Friday, December 23, 2011

Craft in America Study Center

Craft in America Study Center is now open on Sundays for the month of December. So come on down to read a book from our library, we have a great selection of books or, you can come watch a video from our PBS collection that shows and shares the beauty and originality that art has to offer. Our 80s exhibition is still up so, if you haven't gotten the chance to view it there's still some time left. We hope to see you soon. May you all have a great Christmas!!! And we can't wait to ring in the New Year with you all!!!

Golden State of Craft: California 1960-1986

The Golden State of Craft exhibition is coming to an end on January 8, 2012. If you haven’t gotten the chance to view the show, now would be the perfect time. Don’t miss out on this wonderful experience and head down to CAFAM to view the exhibition.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Garry Knox Bennett

Tonight November 17, 2011 Craft in America presents a talk by Garry Knox Bennett. Bennett is a furniture maker who works in Oakland. He is most well known for his chairs and use of conventional woods and unusual materials such as plywood, aluminum, steel, and plastics.

The talk starts at 7pm and there is free parking behind the Freehand Gallery

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hand-built Traditions of a Northern California

Rooted in Place: The Hand-Built Northern California Studios of Craftsman Arthur Espenet Carpenter & Sculptor J.B. Blunk
A talk by Katie Nartonis, Junior Specialist and Business Manager, 20th Century Decorative Arts, Bonhams & Butterfields
Thursday, NOV 10, 7pm in the Study Center.
Parking behind Freehand Gallery.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Legacy of the California Design Exhibitions: Creating a Forum for Craft and Design

November 12 9:30 am–4 pm

Organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art with the Craft and Folk Art Museum and the Craft in America Study Center, this all-day program explores the rich heritage of the California Design exhibitions held at the Pasadena Art Museum between 1954 and 1976. It includes panel discussions with curators and artists involved in the exhibitions, as well as screenings of period and recent documentaries. Attendees may visit California Design, 1930-1965: “Living in a Modern Way” at LACMA and the related Golden State of Craft exhibition across the street at the Craft and Folk Art Museum.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036

Bing Theater

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A place to sketch, doodle, read and research!

Come Study at the Center! Bring a sketchbook or notebook and hang out with us. Come by, set a spell and fuel your creative ideas by studying past and present artists.
Our Study Center has cool and hard-to-find books and magazines about the craft of CERAMICS, METAL, FIBER, PAPER, GLASS, WEAVING, JEWELRY and even more!
Bring your school group! View an episode of Craft in America!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Our New Addition

The Study Center just a got a table for all of you to sit, enjoy, and relax as you read a book out of our library collection or just to sit back and view all of the beautiful art work that we have on display. We hope you like our new addition and we hope to see you soon.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Steven Portigal

Craft in America Study Center would like to invite all of YOU to the Steven Portigal lecture. Steven Portigal is a Ceramic Artist and Teacher and he will be HERE at Craft in America on Saturday, October 29, 2011. The lecture starts at 7 pm and we hope to see you all there.

RSVP: (310) 659-9022 or (323) 951-0610

The event is FREE

Friday, October 14, 2011

Steven Portigal Lecture

Craft in America would like to invite everyone on Saturday October 29, 2011 at 7 to hear a lecture by Steven Portigal. Its going to be a fun filled night and we hope to see you all.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

FAMILY episode on PBS

FAMILY episode premieres on PBS, Monday October 17, 2011

Featuring the Georgia based Moulthrop family, the Seattle based Marioni family, the Lee family of Pennsylvania, and the Sorrell family of Oklahoma.

*Check your local listings
Most stations will air FAMILY at 10 pm but some stations may differ.

For example, KCTS in Seattle will air on 10/23 at 5pm, WMHT in NY will air on 10/23 at 6pm, Georgia PB will air 10/24 at 7pm

Golden State of Craft: California 1960-1985

There was a great turn out at the Golden State of Craft: California 1960-1985 exhibition this passed weekend. There is still time to check it out. It's on view at CAFAM: September 25, 2011- January 8, 2012. There's a great catalog available as well so don't forget to pick up a copy.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Lecture Series

Craft in America has some upcoming Lecture Series coinciding with CAFAM's exhibit:

Maloof Woodworking.....Oct. 6, 6-8pm, Lecture at 7pm

Gerard O'Brien..... Oct. 13, 6-8pm, Lecture at 7pm

Steven Portigal..... Oct 29, 6-8pm, Lecture at 7pm

Katie Nartonis..... Nov. 10, 6-8pm, Lecture at 7pm

Gary Knox Bennett..... Nov. 17, 6-8pm, Lecture at 7pm or (310) 659-9022

Golden State of Craft: California 1960-1985

CAFAM and Craft in America have partnered together to commence a monumental exhibition; Golden State of Craft: California 1960-1985. This exhibition celebrates the groundbreaking craft artists and designers who flourished in California during a historic time of change. The works produced during these years propelled craft into new, uncharted directions that have had a lasting impact on contemporary art practices.

