Crafting the Cocktail: Handmade Objects and Implements for Classic and Modern Libations

Crafting the Cocktail: Handmade Objects and Implements for Classic and Modern Libations

Craft in America Center invites you to join the craft cocktail revolution in liquid style. Crafting the Cocktail is a landmark exhibition of one-of-a-kind, handmade barware that showcases innovative designs inspired by the ways in which we enjoy distilled spirits, both neat and well-mixed. Conceived in tandem with MOTAC (the Museum of the American Cocktail), the exhibition will be complemented by a series of special events to be held across Los Angeles during the run of the show.

Each new wave of alcoholic beverages has paralleled the major art movements: ornate Victorian serving pieces are as much a testament to their era as mid-century modern minimalism to fanciful tiki items. Now a new era of mixology, introduced by the craft cocktail revolution of the last quarter century, has inspired a wave of sophisticated, elegant, thoughtful, and sometimes whimsical objects created to advance the craft of the cocktail and, indeed, revolutionize fine drinking.

Cocktails are inherently craft-centered: making a fine beverage requires an arsenal of tools, materials, and know-how. The process is as fundamental as the product. From the muddler to the strainer, the jigger to the shaker, the tools of the bartender’s trade are many and highly specialized. This exhibition will encompass the myriad items in the bartender’s toolkit, ranging from the miniscule to the sizeable, from the swizzle stick to the punchbowl, from the barstool to the liquor cabinet.

Barware, of course, exists not only for the maker but the drinker as well. Sipping from a sexy champagne coupe can heighten one’s sensation tenfold; so, too, can sitting at a sensuous barstool. Craftsmanship is inextricably linked to the quality of experience.

Used for serving, storage, and display, drinkware is a mainstay of craft history. The variety of modern forms marks our wide range of occasions: be it a nightcap or a champagne toast, the vessels from which we choose to drink have an impact, enhancing the experience, and even the ritual, of imbibing.

Accompanying the Crafting the Cocktail exhibition at the Craft in America Center will be a full schedule of gallery talks by artists and seminars led by industry experts at the forefront of the craft cocktail revolution. In addition to talks at the Center, master bartenders and drink historians will present in some of Greater Los Angeles’ more exclusive and storied watering holes.

Participating artists: James Aarons, Melanie Abrantes, Wyatt Amend, Joe Cariati, A. Blair Clemo, Sunshine Cobb, Nate Cotterman, Crazy Al Tikimania, David Rasmussen Design, Victor DiNovi, Edgewood Made, Heather Mae Erickson, Terry Fromm, Seth Gould, Martha Grover, Christopher Harth,Steven Hill, Bryan Hopkins, Mike Jabbur, Jake Johnson, Kat and Roger, Rya Kihlstedt, Knotwork, Raffi Lehrer, Libation Lab, MapleXO, Matt Long, Peggy Loudon, Edward Lane McCartney, Ben Medansky, Mr. Mojito, Neptune Glassworks, Kip O’Krongly, Lindsay Oesterritter, Aya Oki, Old Newbury Crafters, Josh Owen, Jenny Rosen and Vlada Dronova, Peter Sheldon, Randy Stromsoe, Hiromi Takizawa, Kazuki Takizawa,Pamina Traylor, Treeline Woodworks, Shawn Spangler, James Vella, Julia Walther, Bari Ziperstein


SATURDAY, DECEMBER 6, 4:00-6:00pm
Opening Cocktail Party
Craft in America Center, 8415 W. Third St., Los Angeles, CA 90048

MONDAY, DECEMBER 8, 6:30-8:30pm
A History of Drinking (Abridged)
Liz Williams, Managing Director, MOTAC
The Ace Hotel Upstairs Rooftop Lounge, 929 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Admission: $40 in advance//$50 at the door

Cocktails: The History of Choice
Richard Foss, California Curator, MOTAC
Craft in America Center, 8415 W. Third St., Los Angeles, CA 90048 (Admission: FREE)

The Many Facets of Tiki Style – The Art of the Tropical Cocktail Retreat
Tiki Talk, Pop-up Exhibition and Book Signing by Sven Kirsten
Craft in America Center, 8415 W. Third St., Los Angeles, CA 90048 (Admission: FREE)

The Ritual and Craft of the Cocktail
Joe Keeper, Owner, Bar Keeper & Marcos Tello, Owner, Tello/Demarest Liquid Assets
Craft in America Center, 8415 W. Third St., Los Angeles, CA 90048 (Admission: FREE)

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2015, 7:00pm
The Art of Mixology
Brandyn Tepper, Head Mixologist, Hinoki & the Bird
Craft in America Center, 8415 W. Third St., Los Angeles, CA 90048 (Admission: FREE)

Craft in America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the exploration, preservation and celebration of craft and its impact on our nation’s cultural heritage. At the core of the organization is the Peabody Award-winning PBS documentary series that profiles the work of leaders in the field of contemporary craft. The Craft in America Center on West 3rd Street, in the heart of Los Angeles, is a physical space dedicated to craft and the thrill of the handmade. In addition to hosting an extensive library and archives, the Center offers a myriad of public events, including exhibitions, lectures, book signings, artist demonstrations and workshops. The Craft in America Center strives to make craft accessible to all.

The Museum of the American Cocktail (MOTAC), a division of the nonprofit SoFAB Institute, celebrates a singular cultural icon and develops its craft, field, and market through exhibits, programming, and a range of media. Founded by craft cocktail pioneer Dale DeGroff and several of the world’s most passionate cocktail authorities and historians, MOTAC advances the profession and expands consumer knowledge of mixology while stressing the importance of responsible drinking. It preserves and develops a rich facet of American culture and provides educational resources to both professionals and enthusiasts in the fine art of crafting the cocktail through a series of mixology seminars conducted by the world’s foremost authorities and offered in locations across the country and the world, among them Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, and Washington, DC. It also works to boost career opportunities in the spirits industry and encourage greater participation by women and others under-represented in the field. For more information, visit