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24 Craft Creations That’ll Inspire You To Think Outside the Box

From fiber to glass, metal to ceramics, selections from this year's Craft Show will inspire you

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When you go to an exhibition, do you ever wish you could take some of the art home with you? Well, once a year, you can with the Smithsonian’s Craft Show organized by the Women’s Committee. The juried show is part exhibit, part sale, with proceeds benefiting the Institution. The show runs April 25 to 28 at the National Building Museum and includes a presentation by Martha Stewart on Thursday at 11 a.m. Of the 121 artists in the show, 46 are first-timers. In case you can’t make it to see the glass, ceramic and fiber creations, we present some of the standouts for your viewing pleasure.

Basketry

Debora Muhl designs her works in the process of making them.

Using sweet grasses, Muhl makes works that are both pleasing to look at and smell.

Ceramics

Jennifer McCurdy mixes fine porcelain with gilding to create pieces full of movement and light.

Taking cues from natural forms, like coral, McCurdy carves the surface after throwing and before firing it.

Decorative Fibers

Using traditional fish netting method, Stephanie Crossman crafts these 3-D sculptures.

Flounder, sea urchin and sand dollars inspire Crossman’s work.

Furniture

Joe Graham had been making traditional Windsor chairs for 15 years when he finally started trying out some of his own designs.

Spider legs and lumbar spines modify the traditional Windsor.

Glass

Glass artist Dan Mirer just happens to be from Corning, New York, home to glass company Corning Incorporated and the Corning Museum of Glass.

Mirer playfully titled this piece, “Blowfish.”

Jewelry

“Things just seems funnier when they are tiny,” says jewelry maker Ann Marie Cianciolo who brings a sense of humor to her work.

Mischief in everyday life is what inspires Cianciolo.

Leather

Classic handcrafted styles, like the Grecian Sandal, are Molly Grant’s strength.

The Breton Oxford still looks fresh.

Metal

Paul Weller uses “architectural, aeronautical and sartorial elements with classical silversmithing techniques” to make his functional pieces, like this teapot.

Circle cutouts offer a play on “bubble tea,” by Weller.

Mixed Media

Drawing on her own Indian heritage, Jupi Das creates these intricate creations from a single sheet of paper.

Hand-painted accents often complete Das’s work.

Paper

Southeast Alaska can be a harsh place to live, but with collage, Sherri McDonald translates its stunning beauty as well.

Here, McDonald creates a verdant scene called “The Way Home.”

Wearable Art

Crisp colors and vintage silk provide a timeless air to Ann Williamson’s fashion.

Beading adds eye-catching detail to this piece by Williamson.

Wood

Joe Urruty’s wooden sculptures are gilded in 23K gold leaf.

Echoing human forms, Urruty’s pieces are reminiscent of works by the famed Constantin Brâncuși.

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About Leah Binkovitz
Leah Binkovitz

Leah Binkovitz is a Stone & Holt Weeks Fellow at Washington Post and NPR. Previously, she was a contributing writer and editorial intern for the At the Smithsonian section of Smithsonian magazine.

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