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. 


1. The Glass Art Society's 2020 Conference is online and open to the public Memorial Day Weekend, May 21-23. This is an amazing resource of live and pre-recorded presentation, demonstrations and more that is sure to devour your entire weekend. Every year, the Glass Art Society brings together the international community of glass artists and enthusiasts for a multi-day conference featuring glass art from every discipline. This year it was set to be in Småland, Sweden but with the pandemic it has gone completely digital.

2. If you haven't had your fill of artist demonstrations, the Ceramics Art Network has over 125 "Clay Flicks" available with famous artists from around the country.

3. And, The curators at the Corning Museum of Glass have chosen their favorite lectures from the Behind the Glass Series. They include Karen Lamonte, Mark Peiser, and Jeff Koons. 

4. Burke Prize applications are due Sunday, May 31. For those of you who may not know, the Burke Prize is the most significant craft artist prize to be developed by the Museum of Art and Design. It is a contemporary art prize for a new generation of artists working in a world of expanded media with a foundation in glass, fiber, clay, metal, or wood. 
Don’t miss your chance to receive an unrestricted award of $50,000 and a major exhibition with a select group of finalists at MAD.

5. The James Renwick Alliance also has emerging artist applications open for the 2020 Chrysalis Award. This year the $5,000 award is available to emerging artists working in the field of Ceramics. In light of the tough times caused by the pandemic, we are offering $3,000+ in additional awards for honorable mentions and waiving all application fees. Applications are due September 8, 2020.


1. The most significant #craftnews this week is the stunning generosity of an anonymous donor to give nearly $1,000,000 to Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts (TN),  Haystack Mountain School of Crafts (ME), Penland School of Craft (NC),  Peters Valley School of Craft (NJ), and Pilchuck Glass School (WA). In total, over 550 people will benefit from this support, which is intended to replace lost wages for artists whose workshops have been canceled as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

2. Also this week, the American Craft Council announced the second series of its online American Craft Forum. The first one takes place Friday, 15 at 2pm and focuses on "Craft for care and well being". See the full line-up in the announcement.

4. You can also get to know artists more intimately, with "Social Distancing Studio Visits" written by the curator of Contemporary Art at the GW Textile Museum, Caroline Kipp. Here she asks artists about their experience in these uncertain times and how they are coping. Most recently she featured textile artist Lia Cook.

5. Lastly, we thought we would share some ways you can be creative. Dye paper, print on paper, write or paper, and more with Pyramid Atlantic's series of demos for #PyramidAtHomeAnd speaking of paper, have you ever thought about paper and clay together? Well, the godmother of paperclay, Rebecca Hutchinson, is doing an online workshop May 23-25 with District Clay and there are only a few seats left.  Register online at



1. The biggest news of the week comes from the Center for Craft, which continues to leads the craft field with a just launched Craft Futures Fund in response to COVID-19. Submissions are now open for the unrestricted $5,000 grants in support of craft-based education projects with awards each month from May through October this year.  Check it out and spread the word!

2. Ferrin Contemporary will be speaking with Garth Johnson Friday, May 15 at 1pm to discuss the exhibition "Nature/Nurture" and the role of gender in contemporary ceramics. The exhibition has been getting a lot of press, including this article on Artsy.

3. The Corning Museum of Glass has a new live chat series called "Connected by Glass". Stay posted for their next video and see all of their online offerings at:

4. Beginning May 15, Mobilia Gallery will be hosting an online exhibition "Ornamentation in the Age of Corona: Masks" with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Boston Emergency Relief Fund. Stay tuned to to learn more. The mask pictured is by JRA board member, Andrea Uravitch.

5. Last but not least, we have spent the last seven weeks sharing craft-related news around the country, and we thought we would take this moment to share a bit of our own news! The new Lloyd Herman Curator of Craft at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Mary Savig, will be joining us via Zoom Friday, May 15, 10am-11am for Coffee & Conversation. All are invited to the free online program to learn about Mary's background in the field and her current projects.

We hope everyone is continuing to stay safe in these unprecedented times and we look forward to "seeing" you May 15.


1. Have you heard that the Glass Art Society is making its annual conference digital, and will be free and open to the public! The conference will take place from May 21 – May 23. I hope you are as excited about this as we are!

2. Contemporary mosaic artist Jim Bachor has a new public art series, paying homage to COVID-19 essentials and we just had to share. 

3. A few months ago, past JRA Members Sandy and Lou Grotta were featured in the NY Times for their extensive contemporary craft collection and unique contemporary home and last Friday they have done it again with an in-depth Artsy feature. Currently, there is a free pdf of their book featuring the architecture and collection

4. If you have been indulging in more reading during these times, consider catching up with the Corning Glass Museum's New Glass Review. All of the past issues are currently free and online! Or may we recommend the multitude of articles on the Art Jewelry Forum? Some of the best writing in the craft field can be found tucked away in their extensive archives of articles.

