Wondering what to do this weekend? Ready to get your Christmas shopping started already? Want to see some great art and talk with the creative artists who made it? Then head to the Brooklyn Museum this weekend, November 21-22, where admission to the museum gets you admission to the American Fine Craft Show. You’ll love the diversity of arts and crafts offered here, including everything from jewelry to pottery, textiles to furniture, and everything in between. One of the best parts of the fair is getting to talk to the actual artists who created the works that are for sale. Ask them anything – they love to chat! With that in mind, examiner spoke with 8 craftsmen and craftswomen to learn more about their work and the craft show. The is the fourth and final installment of our preview series. The rest is up to you – go out and see the show for yourself, and pick up a few items for Mom, Grandpa, and yourself along the way!
Today we’re speaking with Christine Love Adcock, a basketry artist who is half of the duo in charge of Leaves of Grass Fiber-Clay Arts, and Meg Little, a textile artist who runs her own studio, On the Spot. This is the first time exhibiting at the AFCS for both artists, so be sure to welcome them to New York! Here is what they had to say:
Examiner: What made you decide to become an artist?
ML: I’ve been making textiles since I taught myself to weave in high school over 40 years ago. I trained in textiles both as an undergraduate and a graduate student. I’ve been making rugs full time since 1990.
CA: I have been a self-employed artist for 35 years. I think I have always wanted to do art for a living.
Sometimes I wonder if we choose art or it chooses us.
I have always believed that it is important to do something that you love for a living. While living in Puerto Rico and Mexico, [I] became interested in the functional artistic expression of indigenous people [and] enrolled as an art major at the University of California, Irvine. This interest evolved into a fascination with basketry as a medium, and so began a process of experimentation and self -education.
Examiner: What inspires you?
CA: To me nature is the ultimate teacher and inspiration. I delight in its every detail, from the beautiful markings on a tiny bug or moth to the majesty of mountain and meadow. Nature enlivens the current of my being, affects the very tenor of my thoughts, my vision and my imagination. Nature opens my ears and eyes and awakens my soul. My work is an effort to take tiny, beautiful, elements of nature – a seed pod we tread upon or a leaf of grass – and put them in a context where people take time to experience and enjoy their perfection.
Examiner: What does a typical day in the life of you as an artist look like?
ML: I have two dogs so the day starts with a walk- sometimes a long one on the beach (I live in Rhode Island). The creative life always needs a little fallow time. You have to bury the seed in order for it to germinate. There is a fair amount of repetitive work in all textiles which I find contemplative rather than boring. (I do listen to a lot of books and have been known to talk to myself.) The consolation is that I get to work with a glorious assortment of colors.
CA: I usually get up, meditate, putter in my garden or do yoga, and then wander out to the studio. My days start slowly, but I am often in the studio in the evening. Once I get involved in a project or a piece, I often lose track of time. As an artist you have the luxury of orchestrating your time, rather than having to answer to another person’s schedule.
Examiner: What can visitors expect to see at your booth this year?
ML: I will have a selection of rugs available for sale in sizes from 3’ x 5’ up to 8’ x 10’ and can also take commissions. The rugs are not only beautiful but incredibly durable and since they are one of a kind or limited edition you’ll be getting something unique. They are all wool, designed, hand drawn and made by me using hundreds of blended colors. There are only a handful of artists producing rugs themselves.
Examiner: What should visitors know before attending the American Fine Craft Show this year?
ML: Take your measurements for your new rug!
CA: It is helpful, at Craft shows in general, to walk the entire show somewhat systematically and see what is there, noting what really interests you and return to spend more time in those booths.