Employing age-old techniques, creatives answer the call for modern handicraft—and look to their American roots for inspiration.
San Marcos, Texas
Artistic inclination: During my first cross-country trip in an Airstream that lasted for four years, I was looking for a small-space creative outlet. I came across modern quilters who were rooted in tradition on social media and was hooked. Name game: In John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley, “Vacilando” meant someone who is going somewhere, but doesn’t exactly know how. Similar to my journey, not all those who wander are lost. Enduring legacy: Quilting is very much alive and well in America. It’s exciting to think my quilts might still exist in 50 years as an heirloom. vacilandoquilting.com
Origins: I was raised in my father’s chair-making shop, so working with wood and using hand tools was always a part of my life. Go-to materials: Maple, ash, pine, cherry and oak— the vast majority comes from within 25 miles of our shop. Made to last: What’s important to me is how properly using these manual methods can drastically improve the durability, flexibility, comfort and life of a chair. Life lesson: My father taught me where precision matters. There are a lot of tiny details in our chairs and it’s easy to get lost in trying to make everything perfect—but he trained me to trust my eye and recognize that the subtle differences and movement in our chairs make them feel alive. sawyermade.com
Southern charm: I was drawn to and influenced by the architecture, gardens and work of highly skilled artisans in my hometown of Columbus, Mississippi, where a wealth of pre-Civil War homes with murals and hand-painted finishes still exist. Process: Each bespoke mural wallcovering is custom made for a project and my client. All elements of the room are considered—the palette, windows, doors, furnishings and even the desired length of the “repeat” in the landscape scene. American craftsmanship: To me, it is an expression of our time and the individual artist who contributes to the enhancement, beauty and harmony of our surroundings in limitless variations. charlotteterrell.com