Dear Museum Community,

What an incredible year we’ve had thanks to you. Your end of year gift to the Museum makes what we do possible. Please consider a gift of any amount. It’s easy to make your donation online.

With your support and participation, we began and ended the year thinking about how design builds community – from Studio H: Design. Build. Transform. to our current exhibition Design with the Other 90%: CITIES.

We documented the untold story of the Museum’s role in shaping modern craft through Northwest Modern: Revisiting the Annual Ceramic Exhibitions of 1950-64.

Many, many people – from Portland and beyond – gave works to the collection to honor Museum of Contemporary Craft, the nation’s oldest institution focused on modern and contemporary craft. We shared those new gifts with you through 75 Gifts for 75 Years.

We re-introduced you to an Oregonian who is also a national treasure through Generations: Betty Feves, and reminded you of an artist who merits further attention in Reflecting on Erik Gronborg: Selections by Jeffry Mitchell.

As John Motley wrote in The Oregonian, “Reflecting on Erik Gronborg mounts a compelling argument for the artist’s pioneering role in the movement that would become “sloppy craft,” while continuing the museum’s dedication to re-examining under-recognized and overdue artists in the region, from Feves to Gronborg.”

Our programs next year will continue to support Portland as a place to share opportunities, get involved, and relish living in a city where craft and design are deeply valued.

As you consider your end-of-year donations, please consider supporting the Museum of Contemporary Craft. Gifts of any amount help us continue to connect you to the practices of people who build and sustain creative lives.

Wishing you and yours all the best in the New Year!

Namita Gupta Wiggers
Director and Chief Curator

Ways to participate:

Join, renew, or purchase a gift membership to the Museum here.

Donate directly to the Museum here.

Contribute to keep Betty Feves’ Garden Wall at MoCC here.

Visit the Museum exhibitions and The Gallery Store.

Posted on 12/20 at 05:40 PM

CraftPerspectives Podcast: Cynthia Smith

Cynthia E. Smith, Curator of Socially Responsible Design at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, provides a global overview of the design, thinking, approach, and frontiers of invention aimed at serving the urban poor in connection with the exhibition.

After curating the first exhibition in Cooper-Hewitt’s series on humanitarian design in 2007, Smith spent a year of field research in 15 different cities in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, focusing on successful design solutions to rapidly expanding informal settlements. Join us for a behind-the-scenes lecture on this groundbreaking exhibition series.

About the Exhibition
Design with the Other 90%: CITIES is the second in a series of exhibitions that demonstrate how design can be a dynamic force in transforming and, in many cases, saving lives. In 2007, Design for the Other 90% focused on design solutions that addressed the most basic needs of the 90% of the world’s population not traditionally served by professional designers. Design with the Other 90%: CITIES explores design solutions that address the challenges created by rapid urban growth in informal settlements, addressing the consequences of our massive urban planetary growth.

CraftPerspectives Lecture: Cynthia Smith

Cynthia E. Smith, Curator of Socially Responsible Design at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Instution, provides an overview of the design, thinking, approach, and frontiers of invention shown in Design with the Other 90%: CITIES. September 26, 2012.


Posted on 12/10 at 04:32 PM


Dear Museum Community,

As December swings into gear, I know I am always thankful that the holiday season full of festive events and light-filled evenings comes just in time. It staves off the winter doldrums as the rainy season kicks into gear here in the Pacific Northwest.

Need help getting ready for the season?

Our Gallery Store is filled with carefully selected items that you can use to bring craft and design into the lives of those you love. Find stocking stuffers, including specially designed MoCC Scout Books, jewelry kits from the Anni Albers Foundation, kits from Alabama Chanin, and LeBrie Rich’s felted rings, watches, and pins. We offer Nikki McClure calendars, posters, books, and more — as well as Collateral Matters Postcard Packs by Kate Bingaman Burt and Clifton Burt.

