Friday, December 27, 2013

Hand to Hand: Potter and Gulf War Veteran Ehren Tool Talks About the Power of the Cup

Join Berkeley-based artist Ehren Tool at the Craft in America Center on Saturday, January 11 at 5:00 pm as he describes the evolution of his work, which is heavily influenced by the time he served as a Marine in the 1991 Gulf War. After returning home, Tool attended art school and eventually settled on the cup as his preferred mode of expression. His work addresses the atrocities that he witnessed on the battlefield, allowing him to communicate his unspeakable truths: since 2001, he has given away more than 14,000 of his cups, each of which graphically depicts his stance on the effects of combat on soldiers and civilians.  
"The images on the cups are often graphic and hard to look at. You may be for or against a particular war but I think it is too easy for us to look away. I think we as a country and as humans should look at what is actually going on."  - Ehren Tool

Thursday, December 19, 2013

As if the gorgeous work on display wasn't enough enticement to visit, Craft in America is all dressed up for the holidays! The window features papel picado hand-cut by Kathleen Trenchard; you can see her at work in our newest episode, Holiday, which premieres tomorrow, December 20. We also have beautiful menorahs made by another Holiday artist, Susan Garson, in the window, and Hidde van Dyum's intricate watercolor curio cabinent-cum-assemblages inside.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Jim Bassler: Contemporary Voices and Ancient Threads

Fans of Craft in America will recognize Jim Bassler from the episode entitled Origins, in which he talks about the rich heritage and tradition of fiber art, and how his travel to and study of those traditions has informed his modern work.
On January 12th, 2014 at 2:00 pm, in UCLA's Fowler Museum, guest curator Elena Phipps will join Jim as well as photographer John Cohen in a discussion of Andean weaving tradition that inspires their creative processes. This fascinating talk is planned in conjunction with The Peruvian Four-Selvaged Cloth: Ancient Threads/New Directions, which is on display now through mid-February.

More details about both the talk and exhibition are available on the Fowler's website.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Holiday Prints This Weekend

Our first session for holiday printmaking is sold out, so reserve your spot in the second session today!

Join artist Christina Carroll at the Craft in America Center on Sunday, December 8, for a workshop on using monotype prints to create unique holiday cards for your friends and family. Participants will explore the spirit and imagery of the winter season through the spontaneous, painterly printmaking technique of monotype. Discover new approaches to line, shape, form, color and texture using water-miscible oil paints, fine printmaking papers, mark-making tools and a hand-cranked etching press. This will be a loose and experimental workshop, so no experience is needed. Bring a smock or old shirt to wear. Paper, envelopes, printing supplies provided. 

There is a $30 materials fee for participants.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Our Holiday Print Workshop is Almost Here!

Join artist Christina Carroll at the Craft in America Center on Sunday, December 8, for a workshop on using monotype prints to create unique holiday cards for your friends and family. Participants will explore the spirit and imagery of the winter season through the spontaneous, painterly printmaking technique of monotype. Discover new approaches to line, shape, form, color and texture using water-miscible oil paints, fine printmaking papers, mark-making tools and a hand-cranked etching press. This will be a loose and experimental workshop, so no experience is needed. Bring a smock or old shirt to wear. Paper, envelopes, printing supplies provided.

There will be two sessions, the first running from 11:00am - 1:30pm, and the second from 3:00pm - 5:30pm. There is a $30 materials fee for participants.

Reserve your space here today!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fairfax at 3rd Street

Two weeks ago we opened a show by the artist Hidde van Dyum, showcasing a series of beautiful, intricate assemblages, multi-layered watercolor pieces often housed in custom-built boxes, like little curio cabinets that open onto imagined worlds. We also ran the pilot session of our collaboration with Fairfax High School, bringing students from several classes in their Center for the Visual Arts Magnet program to meet with Hidde and hear about his history, process and career as an artist.

We had two classes visit, a mix of juniors and seniors who had already spent time studying and working on the possibilities of collage and mixed-media expressions. Hidde discussed the history of his craft and talked about how and why he does what he does. The students walked away inspired both by the talk and the chance to see artwork up close and in person. It was a thrilling afternoon for all involved-- and it's only the beginning!

