If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?
The title of my autobiography would be Curiouser and Curiouser (inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland) because I am often so surprised and intrigued by life that I forget to speak good English – but I’ll never stop trying. My kids, now 3 and 6, are ever-curious, ever-learning, ever-growing, and ever-changing. It’s inspiring to witness, and I think it rubs off on me too. Just like them, the more I learn and do, the more I want to learn and feel empowered to do something with it. This same drive has led me to pursue a graduate degree in Library and Information Science, where curiosity, sharing, and facilitation are all key components. This pursuit binds together so many loose threads of my previous experiences into one strong rope. 

Who in the art/craft/design world do you love to follow on social media?
I’d follow Colossal anywhere, on social media or otherwise – they love art and material culture, and they sprinkle it with science and wit. I also love seeing what my friends at Alice Tacheny Design (Facebook and Instagram) and 44 Clovers are up to. Stylistically, they are at opposite ends of the spectrum – Alice Tacheny Design’s spare and refined simplicity in furniture and home accessories versus 44 Clovers' tactile exploration of slow textiles, from sourcing local fibers to spinning to dying with foraged natural materials and finally the knitting. Despite these differences, I find their dedication to expressing their ideals with their chosen material and medium is in many ways very similar and inspirational.

What are your favorite print and digital items in the ACC Library? Name one of each and why.
Recently I’ve been exploring Asilomar, the first conference of American craftsmen, on the ACC blog and in the digital collections. Can you imagine being a time-traveling fly on the wall at a conference with Sam Maloof, Charles Eames, Anni Albers, Edith Heath, and Jack Lenore Larson, among others, and listening to them talk about the state of craft, and craftsmen of all types, and trying to answer many of the same questions we still ask today? It was truly an historic and fascinating event – and there’s so much material to explore.

I’m continually astounded by the magazine selection at the ACC Library: more than 150 current subscriptions, all art- and craft-related. I gravitate to the magazine format both for its breadth of form and its conciseness of delivery. Two of my current favorites to peruse are Uppercase for its gorgeous, bright design and curation and Archives of American Art Journal because what goes into making an artwork and the behind-the-scenes lives of the artists are just as captivating and relevant as the art itself.

Where do you go to be inspired?
I find museums and long hikes in nature very inspiring, but I don’t have a lot of free time. I try to find inspiration close to home by simply going outside, trying an old thing in a new way, or just hanging out with my kids (who have no shortage of curiosity, enthusiasm, or inspiration) to see what their brains conjure up. I don’t think inspiration is necessarily momentous, but more often something smaller, full of little bits and glimmers.

Heather Carroll is a graduate student at St. Catherine University spending the summer interning with the ACC Library as part of the Windgate Museum Internship Program. Bookmarks is a series exploring what people are reading in print and online and where they find inspiration.