Alongside new work by artists, craftspeople, and designers from Portland and beyond, you can find long-time favorites and classics, such as an heirloom casserole by Wally Schwab, one of Chris Giffin’s assemblage clocks, or a woodturned salad bowl by Dale Larsen.

It is also a great time to consider the gift of membership – a wonderful way to share a year of exhibitions and programs, including those currently on view as well as forthcoming We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live, Object Focus: The Bowl, Quality is Contagious: John Economaki and Bridge City Tool Works, Soundforge, and The Tool at Hand.

Join us on Saturday afternoons this month for artist demonstrations and book signings, and mark your calendar for the special member’s events during our extended shopping hours each Thursday evening from 6-8 pm.

We are thrilled to share the newly redesigned Gallery Store with you, and look forward to saying “hello” when you drop in this month. Your purchases help us continue to connect you with contemporary craft and design through exhibitions and programs, and to offer work you can live with every day through the Gallery Store. When you make a purchase in the Gallery Store, you support local artists and your local museum. We cannot do it without you, and we thank you for your ongoing support and participation in our programming that you won’t find in other places.

We look forward to seeing you soon at MoCC, wish you and yours a lovely month of gatherings with family and friends, and all the very best in the New Year. Speaking of the New Year, read below for the great Seattle Road Trip we’re planning for January 2013.

Namita Gupta Wiggers
Director and Chief Curator

Posted on 12/04 at 04:41 PM

Visit The Gallery Store

The Gallery Store at Museum of Contemporary Craft has a whole new look and it’s stocked with terrific gift items of modern handcrafted goods with a new design focus plus works by many of your longtime favorites. We’ve expanded the range of items to include smaller gift items like notebooks and hand letterpressed cards as well as one-of-a-kind works by legacy artists who’ve been creating exquisite pieces for decades. You’ll find unique contemporary jewelry, paper goods, ceramic and glass vessels, and sculptures.

In addition to a selection of legacy pieces by artists such as Wally Schwab, Pat Horsley, and Barb Campbell, many of whom have work in the Museum’s permanent collection, you’ll find a fresh selection of new lines available exclusively at The Gallery Store, including recycled leather bags by Oregon-based Chris Linn’s Uliko Underground, elegant slipcast porcelain cups by Jean-Marc Desaules (Geneva, Switzerland/Portland), and hand-cut felted wool autumnal table toppers by Kate Troyer of Wippowillow in Portland.

The Gallery Store will bring back favorites like Nikki McClure paper goods, plus jewelry from Melissa Stiles, Opulent Project, and Biba Schutz. And there are new objects for the home such as Reagan John’s wood lamps and DIY kits from Natalie Chanin’s line Alabama Chanin.

The Gallery Store now carries new lines of Museum-branded postcards, printed in Portland by Pinball Publishing and designed by Kate Bingaman Burt and Clifton Burt. And you’ll find canvas Museum tote bags that have been indigo dip-dyed by Kyla Mucci, MFA candidate in Applied Craft and Design.

Join us in celebration of the importance of handcrafted goods in our lives.

Posted on 12/04 at 03:49 PM

Giving Tuesday!


You can make a difference. Join others in this unprecedented effort to be an agent of change in your own community. GIVING TUESDAY is a national effort to increase awareness and develop momentum around the importance of philanthropy and giving across the country.

We hope you will reach out and consider a gift to Museum of Contemporary Craft. Every gift counts – no matter what size.

Help us preserve the future of craft and design on GIVING TUESDAY.

For more information visit

Thank you on behalf of the Museum, PNCA, and the artists, craftspeople, designers, and writers you help us support and make publicly known.


Posted on 11/26 at 03:29 PM

Artist Demos this Saturday

Ceramic artists Brian Jones and Kowkie Durst will do live demos in the Lab at Museum of Contemporary Craft, this Saturday, December 1 from 12-2 pm.

