There are hundreds of arts and crafts shows out there. No question, the American Craft Council Show is exquisite, one of the best, always beautifully produced and curated. When the ACC show landed in San Francisco I was able to see a diverse and inspiring collection of 200 plus artists.
Room and Board SOMA Furniture Store
Room and Board hosted the soirée at their large SOMA showcase store, providing an opportunity to mingle with artists and collectors. The large two-story space contained many salon like settings displaying styles from mid-century modern to eclectic contemporary. Finding a furniture collection to match your party outfit was half the fun. Perhaps you’re feeling it’s time to take a step up from your Ikea look and add a few quality Room and Board pieces. R&B does custom work starting at under $100.

On to Fort Mason. To aid the gallery goer many booths displayed signs reading HOLIDAY, THE GREAT OUTDOORS, UPSCALE, HAND-MADE, UNDER $100, GREEN-CRAFT, LOCAL, FOODIE-WARE, BRIDE-TO-BE or MEN’S DEPT.

make room

Collaboration appeared to be the theme for creatives this year. For the first time, ACC challenged interior designers to assemble showcase rooms in collaboration with an artist from the show catalog. Each “Make Room” was inspired by that artist’s piece.

make room artist with her painting
Painter Eileen Goldenberg uses material, color and space to create ordered, repetitive elements with visual texture and translucency. Steven Miller of The New Black aka NWBLK got his inspiration for “Make Room” from Eileen’s encaustic painting “Array 152”.

cement oil lamp by cowboy zen artist Grayson Malone

The Cowboy Zen booth displayed Grayson Malone’s latest series “The Fallens”, consisting of found objects, bone, antler, concrete and iron. Malone is best known for her work in metal-infused concrete. I bought a lovely oil lamp, an about 4” square concrete form hallowed out in the middle to hold oil. For a bit more money you could own one of her timeless concrete sculptures. Malone stated she keeps the designs minimalist to highlight the tactile qualities of her concrete creations.

Make Room display using tulip chair

Tulip Chair became a “Make Room” centerpiece. Most of Eric Freyer’s chairs take him from two to three weeks to create, including hand carving and painting.

3550 Barron Way, Suite 8B
Reno Nevada 89511

Emiko Lego Artist

LEGO® jewelry for sale, LEGO® fine art on the walls. Emiko recreated famous Edwardian portraits with intricately arranged LEGO®s. Oh yes she did.

Inspired by haute couture, history, and salvaged materials, Emiko Lye creates colorful, urban jewelry, from one-of-a-kind art pieces to on-the-go ready-to-wear. Utilizing LEGO® and semi-precious materials, her work tugs on the nostalgic heartstrings of people of all over the world, artfully embedding memory into conversation-sparking adornment. Emiko’s work has been featured in Metalsmith Mag, Jewelry Artist, ReadyMade, Cleveland Plain Dealer, and the SF Chronicle.

Deborah Murphy ??? Silk Artist

There are many benefits to engaging with the artist. After a brief talk with Gabriel Beyer about her lovely paintings on silk she told me how the business began. Gabriele moved to Oroville, WA to marry her love. They had a wonderful studio and abundance of happiness together. When he was stricken with cancer she dropped everything and took care of him for two years until he died.
Due to neglect, the studio was in ruins. One July she decided to rebuild and by February she had 36 ties at the Baltimore A.C.C. Show. When we met at her booth in San Francisco Beyer was displaying her third collection of 36 ties, 18 scarfs, and assorted works of art on silk. Her stylish mom helps her sell at the shows and provides company on the drive with her art in the mini van. All this into a 10×15 ft space.


First thing up the stairs you feel like you are crashing a private party or performance art piece. Behold the table full of happy wine tasters hosted by Balvenie, makers of Rare Craft Scotch Whisky.

Grand Hand Gallery in Napa

Owner Ann Ruhr Pifer and gallery manager Kristina Young Ann show local and national artworks for sale in their Napa gallery.

Grand Hand Gallery Childs Apron

Displayed at the show were clever children’s art aprons made of colorful oil cloth. Any parent would be thrilled to receive one of these aprons for a gift. If only my work clothes could be made of oil cloth for stain-free lunches. The gallery collects and sells crafts in clay, wood, fiber, glass, metal, stone, jewelry, paintings, prints and even food transformed into art.

Grand Hand Gallery Bowl made from pressed carrots
These amazing translucent bowls that look like hand-made paper are actually pressed in a similar process using vegetables. Transforming leftovers into fine arts and crafts could shorten many landfill piles.

Grand Hand Gallery
1136 Main Street
Napa, CA 94559


SFCB offers over 40 workshops in Letterpress, Bookbinding and Arts, including letterpress, linoleum block carving and printing, bookbinding, lift top box making, screen printing, calligraphy, shadow boxes and Japanese tissue repairs for leather bindings. Come check them out at Open Studios Nights, exhibitions, lectures, Equipment Rentals, Exhibitions, Lectures and events such as the Maker Faire.

375 Rhode Island St (16/17)
SF, CA 94103

wood working bowls

When I was a teen in high school girls were not allowed to take woodworking classes. My substitute assignment was homemaking. Haunted by memories of frosting challenged and lop-sided cakes did nothing for my cooking confidence and I still can’t make a wood bird house.

The Bay Area Woodturners Assoc. replaces those pastry nightmares with the joy of woodturning, the art of turning wood on the lathe. Once you learn the basic cuts, tools and techniques you will find yourself turning out wood bowls, bracelets, pens, ornaments and boxes.

making hand crafted pen holders from wood

BAWA, an educational organization dedicated to all things woodturning welcomes over 110 members and visitors to enjoy their turning demos, lending library, supplies, classes, personal instruction and exhibition opportunities.

Monthly meetings held at:
Mount Diablo Adult Education
Room 108
The Woodturning Center
One Santa Barbara Road
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

ceramic bowls from Make Room exhibit

A long time resource for San Franciscans located in the Sharon Building in Golden Gate Park, the studio offers affordable classes in ceramics, glass, metal, jewelry, drawing, and painting.

Coming soon to a city near you.

Atlanta, GA
Public Retail Show
March 14-16, 2014
Preview Party: March 13

St. Paul, MN
Public Retail Show
April 11-13, 2014
Preview Party: April 10

San Francisco, CA
Public Retail Show
August 8-10, 2014 (new dates)


flickr-American Craft Council in San Francisco
flickr-Room and Board