Without the usual craft gossip happening at events, conferences and general get-togethers, we will be rounding up and sharing five bits of craft news each Friday for us all to stay connected from the comfort of our homes. 


We are dedicating the first Friday of April to some inspiring and fun things to keep you entertained at home:

1. Filmed in the spiritual home of British pottery, Stoke-on-Trent, this show is a pure delight, complete with different UK accents. In the spirit of the Great British Bake Off, we think you will enjoy The Great Pottery Throw Down, and you might get completely hooked. If ceramics isn't your thing, what about Blown Away? You can not miss this competitive fiery show on Netflix about glassblowing. And... of course, we can not say it enough but watching our 2020 Distinguished Educator, Craft in America is a necessity for any craft lover. 

2. Stephanie Syduco, who was included in the Disrupting Craft: Renwick Invitational 2018 that ran through May 2019, has been producing protective face masks for health care workers in the San Francisco and Oakland Bay area. Many artists around the world have been making some useful (and fashionable) masks. See examples of Stephanie's work here:

3. American Craft Council presents an online series "Innovation in the Face of Adversity". The first panel, in a three-part series, took place today. To join future conversations, register on Eventbrite.

4. Garth Johnson, the Curator of Ceramics at the Everson Museum, has become our virtual Coronavirus celebrity, coming to us live on Facebook every Monday to interview ceramic artists/supporters around the country for #MugshotMonday and every Friday, he has opened his Ceramic Object Study Session class at Syracuse University to the public via Zoom. Join the class next Friday at 1pm here:

5. For all of our Glass collectors, here is a fun project for you! Tim Tate and William Warmus have invited people to post a photo of one glass piece from their collection on the 21st Century Glass Facebook Group and share why it brings you joy. 

Stay safe and healthy and let us know your #craftnews with @jracraft on Instagram or by emailing us at [email protected] 


1. The Windgate Foundation has donated $300,000 to create the Kenneth R. Trapp Acquisition Fund at the Renwick Gallery in honor of former curator-in-charge Ken Trapp who passed away in late October. The American Jewelry Forum's posting about it can be found here

2. Cerf+ is conducting a national survey for studio-based artists and they have started a COVID-19 response fund, that you can contribute to here. Others have started to create artist resource lists, here are just a few:

3. BBC covers "Bringing Arts and Culture into the Home" and craft organizations and artists around the world are doing just that.

4. The American Craft world lost an important advocate this week, Nanette Laitman of New York past away. She was an art collector and a philanthropist who supported the Museum of Art and Design for over 25 years and funded the Nanette Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America at the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art. This is one of America's most important craft art resources and a great listen. Many of the participating artists have received awards from the James Renwick Alliance. 

5. Both The House and The Congress have now passed a $2 trillion federal stimulus package with $232.5 million going toward the cultural economy. The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities will each be given $75 million, the Institute of Museum and Library Services will receive $50 million. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, will get $25 million and $7.5 million.

Let us know your #craftnews with @jracraft on Instagram or by emailing us at [email protected]



1. Despite people’s hesitance to travel during this time. Glass artist (and DC native), Cheryl Derricotte, was in town from San Francisco last week and visiting the Washington Glass School. Here is a selfie from glass artist Michael Janis.

2. As Universities close their campus and classes go online, educators are considering how to move craft classes to the digital, and the Critical Craft Forum Facebook group has been filled with interesting ideas. There are posts about furniture-making taught from branch foraging, jewelry from basic supplies found in any home, and ceramics that could use locally self-mined clays. The Director of the Furniture Society, Monica Hampton, mentioned centralizing ideas about teaching furniture online as an organizational resource. And the Ethical Metalsmiths just posted that they are putting together an online exhibition called “Academics in Pandemic.”

3. As many of us know, NCECA had to cancel their March conference in Richmond, and the Glass Art Society canceled their May conference in Sweden. However, the Studio Art Quilt Associates have been able to make their conference completely virtual, and you can join them online this weekend!

4. What are some other things to do while you are at home? NCECA has over 500 hours of video content online free. Booooooom put out a great resource for artists (including some Coronavirus freebies). A personal favorite - binge-watch our 2020 Distinguished Educator, Craft in America online free.

5. In all seriousness - arts organizations and museums around the world are concerned about the increasing financial threat of the Corona Virus pandemic. GoFundMe pages have been created to assist laid-off staff, ARTnews reported that the Metropolitan Museum of Art is preparing for a $100 million loss through July and many of the craft organizations are closing until further notice. However, William Smith, Editor of Art in America, published an interesting article yesterday, “The Cultural Bailout we Need has Been a Long Time Coming,” and Americans for the Arts have a survey out for Arts Organizations. What does all of this mean? It means that it’s going to be a rough road, but we all continue to support craft organizations and craft artists. Consider donating to an organization in these uncertain times. 

Donations to the JRA can be made here.