Service of Color II

November 15th, 2016

Categories: Art, Arts & Crafts, Color, Craft Show

Karen Morris, Dellwood, Minn.

Karen Morris, Dellwood, Minn.

On Lauren Smith wrote “Pantone Predicts the Colors That’ll Be Popular Next Spring–Let’s just say, next year is going to be bold and bright” and called out Flame, Island Paradise, Primrose Yellow and Niagara—the names Pantone gave coral, soft aqua, sunny yellow and denim blue. Pantone calls itself the “authority on color, provider of color systems and leading technology for accurate communication of color.”

Deborah Shedrick, Montgomery, Ala

Deborah Shedrick, Montgomery, Ala

What struck me about the work of some exhibitors at my client’s upcoming American Fine Craft Show at Brooklyn Museum this weekend, November 19-20, is the palpable importance of color—some of those Pantone identified as well as other luscious, succulent ones. Much of the jewelry is inspired by spirited, passionate hues; magical tints enhance ceramics and glass. 

Thomas Marrinson ceramics, Hinesburg, Vt.

Thomas Marrinson ceramics, Hinesburg, Vt.

Color isn’t for everyone and there will be many options for the more conservative shopper in every category. In addition to color, 26 jewelers reference travel, history, nature and their current or previous careers in far-flung industries as impacting their designs. Their expert work transforms precious stones and sheet metal, wire—even textiles and paper—into enchanting decorative enhancements and imaginative gifts.

Julie Shaw, Cocoa, FL.

Julie Shaw, Cocoa, FL.

For those bored by the mostly insipid fashion on today’s clothing racks, a fine craft fair such as this one is a treasure trove of both chic high-end classic and stylish casual wear. Fanciful accents and detailing punctuate one-of-a-kind coats and jackets designed and created by masters of leatherwork, weaving and expert tailoring. Exemplary millinery promises to be a show-stopper and versatile scarves and accessories in the hands of artists and expert fashion designers achieve elegant impact. 

Ethan Abramson, Mamaroneck, N.Y.

Ethan Abramson, Mamaroneck, N.Y.

Furniture artisans at the show speak about their pieces and the elements that go into them as though they are human or a three dimensional reflection of their lives.  Although most of them design and fabricate with wood, there are architectural, handsome steel and aluminum pieces as well.

The furniture makers aren’t alone in their mastery and appreciation of wood. Several exhibitors will sell handmade small decorative and/or functional and at times whimsical pieces that are impossible to bypass without touching.

In addition to furniture, wood objects, art glass and ceramics, there’s more to enhance a home: Fine artists and two sculptors join the artisans this year, achieving a tempting and visual feast just a few days before Thanksgiving.

If cost were no object, where would you look for special gifts for yourself or someone else? Do you value the fine work of artisans and artists and recognize the imagination, skill and time poured into each piece?


Jane Herzenberg, Northhampton, Mass.

Jane Herzenberg, Northhampton, Mass.

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12 Responses to “Service of Color II”

  1. JBS Said:

    Wish I was in NYC so I could attend. They do have fabulous craft shows in the Twin Cities too. I catch some of them.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:

    JBS, I have found treasures in many craft fairs. Some of my favorite jackets and jewelry come from craft fairs.

    I still remember the work of one fashion designer whose prices were in the $600 range. At that time a friend returned from Saks Fifth Avenue moaning that the $3,000 dresses looked like nothing. I’m not saying that $600 is “nothing,” but I am pointing out that if someone is able to afford expensive clothing, they should not overlook the treasures at fine craft fairs.

  3. ASK Said:

    If my dear friend had not twisted her ankle as a result of a jacket getting caught in an escalator at the Rome airport, I would be there. When I was traveling for CH magazine, I always bought gifts, Christmas and otherwise, at museum shops, which almost always carried the works of local craftsmen, er, make that “people.” If you aren’t already doing so, you should alert the alumnae offices of local colleges about the show…having worked with a group at Barnard, these are the things around which mini-reunions and alumnae social outings are developed.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    What a great idea! For the next show I will contact alumnae offices. THANKS. Brooklyn Museum has a gift shop as well and I would posit that most people who visit the craft show also visit the great shop!

  5. Jennifer Powell Said:

    On Facebook Jennifer wrote: Gah, so many cool crafts! Wish I could be there!!

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    We will miss you. Your previews and reviews were THE BEST.

  7. hb Said:

    In a time of great anxiety, those bright, cheerful colors do a world of good! Should be a good show.

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:


    No doubt that may be why Pantone–and–also called out cheery colors. Thanks for your prediction!

  9. EAM Said:

    You know that I have an infinity for crafts. Years ago, this meant doilies, cozies for your toilet paper and wreaths. It’s now elevated its status to wearable and fine crafts. I get compliments often from friends who comment on jewelry or home decorations I’ve bought. I will say that I bought a jacket and sometimes if adjustments are needed, it can get tricky. I really love seeing how creative the artisans can be with their work. I’ve found great gifts here and even for kids, where you can often get personalized things.

  10. Martha Takayama Said:

    The Pantone colors always fascinate me. The way our preferences especially for interiors follow their persuasive guidelines and magical names also are full of allure. Although I tend to use color for accent in dress to set off black, navy or brown in the cool seasons, I love color in a warm or tropical setting. The idea of being able to browse through beautifully crafted handiwork with original or thoughtful design is infinitely appealing. Mass production has become less and less refined. With no financial limitations I would eagerly spend for myself and for gifts.

  11. Jeanne Byington Said:


    You enjoy these shows for the same reason I do. It is so exciting to discover a jacket or piece of jewelry or ceramic or art glass or fashion accessory that you can’t get over because it is made in an innovative way or combines colors and pattern in an unusual manner….With an open wallet I could buy 89 percent of my Christmas gifts at a show like this in one hour.

  12. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Pantone is crucial for manufacturers so that the people making towels and bathroom fixtures and window treatments realize what the others plan to use and I imagine in fashion the accessories people need similar information. I will never forget sitting in a conference wearing a favorite yellow wool jacket hearing that yellow is OUT OUT OUT!!!! I continued to wear it and when it wore out I replaced it. One can only go so nuts with these forecasts and being on-trend.

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