Gabriel Craig - Photo by David Lewinski

Gabriel Craig is a metalsmith, writer and craft activist living and working in Detroit, Michigan. Craig’s interdisciplinary practice seeks to identify the cultural potential of craft by engaging diverse audiences in explorations of self-sufficiency, labor, consumption and tradition through performance, social practice projects, video, text, and craft-based media. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including exhibitions at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., The National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, TN, and the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. His critical writing has appeared in prominent craft publications including Metalsmith, American Craft and Surface Design Journal. He has lectured throughout the country on his own artistic work, decorative arts history and contemporary craft. He has held residencies at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, the Savannah College of Art and Design, and Warren Wilson College. In 2012 Craig co-founded Smith Shop, a dynamic metalworking studio in Detroit, with his wife and fellow metalsmith, Amy Weiks. Currently, Craig is working to further craft production in Detroit as the founder of the Center for Craft & Applied Arts, a center for craft manufacturing, education and advocacy. Craig received his BFA in Metals/ Jewelry from Western Michigan University and his MFA in Jewelry and Metalworking from Virginia Commonwealth University.


Break-out Session-  The Basics of Forging

This demonstration will comprehensively introduce attendees to the basics of forging metal. Through tapering, flaring, shouldering, and fullering this 2 hour session will focus on the isolation and redistribution of mass within a single bar. With just these four basic operations, bars of material can be transformed into nearly any shape. The workshop will proceed to cover functional forms using the spoon as a vehicle for exploring the use of these techniques in concert.

Lecture-   Smith Shop: Metalsmithing in the Heart of Post-Industrial America

In 2012, Amy Weiks and Gabriel Craig set out to find a broad, dynamic, collaborative, and solvent practice as metalsmiths that embraced function and the full range of outcomes that are possible in highly crafted metalwork. Five years on, Smith Shop has created a sustained practice that has won numerous design awards, been published widely, and has enjoyed commercial success–all while weaving together the contributions of nearly 20 metalsmiths. In this lecture Smith Shop co-founder, Gabriel Craig, will give an overview of Smith Shop, its collaborative practice, diverse projects, and growing legacy.