Saturday, June 7, 2008

Contemporary Crafts Market: The Best of the West

Cynthia Downs
Mary Darwall

The Contemporary Crafts Market returned to the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium for its 23rd season this weekend as the West Coast’s premiere event for one-of-a-kind functional and decorative crafts. Over 250 artists exhibited their juried work including jewelry designers working in enamel, fibers, knotting and weaving to various gold and silversmiths of exceptional quality.

Most of the designers I met were gracious and wonderful about discussing their work and processes, though three vendors actually shooed me away saying that they didn't want me to take photos of their designs. VERY WEIRD if you ask me. Why, I wondered, would someone AT A SHOW, not want publicity on their work? Maybe someone out there can comment and educate me on this strange behavior.

But otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the best the west has to offer. A few of my favorites included the wire woven cuffs by Cynthia Downs, the elaborate seed bead pieces by Mary Darwall, the gold and silver fused cuffs and rings by Marne Ryan and the glass and silver designs by Alison Antelman and Amy Faust.

I hope the economy and gas prices didn't put a damper on the crowds. These talented designers deserve great success!
Thanks for stopping by!


Lora ~ said...

It *was* a wonderful show wasn't it! I bought a cup from Sandy Kreyer at Kiln House Pottery for a friend's b-day and a Kelp Basket from Leah Danberg. Had a lovely day.

I think the reason folks didn't want you to take photos is copying. *You* wouldn't have done it, but it definitely goes on and artists are shy of photos of their booth.

The vast majority of vendors at that show are very generous about talking with you about their process (if they don't have a real customer). I haven't asked to take pictures, although I did think about it for my own blog this morning.

Glad you had a as great a time as I did.

Anonymous said...

Yes it’s very good. The things and pots of this market are really very good. I like them so much.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I can explain why artists are "camera shy" . There are some unscrupulous humans out there that will take a photo, send it to wherever, and have your product reproduced.This can put an artist out of business. I have seen works from an artist I knew at Target. These were reproductions made in China. I was very shocked! There really is not much an artist can do to stop this from happening...all someone has to do is buy a piece, we wouldn't know until too late. I really don't mind someone taking photos, I have been copied. Oh well. I am still hanging in there!