Three local artists, Adrina Richards, Alan Vaughn and Eileen Braun will show their work this month at the American Craft Council’s 2015 Atlanta exhibition.

The three will be among 225 contemporary clothing, furniture, jewelry and home décor artists whose work will be on display at the ACC show, which presents itself as the largest juried, indoor craft show in the southeastern U.S.

The ACC, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit set up to promote, encourage and educate the public about contemporary American crafts, hosts shows annually in Baltimore, St. Paul, San Francisco and Atlanta. The event offers a chance for the public to touch, feel, and explore high-quality crafts as well as meet the makers behind the work.

This year, the ACC show also will include a home décor exhibit titled “Make Room: Modern Design Meets Craft” in which designers and architects pair up to design rooms that represent the elements of earth, air, water and fire.

See below for artist Q&As and samples of their work.

American Crafts Council 2015 exhibition

Where: Cobb Galleria Centre, 2 Galleria Parkway.
When: March 13 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.;
March 14 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; March 15 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
How much: $13 for a one-day pass at the door; $29 for a three-day pass
For more information:
www.craftcouncil.org/atlanta

Adrina Richards

Adrina Richards of Brookhaven is a ceramic artist who describes her work as “hand built ceramics, textured, half porcelain, functional with a sculptural flair.”

Many of Richard’s pieces are inspired by patterns from lace passed down in her family, and she attributes watching her mother cut and sew cloth as inspiration for her patterns. It is in this way that she continues to honor her family’s Armenian heritage in her current art, and she has created stamps from these fabrics that allow her to incorporate the patterns into her designs.

Richard’s works are often matte or semi-glossy on the outside when finished, and she likes to add a bright pop of color to the interior of the pieces which helps them to stand out.

Q:  Can you please tell me who you are and what you do?

A:  I am retired from higher education (business side).  I have no formal art training aside from approximately 70 workshops I have attended and asking a lot of questions of ceramic artists and reading.

Q: Where are you from? How has your personal history affected your art?

A:  I am originally from New York, first generation American born from survivors of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 in Turkey.  I imagine my work is affected from images of near eastern and far eastern art I grew up with. Also, watching my mother sew and cut patterns has influenced me a great deal as I make “patterns” for my work and cut them out of slabs of clay.

Q: Who inspires you? Where do you get your ideas?

A:  I am inspired by all the fabulous contemporary ceramic art and artists.  I also have a long-standing wonder of pre-Columbian ceramics as well as African ceramics.

Q: How would you describe your artwork to someone who had never seen it before?

A: Hand-built ceramics, textured, half porcelain, functional with a sculptural flair.

Q: I first heard of you because you’ve been included in the ACC lineup for March. Can you tell me about that? What has the experience been like so far? What do you anticipate? Have you participated in something like this before?

A:  I have participated three previous times in the ACC.  The first was as an emerging artist.  The following two times as a “regular” participant.

Q: What sort of pieces will you be showing? It would appear there’s a “four elements” theme, will that be represented in your work?

A:  I will be showing a variety of pieces, most of them will be functional.  A few are mainly decorative but can be functional.

Q: Where do you see your work/career as an artist going from here? What’s on the horizon?

A: I will be making work for a long time to come.  Not sure where that will take me.

Q: If you could tell your young self one thing to help you as you embark on the journey of life as an artist, what would it be and why?

A:  I would have done it sooner, but I didn’t know I could do it at all.

Alan Vaughn

Buckhead resident Alan Vaughn is a semi-abstract artist and craftsman, specializing in handcrafted, hand-painted canvas rugs. His pieces feature limited colors, evident brush strokes and plenty of negative space.

“The floor cloths are painted canvas area rugs that are durable and can be used anywhere one would use an area rug. Some designs are more traditional lattice patterns or adaptations of Asian woven rugs. Most designs are modern and geometric,” Vaughn said.

Many of his pieces are based upon a geometric shape, normally a circle, that is then enhanced by adding brush strokes in a few carefully chosen dark colors throughout the piece. “Imagine a painting on the floor that has been made tough enough to withstand heavy foot traffic and that’s a floor cloth,” he said.

Q: Can you please tell me who you are and what you do?

