American Craft Week has announced the winners of the 2016 Rising Star Competition, which selects 30 exceptional craft artists under the age of 30 in the United States. Danielle Gerber ’12, who lives in Portland, Maine, and majored in Metalsmithing & Jewelry at MECA, is showcased in a special Rising Star digital exhibit that can be viewed online here. In addition, the October 2016 issue of Handmade Business will feature a comprehensive article about the 2016 Rising Stars.

Danielle Gerber '12, Droplet, Raised Copper Ingot, 7" x 12" x 5"

Danielle Gerber ’12, Droplet, Raised Copper Ingot, 7″ x 12″ x 5″

Danielle Gerber (DMG Designs) says, “My copper and bronze sculptures utilize the form of the vessel with natural textures and forms that are created through the traditional silversmithing technique of raising. I choose to use the shape of the vessel because of our already intimate relationship with this form. I utilize the inherent qualities of the vessel, the implication of function, and natural patterns and textures to invite one to touch and caress these objects. I hope that this can begin to develop a personal relationship, engaging both a visual and sensual experience. I use high-quality, infinitely recyclable materials, as well as a technique that creates life-long products, to add value to the objects and possibly make the viewer question the nature of our materialism.”

The winners represent areas from all over the country, from Alaska to Brooklyn. North Carolina topped the list with seven winners, followed by Maryland with five and Maine and New York with three each. The Rising Star Competition draws attention to the exceptional work of young craft artists and the ACW National Committee, which juries the entries, seeks: excellence in design and skill level; an impressive body of work; a strong commitment to working as a craftsperson; work exhibited and/or offered for sale to the public; and a commitment to community and social values.

Danielle Gerber '12, Waterflow, Raised Brass Sheet, 12" x 8" x 7.5"

Danielle Gerber ’12, Waterflow, Raised Brass Sheet, 12″ x 8″ x 7.5″

Committee Co-Chair Diane Sulg, said that the winners’ work represents an “outstanding testimony to the promising future of handmade American craft.” IndieMe and the ACRE tradeshows, which are dedicated to bring together the makers and retailers of handmade American, sponsor the Rising Star Competition. Judges include representatives from a variety of organizations, including Celebration Arts, Charlotte, NC; Vermont Artisan Designs in Brattleboro, VT; Random Acts of Art in Naples, FL; and others.