The Queue: Sylvie Rosenthal
The Queue: Sylvie Rosenthal
Get to know the people featured in the pages of our magazine as they share what's inspiring them right now.
Welcome to the Flourish series of The Queue
A biweekly roundup for and by the craft community, The Queue introduces you to the artists, curators, organizers, and more featured in the current issue of American Craft. We invite these inspiring individuals to share personally about their lives and work as well as what's inspiring them right now.
Carrying craft into a more inclusive and sustainable future
Featured in the Summer issue of American Craft, Sylvie Rosenthal is an artist and educator based in Madison, Wisconsin, "who has become known for sculptural pieces that are whimsical, often surreal, and always challenging." She currently maintains a studio practice making furniture, production work, and sculpture, and teaches the Fundamentals of Construction at Madison College’s Construction and Remodeling Program. @boat_boat @lower.astronomy
How do you describe your work or practice?
Artist, designer, woodworker, sculptor, and educator.
The past year has presented many challenges, from a global pandemic to renewed urgency around issues of racial equity and police brutality. As we slowly move into a post-pandemic world, how are you finding beauty and staying grounded?
Whew. The past year has been a lot for everyone. I have put my energy into supporting my community and being part of the pivot into the new worlds that will become, decolonizing craft and building dynamic and inclusive structures of support and resilience.
The theme of the current issue of American Craft is "Flourish." Can you reflect on that theme as it relates to your work and practice?
The currently flowering trees allow me to remember that there is always growth, loss, overflow, excess, beauty, healing, and remainders. Flourishing has many attachments, and I gently remind myself that "success on someone else’s terms don’t mean a f*@#ing thing” (the Old 97’s).
What has been the biggest barrier you have had to break through to get to the place you’re at with your career?
I am a person of privilege, and it has been a process learning to trust myself, my skill, and my value as a queer, female-bodied craftsperson.
Being OK with people not fully understanding my work, that it can be enigmatic, problematic, beautiful, well made, humorous in places, and not digested easily in a single serving, and that it may evade a static definition.
The currently flowering trees allow me to remember that there is always growth, loss, overflow, excess, beauty, healing, and remainders.
What’s one of your go-to/favorite tools in your toolkit that the world should know about?
The Mora 120 Woodcarving Knife is a fantastic, well made, and inexpensive carving knife that is used daily in in my studio. @morakniv
What’s an exhibition or art project you think the world should know about, and why?
I support of the work of organizations that are inclusive and forward-thinking in terms of building equitable and sustainable craft futures. I am a proud to have been a board member of CERF+ (they do amazing work). I am inspired by and support newer orgs like A Workshop of Our Own, Crafting the Future, GEEX, and Girls Garage. @cerfplus @aworkshopofourown @crafting_the_future @geexglass @_girlsgarage
Inspired by the people featured in The Queue?
Dive deeper into their work in the pages of American Craft magazine. Become a member of the American Craft Council to get a subscription and help fund a range of nonprofit programs that elevate the craft community.