So much has happened over the past few weeks that I haven't had a chance to write about the delightful few hours spent at the American Craft Council's Baltimore Craft Show. It's an annual treat for me and my friend/publisher Peg Silloway. We both have spent part of our lives working in crafts, and this one day is a chance to recharge our creative batteries and see what's happening in the world of fine handcrafts.
There are some old favorites we always check in with, like glass artist Josh Simpson. His work is exquisite and Peg is a collector. This time while we were visiting his booth the cameraman from Channel 13 was there, and we had fun taking photos of the photographer as he worked and chatted with the artist.
Then are there are the new discoveries. This year we especially liked the familiar objects like old telephones, sneakers, and even a tricycle, that had been covered with colorful beads and turned into brilliant sculptures by Tom and Kathy Wegman. Never saw that before! And then there was Jeffrey Ohwho made the most ingenious and beautiful coffee table I've ever seen. The wooden end blocks each could move to change position and so change the shape of the table. Each of those end blocks was actually a storage cube, and the top was a seat with a pre-carved body shape " tush impression." And it was comfortable!
I was looking for a clock for the kitchen and spent time in this booth that had the shapes I love – squares – in wood, copper, and steel. Beautiful work by Leonie Lacouette.
Peg is a cat lover, of course, and liked the carved cat granite tile by Amy and Jeff Dallas, but took home a small porcelain jar with a miniature mother cat and kitten carving on the top. These were beautifully crafted by Barbara Sebastian and a good addition to her collection of small boxes and other containers. Peg had an extra copy of The Cat Lover's Book of Days with her and was able to barter with the artist toward the price of the jar. Good idea! Peg also bought a neat card holder from Carole Bowns' Buggy Whip Studio; it has a cat on it, of course.
Hanging around with Peg and Russel Ray on AR sure made me gravitate to all the feline art. Did you check out that potty seat above?
We stopped to watch a pottery demonstration (I was a ceramic artist in a former life) for a few minutes and then found some lunch before checking out more of the show. Even though we didn't get through all of it – it's immense! – it was a great day. And you can bet we'll be back again next February when the Baltimore Civic Center becomes a showplace for the best in American crafts again.