"Second Generation" by Kathleen Hanna
became aware of artists who were using traditional craft media and techniques
to make new, personal work at the International Exposition on Treasure
Island in 1939. After the war, the movement moved into high gear. Among
the most prominent members were those who were teachers as well as working
artists: Art Espenet Carpenter and James Krenov among the furniture makers;
ceramists Peter Voulkos, H. Carlton Ball and Marguerite Wildenhain, the
weaver Trude Guermenprez. They formed associations, exhibited in fairs
and museums and sold through Gumps and other galleries sympathetic to
the new work. With the exception of phenomena like J.P.Blunk and his chain
sawn Redwood trunks and Peter Voulkos who took clay to monumental proportions
off the wheel, the first post-war generation of furniture makers and designer
craftsmen (as they preferred to be called in those days) might be typified
or at least remembered for their finessing of Danish Modern
or for the invention of California Round-over and Funk
goes attitude of the 60s was felt by the next generation.
Some of these artists have chosen to add content to the considerations
of form and function that interested their predecessors.
Humor also enters the mix in works like Dean Santners tables whose multiple red legs seem poised to dance across the room should anyone provide them with a Latin rhythm.
Lachlan puts a new, personal spin on 60s funk and flash in his table
and Tectonic Vessel.
lifts his sensitive carving from the chair backs we are accustomed to
admire and makes his figures stand alone.
is made to folk and traditional work.
Common to all these artists is the respect for materials, technical virtuosity and a willingness to experiment. Also shared is the dream of living and working independently. Associations like the Baulines Craft Guild and the Mendocino Coast Furnituremakers were formed to help realize this dream by providing contacts with trade professionals, teaching and exhibition opportunities and a community of like minded spirits.