Karl Fritsch defies preconceptions that production work is not creative. Internationally renowned for his rings, his exhibitions and books are as singular as each object. Namita Wiggers speaks with the artist in his studio (Wellington, New Zealand) about collaboration, process, materials, and how production and jewelry are anything but repetitive. Visit the blog here on the CCF website for images and links. Sound: Seth Nehil; Music: Matt Marble



Episode 2: Studio Visit with Aram Han Sifuentes

Link here:


Aran Han Sifuentes uses needles and thread to explore the experience of being a first generation immigrant to the US. In this studio visit from Fall 2015, we spoke about politics and religion, “Forms in Japan”, and planning the exhibition “Everything has been Material for Scissors to Shape” (Wing Luke Museum, Seattle), and how her everyday materials and examination of immigrant labor connects to the dry cleaning and seamstress businesses of her Korean immigrant parents. From “A Mend,” a quilt constructed from jean cuffs gathered from Korean tailors in Chicago to her “US Citizenship Test Sampler,” and projects connecting embroidery histories in Seoul, South Korea and Chiapas, Mexico, Aram Han Sifuentes pushes consideration of what it means to be “American” and to pursue the “American Dream.” Visit www.criticalcraftforum.com for images and links. 


To learn more about her work, and to participate in her upcoming public projects, visit www.aranhan.com Consider spending time on election day at Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, where Aram will be conducting The Official Unofficial Voting Station Performance
In Collaboration with Roberto Sifuentes and Sadie Woods
from 6 - 8pm.

In addition to seeing her work in  Everything Has Been Material for Scissors to Shape at the Wing Luke Museum of Asian Pacific American Experience, Seattle, WA through April 2017, Aram's work is on view at the Jane Addams Hull House Museum in Chicago, IL through March 2017 in The Official Unofficial Voting Station: Voting for All Who Legally Can't, a collaboration with: Lise Haller Baggesen, Roberto Sifuentes (Chicago), Verónica Casado Hernández (Baltimore/DC), Lilah Thompson (Philadelphia), Mara Baldwin (Ithaca), Brandon Bullard (Detroit), Marianne Sadowski (LA), Maritea Daehlin (Chiapas, Mexico), Cecilia Aguilar Castillo and Erick Fernández Saldaña (Mexico City). Soundscapes by DJ Sadie Rock. Her exhibition Threads of Splendor is on view through December 30, 2016 at the Chung Young Yang Embroidery Museum, Seoul, South Korea


Book Talk on Tim Ingold's Making

I am thrilled to share Critical Craft Forum's first Book Talk Podcast! You can listen online or download the podcast via this link. ITunes is in process --  their approval process takes a bit of time, and I will let folks know when it is available via twitter (@critcraftforum), Facebook Group and the blog here. 

CCF podcasts will be released twice monthly, and will alternate with blog posts.Podcasts and posts aim to continue and catalyze conversations about craft in contemporary culture. 

Book Talks focus on a specific text, with participants coming from various parts of the craftscape. In this first one, an artist, art historians, curators, and educators join together to read and discuss a single text. Your comments, feedback, questions are welcome to get conversation going!

Critical Craft Forum is a voluntary effort. Any support you may be able to give will go a long way in expanding the conversations. Please consider making a gift through Fractured Atlas, our fiscal sponsor, via the link here on Critical Craft Forum. 

Join the conversation!

Craft + Social Practice


Critical Craft Forum hosted its fifth annual session at College Art Association, February 13, 2014. Panelists Michael Strand, Sarah Archer, and Jen Delos Reyes shared projects and their thinking about the relationship between craft + social practice - and with audience participation, questioned the term social practice, the contexts in which artists work, and the role of institutions in contemporary practice. (unedited recording)

Want to talk about it further?

Join the conversation through Critical Craft Forum on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/310882667610/



Introduction by Namita G. Wiggers, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Pacific Northwest College of Art and Elisabeth Agro, Philadelphia Museum of Art, co-chairs.


Michael Strand, North Dakota State University

Michael Strand is Head of Visual Arts and Associate Professor of Art at North Dakota State University. As potter, Strand’s work moves seamlessly into public practice through projects that utilize the inherent participatory nature of craft-based media as a trigger for social engagement and change. His work has been published internationally with recent articles in Hemslojd, Public Art Review, Studio Potter, Ceramics Art and Perception/TECHNICAL, Ceramics Monthly, The Chronicle of Higher Education and a forthcoming feature article in American Craft.

Through 25,000 years of participatory history, craft has been a building block of culture and human civilization. From prayer shawls to food storage vessels the "useful" nature of craft will continue to be an instrument of social change. With an increasingly digital and technologically connected world, craft-based media has an exceptional advantage in social practice because of its inherently relational capacity.


Sarah Archer, Philadelphia Art Alliance 

Sarah Archer is a writer and curator based in Philadelphia. As the Senior Curator at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, she organized numerous exhibitions including a site-specific installation by Beijing-based artists Song Dong and Yin Xiuzhen. Previously, she was the Director of Greenwich House Pottery, and a curatorial assistant at the Museum of Arts and Design. Her articles and reviews have appeared in the Journal of Modern Craft, American Craft, Artnet, Ceramics: Art and Perception, Hand/Eye, Modern Magazine, Studio Potter, and The Huffington Post. Archer recently guest-curated “Bright Future: New Designs in Glass” at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery.

Unlike a museum staging a food-related event in a dedicated gallery space, “Heirloom” uses the existing ecosystem of the Philadelphia Art Alliance to introduce visitors and diners to ideas that are germane o craft practice in an unexpected way. Marketed as a culinary experience, Gregg Moore’s collaboration with chef Pierre Calmeis of La Cheri, the PAA’s onsite restaurant will explore food and domesticity as an example of social practice and craft.



Jen Delos Reyes, Portland State University

Jen Delos Reyes is an artist originally from Winnipeg, MB, Canada. Her research interests include the history of socially engaged art, artist-run culture, group work, band dynamics, folk music, and artists’ social roles. Jen is the founder and director of Open Engagement, an international conference on socially engaged art. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Portland State University where she teaches in the Art and Social Practice program.

What can craft learn from socially engaged art practice? How can forms of social practice benefit from current craft dialogues? Delos Reyes will discuss the need to teach social practice at a foundations level and the impact that this would have on arts education including the a re-evaluation of the role of craft and the function of design.

http://jendelosreyes.com/openengagement/about.html http://openengagement.info/oe2014/


"I love listening to podcasts while working in the studio" is something we hear over and over. Expanding the website here to include links to podcasts produced around the globe gives us the opportunity to connect you to podcasts, vidcasts, videos and more.

Want to connect your podcasts through the Critical Craft Forum community? Email us at criticalcraftforum@gmail.com

To get us started, we will upload recorded Critical Craft Forum sessions from College Art Association Conferences in 2012, 2013, and 2014 in March, and begin posting podcasts from our own institutions as starting points. Stay tuned for CCF, Museum of Contemporary Craft and Philadelphia Museum of Art podcast links to get us rolling...