After a year of artist releases, Printshop Forever will be taking a short break. I’m going to keep on blogging and the shop will stay open, but will be re-vamping the way the site functions. No worries – You’ll learn about the changes here before anywhere else! Stay tuned.
I was lucky enough to meet Eva Zeisel in 2004 when I was interning for a decorative arts company called the Chipstone Foundation. They had worked hard to create a retrospective exhibition of sorts shown at the Milwaukee Art Museum, not long after the breathtaking new Calatrava addition was completed. This must have caught Eva’s attention because she insisted on a visit. The foundation was a buzz with the news, because of course everyone was so excited, but also because Eva was 98 and her visit brought about a lot of planning and a lot of finger crossing that with wings of the addition would go up that day (wind speeds over 35 mph mean they stay down.) Eva did come and the wings did go up. It was an amazing visit touring a monument of architectural design with someone who had spent her life creating objects so similar in energy, but so different in scale. Although I had spent a lot of time in the space, it was inspiring to see it through the eyes of someone so well versed in design.
Her life was an amazing one- being imprisoned, fleeing from Nazi occupation, teaching in the US– not only being one of the great modernist designers, but in a time when women often weren’t afforded the opportunity.
I was married this year and my china was designed by her. I love the way it looks with all of its nesting biomorphic utilitarian objects- tea pots and coffee mugs, platters and plates- which she described as practical objects for the common table. I have it displayed next to the china my grandmother received at her wedding in the 50s – hand painted, gold leafed, traditional. Together they make for an striking display, one well used and loved next to the other which will be with time.
Eva passed away on December 30th, I am sorry to say. Amazingly at the age of 105. She will be missed, although her legacy continues to thrive.
I stayed at Evan’s house at many points in 2008 and 2009. The most significant thing that sticks out in my mind is the aquarium with the frogs and sleeping on the floor. Oh how things have changed over the years. Truly a magical land captured by the very talented Ghazal Sheei. If you have never read her blog before click here – it’s worth it.
Craft fairs, historically, have been seen as the lowest common denominator as far as interesting shopping venues go. But, of course in the last ten years with the rise of the terms like ‘New Wave of Craft’ or ‘Indie Craft’ and enormous online marketplaces like Etsy and Big Cartel, everyone from your little sister to your great aunt now stand in lines in freezing cold temperatures waiting to get inside to these pop-up marketplace events with hopes to find something new and inspiring, the perfect holiday gift or a big splurge for themselves that they will never find again. Terms like DIY roll of the tips of tongues and makers of all sorts stand behind their perfectly curated tables waiting to lure shoppers in for sales. After touring with Handmade Nation, I got just a little burnt out on the owls and bird aesthetic and although I don’t collect plush, I had definitely seen my fair share. Although I have always had an intense urge to support my local creative community, it seemed like it was against all odds that I would throw my hat into the ring and co-organize my own craft fair. I did though and I am pleased to say that it is a tremendous feeling to trap nearly 70 vendors in a warehouse space and hope that people come to peruse their handmade goods. My main interest is promoting emerging makers or hobbyists who haven’t quite gotten up the urge to quit their day jobs. What I have found is that the line between art and craft definitely blur and the guarantee of little twee things being created because that is what people will buy is sometimes traded in for personal quests to make things for the sake of making just to satisfy the hands of the maker. Here in Milwaukee, last Saturday at Art vs. Craft was a great example of the divergent crowd overcoming the stereotype of the indie craft fair and making things that were truly unique. This weekend, though, it is our turn to shine. The craft fair that I organize with three other lovely ladies (Alyssa Schulte, Ashley Chapman and Vanessa Andrew) is in its second year. A sophomore year (hopefully!) without the slump. Come on down to Hover Craft if you get the chance. We have things to do, food to eat, bloodies to drink and vendors that will knock your socks off.
I am just a bit behind on this one, but I finally picked up the second issue of Fine Line Magazine, entitled Act Accordingly from Boswell Books on Downer yesterday. It is every bit as lovely as the first – but I have to admit, the inclusion of Javier Pinon’s collages of cowboys dangling from chandeliers may have put this issue over the edge for me. The editing-curating duo of Cassandra Smith (yes, her art is featured on Printshop Forever) and Jessica Steeber continue to plumb the depths of the art world to present carefully collected images and thoughts for your pleasure. If you haven’t had the chance to flip through one, I highly recommend you pick up a copy.
If you are lucky enough to live near one of these places, you can walk to find it:
Milwaukee, WI – Boswell Books & Hot Pop
Madison, WI – A Room of One’s Own
Chicago, IL – Workshop
Providence, RI – Ada Books
Seattle, WA – 20Twenty
Austin, TX – Domy Books
Berlin, Germany – Do You Read Me?