Next up we're going to bring Otis professor JT Steiney to campus to have students in a digital imaging class create collaged comic books, and Craft in America Center Director Emily Zaiden will supervise senior English students as they learn how to tell stories through object selection and curation. We're so excited to be working with youth in the local community, and to be spreading the word of craft far and wide; check back here soon for more news on how it's going.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

This Saturday: Susan Garson and Tom Pakele

Can't wait for the next Craft in America episode to air? Stop by the Center this Saturday, November 23rd at 4:00 pm for a special sneak-preview screening, plus a conversation with some of the show's featured artists. First we'll watch the episode, which doesn't air nationwide until December 20th, and then Susan Garson and Tom Pakele will talk about their work and take questions from the audience.  

Tom and Susan both recieved MFA's from UCLA, where they studied under Adrian Saxe.  Their careers have included selling their work to galleries nationwide, creating a very unique line of Judaica, and teaching and incorporating spiritual practices into their art. Check out Susan's blog, or see one of their collaborations here. Please RSVP if you're planning on coming, so we know how many to expect!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Autumn in the Window

The Window Concert Series returns on Sunday, November 17 at 6:00 pm! This time it's going to be a reunion show: after meeting in the Window in September, three new friends return to the space with an eclectic program. This show will feature skilled jazz musicians Amy Bormet (keys and voice), David Tranchina (bass) and the multi-faceted vocalist Argenta Walther. We've had a hot November, so come by and cool down with a mix of new and old tunes sure to put you in mind of colder days.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Gathering for the Holiday

Making a traditional Nativity-themed Tree of Life

one of Susan Garson's beautiful menorahs

Thanksgiving is two weeks away, with an early Hanukkah hot on its heels. Craft in America will celebrate the season with our Holiday episode, which premieres on PBS on December 20. That's still a while to wait, so luckily there are preview screenings happening across the country; check out the schedule here, and, if you're in LA be sure to stop by the Center for our very own screening plus a conversation with ceramic artists Susan Garson and Tom Pakele on Saturday, November 23rd at 4:00 pm.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Rules of Seeing: Hidde Van Duym and Collage

Rules of Seeing: Hidde Van Duym and Collage will open next Friday, November 8, with a reception and artist's talk in the Craft in America Center from 6:00-8:00 pm. Stop by to see the work and share a glass of wine at 6:00; Hidde Van Duym will speak on the topic of collage beginning at 7:00 pm. Like all of our events this one is free and open to the public, but space is limited, so if you're planning on coming please do RSVP!

You can also participate in a collaborative workshop with Hidde that weekend. Collage: The Power of Self will run on Saturday and Sunday, November 9-10. The first day will involve discussing collage in theory and practice and creating an individual project; on the second, participants will come together to create something communal. The workshop will culminate in the collective creation of a large-size collage to be installed at the Craft in America Center.
Workshop participants are expected to bring their own ruler, bone folder, weights, scissors and/or knives, tweezers/tongs, adhesives, cutting mats & brushes. There is a $110 fee which includes Sunday lunch. To reserve a space, please use the Paypal link here.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Goodbye, Eudorah; Hello, Forge!

Tomorrow is the last day that Eudorah M. Moore: The Journey of a Visionary will be on display at the Craft in America Center, so stop by to visit if you haven't already! The show features objects from a number of the exhibitions Eudorah curated, including the seminal California Design series, and offers a unique look back at the dawn of the golden age for craft art, both in California and across the country.

Next up will be a sampling of collage artist Hidde Van Duym's work; you can read more about him and the show here, and sign up for a creative, hands-on workshop with Hidde here.

In the mean time, though, be sure to tune in for the premiere of Craft in America's latest episode, Forge, which happens tonight on PBS. You'll have to check your local listing for the time and channel, but you won't want to miss this one, which features a pioneering young female metalsmith named Chloe Darke taking on tradition at Old Newbury Crafters as well as Iraq war veteran Tom Pullin's haunting work.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Back to Folk School

Join us at the Craft in America Center tonight at 7:00 pm for a special sneak preview of segments from Craft in America's December episode, HOLIDAY, plus a talk and some tunes featuring Jan Davidson and the Craft in America House Band.

We'll be screening never-before-seen pieces of the episode featuring woodcarver Harley Refsal; Jan Davidson, president of the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina, will talk about his time at the school and the work he's done there. We'll wrap up the evening with a few songs played by Jan and the Craft in America House Band.

