It’s an understatement to say that studio potter and University of Louisville professor Jeff Campana’s process is complicated. At first glance, his pots look like brightly colored puzzles, almost too intricate for human hands to form.
Jay Whyte’s life changed when he bought a TV in 1996. Without extra money to buy a stand, he decided to gather up a few power tools and spend $100 on raw materials. When he was finished, the stand he’d built exceeded his expectations. It was “nothing short of exhilarating. I knew right then that I was going to make sawdust from that point on,” he explains.
Fiber art is a misleading term for the vessels Emily Dvorin creates. Woven sculpture made from urban materials is more like it. Dvorin rarely strays from plastics when she coils her eye-poppingly bright baskets from bottom to top. Her favorite material? The ultra-ordinary cable tie.
One glance at Jen Violette’s mixed-media wall sculptures reveals her constant sources of inspiration—the rural Vermont countryside and the fruits of her garden. Violette cultivates vegetables, berries, shrubs and small trees as long as the region’s short growing season permits. “I love to see the constant, daily changes through the seasons,” she explains. “My garden-inspired pieces allow me to ‘garden’ year round.”
Sometimes inspiration is right under your feet. That’s exactly how jeweler Karen Klinefelter designed her Mesh series. “It all stemmed from a piece of rusted metal mesh I found on the road one day while running,” she explains.
“I have made jewelry for as long as I can remember,” says Molly Dingledine. And she’s not kidding. She started threading necklaces as a child, and by high school had a bona fide business, “Molly Made,” replete with custom jewelry boxes and labels.
Stuart Breidenstein is somewhat of a mad scientist when it comes to jewelry design. “I’ll take something I’ve done and slice it apart, reshape it, add some elements, put it back together and let it evolve from there,” he says.
“The urge to create has always been there, in a compulsive way,” explains enamelist Jenn Bell. Whether she was making floss bracelets under her desk in high school or building intricate models with her dad, Bell has always worked with her hands.