5. The craft field lost some important people this past week. Paul J. Smith, Director Emeritus at the Museum of Arts and Design has passed away at the age of 88. Art scholar and champion of ceramic artist Warren McKenzie, John Driscoll passed away of COVID-19 complications. Locally, we lost past board member, arts supporter, and philanthropist Carolyn Alper



1. Spring Craft Weekend was originally set to take place this weekend and tomorrow on Facebook we will be sharing photos from last year and asking you to share your creative ideas for a Fall name. Though we can not be together in person, we plan to host a number of virtual get-togethers in the near future. Our first is a happy hour this Wednesday to honor our One-Of-A-Kind Awardee Giselle Huberman.

2. Also set for this weekend was the Smithsonian Craft Show and you can still enjoy a small part of it. The online auction is currently open through April 28, learn more at Also, the University of Washington recently published a fabulous article about the 2020 Visionary Artist Patti Warashina, complete with videos, a slideshow, article, and Q&A.

3. The Center for Craft has some big news. Not only did they announce the 2020 Center for Craft Windgate-Lamar Fellows this week but they have released an amazing 3D tour to their new facility (complete with the exhibitions and artwork). Additionally, on facebook, they revealed a new virtual Zoom webinar series! "Ask the _____", which is a live Q & A series focused on exploring emerging ideas, talent, and action in craft.

4. The Furniture Society started rolling out new online content as well. To kick off the new online series, the first video features a conversation with Tanya Aguiñiga. Her name may seem familiar because she was featured in Disrupting Craft: Renwick Invitational 2018 at the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery, was a 2018 Burke Prize Finalist at the Museum of Art and Design and she happens to have some furniture in the renovated Center for Craft that you can see in the online tour. 

5. Speaking of the Smithsonian, the Museum of American Art has a young new face exploring the collection and interviewing experts from the entire institution. What does day drinking have to do with American Art? What do rhinestones and moms have to do with American art? Find out here.




1. If you need some retail therapy during your quarantine, there are many opportunities to support the craft field. The Penland School of Craft has announced that its 35th Annual Penland Benefit Auction will be online. The Jeffrey Spahn Gallery is hosting a benefit auction this June to support Cerf+ and currently seeking donations of artwork. Pewabic Pottery announced its first-ever spring Collection. Artists are selling online and galleries (including the Baltimore Jewelry Center and Duane Reed Gallery) are hosting virtual exhibitions. 

2. American University has had to cancel all of their exhibitions including Gods and Masters: Artwork Viola Frey that was organized by the Artists' Legacy Foundation but they have made the catalog available online.

3. Caroline Kipp, the curator of the Textile Museum, shared this story with us: Fiber artist Liza Lou is encouraging people to make comfort blankets during these uncertain times. She is also doing weekly artist talks on Instagram, where she talks with friends about the current situation and finding the courage to continue making in the face of unimaginable tragedy. The New York Times covered her efforts in an article Weaving a Way Out of Isolation.

4. Can you Teach Art Online? This is a question universities and nonprofits are asking all over the world. Today, the American Craft Council completed a three-part series titled Innovation in the Face of Adversity and this week they focused on this very question. Follow the American Craft Council where the will post the full video online. 

5. Explore parts of DC you may not know online. Our friends at Cultural Tourism DC pulled together offerings and virtual tours. Check out the offerings, including the 2020 Architecture & Design Film Festival: DC that usually takes place at the National Building Museum. 


1. A coalition of more than twenty national arts funders, including the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Ford Foundation, the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, and the Willem de Kooning Foundation, has launched an emergency relief fund that will provide $10,000+ for artists struggling financially in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States. Apply at

2. The Museum of Art and Design was one of the many institutions awarded funds from The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) who announced $22.2 million in grants to 224 humanities projects across the United States. The distribution of grants is separate from the $75 million that the NEH will receive from the federal government CARES act, that they have vowed to make fully available through organizational grants.

3. Craft writer and art critic, Glenn Adamson, has partnered with Friedman Benda Gallery to host Design in Dialogue, a Zoom series interviewing artists every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for the duration of the coronavirus lockdown. Starting on Monday, April 13, each conversation will begin at 11am EST.  This and other digital ways to engage with craft will be posted all this week on our Facebook.

4. The United States Postal Service announced last Friday that it’ll be releasing 10 stamps inspired by renowned sculptor Ruth Asawa.

5. The Coronavirus has hit close to home for art lovers and DMV-area residents with the passing of David Driskell, an artist, curator, and writer, who passed away last week from COVID-19 complications. Two in-depth articles by ArtNews featured Driskell's impact on African American arts. Read them here and here. 


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.