American Craftsmanship In Three Amazing Artists

The Best Of American Craftsmanship In Three Amazing Artists – Although many people don’t know, the United States of America is a country with a rich craftsmanship history thanks to the iconic artistic movement called “American Craftsman Style” or “American Arts and Crafts Movement”. This amazing initiative has inspired some 21st-century artists to pursue the oldest craftsmanship techniques that were about to enter in extinction.

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The “American Arts and Crafts Movement” was an American domestic architecturalinterior design, landscape design, applied arts, and decorative arts style and lifestyle philosophy which began in the last years of the 19th century and remained popular into the 1930s. The art and design movement that defended the honor of the American craftsmanship inspired many amazing artists and interior designers to continue all of the different techniques so that the amazing crafts could remain timeless!

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Wendel Castle

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Photo: ©Wendell Castle: A Portrait

Born in Emporia, Kansas, in 1932, Wendell Castle was a true giant in the world of design… In his childhood years, he struggled with dyslexia. “I was not good at anything”, he confessed in 2016. The only exceptions were “drawing and daydreaming, neither of which were valued”. This life experience served as a motivation story for many younger artists who might be suffering their own setbacks and self-doubts. His inspiring message to the ones that were just beginning their career was: a new reality is there, just waiting to be imagined, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

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Triad Chair (2006) by Wendell Castle. Made of gilt fiberglass. Photo: ©cooperhewitt

With a pure creative drive, which would stay with him lifelong, Wendell prevailed over his early obstacles and entered an industrial design program at the University of Kansas. He began his career, however, through sculpture, receiving a Master of Fine Arts in that field in 1961 .A decade before the concept of radical design emerged, he began reinventing furniture forms at every level. His earliest craftsmanship works were sinuous and sculptural, all choreographed curves, not a straight line or right angle to be seen.

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Triad Chair (2006) by Wendell Castle. Made of gilt fiberglass. Photo: ©cooperhewitt

Using traditional joinery, Castle brought to life his art pieces, but with very peculiar cage-like structures and curved elements, which he carved from gunstocks. Thanks to his beautiful and innovative craftsmanship masterpieces he was invited to be an instructor in the furniture department at the School for American Craftsmen, Rochester Institute of Technology. Although he left his position there in 1971, he would later return as an Artist in Residence and remained in Rochester, New York, for the rest of his life.

 


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Misha Kahn 

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Misha Kahn

Born in Duluth, Minnesota in 1989, the contemporary artist graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2011 and was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Tel Aviv the following year. In 2008, Misha’s work was included in 20 under 20 at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN. His craftsmanship work was exhibited in 2014 at NYC Makers: MAD Biennial at the Museum of Art and Design, New York.

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“Bronze Walk the Dog Console” (2018) by Misha Kahn. Made of bronze and glass. Photo: ©Friedman Benda

The contemporary artist lives and creates his craftsmanship art pieces in Brooklyn with the most unusual materials. Kahn handcrafts his master artworks with unorthodox materials such as pool noodles and fishing wire and often produces the final work through digital means, creating an interplay between the handmade and the technological.

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“Reflectory” (2017) by Chris Schanck. Made of resin, steel, polystyrene and aluminum foil. Photo: ©Friedman Benda

The contemporary artist’s work is admired by renowened interior designers. “Misha creates work for a parallel wonderland, where the traditional perception of material and structure is pushed to the edges of the room to make space for one big party” explained John Maeda, an interior designer who has collaborated with Kahn in a design project. Kahn has collaborated with artists as well, creating objects for installations by Bjarne Melgaard.

Adam Silverman

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Adam Silverman’s Art Pieces. Photo: ©digdelve

The master artisan was born in 1963 in New York and is one of the most famous pottery artisans in the city. He has received a BFA and a Bachelors of Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1987 and 1988. “The word potter is important and continues to be relevant, not because I do or don’t make functional pots, but because working at the potter’s wheel is still the foundation of my studio practice”, explain the contemporary artist.

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In his professional career, Silverman has served as the Los Angeles studio director of Heath Ceramics from January 2009 to May 2014. Currently, he is represented by the Los Angeles-based gallery Cherry and Martin and by Friedman Benda, in New York.

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In every design, the contemporary artist is constantly experimenting with form and with other materials. His art pieces are included in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; the Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA; the Yale Art Gallery, New Haven, CT; the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, TX; the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel; the Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, OR; and the RISD Museum, Providence, RI.

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