This course traces the development of entrepreneurial arts and crafts in the Bay Area. This lecture, writing, and field trip course will explore events and ideas regarding crafts as they have moved beyond a revolt against industrialization and embraced a business model. Critical analysis of the idea of “craft” will be discussed as it relates to contemporary enterprises such as Etsy, Maker Faire, and DIY proliferation. Weekly topics will revolve around successful individuals, companies, and organizations. Field trips to art galleries (Park Life, Big Umbrella, Pens and Needles), museums (Museum of Craft and Folk Art, the Exploratorium), resources (Urban Ore, the Crucible, SCRAP) and studios will acquaint students with craft networks within the region. Through assigned readings, guest presentations, group projects, and research papers, students will examine the historical framework, ethos, and future trends of the contemporary craft movement.
Susan Wolsborn is an artist and designer. She received her M.F.A. in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design, B.F.A.s in Sculpture and General Art and B.A. in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of Washington. She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and she has shown her photography, prints and sculptures at the Queens Museum of Art and White Columns in NYC.