Arts & Books

Featured in San Jose Mercury News (19 September 1993)

'Vanity Mirror and Toilet-Tree Set' by Laura Ann Jacobs

The less-is-more message failed to reach the Syntex Gallery, where "1993 Year of the American Craft" ignores its title (mixed-media painting is not craft) and, as a result, is over-stuffed in more ways than one.

It's worth stepping around all the 'soft sculpture,' though, to see the finely turned wood pieces of Ingemar Perrson of La Honda and the funky furnishings of Laura Ann Jacobs of San Francisco.

The simple beauty of Perrson's non-functional "Yah-Yah" (a teapot made of multi-toned buckeye root and named for the Chinese word for baby sitter) is a prime example of the refinement of modern woodwork. Perrson has been working with wood since age 7, when he fashioned toys for himself and other children in his father's wood shop in Rattvik, Sweden.

Jacobs' pun-filled "Vanity Mirror and Toilet-Tree Set" — a tree-ringed, toilet-based space for real toiletries — and her mythological "Rabbit" bureau, with its herbal potions and working clock and radio, fall at the other end of the craft spectrum, where fun and function happily co-exist.