12.11.2007

Florida stories: Inspired

A few weekends ago we went to the American Craft Show in Sarasota. These amazing shows are part of the work done by the American Craft Council. We saw such incredible things, such beautiful things, things you could easily and happily design an entire house around. Let me show you...



This lovely chair was made by T. Bayley Wharton who owns Furniture x DESIGN in Mount Airy, North Carolina. What we saw at the Sarasota show that isn't on his website, was a truly unique and exquisite platform bed. Absolutely gorgeous. And yes, I'd be thrilled to build a house around such a piece of furniture.





Then there were phenomenal pieces of glasswork, like this bowl with what might be little worlds resting in it. It would be like having your own universe sitting on your table, to be inspected any time you wanted. This was made by Geoff Beetem of Athens, Ohio. There were about 2 dozen glass artists and all the work was extraordinary. It was hard not to buy everything we loved.


Our house is full of ceramics. Kim's whole family -- his mom, brother Jeff, sister Susan, himself, and his daughter Slayde -- contributed graceful and handsome pieces. My brother Doug is also a potter and we have some of his work as well. I also collected pieces made by students when I worked at a high school. There were at least 30 ceramics booths at the show. We were awed, to say the least. This graceful piece was made by Gayle Pritchard of Social Circle, Georgia. I was sorely tempted to add this to our collection.



I really wanted to spend money on the elegant clothes. They were genuinely, unbelievably stunning. But I know that I don't wear clothes like that, I just admire the hell out of them and want to own them. Here's a divine jacket by Lynn Yarrington of New Haven, Vermont.






I typically don't spend any time looking at the jewelry booths since I don't wear any, other than my wedding band. I also wasn't drawn to the leather work. Normally, I wouldn't stop at musical instruments, but the booth called StrumSticks was amazing. Bob McNally of Rockaway, New Jersey has come up with a marvelous musical instrument that he claims anyone can play -- and never a wrong note. Check it out and decide for yourself.

I could go on and on. There were about 120 booths, an incredible array of handmade works of art. We talked about furnishing a house from an event like this, as opposed to Pier One or Target. What a different environment you'd create that way. Actually, our goal is to learn about making these kinds of things ourselves. We truly were deeply inspired.

All photos in this post came from the artists' websites. They are used without permission and will be removed at the artist's request.