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

smithsonian.com

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.
Debora Muhl designs her works in the process of making them. (National Building Museum)
Using sweet grasses
Using sweet grasses, Muhl makes works that are both pleasing to look at and smell. (National Building Museum)

Ceramics

Jennifer McCurdy
Jennifer McCurdy mixes fine porcelain with gilding to create pieces full of movement and light. (National Building Museum)
natural forms
Taking cues from natural forms, like coral, McCurdy carves the surface after throwing and before firing it. (National Building Museum)

Decorative Fibers

fish netting method
Using traditional fish netting method, Stephanie Crossman crafts these 3-D sculptures. (National Building Museum)
Flounder, sea urchin and sand dollars inspire Crossman’s work.
Flounder, sea urchin and sand dollars inspire Crossman’s work. (National Building Museum)

Furniture

Joe Graham
Joe Graham had been making traditional Windsor chairs for 15 years when he finally started trying out some of his own designs. (National Building Museum)
Spider legs and lumbar spines modify the traditional Windsor.
Spider legs and lumbar spines modify the traditional Windsor. (National Building Museum)

Glass

Glass artist Dan Mirer
Glass artist Dan Mirer just happens to be from Corning, New York, home to glass company Corning Incorporated and the Corning Museum of Glass. (National Building Museum)
Mirer playfully titled this piece, “Blowfish.”
Mirer playfully titled this piece, “Blowfish.” (National Building Museum)

Jewelry

Things just seems funnier when they are tiny
“Things just seems funnier when they are tiny,” says jewelry maker Ann Marie Cianciolo who brings a sense of humor to her work. (National Building Museum)
Mischief in everyday life is what inspires Cianciolo.
Mischief in everyday life is what inspires Cianciolo. (National Building Museum)

Leather

Classic handcrafted styles
Classic handcrafted styles, like the Grecian Sandal, are Molly Grant’s strength. (National Building Museum)
The Breton Oxford still looks fresh.
The Breton Oxford still looks fresh. (National Building Museum)

Metal

Paul Weller
Paul Weller uses “architectural, aeronautical and sartorial elements with classical silversmithing techniques” to make his functional pieces, like this teapot. (National Building Museum)
Circle cutouts offer a play on “bubble tea,” by Weller.
Circle cutouts offer a play on “bubble tea,” by Weller. (National Building Museum)

Mixed Media

Drawing on her own Indian heritage
Drawing on her own Indian heritage, Jupi Das creates these intricate creations from a single sheet of paper. (National Building Museum)
Hand-painted accents often complete Das’s work.
Hand-painted accents often complete Das’s work. (National Building Museum)

Paper

Southeast Alaska
Southeast Alaska can be a harsh place to live, but with collage, Sherri McDonald translates its stunning beauty as well. (National Building Museum)
Here, McDonald creates a verdant scene called “The Way Home.”
Here, McDonald creates a verdant scene called “The Way Home.” (National Building Museum)

Wearable Art

Crisp colors and vintage silk provide a timeless air to Ann Williamson’s fashion.
Crisp colors and vintage silk provide a timeless air to Ann Williamson’s fashion. (National Building Museum)
Beading adds eye-catching detail to this piece by Williamson.
Beading adds eye-catching detail to this piece by Williamson. (National Building Museum)

Wood

Joe Urruty’s wooden sculptures are gilded in 23K gold leaf.
Joe Urruty’s wooden sculptures are gilded in 23K gold leaf. (National Building Museum)
Echoing human forms
Echoing human forms, Urruty’s pieces are reminiscent of works by the famed Constantin Brâncuși. (National Building Museum)
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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