The opening reception is Saturday, September 24, 6-9pm and the exhibition will be up from September 25, 2011- January 8, 2012.

The Eighties

In conjunction with the Getty Institutes Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980, and to celebrate a golden era of craft in California, Freehand Gallery and Craft in America Study Center present "the Eighties." The Eighties is an exhibition of young artists from the 80s who've become today's leaders and teachers of the art world. Come check out the exhibition its from Sept. 17- Oct.29

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Check Out the Library

Craft in America has a great library with a pretty wide variety of books, magazines, DVDs, and much more. Our library collection contains materials on ceramics, jewelry, design, metal, glass, weaving, and much more. A book in the library that was quite fascinating is Weird California. The book mentions and gives the reader an idea of where the bizarre sites can be located such as; haunted houses, or places, celebrity graves, the Screaming Tree and much more. The book is very insightful; it mentions a lot of history and fun facts. If you want more information on this book or any other books or materials don't be shy to stop by and check out the library or gallery.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Ramona Otto: Found in America exhibition is coming to an end

Craft in America is still exhibiting, Ramona Otto:Found in America. Come check out her creative and clever sculptural pieces about modern America before it's too late. The exhibition is coming to an end on August 20, 2011. Hurry!!! there's still time to check out the exhibition. Hope to see all of you there.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Educational Outreach: 'Imaginary Landscape' picture book made of monotype prints ...

Recently, eleven 7-8 year old children from Park Century School had fun making monotypes with Los Angeles artist Christina Carroll and her small press. The kids expresses themselves with water soluble ink to make landscapes, tying in their curriculum at school. Their original prints were made into an accordion book and given to the school, and each child received a color reproduction of their collaborative book. Happy Summer kids! We loved having their energy and look forward to the Fall.

We want YOU kids! Cool exhibits and creative artists await to work with you, your teachers and your school curriculum. Come play with us here at the Craft in America Study Center!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sneak Peek: New Craft in America episode premieres May 24th!

Craft in America is proud to announce the latest episode of our Peabody-Award winning PBS series! 

The episode Messages will premiere nationwide Tuesday, May 24th at 8pm. In this episode we will explore how craft artists use their skills to express personal and political view points. Featured are glass artist Beth Lipman, bead artist Joyce J. Scott, New Mexico santero (an artist who creates santos) Charles M. Carrillo, and jewelry and sculpture artist Thomas Mann. To start exploring the theme of messages, check out this clip of curator George Ciscle discussing the work of Joyce J. Scott.

Curator George Ciscle, seated in front of Rodin's "The Thinker" at the Baltimore Museum of Art, explores the messages embedded in various pieces of Joyce J. Scott's work, including the "No Mommy, Me" series and "Man Eating Watermelon".

Learn More About Beth Lipman Here! 
Learn More About Charles M. Carrillo Here! 
Learn More About Joyce J. Scott Here! 
Learn More About Thomas Mann Here! 

Sneak Peek: Romana Otto's Americana Assemblages

Here at the Craft in America Study Center we are prepping for our upcoming exhibition, Ramona Otto: Found in America. Ramona Otto is a local craftsperosn and teacher who uses found materials to create witty sculptural pieces about modern American. Just in time for the summer patriotic holidays, this exhibition will focus on Ramona's  patriotic pieces. 

Ramona Otto's American Childhood

Detail of American Childhood

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Book Arts Pioneers: Hedi Kyle

During our Book Arts exhibition we had an especially wonderful visitor, who talked with me about the work of Hedi Kyle. Ms. Kyle is both a highly regarded book conservator and book artist. I find this combination of roles, one dedicated to the preservation of an existing structure, and one to exploring the seemingly never ending possibilities of structure, to be truly fascinating. Ms. Kyle has reflected about her different roles:

In my daily work as a book conservator I utilize constructions and binding techniques that have proven sound by the test of time and use. Here I do not venture beyond the acceptable methods of my profession.

In my personal work, however, another process takes place. Although inspired by a wide range of traditional and historical book forms, my books are not the kind usually found on library shelves. What I have seen and observed is somehow transformed into book objects of quite a different nature.

