Museum of Contemporary Craft

On View:

Quality is Contagious: John Economaki and Bridge City Tool Works
August 16, 2013 – January 18, 2014
Curated by: Nicole Nathan in collaboration with John Economaki

When local furniture designer John Economaki developed a severe allergy to rosewood dust, he turned from making furniture to making heirloom hand tools for woodworkers. Drawing on his background in industrial design and knowledge of construction needs, Economaki established Bridge City Tool Works in 1983. Using digital technology to create tools to be passed down from one generation to the next, the company’s products, sketches, and tools from the past thirty years will be on view for the first time. The exhibition will be accompanied by interactive programming in The Lab and provides a Portland connection to upcoming exhibition The Tool at Hand.

The Tool at Hand
Organized by Milwaukee Art Museum in collaboration with the Chipstone Foundation
October 2, 2013 – January 11, 2014
Curated by: Ethan Lasser

The Chipstone Foundation invited 14 contemporary artists from the US and UK to break from their usual practice and make a work of art with one tool alone. The Tool at Hand presents these finished works and the tools used to craft them together with short videos produced by each artist. For a group of artists who are accustomed to working with considerable tool kits in a range of materials including metal, wood, paint, clay, as well as with non-traditional tools such as dental drills and 3D printers, this commission presented a thought-provoking challenge. Paired with Bridge City Tools, The Tool at Hand sparks important conversations about the nature of skill, production and tool use today and will be accompanied by artist residencies.

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