Sunday, November 22, 2015

Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show 2015

Last Saturday, Jean made a solo trek to the City of Brotherly Love to attend the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Craft Show.  Valerie, explaining that she'd spent all of her ducats (or German marks or Euros or whatever) in Berlin, begged off. Undeterred, Jean was committed to go. But getting there was NOT easy. After spinning her wheels at Penn Station, switching tickets and waiting, only to learn that the 10 AM, 11AM and finally, the 12 PM AMTRAK trains were all delayed due to "track debris"somewhere north of NYC, interfering with southbound trains, she jogged up 8th Avenue to Port Authority and bought a ticket on the 1 PM Greyhound bus. As the bus pulled out and she was planning how to make up for lost time, since her ETA was closer to 3 PM instead of noon, her reverie was once again interrupted. Due to mechanical problems, the bus had to return to the terminal and everyone had to get on another bus! Arggghhh.

When she finally got to the convention center ...  at 3:30 in the afternoon, Jean was a woman on a mission -- to see as much as possible before the 6PM closing. [Click on the links to get more information on the exhibitors and click on the photos to enlarge.] First stop was Ignatius Hats, of course. (More on that later.)  Second stop was Andrea Geer's booth.  This black and white striped vest with continuously looped side panels made a dramatic statement.

Next stop was Steven Ford and David Forlano's booth to drool over their semi-precious jewelry, including these O'Keefe earrings and colorful ceramic beaded necklaces.

Fashion designer Selma Karaka sewed strips of fabrics to create texture and shape and wonderful variations in color on everything from dresses to skirts. Jean's favorite was the orange skirt on the left.

Re-connecting with friends is one of the best things about attending this show.  It was so much fun to check in with Amy Nguyen and her husband Ky to see what they've been up to. Among other things, they produced a beautiful hand-made book about Amy's designs and their Boston show room.

This coat is an example of the workmanship and attention to detail in Amy's textiles. Even the lining is stitched together like a gossamer quilt.

When another friend, Chicago jewelry designer Christy Klug stopped by, Ky snapped a shot of the threesome.

This necklace, with a clear enamel finish, is an example of Christy Klug's work.  She works mostly in metals and enamels.

Christy couldn't resist trying on one of Amy's jackets.

New York jeweler Biba Schutz is a long-time favorite.  She posed with a customer showing of her new white metal earrings.

In addition to jewelry, Biba is producing small sculptural objects like this little number which measures about 6"-7" in height.  It appears to embody both African and Asian influences.

Check out this lady's stockings.  They had black rectangles that looked like strips of electrician's tape strategically placed around the ankles and calves.

It was New York textile designer (and good pal) Mary Jaeger's first time at the Philadelphia Museum's show. Her booth was an amazing collection of pleated, pieced and hand-colored coats, jackets and scarves, interspersed with luxuriously knit hats and neck scarves. Jean's favorites were the tall felted hats like the white one in the foreground.  Mary appeared in the far left of the shot, working with one of her many customers.

Ignatius Hats' booth is always the first priority.  Ignatius Creegan (left) and Rod Givens (right) posed with their friend Liddy.

Long-time readers of our blog know of our well-documented addiction to their head gear.  Two of their straw creations are below. More hats will be posted on our Instagram. Jean's purchases?  They will gradually be revealed as she wears them later this winter and spring, so stay tuned!

Jean recognized this gorgeous and charming lady (who was purchasing a hat from Ignatius) as someone she'd photographed last year.  She was sweet enough to allow another photograph this year.  (Maybe this will be a new tradition?)  Don't you love her (own) knit hat, set at a rakish angle; terrific striped and dotted jacket; and graphic bracelet?

Across the aisle from Ignatius was Adcock Studios' booth with the most amazing baskets made by Christine and Michael Adcock in their Santa Barbara studio.  This black, white and red basket was emblematic of their work.

Christine Adcock (who let us try on her baskets as hats last year) was sweet enough to pose for a photo this year.  Check out the basket in the background on the left and the little houses on stilts on the right.

These colorful archery earrings were among Jean' favorites.

Berea, OH jewelers, mixed media artists and teachers, Roberta and David Williamson were engaging and connected. And yes, David is wearing a weathered knife blade pin.  Check out the current issue of American Craft Magazine to read their interview and view shots of their home which illustrate how seamlessly they live with and among their work.

These two red coral-like necklaces were Jean's favorite among favorites in their booth.

Rea Studio Art featured 3-D creations that worked equally well as jewelry or clothing and as art. Rea is a jeweler and sculptor.  Her genetic hearing loss prompted her interest in and inspiration from sound waves.  She creates endlessly interwoven patterns of nylon via 3-D modeling and printing.

Rea's nylon jewelry was both lightweight and comfortable.

Shellie Bender from Lawrence, Kansas, created black and white graphic jewelry that looked comfortable and soft.

Jean stopped in at Annika King's to view her latest designs.  Her F/W 15/16 Granate Pret collection, called "Clositered Winter" was beautifully tailored. The fabrication and cut-outs in her grey and white Cloister coat created a romantic silhouette.

From the front, details like its golden lining, curving collar and double clasps were visible. Annika obviously continued to refine her design and dress-making skills.  Her made-to-order custom collection offers options in design and color.

Wake Forest, NC artist Sharron Parker (who does spell her first name with 2 "r"s) had a series of large scale and smaller handmade mounted felt pieces, as well as smaller felted pins. This particular piece, "Zion in Spring", measured 27" x 32 x 2".

Another favorite, New Mexico fiber artist Juanita Girardin, showed her collection of graphic pins, jackets and vests.

Brooklyn, NY quilter Erin Wilson showed colorful and black and white geometric hand-dyed and pieced cottons. Check out her website to view more of her work. And check out @idiosyncraticfashionistas on Instagram to see additional shots of people and designs from the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Craft Show.


  1. Wow, you are a trooper to go through all that to get to the show, and see as much as you did in a couple of hours. I can never go to this show, because I can see me maxing out my credit card. Annika King's "Cloister Coat" is too beautiful for words, and I would love a piece of Rea's nylon jewellery. Mary Jaeger's clothing is so cool, and I could go on and on. If you hadn't mentioned that the vest was from a vendor at the show I would have assumed it came from your wardrobe.

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