I love American Craft magazine

I gotta tell you, the folks at American Craft magazine are amazing, and I'm not just saying that because they chose me for an article in their magazine. Not only do they share the work of Masters in their craft, but also seek out emerging artists and ideas, host seminars and workshops and support the work of many craft artists through their website, library and archives. Their mission simply: We champion craft. And they take that very seriously. 

American Craft values:

  • Societal Importance: The Council advocates for craft’s ability to deeply enrich lives, promote cultural expression, and contribute to the economic vitality of a community.
  • Inspiration: The Council strives to inspire creativity and artistry in makers, appreciation of beauty and meaning for the craft enthusiast, and thoughtful discourse on the evolution of craft.
  • Excellence: The Council pledges to cultivate and recognize excellence in its many forms, support innovation, and continually examine our understanding of craft, materials, artistic expression, and cultural significance.
  • Inclusiveness: The Council values the diversity of craft, its makers, and audiences, because craft’s strength lies in the shared respect of making and the appreciation of the artistic voice.

How do artists get noticed?

A recent blog post gives artists insight into how the magazine chooses artists for their magazine. In it American Craft editor in chief Monica Moses gives me a high five for this blog. WOW.

Check it out here:


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The June/July issue of American Craft Magazine has a feature article about me and my work. When Julie Hanus contacted me about this article back in January of this year she asked "I have exciting news (I hope!): We'd like to do a feature story about you in our June/July issue. Are you interested?"

did the earth shake?

After an in-depth interview by Joyce Lovelace in February I have been holding my breath about the outcome. Joyce posed informed and insightful questions which required careful thought to answer. It went by in such a rush I wasn't sure what I had said. She did a great job and the article is bolstered by many photos of my work. Robert Rausch took photos of me in my studio and made me feel comfortable despite my dread of camera lenses. Thanks Robert, Joyce, Julie and the entire staff of folks at American Craft. I am overwhelmed.

Where are my tap shoes? I need to dance.

how deadlines affect decisions

I spent the weekend finishing a piece I have been working on for over a month. The slice and dice and reslice method led me to a shattered array of black and white shapes that inspires me to do more. The last stitches added detail, structure and narrative.

Shattered, detail, Paula Kovarik

I wouldn't have finished this one without a deadline. I've been asked by American Craft magazine to provide a number of photos of my work, past and present. When I set about cataloging the work I realized that the most current works were not photographed and many are not done. It made me think that perhaps this habit of starting new projects rather than finishing works in progress may be changing the way I do my work. Is finishing important? If I leave a piece undone is it because I can't make a decision about the final look? Would I dawdle forever without a deadline? What stops endings?

My career as a graphic designer required that I make important decisions within limited time frames. Doing a layout 12 different ways didn't make it better, it made it late to press. I often said that the reason I could do the job so efficiently was that I had the power of arbitrary decision.  So now I am the decision maker without boundaries. And I dawdle, second guess and recombine with vigor. And the work improves ... mostly. But it also dies sometimes. Death by losing the original spark, death by fussiness, death by construction disaster.

I'm pleased with the results of this weekend. The piece spurs new ideas and gives me a sense that I am on the right track. It also opens up a new space on the design wall. A gift of space and inspiration. Who could ask for more?