The Craft in America Center is located at 8415 W. 3rd street, and while all are welcome space is limited, so please RSVP if you're planning on joining us!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Last Saturday the Craft in America Center was filled to capacity with folks listening to moderator Jo Lauria talk with Lois Boardman, John McLean and Richard Amend about Eudorah Moore's years at the NEA and work on the California Design exhibitions. All of the panelists had been privileged to work with Eudorah professionally; her sons were also in the audience, and they added a few personal reminiscences at the end of the evening. The Eudorah M. Moore: Journey of a Visionary exhibition is up through October 26, so stop by and check it out if you haven't already-- it's a fascinating look at the history of the Eudorah's career and the California craft renaissance of the 60's and 70's!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Backyard Bite and Compartés Chocolatiers

Check out blogger Amy T. Shuster's breakdown of one of our fun summer events: a chocolate and printmaking class held in our Center on west 3rd Street. Participants learned about the process of making artisanal chocolate and the secret to the colorful tops of Compartés Chocolatiers' delectable truffles; they also made monotype prints under the guidance of printmaker extraordinaire Christina Carroll. Amy's got some beautiful photos of the day, the prints and the food, so be sure to head over to Backyard Bites to check it all out!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Shorter Days, Longer Hours

Good news for Center-goers: we're now open on Wednesdays, too, from 12:00-6:00 pm. Drop by then (or on Thursday, Friday or Saturday) to see the Eudorah Moore exhibit that's currently up-- and don't forget about our after-hours special events, like this Friday's Musik meiner Freunde: California Stars, the latest installment of our Window Concert Series, and next Saturday's panel discussion about Eudorah's role as a pioneering craft advocate.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Here's a peek at what we mean by eclectic-- check out Maggie Haspacher, guest curator for our next edition of the Window Concert Series, performing a fun cover at an earlier show. You can also hear her performing Pack Up Your Sorrows with the Craft in America House Band here, and be sure to stop by on the 27th to join in on the fun live and in person!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Musik meiner Freunde: California Stars

or The Window Concert Series: Expat Edition
Friday, September 27th, 8:00 pm
After a year abroad, Maggie Hasspacher guest-curates a show at the Window of über-talented composer and performer friends of Los Angeles. This little electro-acoustic gathering mixes new music, jazz and House Band and features Amy Bormet, Sarah Gibson and other cool California Freunden.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Craft & Ingenuity at Space 15 Twenty Tonight

Please join Craft in America in celebrating the Hand-Eye Supply Pop-up Institute for Craft & Ingenuity at their opening party tonight, Friday, August 16th. The party will run from 6:00-9:00 pm and will feature live letterpress demos by Tabletop Made, plus tunes provided by DJ Neil Schield of Origami Vinyl and free beers from PBR. It's going to be an awesome gathering of LA's craft community-- we'll hope to see you there! More info about tonight's event can be found here, but also be sure to check out the full list of fun stuff going on at Space 15 Twenty throughout the rest of the month.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Two Cool Craft Events This Weekend!

First check out Craft in America's Director Emily Zaiden speaking on a panel called Is Food Art? at the Los Angeles Central Library's Mark Taper Auditorium. The panel will run from 10:30 am-12:30 pm tomorrow, Saturday, August 10, and will feature an awesome lineup of speakers-- you can find more information about them and the event here!

Then, on Sunday, stop by the Study Center at 7:00 pm for The Window Concert Series: Pack Up Your Sorrows. More info on who's playing can be found here, and there are a ton of YouTube videos of past concerts to get you warmed up for Sunday's tunes. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Window Concert Series Returns!

Join us next Sunday, August 11th at 7pm at the Craft in America Center for an evening of original songs and eclectic covers. The UK's Dean Frances-Hawkesly (Grist/The Temple Cloud Country Club) has been writing dark country folk songs for over 30 years, and he will be performing with Terry de Castro (The Wedding Present/Craft in America House Band) for another installment of the Pack Up Your Sorrows Window Concert Series.  Terry and Dean will also be joined by Melinda Rice (Wild Up/Homesick Elephant/Craft in America House Band) on vocals and violin.

Everyone is invited and no RSVP is necessary-- just show up, sit down and listen in! You can get a sense of what concerts are like by checking out footage from past shows on YouTube.

