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12:13 PMCapitol de Beaute Blog by Melanie Woodroffe

Anna Johnson

Designer: Anna Johnson

Model: Shica

Model: Ashlan

Susan Bradley

Designer:Susan Bradley

Models: Melanie & Ashlan

I felt a ping of nostalgia as the American Craft Show came to a close in Atlanta this past week. It's hard to believe it's the 30th Anniversary of this amazing show. 30 years. Wow. 

The Craft Show is brimming with rich history of makers & artisans, who are chosen for this multi-state exhibition. Artists who spend years honing in on a bevy of passed down traditions, innate skills; studying technique and theory to create art. Even with modern day methods of creating, one can still feel the years & tears it takes to create.

The ACC is the leading arts nonprofit, giving artisans a voice and a venue to explore new ways of making and selling what they create. Many of the resources found through the ACC's vast programs give makers the ability to make a living doing what they love. 

As the show closed, I reminisced about the past years of attending the ACC show in Atlanta and the many changes made in order for it to shift and shape, grow and expand. 
Weaving from one booth to another with my fashionista friends, Ashlan, Betsy ad Shica, asking them, 'what will you fall in love with?' We came upon old loves and new ones. Two Booths stood out the most for us.  Anna Johnson and Susan Bradley. 

Susan Bradley is a longtime favorite, her clothes are stunning design concepts of wearable art. Mostly made with neoprene and vintage Asian fabric remnants, each piece is an absolute stand out. Susan has such a following that she has no need for social media nor a website, which is impressive in the day of digital everything. Having established her base of buyers many years back, she feels face to face interactions is her best selling point! I agree!

Anna Johnson was my new discovery this past show. Her Bio says it best. 
"My jewelry is in tribute to holistic life cycles, intra-nature relationships, and nature-human connectivity.

Through adornment I strive to highlight the incredibly high value of nature. Jewelry has provided me with a platform to interpret a survey of plant and animal life mixed with gems and minerals in a way that creates a direct and intimate connection with its viewers and wearers. As an artist my intention is to create soulful pieces that present nature in an unfamiliar context that will perhaps trigger people to make more conscious efforts to protect the environment. There is intense beauty all around us, I hope we, as a culture, can learn to see it and form a mutualistic relationship within it and as well as between ourselves.

The atmosphere, the earth, the water, the water cycle – those things are good gifts. The ecosystems, the ecosphere, those are good gifts. We have to regard them as gifts because we couldn’t make them. We have to regard them as good gifts because we couldn’t live without them.”- Wendell Berry
Anna Johnson is a studio jeweler based in Asheville, North Carolina. Johnson received her BFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. Her work is exhibited nationally and has received recognition such as being named as "30 Exceptional Craftspeople Under the Age of 30" (2016) by American Craft week, and by American Craft magazine as one of 15 exceptional artists using unusual materials (2015). Her work has been published in numerous publications, including  "Cast: Art and Objects" (2017)  and she has taught at Penland School of Crafts (2017).  Her compositions consist largely of found objects mixed with semi-precious and precious materials. Johnson's work is heavily influenced by nature, cultural ideas of value, and environmental preservation.

About the bones : Each piece of remains present in my work was found deceased in its natural environment and then taken through a deep cleaning process so i can honor them through my work. Ethically sourcing bones is an incredibly important part of my practice and purchasing anything of the sort is never an option." 

Anna told me her pieces will be part of an upcoming exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum, which is no surprise. As you can see, each piece is a work of art. 

This show had so many stellar moments, I wish I could share all at once! 
I look forward to see what 2020 brings for the American Craft Show & it's evolution beyond.
xo, melanie

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