Contemporary Craft – Chris McCarthy, Park Avenue Glass

Chris and daughter Ella

I am a sucker for the blending of old and new. Take for example our home, an 1880’s building that we have renovated with a combination of the old architecture and a very modern aesthetic. Or my artwork that fuses photographic history with digital technologies. So it should come as no surprise that some of my favorite works follow this pattern, and are traditional crafts that the artist combines with a very contemporary look.

There are many glass artists whose work fits this bill, but today I would like you to meet one of my favorites, Chris McCarthy.

While doing art festivals all around the country I see lots of familiar faces from my past. So when I saw Stephanie Brown – that I shared the lunch table with my freshman year in high-school (and don’t believe I had seen since) – I wasn’t surprised. But finding out that she was at the show to assist her husband, Chris, in his glass booth was a shock! A blending of another sort: my old life that seems so far away, with the new one we are living now.

Park Avenue Glass


If you are in or near St. Louis check out Chris’ open studio this weekend Dec 1-2, where he’ll have glass blowing demonstrations from 11-3 and also a guest artist, Sharon Spillar. If St. Louis is little far to travel for a studio visit this weekend, you can visit his website instead.




Added bonus: Check out another good friend of ours, and very fine contemporary craftsman, Justin Teilhet.

Justin's porcelain

Combining porcelain ceramics with a beautifully simple, modern feel, his work is unrivaled and exquisite!  (Fun Fact: Justin introduced us to the first ipod, convincing us it would “revolutionize the way you listen to music in the van.” Right you were Justin, right you were.)


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