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Craft and Folk Art Museum Presents The Alchemy of June Schwarcz. Enamel Vessels from the Forrest L. Merrill Collection

The Craft and Folk Art Museum presents The Alchemy of June Schwarcz: Enamel Vessels from the Forrest L. Merrill Collection on view through January 8, 2012.

The Alchemy of June Schwarcz: Enamel Vessels from the Forrest L. Merrill Collection provides an in-depth examination of one of the artists included in Golden State of Craft. Like taking a magnifying glass to a single cell and uncovering a hidden universe, this exhibition will highlight the extensive career of one of California’s living treasures.

June Schwarcz (b. 1918) is a metalworker whose arena is enamel. Born in Denver, she studied writing at the University of Colorado and then at the University of Chicago. Fearless and innovative, Schwarcz has spent the last 57 years transforming gold, silver, and copper into uniquely exquisite forms through her experimental manipulation of materials and processes.

Along with enameling—the fusing of colored glass to metal under high temperatures—Schwarcz pleats, sews, pierces and hammers metal to produce complex and intricately fabricated pieces that characterize the unique artistry of her work. Her distinctive forms also arise from her frequent use of thin copper foil and mesh. She is in the collections of the Museum of Arts and Design, the Renwick Gallery, and the Museum of Applied Arts in Zurich, among others. At 92, she continues to produce new work and has garnered official recognition as a Living Treasure of California by the California State Assembly.

The craft collection of Forrest L. Merrill is focused on post World War II contemporary objects made of clay, wood, enamel, fiber, metal, and glass. Merrill’s collection—which includes several thousand works—is one of the largest and most important of its kind in the country. –

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