I was fortunate to make it down to the Smithsonian Craft Show on Sunday, a yearly event featuring the work of American’s best craft artists. Sponsored by the Smithsonian Women’s Committee, the juried show featured the work of 120 artists in the areas of basketry, ceramics, decorative fiber, furniture, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, paper, wearable art, and wood.
While most of the people at the show seemed to be there to shop, I headed down for inspiration. After all, as an amateur crafter, it’s always good to see what some of the best people in the country are producing. And I was not disappointed.
Here were some of my favorite exhibits at the show.
1046 Oldfield Rd.
Fairfield, CT 06824
I was drawn to the bright colors and fun shapes of Danielle Gori-Montanelli’s booth. Her hand-sewn felt pieces, which ranged from necklaces to collars to brooches, were absolutely stunning. Her pieces are simple – constructed from just felt and thread – but the way she plays with height, depth, pattern, and color is expertly done.
1781 Lanier Place, NW
Washington, DC 20009
These pieces by Jessica Beels caught my eye because they were so delicate and subtle, and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what the translucent covering was made of. So imagine my surprise when I found out they were made from paper! Beels, a DC local, makes her jewelry out of her home studio in Adams Morgan. She has a description of how she makes her paper pieces on her Web site; she starts with a metal armature and covers them with strips of homemade paper. The paper shrinks as it dries, creating a taunt and delicate structure.
You can purchase Beels’ products and learn more about her work on her web site.
PO Box 78
Starksboror, VT 05487
I am a sucker for a beautiful pottery. But the bowls in the Rossheim-Marrinson Studios booth were more than just beautiful forms – they literally seemed to c0llect light. Emily Rossheim developed a technique where the unglazed pottery glows when placed under direct light. I loved the bright colors and organic shapes of the pieces as well.
Rossheim/Marrinson Studios’ pottery sells in galleries all over the country. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
2 Conway St.
Shelburne Ma 01370
What would a craft show be without quilts? But, as you can see, these quilts by Ann Brauer are more than just ordinary quilts – they’re fabric works of art. I love how the pieces play with light and color. I asked Brauer how long a piece takes to construct, but she couldn’t give an estimate – although she did say that choosing and placing the fabrics takes much longer than the actual sewing. You can learn more about her work on her Web site.