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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