Best of 2018: 12 Breakthrough Makers Who Got the World Excited About Arts and Crafts

Best Makers of 2018

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Over the past several years, there's been a notable revival of the arts and crafts movement. More than ever, makers are taking advantage of online resources to market their handmade wares to a public that is hungry for unique, artisanal products. Just as we've seen more people taking an interest in learning new crafts, more and more people are looking to express their individuality by purchasing unique jewelry, furniture, and fiber art.

We've featured incredibly talented artists and designers on My Modern Met over the course of 2018, but there are some makers who really stand out from the crowd. These artists have pushed their individual craft to new heights by pioneering techniques or by bringing a contemporary flair to traditional handicrafts. Take a look at our list of the top 12 makers of 2018 and get inspired to get your own hands crafting in the upcoming year.

These talented makers have reached new heights in 2018, bringing a modern flair to traditional crafts.




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Sheena Liam

Sheena Liam‘s 3D hoop art demonstrates the creative possibilities of embroidery. Liam artfully combines the two dimensional and three dimensional with her embroidered artwork that celebrates the beauty of hair. Using black thread paired against natural fibers, Liam creates stunning figures that share quiet moments while braiding and styling their flowing locks. A recent solo exhibition of her embroidery in Paris demonstrates just how seriously her creative output is being taken. Follow along with her work via Instagram, where she also posts works in progress.

Read more: Ingenious Hand-Embroidery Uses Cascading Thread to Mimic Flowing Hair


Innovative Embroidery

Olga Prinku

An interesting combination of a love of nature and design know-how, Olga Prinku‘s delicate hoop art isn't traditional embroidery at all. Rather, the designer uses flowers and seeds (which she collects and dries herself) to create typographic wreaths. Prinku's technique of weaving natural elements through tulle is a work in progress, as she's constantly experimenting with what will yield the best results. She's shares what she's learned thus far in a special tutorial on floral typography and she occasionally does giveaways via her Instagram.

Read more: Designer Uses Real Botanicals to Create Beautiful Floral Letter Art



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Vera Shimunia

Russian embroidery artist Vera Shimunia is making a name for herself with her spectacular embroidered landscapes. Working on small hoops, Shimunia works tirelessly to make a big impact with her ocean scenes, mountainscapes, and sunsets that are accented with fluffy clouds. Shimunia's Instagram shows off her compact landscapes, which burst with color and demonstrate the incredible variety of hues found in the natural world.

Read more: Vibrant 3D Embroidered Landscapes Celebrate the Beauty of Cloudy Skies


Fiber Art

Contemporary Fiber Art

Lauren and Kass Hernandez

Sisters Lauren and Kass Hernandez are Crossing Threads, and together they are known for their woven fiber art. Using natural tones, the successful Australian brand produces wall hangings that incorporate Merino wool, rope, seashells, pebbles, and clay beads. By mixing in unconventional materials, the sisters pay homage to life at sea and stick to their ethos of creating sustainable, upcycled work. They've even invented a technique they call “interknot” that allows them to incorporate three-dimensional material into their large-scale wall hangings, creating a sculptural effect. Through their online shop, they sell their handwoven wall hangings and tassels.

Read more: Sister Duo Weaves Textured Wall Hangings Inspired by Australian Landscapes


Best Textile Artists of 2018
Vanessa Barragão 

Textile artist Vanessa Barragão takes inspiration from the Earth's coral reefs for her wall hangings, tapestries, and rugs. Barragão, who is based in Portugal, uses many different techniques in her work, from latch hooking and weaving to crochet and knitting. She first fell in love with the creative possibilities of wool while studying fashion design and now dedicates her creative energy to producing nature-inspired textiles. She has exhibited her work internationally and it's now possible to shop her work on Etsy or contact her for a private commission.

Read more: Nature-Inspired Textiles Capture the Beauty of Our World’s Coral Reef Ecosystem


Modern Macrame by Teddy and Wool

Rianne Zuijderduin

Maker Rianne Zuijerduin brings a contemporary flair to her macramé. Based in the Netherlands, she creates incredibly intricate, geometric wall hangings that she sells under her brand Teddy and Wool. The meticulous knots and rich patterns distinguish her work, as does her use of dip-dyed cord. The results are incredibly modern wall hangings that bring style and class to any interior. You can shop her macramé wall hangings on My Modern Met Store or Etsy.

Read more: Gorgeous Geometric Wall Hangings Give Macramé a Modern Makeover




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Jon Van Patten

Brooklyn-based ceramicist Jon Van Patten is known for his hand-crafted, minimalist wares that weave in patterns created with masking tape. Also known as JVP Wares, his bold designs incorporate aesthetically pleasing patterns and contemporary colors that pop. Van Patten shares much of his creative process on his Instagram and sells his ceramic vases via his website.

Read more: Ceramicist Uses Masking Tape to Create Exciting Geometric Vase Designs


Top Makers of 2018

Brian Giniewski

Brian Giniewski creates unique ceramics dripping with glazes so thick they look like buttercream frosting. His candy-colored wares include mugs, vases, cups, and bowls that are all food and drink safe, and add a special flair to any occasion. The thick, shiny glaze contrasts against the matte earthenware for a surreal finished piece that looks so good you could eat it. Giniewski sells his ceramics on his website, where you can stock up on handmade plates, planters, lamps, and much more.

Read more: Ceramicist Creates Rainbow-Colored Pots and Vases Dripping with Thick Glaze


Next: Jewelry and Accessories, Woodwork

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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