JOIN THE FUN this Friday, Oct 7, 5:30-8 pm, with Smithsonian Craft2Wear Friends Night Out at the National Building Museum. The $20 ticket includes admission to the evening event plus the show’s daytime hours, one cocktail and light hors d’oeuvre, courtesy of Main Event Caterers. A cash bar will showcase the best craft cocktails by four of D.C.’s top celebrity mixologists (Matt Allred of DNV Rooftop, Jon Arroyo of Founding Farmers, Taha Ismail of Mike Isabella Group and Jo-Jo Valenzuela of ABSOLUT ELYX). So, mingle with your pals and best of all, meet 80 craft artists, plus 25 artists from the country’s top design schools. The all-star lineup includes talents such as Carrie Bilbo, Starr Hagenbring, Emma Villedrouin and Namu Cho.
Pratt graduate 29-year-old Carrie Bilbo makes jewelry in silver and 14K gold that focuses on patterns and texture found in Nature. Each piece of her signature jewelry item —Mating Earrings — is meticulously handcut in the shape of a wing and designed to make a jingling noise that mimics the sound of the cicada, an insect that most people find annoying but that Bilbo thinks is fascinating. Her newest pieces are inspired by still more bugs — tree hoppers and lantern flies.
Starr Hagenbring combines years of academic study (archaeology, history), sewing and tailoring skills to create her hand-painted jackets. The art pieces from her current Sacred Images take the place of her past collections, which include Old Masters images on tuxedo jackets and swing coats based on insects, a big hit at last year’s show.
Emma Villedrouin thinks her old-world stone and gold jewelry appeals to a woman who’s buying it for herself. “There are so many reasons women buy jewelry. One woman might buy earrings or a cuff bracelet as a kind of armor; another because the color reminds her of fabulous vacation.”
Namu Cho, born in Seoul, South Korea, now works out of a studio in his home in Bethesda. He began his career making big metallic sculptures. Luckily for Craft2Wear attendees, he turned his attention to jewelry. His striking brooches and bracelets are fashioned using a technique called damascene — inlaying different metals into one another, such as gold or silver, into a dark, oxidized steel background— to produce intricate, graphic patterns.
And there’s so much more to see. If you can’t make it Friday or Friday night, the show continues on Saturday (10 am to 5:30 pm).
Click here to purchase tickets.
— Janet Kelly