Tyler Hays to Survey Industrial Complex on Eve of ICFF

As New York City–nay, the world–gears up for the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, our friends at the American Craft Council (the organization behind American Craft magazine, among other beautifully made initiatives) are hosting the first in a summer series of conversations “in craft and beyond” in the council’s historic library in SoHo. Kicking off the series this Thursday will be Tyler Hays of the New York- and Philadelphia-based furniture company BDDW, who will discuss “the beginnings of his company, his unique and often awe-inducing designs, and the company’s relationship with industry and the handmade,” according to Monica Hampton, director of education for the American Craft Council. The talk is entitled “The Industrial Complex,” which makes us think of Dwight D. Eisenhower, if Ike had been less less enamored with the military and more with heirloom-quality handmade furniture and hand-rubbed dark oil finishes.

Later this summer, jeweler, educator, writer, and provocateur Bruce Metcalf and crafty graphic designer and artist Chanel Kennebrew will chat about the complicated relationships between the broad spectrum of craft makers. Come September, things get political, when Murketing’s Rob Walker leads a conversation with makers Sabrina Gschwandtner and Liz Collins on craft’s relationship to politics, strange bedfellows to be sure, but beneath a lovingly hand-embroidered duvet. The talks, and the wine and (we suspect) artisanal cheese receptions that follow them are free, but you’ve got to RSVP, and fast. American Craft editor-in-chief Andrew Wagner tells us that spots are going fast.