American Craft Council Goes Green
Every year I look forward to the American Craft Council Fair in San Francisco at Fort Mason Center, located in the Marina neighborhood. There is always an incredible array of hand-made crafts by established and up-and-coming artists, who create ﬁne crafts in a huge array of materials; glass, ceramic, ﬁber, lighting, jewelry, metal, stone, wood, paper and basketry.
American Craft Council’s Yearly Show
Last year was the 70th anniversary of the ACC. The magazine originated in 1941 as Craft Horizons, changing its name in 1979 to AMERICAN CRAFT and leading the world in providing a new voice to the craft community.
American Craft celebrates artisans who devote their lives to innovative endeavors and quality craftsmanship. This non-proﬁt membership organization welcomes teachers, artists, collectors, scholars, gallery owners, and professionals in every ﬁeld from around the globe who are interested in supporting crafts.
The one-of-a-kind treasures are showcased in a massive pavilion which feels more like an enormous gallery exhibit. Appreciators of beautiful objects and art can connect with the makers of these quality collections and one-of-a-kind treasures. Every year I have favorites who I look forward to and new-comers who are added to the list.
Artists at American Craft Council
Last year I was pleased to see Green Craft artists who reﬂect our social responsibility to the environment, this category features artists who incorporate recycled or found materials and use eco-friendly techniques into creating their work. One artist who I noted uses Legos to create one-of-a-kind jewelry.
Emiko Oye is inspired by hardware, haute culture and salvaged materials and created a company called Reware. Her work has been shown in exhibitions across the US and Europe.
I was excited to see someone using the infamous plastic toy in a new way. Legos have been the favorite food of my vacuum cleaner for many, many years. Emiko focuses on the Lego’s vibrant colors and unique shapes to create whimsical and stylish bracelets, necklaces and broaches.
Accessorize with Toys! Workshop was developed by Emiko Oye in 2006 for Make Magazine’s 1st inaugural Makerfaire, held in San Mateo, CA. This recycled jewelry workshop runs annually at MakerFaire, and draws hundreds of people over a weekend in May.
Supplying a plentiful variety of discarded/recycled toy and game parts with basic jewelry ﬁndings, Emiko is there to help guide participants into actualizing their ideas. The event has inspired kids and parents alike, in creating necklaces, bracelets, brooches, earrings, and small sculptures together, while gaining a new perspective on transforming “trash.”
At a time when schools are cutting arts programs, this provides a much needed outlet for kids of all ages, promoting the creative process through problem solving, using tools, and having a hand in making their own unique creations.
Donations of toy parts are encouraged. (www.rewarestyle.com) Emiko has also run workshops at SCRAP in San Francisco; SCRAP is a non-proﬁt creative reuse center, materials depot, and workshop space. Many artists and teachers depend on places like SCRAP for inexpensive materials for projects and classes.
The American Craft Council Fair keeps assures artisans a place in the ﬁne art community and the creative re-use and innovations of artists like Emiko demonstrates that artistic creativity and learning also has a strong place in the craft community—and with all manner of materials.
I can’t wait to see what’s in store for this year’s American Craft Council Show!
Lisa Burnham is an artist-ecoactivist-entrepreneur mom to two wonderful kids and wife to a surfer! She teaches for 25 years to children of all ages, has an art education and speaks Spanish, pretty well, too! This mom loves traveling, gardening and anything green! She lives in San Francisco, California just a block away from the ocean. And she has a pitbull named Irie.
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