Ann Morton: Community and Process

Posted June 25, 2015 in Blog

When visitors experience the What Happened Today? exhibition that will be on view at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft starting September 18th of this year, they will encounter a physical object – a deeply textural  and, I daresay, unusual textile. Made up of the daily writings of a wide cross-section of Houstonians, and also the hooked-rug-handiwork of a diverse collection of groups city-wide, this sculptural expression will be a rich, and interesting object to experience!


Artist Ann Morton, and HCCC Exhibitions Intern, Madeleine Sanchez. Photo by Kim Coffman.

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Ann Morton: What Happened Today?

Posted May 20, 2015 in Blog

Embarking on a project such as the What Happened Today? exhibition leaves the richness of the outcome up to the members of the public who get involved. This can be unnerving, but in the case of the citizens of Houston, the results are every bit as interesting as we’d hoped. With the generous partnership of the Houston Chronicle, we expect thousands of notes to make their way to HCCC through July.
We’d like to share just a few out of hundreds of 3”x 3” notes that have been submitted so far. Enjoy the texture of what has been shared–the character of the handwriting, the thoughts–and most of all, what happened on these days.

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Staff Picks for Holiday Gifts!

Posted November 25, 2014 in Blog

Read what the HCCC staff has to say about some of their favorite gift items from Asher Gallery.


Brian Ferrell, “Scotch Whiskey Set.” Pewter, Mahogany, Maple, Rubber. Photo by Amanda Shackleford.

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Q&A with Our Volunteers

Posted November 19, 2014 in Blog

Among the many reasons to celebrate this month, we will be honoring HCCC volunteers during the Asher Holiday Soiree on November 20. Our volunteers are the people that keep us running–providing administrative support, pouring drinks, leading tours, and filling a wide variety of other needs. We asked several of our volunteers to tell us why they donate their time for HCCC.

Jon Emmanual

Jon Emmanual volunteers regularly at Hands-on Houston events. Photo by HCCC.

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Kathryn Hall on “In Residence: Work by 2013 Resident Artists”

Posted October 29, 2014 in Blog

We asked HCCC Curatorial Fellow, Kathryn Hall, to give us her thoughts on the current exhibition, In Residence: Work by 2013 Resident Artists, on view now through December 19, 2014.


Christina Carfora, “Invasion of a New Environment”, 2014. Stain, underglaze and glaze on ceramic. Photo by Amanda Shackleford.

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Elizabeth Kozlowski on “CraftTexas 2014”

Posted October 14, 2014 in Blog

We recently asked HCCC Curator, Elizabeth Kozlowski, to give us her thoughts on the current exhibition, CraftTexas 2014, on view now through December 24, 2014.


Award of Merit Winner: Olivia Neal, “Tropophobia”, 2012. Handwoven Jaquard cloth, artificial sinew, lanyard, re-recorded cassette tape with Shangrilas’ “Walking in the Sand.” 8 feet, 6 inches x 3 feet. Photo by Olivia Neal.

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A New Cycle Begins

Posted September 11, 2014 in Blog


Jera Lodge in her studio at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. Photo by Amanda Shackleford.

This month, five new artists begin their residencies at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. There are many different reasons for them to choose HCCC. Some were drawn to the program by the city of Houston itself, with its vibrant arts scene and cultural community. (In fact, many former resident artists choose to settle here afterwards.) Others are attracted by what our program offers: a monthly and quarterly stipend, studios with 24/7 access, and monthly professional development opportunities. The quality of our program is clearly demonstrated by how applicants are finding us; currently, most are referred by word of mouth from colleagues or instructors. Continue Reading »

Buying Handmade in Texas

Posted August 14, 2014 in Blog

Harlan Butt, "Horned Toad Vessel #3." Metal. Photo by Amanda Shackleford.

Harlan Butt, “Horned Toad Vessel #3.” Metal. Photo by Amanda Shackleford.

Texas is brimming with artists, offering you beautiful work exemplified by individuality and spirit. Check out these fine examples of Texan craft to see how they stand out from the mass-produced, and see why we think buying handmade is the ideal choice for consumers. Continue Reading »

Texas Masters Series: Sandie Zilker
Essay by Elizabeth Kozlowski

Posted July 24, 2014 in Blog

Sandie Zilker, "Armored Car Elbow Ornament," 1975. Sterling silver, plastic tubing, moonstone. Collection of Richard and Carol Hutchens. Photo by Logan Beck.

(Fig. 1) Sandie Zilker, “Armored Car Elbow Ornament,” 1975. Sterling silver, plastic tubing, moonstone. Collection of Richard and Carol Hutchens. Photo by Logan Beck.

Nominated by her peers and celebrated by the Houston community, Sandie Zilker was named the 2014 Texas Master by Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC). As a result, she received the opportunity to show her work in a brilliant solo exhibition and now joins an elite roster of former Texas Masters, all of whom were recognized for their roles as career artists in Texas who have made a significant impact on the field of craft.

Zilker’s solo exhibition serves as a retrospective of her jewelry work over the past four decades. Using the body as a frame of reference, she pulls from elements of illusion and surprise to elevate adornment to its fullest potential. Each of her pieces is packed with personality, increasing the wearer’s senses and creating a unique relationship between wearer and object.

After graduate school, Zilker began experimenting with very large, hollow layered pieces. Armoured Car Elbow Ornament, 1975 (fig. 1), demonstrates the artist’s ability to manipulate metal into numerous folds and incorporate both the precious (moonstone) and the discarded (plastic tubing) into wearable form. Within a few years, her work shifted towards the more formal elements of design. The Zig Zag brooch series, 1989 (fig. 2), which is more structured in terms of composition, is an example of this deviation from her earlier work. In her most recent piece in the exhibition, Long Dangling Points, 2014 (fig. 3), she applied line drawings to the Styrofoam surface, adding yet another rich visual layer to the work. Continue Reading »

Interview with Former Resident Artist,
Christina Carfora

Posted February 25, 2014 in Blog

The Grass is Always Greener

Christina Carfora, “The Grass is Always Greener.” Stoneware. 2013. Life size, 36″ x 24″ x 24″ each. Photo courtesy of Christina Carfora.

Ashley Powell, HCCC Curatorial Assistant, and Kathryn Hall, HCCC Curatorial Fellow, recently interviewed former resident artist, Christina Carfora, at the end of her residency.  Christina is currently living in Denton, Texas, teaching ceramics at Texas Women’s University, working in her studio, and taking graduate classes.

Ashley Powell: We’ve noticed a relationship between your drawings and your ceramic sculptures. Can you tell us how they work together and inform each other?

Yes, the two are definitely very integrally tied together, and, often, when I’m working on a piece, I’ll start with a sketch. However, I sort of vacillate back and forth, and, as I’m working on a drawing, it often inspires other concepts and other pieces. When I’m working on my sculptures, I think of other ideas for drawings. I like this aspect of the drawings because you don’t have to deal with gravity like you do in the very structural ways when making sculptural work. When working on the sculptures, I really like getting the clay in my hands and being able to feel the tactile-ness. I also like the way people emotionally interact with the sculptural work on a different level. Continue Reading »