A: I am a painter and fine craft artist. I also teach art at the college level and at Chastain Art Center. The work I will be showing at the ACC Atlanta show will be floorcloths. Floorcloths are handcrafted painted canvas rugs. I have been making them for 25 years.

Q: Where are you from? How has your personal history affected your art?

A: The first 25 years of my life were spent in southwest Virginia. My collegiate art training was at Virginia Tech, Radford University and Illinois State University. I believe that the pursuit of all things art has affected my personal history.

Q: Who inspires you? Where do you get your ideas?

A: I like to think of my work as part of a continuum that will become art history. Specifically, I am influenced by the modern masters of the 19th and 20th centuries. I love abstract structure, color theory and minimalism. My ideas come from my last painting. The floorcloths often develop as a “theme and variations” process with a boost from custom designing.

Q: How would you describe your artwork to someone who had never seen it before?

A: The floorcloths are painted canvas area rugs that are durable and can be used anywhere one would use an area rug. Some designs are more traditional lattice patterns or adaptations of Asian woven rugs. Most designs are modern and geometric. Imagine a painting on the floor that has been made tough enough to withstand heavy foot traffic, and that’s a floorcloth.

Q: I first heard of you because you’ve been included in the ACC lineup for March. Can you tell me about that? What has the experience been like so far? Wat do you anticipate? Have you participated in something like this before?

A: I have been participating in ACC shows since the 1990s. I am back after a 7-year break to pursue that part of my career that has been devoted to collegiate teaching and administration. I just completed the ACC flagship show in Baltimore and found the experience to be a wonderful gathering of the crafts community: artists, admirers, collectors, students and teachers. The Atlanta show will have wonderful work in a variety of craft media. Annually, this is the best craft show in town.

Q: What sort of pieces will you be showing? It would appear there’s a “four elements” theme, will that be represented in your work?

A: I’ll be showing floorcloths. They might be incidentally related to the “four elements” theme.

Q: Where do you see your work/career as an artist going from here? What’s on the horizon?

A: I will continue to develop my designs and techniques to produce the best floorcloth product that I can make. I will continue showing and selling at shows. I will learn more about online marketing and develop my online presence. I do enjoy the entrepreneurial side of being an artist and I see that continuing. Teaching is almost as important to me as making art, and I will have to teach someone something somewhere.

Q: If you could tell your young self one thing to help you as you embark on the journey of life as an artist, what would it be and why?

A: Be patient and enjoy the life of learning. Stay aware of the process of art affecting the way you see the world and of the world affecting the art you make. Be flexible. Learn from others and do what you have to do to stay on track.

Eileen Braun

Eileen Braun is a Dunwoody-based ceramic artist whose works include vessels, teapots and wall landscapes.

The pieces often have a decidedly animalistic feel, appearing as if she has fused the tradition of utilitarian ceramics, such as teapots, with ocean creatures to create fluid, unusual but still somehow recognizable pieces.

In addition to these works, Braun creates pieces that are purely decorative, typically consisting of organic items that seemingly explode from the walls.

Braun calls her pieces “nonfunctional ceramic forms — playful, elegant, humanistic qualities given to objects. Biomorphic. Most seem caught in a frozen moment.”

Q: Can you please tell me who you are and what you do?

A: I am a ceramic artist.  I work primarily in porcelain clay, which is a temperamental white fine body clay.  It has a creamy texture that is often compared to a brick of cream cheese! There are many different porcelain’s one can work with and each one has slightly different structural capabilities.  Some are better for hand building while others are great for wheel throwing. And each is a slightly different color when fired! It has taken me eight years to really begin to understand porcelain and find the right clay body for my needs. Most of my work begins on the potter’s wheel. My best time of day for throwing is early morning.  I try not to throw for more than four hours in a day as it is very physically exhausting work wedging the clay, centering it on the wheel and pulling the forms. I have to be careful to pace myself as I have Carpel Tunnel and being hunched over a wheel can cause back issues. For me it is such a pleasure to watch the forms grow on the wheel that I have a hard time stopping.  Typically in those four hours I will produce enough green ware forms to last me through a week of construction.

I make, vessels, teapots and wall landscapes.

Q: Where are you from? How has your personal history affected your art?

A: I am originally from Boston. I have an undergrad degree from Indiana University in sculpture and art education. My husband’s work has relocated us many times. Chicago, New York, Iowa and 11 years ago here to Atlanta.

