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Alabama Workshop[s] Toolkit Selected for Communication Arts Magazine Design Annual

November 28, 2017

“The optimist in me thinks that design is getting more integrated, more competitive and more imperative,” observes Bobby Martin Jr., a juror who selected Alabama Workshop[s] Toolkit as one of entries for Communication Arts Magazine Design 58th Design Annual Competition.

A guide into how craft artisans in Alabama conduct workshops, the Alabama Workshop[s] Toolkit was one of only 151 projects accepted out of 3,877 entries.

Alabama Workshop[s] Toolkit was created by Robert Finkel, associate professor of Auburn University’s Graphic Design in the School of Industrial & Graphic Design, and Sheri Schumacher, associate professor emerita in AU’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture.

“The main objective of designing the AL Workshop[s] Toolkit was to provide insight into how craft artisans and makers in Alabama conduct workshops,” Schumacher explains.

The toolkit will be used to promote a network of Alabama artisans, makers and organizations that offer workshops for craft production.

Its aim is also to encourage the mutual exchange of materials, tools, and information, and provides a resource for building creative economies in Alabama. Located in both rural and urban communities, the network of workshops also promotes cultural craft heritage, innovative cottage industries, along with exemplary handmade works.

Artisans featured in the Alabama Workshop[s] Toolkit work with a variety of materials including textiles, stone, metal, glass, clay and found objects. Their work is recognized regionally and nationally.

Alabama-based stone craftsman, Brooks Barrow, provides a foreword about the value of the workshops. A resource library in the back of the book provides templates for various waivers and forms for artisans to use in their own practice.

Specifications of the publication: 64-pages, 7.125” x 10.25”, 4-Color printing on Newsprint with a Silver metallic letter-pressed printed cover.

The winning projects are featured in the September/October 2017 issue of Communication Arts, which is the largest international trade journal of visual communications.

Image 1-  Communication Arts magazine, which has sponsored this annual design competition for 58 years, is the largest international trade journal of visual communications. 

Image 2- Featured artisans in the guide work with a wide range of materials such as textiles, stone, metal, glass, clay and found objects. Fabric is another important material which this Alabama artisan uses to create colorful and intricately patterned quilts.

Image 3- The Alabama Workshop[s] Toolkit was created by Robert Finkel, associate professor of Graphic Design in the School of Industrial & Graphic Design, and Sheri Schumacher, associate professor emeriti in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture. 

Image 4- The Alabama Workshop[s] Toolkit – a guide that provides insight into how craft artisans in Alabama conduct workshops – is featured in the September/October 2017 issue of Communication Arts. The toolkit was selected in the magazine’s annual competition out of nearly 4,000 entries. 

*Article Written By Jessica Armstrong and Images Courtesy of Sheri Schumacher and Robert Finkel