I like to think of them as liberated books that have escaped their function but still reflect the intrinsic characteristics found throughout the history of the book.

Ms. Kyle is also credited with formulating many book forms including the blizzard spine-folding technique and the “Flag Book" 

Hedi Kyle, 1979 
Photo Taken From: 

Recently, a book honoring Ms. Kyle, Hedi Kyle Festschrift 2009, has been released. It seems like a great mix of how-to and academic essays, and is high on my must-read list. You can learn more about the book here 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Book Arts from the Past: Sonia Delaunay

Last Saturday, Craft in America hosted an amazing panel discussion with Julie Chen, Carolee Campbell, and Harry Reese, with Kathleen Walkup acting as moderator. The discussion was greatly enlightening, touching on topics of digital printing, e-readers, collaboration, and the role of craft in their practices. In Kathleen Walkup’s opening remarks she touched on the history of artists’ books including the work of Sonia Delaunay, who, among other things created an artist’s book while collaborating with the modernist poet Blaise Cendrars.

 A small section from the artist's book Trans-Siberian Prose
 and of Little Jehanne of France, by Blaise Cendrars and 
Sonia Delaunay-Terk, published in 1913
Image Taken from Wikipedia

Cover of  Trans-Siberian Prose
 and of Little Jehanne of France
Image Taken from Wikipedia

I first learned about Sonia Delaunay when I was exploring art history and happened upon the "The Guerrilla Girls' Bedtime Companion to the History of Western Art”. The Guerrilla Girls are a group of art world activists who aim for greater equality in the art world in a playful yet wholly serious manner. They write "The time has come, once and for all, for the canon to be fired". I think the case of Sonia Delaunay is especially striking, due to the parallels between the lack of attention historically given to many female artists and artists working in less acknowledged mediums such as book arts, or even craft in general. What do you think?

Just an extra picture of some of Sonia Delaunay's beautiful designs
Photo taken from this blog

Craft With Us! - Security Envelope Journal, April 9th

We had a blast last month creating accordion style journals using vintage road maps!

Crafters Choosing Their Maps

One Group of Crafters Hard at Work!

In honor of the One by One exhibition the Study Center will be featuring another free bookbinding workshop on Saturday, April 9th. Join us to create your own journal using basic bookbinding techniques and collage elements made from the inside of recycled security envelopes.  

An example of the awesome journals we will be making!!

Drop-in Workshop
Saturday, April 9th, 12 noon-5pm
Class & materials are free.
All ages

The workshop will be hosted by Susie & Heidi Bauer, designers of Rock Scissor Paper stationery, creators of 
the blog & part of the Craft in America family of artists

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Craft Connections

When I first found out we were showing Book Arts here at the Study Center, the first thing that went through my mind was Marcel Duchamp’s Unhappy readymade (1919). This piece was created when Duchamp instructed his sister, Suzanne Duchamp-Crotti, to hang a geometry textbook from the balcony of her Paris apartment so that the problems and theorems, exposed to the test of the wind, sun and rain, could "get the facts of life”. This event is documented as a photograph in Duchamp’s The Box in a Valise and in a painting by Duchamp-Crotti.

A photo of Unhappy readymade

Of course Duchamp’s readymade is a far cry from the painstaking care given to the majority of artists’ books. The knowledge of technique and materials needed to create all of the books in our show are truly daunting, even though the results often feel miraculously effortless. For myself, I love to see my knowledge of craft grow and discover what connections can be made. What connections (perhaps unexpected or even unfitting) do you have to the art of book making?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

From the Library: Umbrella

Our Book Arts exhibition is officially up and ready for visitors! In honor of our exhibition I wanted to share the newsletter Umbrella, an amazing resource to learn more (or start learning) about book arts. Umbrella ran from 1978 to 2008 and was started by Judith Hoffberg. Phenomenally, every issue of Umbrella is online and it is completely free and accessible. Here are a couple of covers I particularly liked:

Clicking through the different issues it quickly becomes clear that the book arts were a passion of Judith’s and what better way to learn about something than from someone who loves it?

"When you saw that light blue issue in the mail, you knew what it was. The whole field of artist books became my life and I wanted to share it with all of you. Although marginal at the beginning, it has grown into a movement, a new chapter in art history, one which is recognized by art historians, artists, and all of you. It has become almost too much now, with so many conferences, book fairs, and symposia to attend. And as usual, it has spread globally."

