Bookshelf: Sew To Speak: The Fabric Art of Mary Milne, by Linda Pershing (1995)

The fiber arts have long been a platform for political activism and social protest, and the folk art of Mary Milne fits well within that history. Beginning in the early 1980’s, Milne devoted much of her time to creating and exploring fabric art as a medium for societal change and progressive activist thinking. She juxtaposed…

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Objects: A 3,000 Year Old Ball Of Yarn

The historical record is murky when it comes to knitting, as textiles and threads are notorious for breaking down relatively quickly compared to other materials. Recently, scientists unearthed a small artifact with big implications. In 2016 archaeologists uncovered the worlds oldest ball of yarn near Cambridge, England. The tiny, one centimeter ball has spent the…

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Watch: Hollerin’ Contest of Spivey’s Corner

In a time before cell phones or other forms of long distance communication, there was a much simpler way to convey information quickly over long distances — the holler. Distinct from the yodel or a hunting call, hollerin’ is a generational folk art that allowed people to relay information over long distances. A holler could…

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People: Simon Rodia & the Watts Towers

In 1895 a fifteen year old Italian boy named Simon Rodia, along with his brother, emigrated to the United States. They settled in Pennsylvania where they both got a job working in a mine. After his brother died in a mining accident, he did what many single men of the time did – he headed…

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Places: The San Francisco Wave Organ

Built in 1986 by the San Francisco Exploratorium, the Wave Organ sits on a tiny spit of land on the north end of San Francisco, right across from Alcatraz. As a functional sculpture, listeners are afforded a beautiful panoramic view of the Bay while soaking in the “soundtrack” of the tides and waters. The Wave…

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Watch: Nabulsi Soapmaking in Palestine’s West Bank

Nabulsi soap is a traditional Palestinian soap that has been made the same way for centuries in the old quarter of Nablus, Palestine. Made out of olive oil, water, and an alkaline compound, it is widely considered one of the best soaps in the world. Reaching a manufacturable scale in the 14th century, Nabulsi soap…

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Bookshelf: Native Funk & Flash by Alexandra Jacopetti (1974)

The 1960s and early ’70s were a time of liberation in the United States, not only politically and sexually, but also musically, artistically, and sartorially. People from all walks of life were turning on, tuning in, and dropping out from their “regular” lives and congregating around the country — especially in San Francisco’s Bay Area….

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People: Pedro Linares & His Alebrijes

In 1936, a young Mexico City street artist named Pedro Linares fell into a deep fever. While he slept, he dreamt, and his dreams were anything but normal. He found himself in a fantastically colored forest full of unbelievable animals: lions with wings, stag-headed bears, dogs with lizard tails, all resplendent with colors rarely found in…

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Places: San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles

Located in downtown San Jose, the Museum of Quilts and Textiles was the first of its kind at its inception in 1977 — an entire museum that focused exclusively on quilts and textiles as an art form. Not only are the pieces in its collection technically impressive and aesthetically pleasing, they are often political or…

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People: Hibiscus & the Cockettes

The Cockettes were the first of their kind: an avant-garde psychedelic hippie theater troupe, acid-fueled and bawdy drag queens who lived their lives as one extended performance. Layered in abundant make-up, grandmas dresses, costume jewelry, and the occasional fruit basket, the queens burst onto the San Francisco scene for a series of storied, free midnight…

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Bookshelf: Nomadic Furniture, by Hennessey and Papanek (1973)

The average person in America will move 11.3 times in their life, and spend around $6,000 furnishing their apartment. While this is not exactly a problem in-and-of-itself, this money can add up, and moving bulky and heavy furniture across town can be inconvenient, let alone across state, or international lines. But what’s the alternative? James…

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Listen: Andy Cabic’s WCC Winter Playlist

Start your weekend with a brand new WCC Winter playlist from our resident mood-maker, DJ Andy Cabic of Vetiver. Cabic has been spinning tunes at every WCC since we’ve started, and is the main reason you’ve cruised our event while bopping your head. Vetiver formed in 2002 and has since released 6 studio albums, opening…

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Street Style WCC Winter ’17

WCC Winter ’17 has come and gone, and it was a whirlwind. Those 16 hours, spread over two days, are jam packed not only with amazing work but with the stuff of life: hellos and goodbyes, smiles and new friends, good tunes, great food, and an overwhelming sense of the community this show brings together….