Kowkie Durst creates drawings and etchings on her ceramic works which abstract contemporary cultural icons. Infused with a love of material, she narrates the relationship between objects and everyday experiences.

Durst is currently an instructor at Oregon College of Art and Craft and Portland Community College. She has also taught at Clackamas Community College and Eastern Washington University. Her education spans from Penland School of Crafts and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts to the Archie Bray Foundation. Durst has shown her work widely throughout the country. She holds an MFA in Ceramics from Penn State University and a BA in German and anthropology from Tulane University. Kowkie Durst has shown her work in the Gallery Store since 2007.

Brian Jones is investigating of the transformative character of memories, in particular, pots that belonged to his grandmother, as points of departure for contemplation of form, color, and tone. The nature of how a pot reveals itself over time to an audience is the long echo of that initial reverie. Jones sees a pot is both a reservoir and an initiator of memories.

Jones, who has exhibited nationally, holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Alfred University and a Master of Fine Arts from Southern Methodist University. Jones has done residencies at The Clay Studio, Evergreen State College, and the Watershed Center for Ceramic Art.

Posted on 11/26 at 11:46 AM

MoCC-curated Nikki McClure Exhibition at BAM

The first museum exhibition to focus on her fifteen-year career, Nikki McClure: Cutting Her Own Path, 1996 – 2012, which originated at Museum of Contemporary Craft, opens at Bellevue Arts Museum.

Nikki McClure works with daily life as her subject, black paper as her medium and an X-ACTO blade as her tool. Born in Kirkland, Washington, the artist’s intricate papercuts form the foundation of a self-made career that now spans published calendars, books, t-shirts, posters and more. Made with simple tools and telling everyday stories, McClure’s images show real people of today engaged in activities that have been occurring for thousands of years: picking berries, eating meals together and swimming in a river. The first museum exhibition to focus on her fifteen-year career, Nikki McClure: Cutting Her Own Path, 1996 – 2012 reveals how one artist uses a simple craft and graphic language to show how to be a maker and live a self-sustained life.

Posted on 11/16 at 11:55 AM

Redesigned Gallery Store

Home For the Holidays Extended Gallery Store Hours:
Open 11 am until 8 pm on Thursday evenings from November 29 through December 27;
Open 10 am until 6 pm every Saturday in December

Special Home for the Holidays Member Preview
Wednesday, November 14 from 6-8 pm

Museum of Contemporary Craft relaunches the new Gallery Store at the Museum. It’s a redesigned shop within the Museum offering a mix of contemporary handmade objects with a new design focus as well as legacy pieces from artists who have been with the Gallery since the 1960s such as Frank Boyden and Mardi Wood. Director Namita Gupta Wiggers worked with Museum board member, designer Randy Higgins of Vizwerks to redesign the Gallery Store. In turn, Higgins has worked to execute the design with a team of students from the MFA in Applied Craft and Design, a joint program of Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) and Oregon College of Art and Craft.

“The new Gallery Store will offer special handcrafted objects for people to take home and live with,” says Wiggers. “Craft and design lead to objects that make our lives better—more beautiful. We want visitors and members to live with craft. We’ve expanded the range of items to include smaller gift items like notebooks and hand letterpressed cards to one-of-a-kind works by legacy artists who’ve been creating exquisite pieces for decades. At the same time, we’re very interested in showcasing works that subject craft materials to innovative design processes—and have many new items that reveal this intersection.”

In addition to a selection of legacy pieces by artists such as Wally Schwab, Pat Horsley, and Barb Campbell, many of whom have work in the Museum’s permanent collection, Wiggers has brought together a fresh selection of new lines available exclusively at the Gallery Store, including recycled leather bags by Oregon artis Chris Linn’s Uliko Underground. The stylish totes and wallets are not sewn but are hand cut, folded, and hot-melted using post-industrial waste products. Also exclusive to the Gallery Store is work by Jean-Marc Desaules (Geneva, Switzerland/Portland), who makes small, elegant slipcast porcelain cups that he describes as “shapes that can fit in one’s hand like an intimate invitation.” Kate Troyer of Wippowillow precisely hand cuts felted German wool into leafy lace-like lattices to create the perfect autumnal table toppers.

