Blog

Buying Handmade in Texas

Posted August 14, 2014 in Blog

Harlan Butt, "Horned Toad Vessel #3." Metal. Photo by Amanda Shackleford.

Harlan Butt, “Horned Toad Vessel #3.” Metal. Photo by Amanda Shackleford.

Texas is brimming with artists, offering you beautiful work exemplified by individuality and spirit. Check out these fine examples of Texan craft to see how they stand out from the mass-produced, and see why we think buying handmade is the ideal choice for consumers. Continue Reading »

Texas Masters Series: Sandie Zilker
Essay by Elizabeth Kozlowski

Posted July 24, 2014 in Blog

Sandie Zilker, "Armored Car Elbow Ornament," 1975. Sterling silver, plastic tubing, moonstone. Collection of Richard and Carol Hutchens. Photo by Logan Beck.

(Fig. 1) Sandie Zilker, “Armored Car Elbow Ornament,” 1975. Sterling silver, plastic tubing, moonstone. Collection of Richard and Carol Hutchens. Photo by Logan Beck.

Nominated by her peers and celebrated by the Houston community, Sandie Zilker was named the 2014 Texas Master by Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC). As a result, she received the opportunity to show her work in a brilliant solo exhibition and now joins an elite roster of former Texas Masters, all of whom were recognized for their roles as career artists in Texas who have made a significant impact on the field of craft.

Zilker’s solo exhibition serves as a retrospective of her jewelry work over the past four decades. Using the body as a frame of reference, she pulls from elements of illusion and surprise to elevate adornment to its fullest potential. Each of her pieces is packed with personality, increasing the wearer’s senses and creating a unique relationship between wearer and object.

After graduate school, Zilker began experimenting with very large, hollow layered pieces. Armoured Car Elbow Ornament, 1975 (fig. 1), demonstrates the artist’s ability to manipulate metal into numerous folds and incorporate both the precious (moonstone) and the discarded (plastic tubing) into wearable form. Within a few years, her work shifted towards the more formal elements of design. The Zig Zag brooch series, 1989 (fig. 2), which is more structured in terms of composition, is an example of this deviation from her earlier work. In her most recent piece in the exhibition, Long Dangling Points, 2014 (fig. 3), she applied line drawings to the Styrofoam surface, adding yet another rich visual layer to the work. Continue Reading »

Interview with Former Resident Artist,
Christina Carfora

Posted February 25, 2014 in Blog

The Grass is Always Greener

Christina Carfora, “The Grass is Always Greener.” Stoneware. 2013. Life size, 36″ x 24″ x 24″ each. Photo courtesy of Christina Carfora.

Ashley Powell, HCCC Curatorial Assistant, and Kathryn Hall, HCCC Curatorial Fellow, recently interviewed former resident artist, Christina Carfora, at the end of her residency.  Christina is currently living in Denton, Texas, teaching ceramics at Texas Women’s University, working in her studio, and taking graduate classes.

Ashley Powell: We’ve noticed a relationship between your drawings and your ceramic sculptures. Can you tell us how they work together and inform each other?

Yes, the two are definitely very integrally tied together, and, often, when I’m working on a piece, I’ll start with a sketch. However, I sort of vacillate back and forth, and, as I’m working on a drawing, it often inspires other concepts and other pieces. When I’m working on my sculptures, I think of other ideas for drawings. I like this aspect of the drawings because you don’t have to deal with gravity like you do in the very structural ways when making sculptural work. When working on the sculptures, I really like getting the clay in my hands and being able to feel the tactile-ness. I also like the way people emotionally interact with the sculptural work on a different level. Continue Reading »

Staff Picks for Holiday Gifts from Asher Gallery

Posted December 5, 2013 in Blog

The holidays have officially arrived, and that means the shopping season has begun! HCCC’s Asher Gallery has a wonderful selection of gifts for all the people in your life who appreciate the handmade. To give you an idea of the wide variety of beautifully crafted objects to choose from, we decided to ask the HCCC staff to share with readers what their favorite gift items are.

