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If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him. --John F. Kennedy

The Beauty of Craft

--by Unnikrishnan Raveendranathen, syndicated from globalonenessproject.org, Feb 20, 2015

Exploring the creative process with master artists and craftspeople in the San Francisco Bay Area.

"I want my pots to express timelessness and spontaneity." - Sandy Simon


Simon works at her pottery wheel.


Potter Sandy Simon in her Berkeley studio.


Simon has been a specialist in handmade studio pottery for over 30 years.


Pomo basket weaver Edward Willie sharpens his knife in his Petaluma studio.


Willie first studied basket weaving so he could teach his daughters the dying craft and soon realized that it was a whole lifestyle. He has been weaving for over 20 years.


Willie gathers and dries plants from a local forest to weave into his basket designs.


"I teach weaving to others so that I can share the connection to the earth that it gives us." - Edward Willie


La Tania began her dance career at age seventeen in Mallorca, Spain.


"Flamenco is often considered an older person's art form because the dancer needs maturity, self-assurance and deep expression." - La Tania


Flamenco dancer La Tania in her Oakland studio.


Tools at the industrial art workshop at the Crucible in Oakland.


Hall writes out measurements for a new art piece.


Carla Hall has been making decorative ironwork for seventeen years. "The process is a great stimulation of many senses - smell, sight, feeling of warmth, physicality."


"I love the experience of metal when it is cooling from a thousand degrees to a point where it can be handled and interacted with." - Carla Hall


Matt Kreutz at his bakery, Firebrand Artisan Breads, in Oakland.


Kreutz begins shaping small batches of dough by hand in the early morning.


Kreutz lets his dough leaven naturally and bakes the bread in a woodfire oven.


Calligrapher Kazuaki Tanahashi in his Berkeley studio.


Tanahashi holds a traditional calligraphy brush.


Tanahashi was born and trained in Japan. Solo exhibitions of his calligraphic paintings have toured the world for over thirty years.


"Each moment is a miracle encompassing everything: the joy and sorrow, the failure and success, the disappointment and happiness, the celebration and grief." - Kazuaki Tanahashi


A finished work by Tanahashi.

This article originally appeared in Global Oneness Project and is republished with permission. The Global Oneness Project has been producing and curating stories since 2006. Their collection of films, photography, articles, and educational materials explore the threads that connect culture, ecology, and beauty.  


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