The Maine Crafts Association and Maine Arts Commission announced the recipients of a new statewide Craft Apprentice Program. The new initiative pairs apprentices with master artists to learn their craft and help sustain the craft sector by addressing skills, tools and management habits. The program will culminate with an exhibition in October during Maine Craft Weekend at the Maine International Conference on the Arts in Lewiston.

The masters and their apprentices are Anne Emlein and Rose Allard of Portland, who will machine knit contemporary fashion apparel; Linda Perrin and Jacquelyn Jenson, who will sculpt in glass; and Doug Wilson and James Crawford, who will create using their blacksmithing skills.

Emlein, chair of the textile and fashion design department at Maine College of Art, learned the practical side of knitting while watching lobstermen in Phippsburg “sitting around the general store knitting mittens and trap heads. I began to understand that self-sufficient Mainers had their own answers to labor and climate needs, and that knitting is part of our past, present and future – culturally and economically.” She has a bachelor’s degree from California College of Arts and Crafts and a master’s degree from Rhode Island School of Design. Allard earned her degree from MECA in 2014.

Perrin has been blowing glass professionally since 1990. She co-founded Atlantic Art Glass in Mount Desert Island, and has shown her work nationally. Jensen earned her bachelor’s of art from the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, and became interested in blowing glass while working on a community arts development project with Atlantic Glass.

Wilson received his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University in 1973, and opened his studio on Little Deer Isle in 1981. He has shown his work nationally, and is founder of Colby College’s Blacksmithing Jan Plan Program. Crawford has been blacksmithing 10 years, beginning at Mystic Seaport and studying at College of the Atlantic.

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