by Laura Jamieson
Seventy-four master craft artists will exhibit at the 29th Germantown Friends School Annual Juried Craft Show on March 1, 2 and 3. While professional crafters come from across the country to participate in the show, for two of this year’s exhibitors getting there is as easy as dropping their kids off at school—because they are GFS parents.
“We can’t recall another year when two GFS parents were accepted into the show,” said Craft Show Manager Deirdre Godin.
Ceramicist Teresa Chang and furniture-maker Rachel Fuld are both thrilled to have been accepted through the highly-selective, blind judging process.
“I had heard about the GFS Craft Show before I had kids and before I moved to Philadelphia,” said Chang. “It is a very strong regional show.”
Fuld agreed: “Everybody in the craft show world knows about the GFS Craft Show, definitely if you live in Philadelphia…I’m excited to have gotten in.”
The artists met each other long before they became fellow GFS parents. They have both participated in national-level craft shows for many years—including the Smithsonian and the Philadelphia Museum of Art shows.
“Our lives are quite intertwined,” said Chang. “We met before marriages and kids…and now our kids are at the same school. We even carpool.”
At the GFS Show they get to exhibit their work and support their children’s school at the same time.
“I’m happy to do the show because it’s my kid’s school and I love GFS,” said Chang, who will exhibit her exquisitely sculpted teapots and teacups for the fourth year.
Fuld is participating in the show for the first time this year.
“It’s been a lot of baby-care in the last few years,” she said with a laugh, “so this is my time to get back into the studio and work—and it feels great!”
Living in Philadelphia has influenced Fuld’s work.
“I make furniture on the smaller side to fit into a city home, that addresses a functional need and makes a quiet impression by combining elegant forms with saturated, at times bold, color.”
Her furniture, including benches, tables, stools, mirrors and coat hangers, all reflect her signature simple, natural style.
“My work is very organic,” Fuld said. “It’s soft and smooth.”
For Chang, clay work started as a hobby—but quickly became more. In 1997, she started her company Teresa Chang Ceramics.
“I decided to try working with clay to see what it was like to live a creative life, and once I started it I never really looked back,” Chang said.
Her career led her to the technically-challenging art of teapots.
“I am interested in the functionality of a teapot. How it pours. Whether or not it can brew tea and whether it drips. Each teapot is different in nature and is painstakingly overwrought with technical skill and time that goes into it.”
She began mastering the fluid dynamics of the dripless spout and a lid that doesn’t fall off when the tea is poured, while studying with a “teapot mentor” in Taiwan.
“You must deconstruct a teapot to really understand how it works,” she explained. The aesthetic of her teaware is equally as perfected. It is a contemporary look, but, she said, “it’s never aggressively modern and angular. It is minimal, simple and pared-down.”
If you are looking for the perfect teapot, a masterfully-designed bench, unique jewelry, or one-of-a-kind pieces that are knit, quilted, sewn, sculpted or carved, come to the GFS Craft Show at Germantown Friends School, 31 W. Coulter Street Philadelphia in the Scattergood and Field House Gyms.
Show hours: Friday, March 1, Preview Night, 6 – 9 p.m.; Saturday, March 2, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; and Sunday, March 3, 12 – 5 p.m. Admission on Saturday and Sunday is $10 per adult; students under 18 are free. Admission for the Preview Night is $35 in advance and $40 at the door.