Each time we moved I kind of reinvented my career in the arts.  I have taught art in public school, art centers, and private art classes in my home.  I have been executive director of a midsized suburban New York art center with two galleries. Buyer and manager of for a Chicago Museum Gift Shop.

My jobs have always been centered on my love of art and education. Currently I am an ambassador and conference presenter for Self Employment In The Arts, SEA, through North  Central College in Illinois and volunteer at MOCA GA.

When we relocated 11 years ago my husband suggested I focus on my own work.  We purposely purchased a home where I could have a studio. And I now have an awesome studio space with lots of natural light, space and a park-like view. I spent my first 2-3 years finding out what media I wanted to focus on.

Q: Who inspires you? Where do you get your ideas?

A: I suffer from both motion sickness and vertigo, hereditary in my family. Snorkeling and scuba diving, or any water travel is not in my future. Yet my favorite vacations are at the shore and visiting aquariums. Possibly these deterrents are what have me intrigued by water. The mysteries of what might lie beneath the water’s edge supply my imagination, coming to life through clay in my studio. When creating these sculptures I often envision their life cycles thinking of how they might grow, eat, move, interact with other like forms or fend off predators.  Entire life cycle stories develop and communities are borne this way in my studio. Mixed into this creative soup, information I cross bred into them from observing birds, bugs, flowers, often imbuing them with human personalities and qualities.

My work in clay has centered primarily on wheel thrown and gently altered forms of porcelain.  My forms reference classical shapes and techniques.  I seek to make my work historically relevant to today’s audience. Intermittently I enjoy working on a larger scale, hand building with paper clay. My trademark techniques of color washing, stippling, slip trailing and sgraffitto are used to create the “skin” of these vessels, which not only encase but protect them.  Early exploration in such techniques as previously described was piqued by my fascination with Hob Nail Milk Glass and oddly enough, peanut shells.  The tactile and biomorphic qualities ever present in my work are the results of a happy adult at play.

Light and shadow play an important role in all my work. As light moves over and passes over them much like water might, it changes the projected flow of  patterns through shadow.

Q: How would you describe your artwork to someone who had never seen it before?

A: Nonfunctional ceramic forms. Playful, elegant, humanistic qualities given to objects.  Biomorphic. Most seem caught in a frozen moment.

Q: I first heard of you because you’ve been included in the ACC lineup for March. Can you tell me about that? What has the experience been like so far? What do you anticipate? Have you participated in something like this before?

A: This is my first experience selling directly to the public with ACC. I have gone to their shows every year here in Atlanta as a spectator in awe of the fabulous work and craftsmanship. As a museum buyer I had experienced the ACC shows in Baltimore where it is first open only to the wholesale market. It is humbling to see it from three different views! Spectator/wholesale buyer/exhibiting artist. My non-artist friends are always amazed when I detail how much work is involved beyond the “making” to get your work out to the public. And how shy most of us artists are to face the public and talk about our work. Or worse, to have spectators walk by your booth and say NOTHING! I am in the new Hip Pop booth. Twelve artists who have never shown before were juried to take part in this new experience.  We will have six artists vs. one in our booth.  More of a team effort, holding hands as we take the big plunge!  ACC has been very supportive and guiding us along the way. They provide us with the physical booth requirements — a big plus when you are starting out (walls, lights, shelving, signage). We each have a personal mentor to for experience.

I have shown my work in smaller local venues like Perspectives in Watkinsville – summer ceramics sale

I have my work represented by 10 galleries across the country, in museum exhibitions, invitational and at HJ airport.

Q: What sort of pieces will you be showing (I saw your website, I know you have three main categories)? It would appear there’s a “four elements” theme — will that be represented in your work?

A: The space is limited. I will bring a little from each of my series. Bowls, teapots and vessels.  In a variety of price points.

Q: Where do you see your work/career as an artist going from here? What’s on the horizon?

A: I love what I do. I enjoy the freedom of working for several months on just teapots or switching up to hand built work.  Often my time is dictated by gallery or invitational requests.

Q: If you could tell your young self one thing to help you as you embark on the journey of life as an artist, what would it be and why?

A: Don’t give up.  You may not be able to devote your time to your art now but one day you will. Oh yeah – keep a sketch book!