The Gallery Store will bring back favorites like an expanded selection of paper goods by Nikki McClure, jewelry including Melissa Stiles’ modern resin and Biba Schutz’s darkly organic silver jewelry. And there are new objects for the home such as Reagan John’s wood lamps and DIY kits from Natalie Chanin’s Alabama Chanin. For a special Home for the Holidays event, the Gallery Store will carry an exclusive collection of craft objects from London’s Flow Gallery, including works by Edmond Byrne, Henk Wolvers, Hans Henning Pederson, Nuala O’Donovan, all of which will be seen in Portland for the first time.

The Gallery Store will also carry new lines of Museum-branded postcards with images from Museum’s archives, selected by Kate Bingaman Burt and Clifton Burt for the exhibition Collateral Matters and printed in Portland by Pinball Publishing. In addition, Kyla Mucci MFA ’13 (Applied Craft and Design) has hand-dipped canvas totes in indigo for a limited edition twist on the traditional reusable carryalls.

“As we look forward to next year’s exhibition, Object Focus: The Bowl, we can reflect on how craft’s deepest roots are in the real life, day-to-day engagement with objects that have use value,” says Wiggers. “It’s important to us not only to display objects in the Museum, but also to extend that connection beyond the Museum’s doors and into visitor’s homes with objects like those in the Gallery Store.”

Posted on 11/08 at 03:20 PM

Reflecting on Reflecting on Erik Gronborg

Dave Hampton of ObjectsUSA writes a great piece about the artist Erik Gronborg, subject of the current exhibition Reflecting on Erik Gronborg and was the subject of the recent daylong symposium Reflecting on Erik Gronborg Contains Nudity on his blog Esoteric Survey.

He writes, “Gronborg developed a unique body of work characterized by robust, slab-built forms, bright lead glazes and lusters, thickly outlined drawings of female nudes, and by relief elements; newspaper printing plates and snazzy auto emblems, pressed into the damp clay. A pacifist, who spent two years in a camp for conscientious objectors as an alternative to Denmark’s compulsory military service, Gronborg also started adding short lines of text to his work in response to his adopted country’s political climate and the Vietnam War. These include such phrases as PAX AMERICANA and HOW MUCH AMERICA CAN THE WORLD TAKE?”

Read about Erik Gronborg on Esoteric Survey.

Posted on 11/05 at 09:44 PM

MoCC Voulkos Works On View in Fighting Men

Two Peter Voulkos works from the Museum of Contemporary Craft collection are currently on view in the exhibition Fighting Men: Leon Golub, Peter Voulkos, and Jack Kirby curated by artist, writer, and PNCA faculty member Daniel Duford for the Hoffman Gallery at Lewis & Clark College. Fighting Men looks at images of violence and masculinity in and through the work of Leon Golub, a painter, Pete Voulkos, a ceramist, and Jack Kirby, a cartoonist. Duford is a Ford Family Fellow whose own work was most recently in the Portland2012 Biennial.

Duford says in an essay on the exhibition, “Jack Kirby (1917-1994), Leon Golub (1922-2004), and Peter Voulkos (1924-2000) occupy alternate dimensions. Their achievements are chronicled in different art histories, each with its own priorities. They were all immersed in discredited mediums and subject matter. They don’t fit neatly. At times their work looks conservative and backward; at other times those same qualities seem urgent and prophetic. They rooted around in the mud of history and myth, emerging with their own muscular and ham-fisted approach to their respective materials.

“The specter of violence and the consequences of power animate this exhibition. Raw power emanates from the artwork.”

The exhibition closes March 3, 2013. The Ronna and Eric Hoffman Gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11-4.

Posted on 10/30 at 04:04 PM

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