A native New Yorker, artist Craig Anczelowitz received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Penn State University in 1991. Balancing his Fine Art and Design careers since then, Craig honed his creativity via collaborations with Italian glassblowers, Indian weavers, Thai potters and Japanese papermakers. Craig has also served as guest lecturer at Parsons School of Design, Pratt School of Design, NY School of Visual Arts and The Royal Academy of Art Antwerp among others. Today, Craig is based in Japan where he continues his creative works in multiple mediums.
For DAMDAM, Craig created a series of handmade trays using Washi from Awagamai Factory, gold leaf, and sheets of ancient Japanese calligraphy.
"Originally from New York, I have been making some type of art as long as I can remember. After receiving a Master of Fine Arts degree, I worked as a buyer and product designer for many years. This job took me around the world where I had the good fortune to work alongside many master craftsmen. In 2004, I moved from New York to Thailand to establish a design studio; creating products in ceramic, wood, paper and textiles. My wife Aya’s family owns a washi papermill in Tokushima called Awagami. Since I have a good knowledge of paper and design as well as international buying/selling experience – we thought it would be good to move to Japan to help out their business especially as her parents age."
"I have made 3 types of trays for the new DAMDAM collaboration. Made of acacia wood, each tray has been individually collaged from a curated mix of 19th c. calligraphy pages along with handmade indigo ‘aizome’ & golden washi papers. The trays are a reflection of my personal 'East-meets West' sensibilities; recalling the ancient beauty of Japanese writing culture like calligraphy, sumi, washi, as well as the contemporary art and design traditions of the West."
"I have been working with washi for 30 years and the versatility of this organic Japanese material never ceases to amaze me. The strength and inherent beauty in ever sheet continues to inspire my works even after all these years. It is said the washi is 'paper with soul' and I truly sense that ‘soul’ - a tangible liveliness - with each and every piece of washi I touch, collage and sculpt with. I will always make art…..I will always use washi."
The full collection of collaboration pieces will be available at the launch of DAMDAM [Atelier] exhibition market. Subscribe to our email to be notified of all updates.