Amongst the interior design vignettes nestled this soothing space by Elizabeth CB March of the Baltimore interior design firm, Jenkins Baer (www.jenkinsbaer.com/marsh.html). She beautifully used wrought iron candlesticks of varying heights to break up the formality of her space. The candlesticks came from Luke Proctor, whose booth presented a greater variety of his hand-forged creations in iron mixed with wood. See more of his work at www.lproctorironworks.com. The harmonious nature of this room makes me feel like I’m inside a painting by the impressionist painter JMS Whistler.
Troy Brooks calls himself a Maker of Fine Furniture, but I think he’s really a wood whisperer, bringing out the greatest beauty and strength in wood. He allows the grain in this desk to shimmer, and he made a functional piece of furniture with wonderful proportions. I really like furniture that works. So if you already have enough Niermann Weeks in your home, it’s fine with me to add a piece from him. You can see a selection at www.troybrookvisions.com/furniture.
Niermann Weeks made its first ergonomically comfortable chair in 1989, and we learned the hard way that a comfortable chair is probably the hardest piece of furniture to design. The human body comes in so many variations of height, weight, and breadth that no one chair can fit all people. Alan Daigre of www.alandaigre.com solves part of this problem by creating mobility within his chairs. He selects hardwoods with great strength and grain patterns, then cuts and pieces bits together by hand. Within the frame of this rocker, each piece of his mosaic flexes with the body sitting in it. His chairs are really comfortable, and my tired legs did not want to leave them.
Another symphony in wood is this hat rack by Don and Jenifer Green (www.greentreehome.com). At 66” tall, its controlled swoops and curves form a sturdy piece for the entry way. I might just keep it as a sculpture and never acknowledge its intended function. It reminds me of architecture by Gaudi, of the interiors of Gothic cathedrals, etc.
Alison Sigethy is new to this show but I bet she returns again and again with her Sea Core Bubble Tubes. Within each tube, bubbles float up and around, which I think would be very restful to watch after a long day, like a thinking person’s lava lamp. For those of us lucky enough to live in the DC area, we’re even luckier that Alison’s studio is in the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA. To enjoy the sights and sounds of a sea core, go to www.alisonsigethy.com/#!sea-cores/cb3i and click on the bottom right.
Still in the realm of home décor are Jennifer McCurdy’s ceramics, which she throws as thinly as possible on her wheel, then carves into pierced work. The way light flows through and around these delicate wonders is just numinous. Her natural forms would be right at home in the ocean’s surf or on a sideboard. See more on her website www.jennifermccurdy.com.
Going to a stranger place, look at these female torsos in blown glass by Alexis Silk (www.alexissilk.com). Ms. Silk has truly captured shape and skin tones of the feminine body. Personally, I am disquieted by hanging the sculpture on metal hooks.
The artistry is easier for me to appreciate when the torso is divorced from its metal presentation.
And now, here are some of my favorite jewelers, including the new-to-this-show Ashley Buchanan. She sculpts her bracelets, earrings, and necklaces from flat steel, powdered-coated (just like furniture) to withstand abuse from use and weather. I would never have thought to reduce this process to create ornamentation for the body. Ashley is just too cool; please meet her work at www.ashleybuchananjewelry.com.
Niermann Weeks uses the same techniques to produce our outdoor furniture, so I immediately understood her work and appreciated her creativity in producing miniature body art. Our Italian Arm Chair and Ottoman are welded of rolled steel and flat sheet metal, then powder-coated for outdoor use.
More coolness comes from Debbie Tuch’s adaptive re-use of slices of dried fruit as jewelry. Several years ago, my daughter Eleanor surprised me with a broach made from a pear slice. It’s sealed in a clear, glittery resin that preserves the natural contour of the fruit. Since then I have purchased new brooches, one of a blood orange and one of a lime, each of which starts a conversation at a party. Debbie makes all kinds of jewelry in these fruits but also of hard candies, so please look at her line on www.glitterlimes.com.
And finally, Danielle Gori-Montanelli transforms humble wool felt into jewelry that makes me happy, just as her smile does. Over the years my collection has grown to include many of her pieces, of which my fave is a large licorice pin. You owe it to yourself to visit her at www.studiodgm.com.
I thank you for enjoying the craft show with me, and offer my apologies to all the talented people whose work not featured here. You are all awesome!