Restricted metered parking is available in surrounding neighborhoods, and West Third Street valet parking is available at Orlando Street, in front of Magnolia Bakery. 

For more information, please feel free to get in touch with us by emailing or calling (323) 951-0610. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

It's a Wrap! Artisanal Chocolate & Monotype Printmaking Workshop 6/15/13

 As part of our recent exhibit, Good Enough to Eat; Food as Medium for Craft,
The Craft in America Center held a print-your-own chocolate bar wrapper workshop!
Attendees got wrapped up in making monotype print candy bar wrapper to go around a chocolate bar made by Jonathan Grahm of Los Angeles artisanal chocolatier Compartés. Participants learned the fundamentals of the monotype printing process with Christina Carroll and Jonathan Grahm got their creative juices flowing with samples of his artistry.
Hungry for chocolate and art-making, participants settle and take in
the works of art made from food.

Compartés Chocolatier Jonathan Grahm gives an introduction about his handmade chocolates AND a generous sampling of flavors to each attendee for artistic inspiration.

At each place, a printing plate, materials for mark-making and textures, paint and a palette ... AND several samples of delectable Compartés chocolates.

Making a start on the plate ...
... and here's the result! Mmmmm

Decisions, decisions ...

Center director, Emily Zaiden, makes finishing touches at the press.
Amy Shuster of Backyard Bite blog came to play!

Mmm ... to wrap around a bar of cool, dark chocolate?

Jonathan Grahm applies some extra pressure on his first print/wrapper ...
Which variety of his own chocolate bar will Jonathan Grahm wrap this print around?


To wrap around a caliente spicy chocolate bar?


For colorful, fruity, gingery chocolate?

I wonder how many artists are inspired subconsciously by other people's socks?

Friday, June 14, 2013

June Events

We're making the most of the final days of the "Food as Medium for Craft" exhibition.  Please join us!

TOMORROW, Saturday June 15, 2013, 12pm or 3pm
The Craft in America Center will hold a print-your-own chocolate bar wrapper workshop and chocolate tasting with Los Angeles artisanal chocolatier Compartés.

Printmaker Christina Carroll will teach students the fundamentals of the monotype printing process. Jonathan Grahm, chocolatier extraordinaire, will discuss the artistry of chocolate-making and lead a tasting that is sure to get your artistic juices flowing.

$45 fee, includes materials, tasting, and one chocolate bar.
Sessions will be held on Saturday, June 15 at 12pm and 3pm.

Thursday June 20, 2013, 7pm
"The New Luxury: Perspectives on Craft in an Evolving Marketplace"

Regina Connell, founder and Editor-in-Chief of Handful of Salt magazine discusses the significance of luxury in this day and age and how it relates to craft. From food to home to clothing, she will explore the dimensions of what it means to be luxurious, and how luxury enters into the concept, creation, and sales of today's craft and artisanal products.

Handful of Salt (digital and print editions) covers the modern artisanal movement at the intersection of craft and design. By exploring the craft of modern design, Handful of Salt brings new energy to the world of craft and humanity back to design. Handful of Salt connects its audiences with the best in high quality contemporary artisanship and the trends and ideas shaping craft and design today.

To RSVP (free):

Saturday June 22, 2013, 5 - 8pm
Celebrating Innovation with The Furniture Society

5pm - Reception
6pm - Lecture by Jo Lauria, "Furniture Trend-setting: The Evolution and Continuation of Innovation in California Design"
7pm - Craft in America screening

The center proudly welcomes members of the Furniture Society who convene in Los Angeles for their symposium.

Independent curator Jo Lauria will explore how the California Design exhibition series at the Pasadena Art Museum during the years 1954 - 1976 was the incubator of modernism and experimentation in California design, especially in furniture design. Fast-forward to the 21st Century, where artists are breaking new ground in design and fabrication. A screening of Craft in America's furniture footage will follow.

Jo Lauria is an Independent Curator/Writer specializing in decorative arts, design and crafts. In 2011-2012 she curated Golden State of Craft: California 1950-1985 in partnership with Craft in America. Lauria is currently part of the Mentor Faculty at Otis College of Art and Design. Her publications include Color and Fire: Defining Moments in Studio Ceramics, 1950-2000; California Design: The Legacy of West Coast Craft and Style; and Craft in America: Celebrating Two Centuries of Artists and Objects.