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Featured Winter Artist: Zeina Barakeh

In our continued efforts to feature the most talented artists of the West Coast and beyond, we’re thrilled to announce Zeina Barakeh as our WCC Winter ’17 featured artist. Born and raised in Beirut, Barakeh’s Palestinian-Lebanese identity informs much of her work. In an attempt to make sense of the perpetual conflict and shifting political…

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Studio Visit: Mud Witch

A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to catch Viviana of Mud Witch (and her two furry assistants) on her potter’s wheel in her sunny mission neighborhood studio, throwing one of her delightfully chunky pieces. Viviana is a Winter ’17 West Coast Craft scholarship winner, and we’re excited for everyone to catch her work…

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Street Style WCC Summer ’17

As we near our Winter ’17 show, we’re reminded again of the reasons we love putting these on: the sense of community, our amazing artists and designers, the music, the food, the wonderful work – and the fashion. Each show we find ourselves more impressed than the last as attendees go all out sartorially. Here…

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Bookshelf: Going Into Darkness, by Thierry Secretan (1994)

Throughout the 1980’s and early 90’s, photographer and reporter Thierry Secretan captured the eye-catchingly gorgeous and idiosyncratic funerary art of the Ga people of Accra, Ghana. These master craftsmen, many of whom had been making coffins since they were young children, had perfected their art over decades by providing fanciful creations for the recently deceased….

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Spotlight: Soft Century + Architectural Digest

One of our Summer ’17 scholarship winners, Katherine Entis, recently took the leap and left a position at Nike to pursue her textile dreams full-time. Thus, Soft Century was born. Katherine recently sat down with Architectural Digest to talk inspiration, WCC, and pushing the boundaries in textile design. Head on over to their blog to read more. …

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Spotlight: Gentle Thrills

If you’ve been to any of our last few shows, you may have noticed a particularly colorful corner, a sort of day-glo signal-fire among the long rows of vendors. That neon explosion is courtesy of Gentle Thrills, the LA-based clothing brand with a fondness for bold colors and perfectly weird designs. Gentle Thrills is a one-woman…

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Bookshelf: One Room Living, by Sue Rowlands (1977)

In San Francisco, or really any population-dense area, we’re constantly confronted with the problem of space – specifically, the lack of it. Sue Rowland’s 1977 book One Room Living looked to tackle the problem of small space living with a decidedly positive and deliberate approach. The ’70’s rejection of the more-is-more consumer culture of previous generations…

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People: Sam Barsky & His Sweaters

Sam Barsky is an American artist out of Baltimore who recently became internet famous for his hand-made sweaters. The free-knit creations are amazing on their own but it’s Barsky’s whole process, especially the “selfie” aspect, that endeared the self-taught knitter to the world at large. Barsky will book a trip to an iconic (or not-so-iconic)…

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Places: The Quilts of Gee’s Bend at the de Young

The de Young Museum’s current exhibition, The Quilts of Gee’s Bend, is an important look into the work of four generations of African-American women residing in Gee’s Bend, Alabama. Gee’s Bend is a small hamlet on the banks of the Alabama River with a population of about 700 descendants of former slaves. Long isolated by geography and…

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West Coast Craft + west elm

Earlier this year, we teamed up with west elm for a much needed make over our 900ft² studio in the Mission District. Head on over to their blog to get the full scoop, plus plenty more photos of our sunny California work space.

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Bookshelf: Afghan Trucks, by Jean-Charles Blanc (1976)

Historically, Afghan caravan drivers would ornament their camels using flowers, ribbons, tassels, and ropes. They did this as a way to both advertise their business and gain protection from God in an extremely dangerous line of work. The caravan drivers have since traded in the camel for the truck, but the custom remains alive and…

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Studio Visit: artist Sarah Biscarra-Dilley

Sarah Biscarra-Dilley has spent the last few years living and working in Oakland, or what she calls the unceded land of the Ohlone people. This is an important distinction for Sarah, who is currently studying for her PHD in Native American studies from UC Davis. Sarah’s work is anchored in not only her own lived…

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Studio Visit: artist Grace Rosario Perkins

We visited Grace Rosario Perkins, founder and one fourth of California-based Black Salt Collective, in her sunny backyard garage studio in Oakland. Grace’s work focuses on disassembling her personal narrative and reassembling it into a new lexicon. She layers words, objects, faces, and sounds built from cultural dissonance, language, and history into a dizzying array…

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Studio Visit: musician and artist, Chaz B.

A few weeks before our Summer ’17 show, we headed over to Oakland for a round of studio visits with our featured artists. Our first stop was with Chaz B., of Company Studio and Toro y Moi, in his spacious art and music workspace. Chaz uses vibrant colors and a free-flowing hand to create his…

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