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RESIDENT ARTIST REBECCA HEWITT ON ENVIRONMENTAL JEWELRY

Posted August 8, 2017 in Blog

The following interview is the second in a summer series of Q&A sessions with current resident artists. HCCC Intern Claire Alderson recently spoke with Rebecca Hewitt, a metalsmith interested in environmental issues and community engagement.

Rebecca Hewitt, “Endangered,” 2015. Photo by Claire Lafontaine.

Claire Alderson: When did you get into making jewelry, and how has being environmentally conscious affected your process?

Rebecca Hewitt:  I started making jewelry about five years ago, during my second semester of college. I took an intro course and fell in love with metalsmithing, although not immediately (the jeweler’s saw was a difficult tool for me to learn, and I went through piles of saw blades). Metalsmithing is captivating in many ways—there’s tradition, problem solving, and a beautiful community.

I try to be mindful of the processes and materials that I’m using in my practice. When approaching different processes, I consider the impact they might have and, if needed, employ potential alternatives. When approaching different materials, I try to source responsibly and locally whenever I can. Creating a totally ethical practice is impossible, but it’s my responsibility as a maker to continue to evolve my practice in an ethical manner.

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TAKE A LOOK, TAKE A SEAT

Posted August 4, 2017 in Blog

Annie Evelyn, “Oshibana,” 2017. Handmade paper flowers, silk flowers, foam, wood. Photos by Scott Cartwright. Annie Evelyn, “Oshibana,” 2017. Handmade paper flowers, silk flowers, foam, wood. Photos by Scott Cartwright. 

One of the pleasures of the field of contemporary craft is the tactile experience of materials used by craftspeople in the creation of a unique work of art. Unfortunately, once the work is on exhibition in our galleries, as with any museum, it is “hands off” for visitors. This summer, the normal guidelines that constrain your perception of a work of art have been lifted, as we invite you to experience the installation of new work by furniture maker Annie Evelyn with your eyes as well as your, well, derriere. Continue Reading »

RESIDENT ARTIST SHIYUAN XU ON INSPIRATION & PROCESS

Posted July 12, 2017 in Blog

Shiyuan Xu, “Through the Lens #4,” 2016. Photo courtesy of Lisa Hardaway.

The following interview is the first in a summer series of Q&A sessions with current resident artists. HCCC Intern Claire Alderson recently spoke with Shiyuan Xu, a ceramicist inspired by a microscopic view of our world. Continue Reading »

A BUZZY NEW ADDITION TO HCCC

Posted June 1, 2017 in Blog


Honeybees are here! Photo by Perry A. Price.

This spring, HCCC added around 10,000 new staff, give or take a hundred, but you will probably never notice them. They are working in our Craft Garden and likely will put in a few extra hours across the Museum District. They are honeybees, whose hive was recently installed on the roof of the Center.  Continue Reading »

CASE STUDY: PETER VOULKOS

Posted May 28, 2017 in Blog, Case Study

Peter Callas assisting Peter Voulkos in Belvidere, NJ, 1998. Peter Callas built the first anagama kiln in the United States, and Voulkos fired many of his pieces in it later in his career. Photo by TolneGGG (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0), via Wikimedia Commons.

The following text accompanied the work, Untitled Plate (1989), by Peter Voulkos, on view April 18 – May 21, 2017, at HCCC as part of the Case Study exhibition series. Rotating periodically throughout the year, this series presents an in-depth look at craft-based objects as they relate to current events and/or spotlights a moment in craft history.

HCCC would like to thank the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, for making this work available for exhibition. Please make sure to visit In the Studio: Craft in Postwar America, 1950 – 1970, on view at the MFAH through October 8, 2017, to learn more about the development of Studio Craft in the United States.

Peter Voulkos (American, 1924-2002) was a pioneer of Studio Craft, a post-World War II movement in the United States that experimented with new techniques in the traditional materials of metal, clay, glass, wood, and fiber, as well as non-traditional materials. He shaped the ceramic avant-garde during the mid-20th Century and broadened the scope of contemporary ceramics through his experimentation with surface and form.

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MADISON CREECH ON MEMES, COLLABORATION, AND THE MATERIALITY OF NOSTALGIA

Posted May 5, 2017 in Blog

Madison Creech, “#TBT Smiley,” from the series, “Always Low Brow Always,” 2016. Hand embroidery on plastic Wal-Mart bag. Photo courtesy of Madison Creech.

