American Craft Council Open Studios:Cedric MitchellAuthor:Lindsey Shook
L.A.-based glass artist Cedric Mitchell discovered his love for the craft while pursuing his passion as a hip-hop lyricist. Raised and educated in Oklahoma, he quickly grew from apprentice to instructor at the Tulsa Glassblowing School. Now, Mitchell has coalesced his two talents into a refreshing spin on the art of glass inspired by graffiti, pop culture, mid-century design and Memphis design. Here, he shares more on his practice and why the American Craft Council was a strategic platform to showcase his work.
-Tell us who you are, what you make and how you make it. Hello, my name is Cedric Mitchell and I’m a glassmaker based out of Los Angeles. Every piece that I make starts in a liquid state at a temperature of 2,100 degrees. I then take this material that is the consistency of honey, spool it up on a hollow steel blowpipe, and reheat it several times while shaping it with different tools as another person assists me by blowing into a hollow pipe.
-Why did you participate in San Francisco Bay Area Craft Week? I participated in the San Francisco Bay Area Craft Week to gain more exposure as an early career artist and maker. I live on the West Coast and this is the perfect test market for my new business and products. My Masai bowls are my featured product and it is very special to me considering I love form, function and vibrant colors. My inspiration for many years has been Japanese design and Italian design. I’ve always wanted to combine the two with poppy colors similar to the Memphis Design Era.
–As a California-based artist, how do your surroundings/environment impact your work/practice or process? Being a California-based artist impacts my work in the various forms of street art that I see. I’m a big fan of the graffiti art scene and some of the color palletes the artist choose for their work. The high speed life style that is embodied in Los Angeles also reminds me of glassblowing and how you have to move quickly through the duration of a piece. Also, my studio is a couple miles from the beach and its always nice to got there and derive some inspiration.
–Why is it important to center or bring craft into our social or daily lives? It’s important to have craft into our daily lives to create long gevity, whether you’re a professional make or not its always great to have some sort of project. Working on projects strengthens the brain and keeps the body in motion. Also, it’s very joyful to see a project all the way through into completion.
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