Oh, close your eyes and you wake up / Face stuck to a vinyl settee / Oh, the line was starting to break up / What was that you were going to say? / 


letter from the editor

A Corinthian capital abandoned in an alleyway. Courtesy Unyimeabasi Udoh.

As artists, we often lament how much we must squeeze our craft into the corners: limited access to time, funding, or facilities gets in our way. Sometimes we need to stop and make a meal, make money, or take a nap. But these distractions, too, are the craft. Plates Issue 04 contributor Anna Adami postulates that there is an art to life—a craft that we hone day after day. The space within which we may practice our chosen craft is precious, and the time around it is, too.

Plates Issue 04’s lunch spread explores crafts of choice, circumstance, and cunning. In “Of the Bird’s Death, and Resurrection,” Thomas Huston draws on historical magic texts and architectural criticism to unravel issues of artwork conservation and the inevitable losses therein. Poking a very different set of holes in art institution etiquette, Lily Homer’s “Thank You for Joining Me and What Are We Doing Here?” is a fictional Artforum interview revolving around the artist’s imaginary mid-career retrospective.

Zach Whitworth’s “Finding the Words” journeys through topics including poppies, wizardry, war, and Yiddish in search of a form of speech that can challenge the forces of human destruction. A similar seeking underpins Anna Adami’s lyric essay “Remnants,” in which the writer uses her craft to reflect on what we leave behind, through the lens of her grandfather, a woodworker.

For “Concentric Scraps,” the artist E. Saffronia Downing uses salvaged materials to mirror the pottery tools in a found image, in doing so reimagining the tools as residues across land- and timescapes. Residues of the past also echo through the present in Piyali Mukherjee’s surreal “Seamstress,” which follows a seamstress mother and an autopsy technician daughter through a day of their respective crafts, gods of death wandering alongside them in various roles.

Thank you so much for joining us in building Plates Issue 04: Craft. Follow our Instagram and Facebook pages to keep up with our extracurriculars.

Plates remains an independent, artist-run journal. However, this also means that we must rely on sales and donations. If you have the means and appreciate our content, please consider tossing a few crumbs our way.

Stitch by stitch, yours always,

Casey Carsel and Unyimeabasi Udoh
︎ ︎ ©Plates 2021
︎ ︎ ©Plates 2021