HCCC Curatorial Fellow Sarah Darro recently asked Madison Creech a few questions about the processes and inspiration behind her work. Madison is featured in In Residence, which is on view in HCCC’s Artist Hall through May 20, 2017. 

Sarah Darro: Your series of sculptural quilts, LOL-a-Bye Felicia, incorporates digital fabrication techniques and humorous references to music and pop culture. How do you see this work in conversation with a contemporary culture of sampling in the music industry and on the Internet?

Madison Creech: Within contemporary culture, we consume information and images without hierarchy. In one scroll through Facebook, you will find a tongue-in-check meme, then a newsworthy injustice, then a series of baby photos, etc. Each update occupies the same amount of space as the next. Our mind is subconsciously making connections and comparisons between the memes, the news, and our personal lives. I feel like a lot of my collaborative work with Matthew [Madison’s husband and artistic partner] consists of iterations of these connections and comparisons. Continue Reading »

LIVE FROM THE STUDIO WITH REBECCA LYNN HEWITT!

Posted May 3, 2017 in Blog

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THE ARTIST IS IN THE BUILDING

Posted April 6, 2017 in Blog

Not infrequently, while on the phone or in a meeting in my office at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, the conversation will be distracted, if not outright interrupted, by the sounds of making coming from the studios of our resident artists. It never bothers me when this happens–which is good, as it happens every day–because it gives me an opportunity to brag about this incomparable program and the fascinating artists it brings to HCCC. Since joining the Center, the excitement and energy that the resident artists bring to my work daily has become among the most enjoyable aspects of my job. Continue Reading »

CASE STUDY: PUSSYHAT

Posted March 17, 2017 in Case Study

The cat-eared knit hat on view at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft this spring has traveled thousands of miles, from a Maine-based knitting group to New Jersey; Pennsylvania; Washington, D.C.; and now Houston. It was worn on January 21, 2017, in Washington, D.C., at the Women’s March, the largest single-day peaceful demonstration in United States history. Betsey Norland, a knitter from Lambertville, New Jersey, was unable to attend the protest herself and knitted eight hats as a way to participate, commenting, “A little bit of me was on a lot of women.” This handmade hat is just one of millions that were created for and worn by participants marching in Washington, D.C., and in 600 sister marches worldwide. Continue Reading »

ALTHEA CROME ON STORYTELLING THROUGH KNITTING & OUR CULTURAL FASCINATION WITH MINIATURES

Posted March 14, 2017 in Blog

Althea Crome

Installation view of Althea Crome’s “King and Queen of Hearts Coronation Sweater,” 2015. On view in “Pocket Museum” at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft through March 18, 2017. Photo by Scott Cartwright.

In honor of Women’s History Month, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) is participating in #5womenartists, a national campaign led by The National Museum of Women in the Arts to share information about women artists. Check out other entries on our blog.

This week, HCCC Curatorial Fellow Sarah Darro asked Althea Crome a few questions about the processes and inspiration behind her work. Althea is featured in Pocket Museum, which is on view in HCCC’s Artist Hall through March 18, 2017.

Sarah Darro: A number of your pieces incorporate figurative subjects and narrative elements from the art historical canon, ranging from ancient Greek amphora to Picasso paintings. You have also collaborated on projects in which characters wear your designs: the 2009 stop-motion film, Coraline, for instance. How does narrative function in your work?

Althea Crome:  Storytelling started with my four children who, as they were growing up, begged me to tell them tales. It has evolved over time into storytelling in my artwork. All of my pictorial knitting tells a story—either through a single piece or through a series of work. Some of my pieces have an autobiographical theme, like my Scuba Cardigan, which I created during a time in my life when I was my most heartbroken and found it difficult to knit. I was newly divorced and looking for ways to find meaning in my life, so I took up scuba diving. The sweater tells a story of one wonderful day of scuba diving, when we were followed out to sea by dolphins, saw a rainbow and a water spout, swam with sharks and sea turtles, and I even lost and later found my weight belt in a coral reef. I used techniques on the collar and borders to create the illusion of water and sea life. The creation of this particular piece paid homage to the things in my life that helped save my spirit and, in the process, re-energized my desire to knit.  Continue Reading »