There are not many sculptors who can wear their art on their ears. But, Sarah Kieffer, a metal artist and jewelry designer, has created tiny sculptures that double as earrings. They wrap around her ear and appear to blossom from her hair with lovely metal leaves.
When the Buffalo State College grad wears them out, it’s a way of bringing her art to the people. “They look really cool on,” said the Clarence resident who will be participating in the 100 American Craftsmen Show May 29-31 at the Kenan Center in Lockport. “It’s something different. I get a lot of compliments.”
The body becomes a moveable gallery when you wear the art you create. In the case of the clothing designers and jewelry makers coming to the Kenan’s most important fine crafts show, there is often no better way to showcase a new or favorite piece.
“It’s a good way to meet people,” said Anne M. Fisher of Canadice, New York, who makes sculptured clothing from felt, wool, cotton and other natural fabrics. “I have a friend who has a beautiful felted jacket she made that she wears to the grocery store and people stop her all the time.”
Fischer prefers to see her work on other people’s bodies. “To me the magical thing is when somebody walks in and their face lights up and they try something on and it looks like I made it just for them — and they look fabulous.”
Andrea Greer, who was named the show’s master craftsman in 2013, wears some of her simpler pieces, but not the multilayered, more complicated designs. I’m more of a casual dresser,” said the artist, who has a showroom in the Neighborhood of the Arts in downtown Rochester. “But I have a background as a fine artist and I love design, color and putting things together in a way that is unexpected.”
Some artists like to wear their work to check for durability and comfort. “I like to test my own pieces,” said Laurie Leonard who lives in a Pittsburgh suburb and who makes jewelry from tiny pewter sculptures and teensy reproductions of the watercolor paintings she’s created over 20 years. “I just did a bangle bracelet,” she said. “It’s so comfortable I haven’t taken it off. I’ve been showering in it.”
While many of the best pieces can be pricey, all the artists will be bringing additonal pieces of clothing and jewelry that are in the $20 to $50 range. The same is true for many of those participating in the show, which includes artists in a multitude of genres, from furniture to ceramics to fine art.
The 100 American Craftsmen is a juried event. This years show will feature, a new “experiential” art space called the Annex Market, intended to give visitors a fresh look at craft art.
For more information, visit 100americancraftsmen.com or call 433-2617.