Yesterday took us to the North side of Chicago, actually the neighboring town of Evanston. My parents actually live pretty close to this area, so being so far up North is not that unusual, but it was the first time we've explored Evanston at all.
At my Dad's suggestion we went to the Block Museum to catch an exhibit on Arts & Crafts in its last few days. In Grad School I had the opportunity to take an excellent class on the movement, and this was a nice refresher. Chicago certainly has a history with it and I hope to see more exhibits on the subject. Seeing William Morris wallpaper in person and Louis Sullivan's sketches for intricate Terra Cotta work will never cease to impress me and get me excited about architecture and craft. The website has a lovely slide show of some of the pieces on display I would recommend viewing.
From there we went to the American Craft Exposition, which was at my Mom's suggestion. The work on display represented amazing levels of skill and craftsmanship. There were so many impressive exhibitors, it would be difficult to list them here. One artist that impressed both my Mom and I was the work of Jeung-Hwa Park. Knitted & felted scarves with impressive shaping work that we determined must involve rocks and wires, these forms were left un-felted so the stitches were exposed.
Architecturally there were a few booths I think appealed to Chuck and I. David D'Imperio had beautiful light fixtures I'd love to design a space around. And the furniture by John Dodd presented a well crafted marriage of materials, wood and concrete. I also appreciated the wall cabinet/niches on display, the idea of a vertical linear hall piece with a mirror, light fixture and small ledge seemed useful and very beautiful.
I'll end with the booth that seemed to impress everyone at the show, and which I might have missed if Chuck hadn't pulled me into it. Walking by the worked just seemed to be very nice nature photography, and there was such a crowd I was beginning to skip over it for the next thing. Amazingly, it wasn't photography at all, instead the artist was creating "Landscape in Thread." Martha Fieber's work impressed everyone with it's intricacy. I thought the idea and the way it was executed was extremely clever and well done, and there was a certain joyfulness in applying the craft in this way. All in all, if I really had tons (and tons) of money to spend, I wish I could spend it there!
And today we get the Couch! Look for pictures of our space in the next few days on my Flickr page!