Executive Director, Julie Farr, chose Lisa Wilson’s brooch series and said, “Lisa Wilson has pushed her sculptural boundaries into exquisite, delicate glass-enamel work that enhances her metal skills in her Floral Brooch series.  And her enamel anvils, embellished with a flower, speak to the Southern women—delicate but, oh, so strong.”

Lisa Wilson Brooches 3_to post

Lisa Wilson, “Floral Brooch Series.” Sterling silver, enamel. Photo by HCCC

Continue Reading »

Interview with Resident Artist,
Susannah Mira

Posted August 29, 2013 in Blog

Installation view

View of “Room Divider,″ Susannah Mira’s solo exhibition in the project Space at Lawndale Art Center. 2013. Photo by Ashley Powell.

This month, Ashley Powell, HCCC Curatorial Assistant, and Kathryn Hall, HCCC Curatorial Fellow, interviewed current resident artist, Susannah Mira, who finishes her residency at HCCC this week. Continue Reading »

Interview with TX/RX Labs’ Roland Von Kurnatowski III

Posted July 10, 2013 in Blog

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TX/RX Labs and HCCC Curatorial Assistant, Ashley Powell. Photo by HCCC.

As an educational component of the current exhibition, Ctrl + P, HCCC is hosting a working FDM-based (Fusion Deposition Modeling) 3D printer on loan from TX/RX Labs, a nonprofit hackerspace in Houston. The printer continuously prints plastic manifestations of digital creations during viewing hours.  This is the first of many 3D printers that TX/RX Labs is creating and donating to schools in the Houston area as part of its SchoolBOT project, which seeks to increase science and technology interest among children and adults. HCCC’s Ashley Powell asked TX/RX’s Roland Von Kurnatowski III about their cutting-edge organization. Continue Reading »

Interview with Ethan Lasser:
Curator of “The Tool at Hand”

Posted June 24, 2013 in Blog

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HCCC curatorial staff interviewing Ethan Lasser. Photo by HCCC.

Earlier this month, HCCC hosted Ethan Lasser, curator of the current exhibition, The Tool at Hand, for a members-only exhibition tour and reception. Lasser is the Margaret S. Winthrop Associate Curator of American Art at Harvard Art Museums’ Division of European and American Art.  He is also the former curator of the Chipstone Foundation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he organized The Tool at Hand. HCCC curatorial staff, Ashley Powell and Quinn Hagood, had the chance to briefly interview Lasser during his whirlwind 24-hour trip to Houston. Continue Reading »

Interview with Resident Artist,
Tarina Frank

Posted May 22, 2013 in Blog

Tarina Frank in her studio at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. Photo by Ron Scubadiver.

Tarina Frank in her studio at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. Photo by Ron Scubadiver.

Briefly describe what you make.  What projects have you been working on recently?

I make wearable art objects from a variety of materials.  During my residency, I have been experimenting with the idea of wearable art.  My work ranges from the simple, tiny, more traditional idea of jewelry all the way to costumes and masks. My most recent works have been large, lightweight necklaces made from paper. Continue Reading »

Interview with Resident Artist,
Jaydan Moore

Posted April 10, 2013 in Blog

Jaydan 2 with print

Jaydan Moore in his studio at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. Photo by Kim Coffman.

This week, we interviewed HCCC current resident artist, Jaydan Moore, a metal and jewelry artist who fabricates new objects from historical wares, such as silver-plated tableware and family heirlooms.  Jaydan earned a BFA in jewelry and metal arts from California College of Arts, Oakland, and a MFA/MA in jewelry and metal arts from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Continue Reading »

Interview with Resident Artist,
Chanda Glendinning

Posted March 20, 2013 in Blog

Chanda_CT opening

Chanda Glendinning in her studio at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. Photo by Kim Coffman.

This week, we interviewed HCCC current resident artist, Chanda Glendinning, a ceramic sculptor whose work draws from her interest in the virtual communication networks that enable people to share and acquire information on a global level.  Chanda is from rural western New York, where she received her BFA from Buffalo State College. She received her MFA in ceramics from Kansas State University. Continue Reading »