to the Craft Center Gallery
The Craft Center Gallery at the University of California,
Davis presents Household Artifacts,
by David Schoch and Jessica Baldwin, two Craft Center
alumni married in their craft and their life, who describe
themselves as professionals and artists.
Their work spans several media and has in common its domestic
roots. Household Artifacts will open on April 1 and close
on May 6. There will be a reception for the artists on
Sunday, April 3, from 1-3pm.
Located in the south Silo Building on the UCD campus,
The Craft Center Gallery is open M-Th. noon-10pm, Fridays,
noon-7pm and weekends 10am-6pm. For more information,
Schoch, Spring 2005
The Craft Center is a dangerous place. I donít mean the
sharp, hot, and noxious activities that go on here, though
those are indeed dangerous. The danger Iím talking about
is the way time bends within the Craft Center walls. Iíve
seen UCD students walk in the front door unaware of the
hyper-entropy fields, go down the hall into the ceramics
lab, and come out three years later no longer students
of geology but students of clay. I recognize it only because
it happened to me. The Craft Center time warp held me
long and fast, and I have a plaque on the bottom step
to prove it. Every time I walk through that door behind
you, I feel the pull like a bottle of beer from an old
friend. If you have read this far you must have some interest
in my art or myself. I have difficulty talking about either,
so please bear with me. I am still not convinced that
I am an artist. I strive to be a good craftsman, and if
art happens along the way, thatís ok. The pieces in this
show are from our cupboards, our table, our walls, and
our garden. I donít believe art should be kept on a pedestal
or behind glass. To use only vision to experience art
is like eating a ripe peach using only your nose. I invite
you to (gently) touch my work; just donít break anything.
Many are functional works, and bear the marks of such.
The bathroom cabinet even bears the marks of our bird
Pickle. A tip for woodworkers: donít keep parrots as pets.
Art has a mother, just like invention, and artís mother
is desire. My typical production process goes like this:
I feel the desire to create, I create a bunch of crap,
I collaborate with people that have better art sense than
me (like my wife Jess), and I create better. I have to
think about my work a lot ≠ this kind of creativity does
not come easy for me. Because of this my production rate
is low ≠ the work here spans about 15 years of play, experimentation,
disappointment, and success. And of course the Craft Center
has been my enabler the whole time. If you are interested
in owning any of my work, please contact me. All of the
bronzes are mold-less single originals, but any of them
can be molded and reproduced. The time I spend on each
piece makes selling difficult, but I will do commissioned
work, and I love to barter.
Baldwin, Spring 2005
The Craft Center is a dangerous place, I agree. I dread
the words, ďSweety, Iím going to the Craft Center for
a little while. Iíll be back in an hour or so.Ē It is
like that song by the Kingston Trio, ďThe Man Who Never
ReturnedĒ. Really though, it is not such a bad place.
I spent many formative hours here over the last 12 years.
I even put a few years in as student manager of Textiles,
Arts, and Graphics. My formal training in the crafts includes
an under- graduate major in textile design plus a smattering
of extra-curricular classes in ceramics, jewelry, and
photography. But I still donít think of myself as an ĎArtistí.
I think of myself in terms of whatever craft is my current
interest; beader, photographer, ceramic embellisher, etc.
My interest does go through phases. Layered paper ďpapercutsĒ
are an earlier favorite medium, which I still do occasionally.
Photography and jewelry captivate me in an on-again, off-again
fashion. I think art for me falls in the hobby category
≠ it has to be a pleasure to create as well as fun to
view, eat, or wear ≠ or I just wonít do it. Since I have
been with Dave, much of my work has been collaborative.
I have found great joy in insinuating myself into Daveís
work ≠ he can throw clay better than I will ever be able
to, and I am lucky that he generously allows me to satisfy
my decorator side. Many of the pieces on display here
are collaborative and are reflective of our working marriage.
I take some photos; Dave mats and frames them. Dave throws
a plate; I carve a decorative band. Dave makes a neat
bronze; I get to help with embellishments. Dave makes
a pot; I get to fill it with plants. Like my husband,
my work here spans many years. Papercuts captivated me
in the past; jewelry and ceramic collaboration captivate
me now. Production is way down due to the time sinks of
a full time job, our new child Amelia, our pets, and maintaining
a happy marriage, but crafting will always find a way
to percolate into my life. I hope you enjoy what we have
on display here. If you see something you really enjoy
but it is not available, let us know and we will (probably)
happily create another for sale, trade, or barter.