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Craft in Connecticut

Craft, Handloom, Art, Design, Designers, Op-Ed, Safeguarding, Endangered

Craft in Connecticut: Bringing it Back Home

McComb, Jessie F.

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Well after a few months delving into the craft, landscape and culture of Tajikistan, I wanted to return to a topic both familiar and exotic to me. Although I have been studying craft for about four years now, most of my investigation has been focused on India and other international crafts. Other than the occasional craft museum visit or magazine article, I have spent little time truly looking at the American craft tradition. And even further, I have yet to open my eyes to the rich craft traditions sitting on my doorstep.

For about the past two years I have worked in Connecticut, but with my attention solely on international crafts I hadn’t bothered to merely open my eyes to the traditions of America contained within Connecticut craft traditions. So upon opening my eyes this month to lead a brief investigation I was surprised to find a healthy contemporary craft scene providing both an outlet for creativity and a source of income for Connecticut artisans. Being positioned in the Northeast coast, Connecticut was a seat of much of early American history. Along with being the fifth state to sign the American constitution, it is home to such American items as the first public library, the first hamburger, the first Frisbee and the first lollipop, as well as some other greats like the first Ph.D. and the artificial heart. And contemporary Connecticut artisans have carried on this great tradition of innovation and today fill-up the galleries and museums line both historic and new towns thro...

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