Craft Center

Welcome to the Craft Center Gallery

The Craft Center Gallery at the University of California, Davis presents Household Artifacts, by David Schoch and Jessica Baldwin, two Craft Center alumni married in their craft and their life, who describe themselves as professionals and artists.

Their work spans several media and has in common its domestic roots. Household Artifacts will open on April 1 and close on May 6. There will be a reception for the artists on Sunday, April 3, from 1-3pm.

Located in the south Silo Building on the UCD campus, The Craft Center Gallery is open M-Th. noon-10pm, Fridays, noon-7pm and weekends 10am-6pm. For more information, call 752-3096.


David Schoch, Spring 2005
The Craft Center is a dangerous place. I donít mean the sharp, hot, and noxious activities that go on here, though those are indeed dangerous. The danger Iím talking about is the way time bends within the Craft Center walls. Iíve seen UCD students walk in the front door unaware of the hyper-entropy fields, go down the hall into the ceramics lab, and come out three years later no longer students of geology but students of clay. I recognize it only because it happened to me. The Craft Center time warp held me long and fast, and I have a plaque on the bottom step to prove it. Every time I walk through that door behind you, I feel the pull like a bottle of beer from an old friend. If you have read this far you must have some interest in my art or myself. I have difficulty talking about either, so please bear with me. I am still not convinced that I am an artist. I strive to be a good craftsman, and if art happens along the way, thatís ok. The pieces in this show are from our cupboards, our table, our walls, and our garden. I donít believe art should be kept on a pedestal or behind glass. To use only vision to experience art is like eating a ripe peach using only your nose. I invite you to (gently) touch my work; just donít break anything. Many are functional works, and bear the marks of such. The bathroom cabinet even bears the marks of our bird Pickle. A tip for woodworkers: donít keep parrots as pets. Art has a mother, just like invention, and artís mother is desire. My typical production process goes like this: I feel the desire to create, I create a bunch of crap, I collaborate with people that have better art sense than me (like my wife Jess), and I create better. I have to think about my work a lot ≠ this kind of creativity does not come easy for me. Because of this my production rate is low ≠ the work here spans about 15 years of play, experimentation, disappointment, and success. And of course the Craft Center has been my enabler the whole time. If you are interested in owning any of my work, please contact me. All of the bronzes are mold-less single originals, but any of them can be molded and reproduced. The time I spend on each piece makes selling difficult, but I will do commissioned work, and I love to barter.
Jessica Baldwin, Spring 2005
The Craft Center is a dangerous place, I agree. I dread the words, ďSweety, Iím going to the Craft Center for a little while. Iíll be back in an hour or so.Ē It is like that song by the Kingston Trio, ďThe Man Who Never ReturnedĒ. Really though, it is not such a bad place. I spent many formative hours here over the last 12 years. I even put a few years in as student manager of Textiles, Arts, and Graphics. My formal training in the crafts includes an under- graduate major in textile design plus a smattering of extra-curricular classes in ceramics, jewelry, and photography. But I still donít think of myself as an ĎArtistí. I think of myself in terms of whatever craft is my current interest; beader, photographer, ceramic embellisher, etc. My interest does go through phases. Layered paper ďpapercutsĒ are an earlier favorite medium, which I still do occasionally. Photography and jewelry captivate me in an on-again, off-again fashion. I think art for me falls in the hobby category ≠ it has to be a pleasure to create as well as fun to view, eat, or wear ≠ or I just wonít do it. Since I have been with Dave, much of my work has been collaborative. I have found great joy in insinuating myself into Daveís work ≠ he can throw clay better than I will ever be able to, and I am lucky that he generously allows me to satisfy my decorator side. Many of the pieces on display here are collaborative and are reflective of our working marriage. I take some photos; Dave mats and frames them. Dave throws a plate; I carve a decorative band. Dave makes a neat bronze; I get to help with embellishments. Dave makes a pot; I get to fill it with plants. Like my husband, my work here spans many years. Papercuts captivated me in the past; jewelry and ceramic collaboration captivate me now. Production is way down due to the time sinks of a full time job, our new child Amelia, our pets, and maintaining a happy marriage, but crafting will always find a way to percolate into my life. I hope you enjoy what we have on display here. If you see something you really enjoy but it is not available, let us know and we will (probably) happily create another for sale, trade, or barter.

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