Collecting Craft

Post-graduation, I became lost without the community of makers surrounding me on a daily basis. This loss was not special to me, it happens to everyone leaving a shared studio space for an empty home studio miles away. Many makers never recover that sense of community around their work and therefore often give up making completely.

I have not given up on making, but I am a lazy maker. I find every excuse to move away from the process of making. How many times can I organize the items on the shelf before getting back to work? How many ideas can I come up with before I ever pick up a tool or write them down?

Over the past two years, I have found a new passion in collecting and advocating for artists and craft as a medium. I have never felt like I will be able to support myself personally on my own work, but I want to ensure that others are able to do so. This starts with shopping handmade, shopping local, shopping from artists. I am making this a priority.

You can, too. This is a great New Year’s Resolution!

I value the traditions of fine craft, the sustainability of purchasing an item made to last, made with care, made with time, by an artist I admire. Now, I feel proud and surrounded by a collection of artists whom I’ve helped to make a living.


Here’s My Collection:

1733 | The Weaving Mill collaboration waste pouch

1733 | The Weaving Mill collaboration waste pouch

1733 | The Weaving Mill collaboration waste pouch

I picked up this waste pouch in early summer 2018. It has been a great travel partner to many campsites and outdoor concerts. This piece is a great example of sustainable practice. Chicago-based 1733 collaborated with The Weaving Mill to turn leftover fabric from cotton napkins into these perfect mini accessory pouches. Even better, the yarn was left over from TWM production runs, turning waste into something special. They have since completely sold out of this piece, but they have a number of beautiful bags available. If I needed another bag (I don’t), I would pick up the Daily Tote in Black.

 
Eric Trine | Amigo Modern | Double Octahedron Ring Planter in Pink     Photo from Woonwinkel

Eric Trine | Amigo Modern | Double Octahedron Ring Planter in Pink

Photo from Woonwinkel

 

Amigo Modern | Double Octahedron Ring Planter

Their site is now under construction, but you can follow Amigo Modern on Instagram for inspiring content and creations, like this plant holder. You can order it in industrial yellow from Woonwinkel right now. I can’t remember how I found Amigo Modern, formerly Eric Trine Studio, but I am constantly in awe of how much design knowledge and inspiration is being dropped on their channels, like this post questioning what it means to be a lifestyle brand.

 
Didem Mert | Mug

Didem Mert | Mug

 

Didem Mert | Mug

I have been waiting and waiting to pick up the right piece from Didem. This mug was the one. Happy to have this mug in my daily coffee routine. Didem’s work is inspired by geometry and texture, creating functional, utilitarian objects.

My work strives to bring forth a sense of tranquility in its minimalistic design, yet there is a sense of playfulness directed through the color palette and pinched surfaces.
— Didem Mert
 
Graff Glass Design | Candle Globe

Graff Glass Design | Candle Globe

 

Graff Glass Design | Candle Globe

I have three of these beautiful candle globes. Lit up, they provide a beautiful soft glow. It’s exciting to have more glass in my collection now. We’ve added a few beer and water glasses into our kitchen cabinets from Graff Glass Design, as well.

 
Grayling Ceramic | Stein

Grayling Ceramic | Stein

 

Grayling Ceramics | Stein

I am drinking coffee out of my Grayling Ceramics stein as I type this post. It’s my most used mug at this point.

 
Wood_doubleFingerring.jpg
 

Laura Wood | Ring

I had my eye set on this two-finger ring after meeting Laura Wood in 2015 during a two-day workshop. She was wearing the piece and I had to have this statement ring. I finally scored this piece from Mora Jewelry in Asheville, NC on my way to Penland School of Crafts in 2016. This was the first piece of contemporary art jewelry I purchased.

Matt Schroeder Pottery | My favorite mug

Matt Schroeder Pottery | My favorite mug

Matt Schroeder Pottery | Everything but plates

This was the unfortunate day I dropped my favorite mug on the ground of my own studio. Luckily, this is just one of my mugs from Matt. How much pottery is too much? Maybe one day I’ll count up the total number of pieces we have from Matt in our cabinets… My recommendation is to become close friends with makers. Those not-so-good-in-their-eyes pieces become yours.

 
Sarah Holden | Steel Lace Dangles

Sarah Holden | Steel Lace Dangles

 

Sarah Holden | Steel lace dangles

Artlink recently exhibited the work of Sarah Holden. After scheduling her exhibition, I really wanted to wear a pair to the opening (and forever after). Stay tuned for a conversation with Sarah coming up soon.

All of my sculpture and jewelry are created using some combination of steel and fiber. I set this guideline for myself as a challenge: if steel represents the masculine and fiber represents the feminine, how can I reverse their expected gender associations and challenge the status quo? As site, the immediacy of presenting the work on or referencing the body—in the format of jewelry—allows me to provide a direct connection to the politicized body that the work explores.
— Sarah Holden
 
Tara Locklear | LG Diam Post Hoops

Tara Locklear | LG Diam Post Hoops

 

Tara Locklear | Large Diam Post Hoops

Another purchase from Mora in Asheville, NC, my large Diam Post Hoops are one of my favorite pieces to date. These earrings, made from recycled skateboards, are so light, fun, and go with everything. When I purchase a new pair of earrings, I have been buying from a new artist each time, but I may have to break that cycle for a second pair of Tara Locklear earrings.

 
Georgina Trevino | MIES Earrings

Georgina Trevino | MIES Earrings

 

Georgina Trevino | MIES Earrings

Georgina Trevino is a contemporary jeweler based in San Diego, California. Her work is inspired by architecture, minimalism, and geometry. I was drawn to her minimalist aesthetic. Give her a follow on Instagram to catch a glimpse of her beautiful studio space and her regular dance breaks.


Once I started writing this post, I realized I have collected far more than I expected, so this is just a small selection of my favorites. In my day job, the question of ‘how do I collect?' has come up a few times. It’s always very confusing to me, because there is no “right” way. It is simply about finding pieces you love, in your budget, that are handmade by artists you admire.

Start your collection today and tell us about it! #FormandSpaceBlog

-Maddie Miller

ArtistsMaddie MillerArtists