Judith Hoffberg- From the last issue Vol. 31 Issue 3 

View Every Issue of Umbrella Here 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Craft With Us!- Simple Book Binding, March 5th

An example of the books we will be making

In honor of the One by One exhibition the Study Center will be featuring a free bookbinding workshop on Saturday, March 5th. We will be making accordion style books out of vintage road maps, which has already got me daydreaming of fun summer road trips even though it is only Febuary! Our last workshop was an awesome way to spend an afternoon and this workshop promises to be the same!

Happy Crafters at Our Last Event!

The book binding workshop will be offered at 12 and 3 pm, it is free, and materials are provided. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Reserve your space asap by emailing or calling 310-659-9022. Last minute Saturday RSVPs, call: 323-95-0610. It is sure to be an inspiring afternoon well spent, so come craft with us! 
Your instructors will be Susie & Heidi Bauer, designers of Rock Scissor Paper stationery and creators of the blog,

Sneak Preview: One by One

One by One Logo
Created by exhibition participant Rebecca Chamlee

Here at the Craft in America Study Center we are prepping for our upcoming exhibition of book arts, which will be up from March 3rd through May 14th. We are so excited to be featuring the works of Carolee Campbell, Rebecca Chamlee, Johanna Druker, Kitty Maryatt, Barbara Maloutas, Katherine Ng, and Sandra and Harry Reese. To learn more about the book arts, check out these clips of exhibit participant Julie Chen

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

From Our Library: The Golden State

Here at the Study Center our library is a truly amazing resource for those interested in all things craft. This includes a complete collection of books from the California Design Exhibitions that ran from the mid 1960’s to the mid 1970’s. These books have some of the most beautiful and inspiring photography of craft and design I have ever seen. Not only are the objects themselves wonderful, but they were photographed in California’s natural beauty:

Fountain by David Cressey, 13 feet high
Photo taken from CA Design 9 page 29
Catalogue Photographer Richard Gross 
Catalogue Designer Robert Ellis

Gold toned tapestries designed by Robert Webb
Red toned tapestry woven by M.E. Cranston-Bennett
Photo taken from CA Design 9 page 45
Catalogue Photographer Richard Gross 
Catalogue Designer Robert Ellis

Elaine Katzer's stonewall mural "Sea Chanty", 24 feet long
Photo taken from CA Design 76, page 99

These books are especially relevant to us here at the Study Center, since we are currently planning an exhibition on craft in California from the 1960’s to 1980’s, which will go up in fall 2011. 

Craft with Us! - Valentine's Day Project

On February 12th Susie and Heidi Bauer, the ladies of Rock Scissor Paper, are going to be at the Study Center leading a Valentine’s Day card making workshop. In December we had a blast creating unique handmade ornaments and decorations out of things headed to the recycling bin. 

Display of the beautiful things we created that day, and our edible treats we enjoyed while crafting!

The Valentine's card workshop is free, materials are provided and sweet treats will be served. Reserve your space asap by email or calling 310-659-9022. Last minute Saturday RSVPs, call: 323-95-0610. It is sure to be an inspiring afternoon well spent, so come craft with us! 

An example of the cards we will be making on Saturday

Free to All
Drop in hours from 12-5pm

From Our Library: Upcycling

Beer Can Chairs by Douglas Deed Associates
Photo Taken From California Design 8, page 46.
Catalogue Photographer Richard Gross

These 1962 beer can chairs by Douglas Deeds Associates totally fit the bill of proto-upcycling. Upcycling is the process of taking waste materials or useless products and creating new, higher-valued products. While the term “upcycling” has become popular over the last couple of years, the word seems to have been floating around since the early 1990’s, and its spirit can definitely be seen through the history of craft. For example, check out this beautiful quilt from Gee’s Bend:

Photo Taken from the Wikipedia page on Gee’s Bend, Alabama

In 1962 Douglas Deeds said this about his chairs:

This design is a utilization of material which our society normally thinks of as waste. It may be that the designer will be called on more and more to use such materials in helping underprivileged areas of the world use waste.

The philosophy of Deeds’ words can be seen in the work of so many designers today, and finding links to the past gives me hope that current trends like upcycling are more design evolution then passing trend. Here are some current examples of innovative and beautiful upcycling:

Light fixture made from vintage Tupperware
by Boot N’Gus
Photo originally found on

Light fixture by French designer Garbage
Photo originally found on

Table made from shipping pallets by Jen Turner Photo by Greg Scheidmann
Photo originally found on
You can learn more about the project, including DIY steps by clicking here: