by Kate Nixon
The 2024 Pre-Conference Workshops
Every year before the National Arts and Crafts Conference, a group of excited students enter the Grove Park Inn on Thursday afternoon looking to engage their heads, hearts, and hands at the guidance of a Roycroft Master Artisan. The workshop projects vary from year to year, but have consistently been offered in the genres of coppersmithing, printmaking, and embroidery. In 2024, the Pre-Conference Workshops will return to the Grove Park Inn with two new offerings and a new face ready to give folks coming early to the conference a chance to become makers themselves in hands-on small groups.
Traditionally, the instructors are Roycroft Renaissance Master Artisans: juried artisans who go through an application process in order to get the coveted title of Roycroft Renaissance Artisan or Roycroft Renaissance Master Artisan and get to mark their works with the Roycroft “Double R” logo. The three artisans returning this year are Frank Glapa of FMG Design, Ron VanOstrand of VanOstrand Metal Studio and Natalie Richards of Paint-By-Threads offering projects in coppersmithing and embroidery respectively.
While the talented efforts of printmaker and longtime exhibitor of the National Arts and Crafts Contemporary show Laura Wilder will be missed, the National Arts & Crafts Conference is happy to introduce a new talent to the conference who is ready to show a new technique in printmaking with the conference community of makers.
Artist Gay Bryant is a painter and printmaker from Knoxville, Tennessee, a printmaking instructor at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, N.C., and a member of the Foothills Craft Guild. Bryant has chosen White Line printmaking as her topic for the 2024 printmaking workshop, an american style that originated in the early 20th century in 1915 in Provincetown, Massachusetts. The printmaking technique was inspired by Japanese Woodblock printmaking. As the workshop description shows, “Learn color theory, basic relief printing, and watercolor techniques. You can use your own image or use the provided images from Arts-and-Craft style tiles, wallpapers, and works to carve into the woodblock to print.”
Click here to find out more about the Pre-Conference Workshops offered as a part of the National Arts and Crafts Conference and Shows.
2024 Book Club Selections
In honor of National Book Month, we’re revealing the 2024 Book Club Selections: one is a bestseller from the early 20th century and one is a recent bestseller on the New York Times list. The Book Club Discussion groups will be held Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon during the conference weekend.
Before Charles Rohlfs made his living as a furniture maker, his wife author Anna Katharine Green enjoyed her own success and for good reason: she was a very good writer, inspiring future authors Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. Published in 1878, The Leavenworth Case tells the gripping story of a death in New York City society with twists, turns, a possible lady killer, and the introduction of the first American series detective — Ebenezer Gryce. The Leavenworth Case was an instant bestseller and is considered Green’s best book – the first full length detective story ever written by a woman and the story was turned into a play with her husband Charles starring as Harwell! This story of love, greed, sacrifice, and betrayal has nearly been forgotten, but we are bringing it back into the spotlight as our first mystery book selection.
Peter Copeland of Turn of the Century Edition has been kind enough to extend a 25% discount on the book! Click the link below to buy it.
In her twenties, Belle da Costa Greene is hired by J. P. Morgan to curate a collection of rare manuscripts, books, and artwork for his newly built Pierpont Morgan Library. Belle becomes a fixture in New York City society and one of the most powerful people in the art and book world, known for her impeccable taste and shrewd negotiating for critical works as she helps create a world-class collection.
But Belle has a secret, one she must protect at all costs. She was born not Belle da Costa Greene but Belle Marion Greener. She is the daughter of Richard Greener, the first Black graduate of Harvard and a well-known advocate for equality. Belle’s complexion isn’t dark because of her alleged Portuguese heritage that lets her pass as white—her complexion is dark because she is African American.
The Personal Librarian tells the story of an extraordinary woman, famous for her intellect, style, and wit, and shares the lengths she must go to—for the protection of her family and her legacy—to preserve her carefully crafted white identity in the racist world in which she lives.