To RSVP for the reception & lecture ($10):

To RSVP for the screening (free):

Friday, June 7, 2013

Chocolate Tasting and Wrapper-making Workshop

The Craft in America Center will hold a print-your-own chocolate bar wrapper workshop and chocolate tasting with Los Angeles artisanal chocolatier Compartés on Saturday June 15th. 

Surprise your dad with the ultimate gift, a Compartés chocolate bar wrapped in your own hand-printed creation. The wrapper will be a keeper, but he won’t be able to keep his hands off the chocolate for long. Printmaker Christina Carroll will teach students the fundamentals of the monotype printing process. Jonathan Grahm, chocolatier extraordinaire, will discuss the artistry of chocolate-making and lead a tasting that is sure to get your artistic juices flowing.

$45 fee, includes materials, tasting, and one chocolate bar.
Sessions will be held on Saturday, June 15 at 12pm and 3pm.
Restricted metered parking available in surrounding neighborhood and West Third Street valet parking available at Orlando Street, in front of Magnolia Bakery.
For more information: or (323) 951-0610.
To make your reservation, please click here

Compartés has been a Los Angeles chocolate tradition for over 60 years. Founded in 1950 on the principle of bringing European chocolate techniques, recipes and artistry to the United States, today Compartés gourmet chocolates continue to appeal to gourmet food lovers worldwide. Helmed by chocolate prodigy Jonathan Grahm, Comparte Chocolatier’s premium organic gourmet chocolates are made in house from scratch daily using all natural ingredients. Compartés Chocolatier uses only the world's best ingredients, primarily using single-origin chocolate from South American countries such as Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru and combines this with the freshest locally sourced ingredients including fruits and spices from local Los Angeles farmers markets or organic nuts that are roasted in their own kitchen. 

Christina Carroll began experimenting with the monotype process and it triggered a delightful synthesis of the artist’s intrinsic qualities and temperament. Sometimes ideas and emotions expressed while inking the plate indulge a free, unordered, untamed and impulsive energy. In the finished print, with its pristine edges and clean borders so crisp and polite, another satisfaction is found in its neat balance. The monotype’s printed image is a foundation in her work as she explores three-dimensional forms, artist books and cut paper collage.

Friday, May 31, 2013

It's the final month to view Good Enough to Eat - Food as Medium for Craft

There is still time!  Come visit the Craft in America Center to see the last installment of our Good Enough to Eat series.  Experience how sculpture and art are being redefined through edible materials.  Below are a few select images from the exhibit to whet your appetite.  Food as Medium for Craft is up now through June 22.
"BonBon" by Lilyana Bekic
"Semi-Precious and Precious" by Amber O'Harrow

"Teabag Teapot" by Yuyen Chang

"El M&Matador" by Charlotte Kruk

"Oh Eleanor" from the Women Icon Torso series by Jan Hopkins

"Embroidering the Scent of Winter Tangerines" by Catherine McEver

"Embroidered Wonder Bread" by Catherine McEver

"Figure" by Kristin duCharme

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

UPDATE: Foodies United for a book signing! Caitlin Freeman's Modern Art Desserts ...

Thank you again, Caitlin and Leah ... what a sweet treat it was to have you with us!
Caitlin Freeman and Leah Rosenberg inspired ooh's and ahh's from a full audience with a Powerpoint presentation of artworks that inspired their works in Modern Art Desserts.

We were grateful and fortunate Caitlin and Leah made time in their busy schedules to treat our guests - and US - to their sweet stories. Thank you!

Caitlin Freeman talks about crafting the perfect dessert!

Update! They came ... they stood ... they loved the Salon with Evan Kleiman and Peter Shire!

On March 23rd, the Craft in America Center was filled to the brim with attendees to hear Evan Kleiman and Peter Shire talk about food, politics and their lives ...
(Running concurrent to the exhibit "Good Enough to Eat: Food as Subject for Craft")
Gathered by the library, awaiting the talk (L to R:) Craft in America film series producer, Carol Sauvion; Artist/speaker Peter Shire and Center Director/curator, Emily Zaiden

Peter Shire and Evan Kleiman stir it up to a packed house, answering questions
and posing ideas to eachother and the audience