It's a Material World

Arts & Culture
12:00 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Lions & Tigers, But No Bears: A Trip to Wisconsin's Big Cat Rescue

The Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue staff and volunteers care for more than 30 lions, tigers and leopards.
Gianofer Fields

Contributor Gianofer Fields takes us to the Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue.

What happens to animals are discarded like objects that no longer entertain?

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Arts & Culture
12:00 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Saving Face: The Legacy - and Mystery - of Face Jugs Endures

Face Jug, Miles Mill Pottery, Edgefield, SC, 1862-70. Chipstone Foundation.
Credit Gavin Ashworth

Contributor Gianofer Fields interviews Claudia Mooney, curator for the Chipstone Foundation, about face jugs.

As a student of Material Culture, contributor Gianofer Fields spends a lot of her time studying objects. However, in this installment of "It’s a Material World," it seems the object has its own agenda, albeit a somewhat ambiguous one.

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Arts & Culture
12:00 am
Sat June 30, 2012

Master Goldsmith Finds Master Solution to One Tool Challenge

Wisconsin goldsmith Missy Howard says she has an emotional attachment to her tools.
Credit Gianofer Fields

Contributor Gianofer Fields interviews master goldsmith Missy Howard.

A couple of weeks ago, our Material Culture contributor Gianofer Fields asked us a unique question: What single tool would you use to help you get through a normal day? Chances are, for most of us, we couldn’t imagine being limited to just one item.

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Arts & Culture
12:00 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Pliers Plus Wire Equals...Bonsai?

A copper bonsai tree, a la Wisconsin artist Kevin Iris
Credit Gianofer Fields

Lake Effect contributor Gianofer Fields interviews sculptor Kevin Iris.

During the course of a day, most of us use more than one tool to get what we need to get done…done. But what if you had to finish a normal day's work - with just one tool?

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Arts & Culture
12:00 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Potter Preserves Legacy of Face Jugs - Whatever It May Be

Historic face jugs were a slave-era craft, and typically featured large eyes, noses and wide mouths. Sculptor Michael Bayne recreates one here.
Credit Michel Bayne

Lake Effect contributor Gianofer Fields interviews master potter Michel Bayne about face jugs.

History is full of stories in which people are repressed – kept from expressing themselves freely.

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Arts & Culture
12:00 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Turning Discarded American Clothes into Gorgeous Haitian Garments

What should we do with all our leftover textiles and clothing?
Credit Joost Nelissen/Flickr

Lake Effect contributor Gianofer Fields interviews art professor Carol Frances Lung about textiles.

We don’t often give a lot of thought to our clothes or where they come from.

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Arts & Culture
12:00 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Aaron's Hammer

Blacksmiths' tools haven't changed that much over time.
Credit Gianofer Fields

Lake Effect contributor Gianofer Fields interviews blacksmith Aaron Howard.

Technological advances have meant the tools of many trades are transient - evolving from year to year.

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Arts & Culture
12:00 am
Thu April 19, 2012

A Mighty Welder

Metal artist Erika Koivunen at work with her welder
Credit William Howard/Pinterest

Contributor Gianofer Fields introduces us to metal artist Erika Koivunen.

What does it take to spot the hidden life in an object many of us would view as junk?

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Arts & Culture
12:00 am
Thu April 5, 2012

A Visit to Man Mound Park

Wisconsin's Man Mound is singular among effigy mounds.
Credit Sauk County Historical Society

Our It’s a Material World feature spotlights a singular effigy mound in Wisconsin.

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Arts & Culture
12:00 am
Thu March 22, 2012

For Some, Art Is an Octopus Opening a Pickle Jar

Cathy Lybarger creates unusual glass art in her Madison studio.
Credit Cathy Lybarger/Etsy

Lake Effect contributor Gianofer Fields interviews glass artist Cathy Lybarger.

For ages, people have pondered what exactly constitutes art.

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