Ken Lockwood and Jenie Thomas have announced their decision to publish their last issue of Craft Arts International, No 96, in May 2016, in its 32nd year. While they hope that someone, or some institution, will take it on, their decision to step back from involvement in the magazine is a big one, and I have insisted that we can’t let them slip away without comment! The following contributions have been written by some of the craftspeople, artists, writers, collectors, curators, dealers and advertisers who have been closely connected with the magazine over the years. These observations are representative of the thoughts of many others who also want to acknowledge the value of “Ken & Jenie’s” strong commitment to this field. As well as the many issues that followed No 1 in Oct-Dec 1984, Ken (as editorial director) and Jenie (as advertising director) also published numerous Education Supplements and, in 1992, the Artfile directory. They have been notable for their participation in crafts fairs: from Craft Expo and Glenaeon in Sydney, to CINAFE and SOFA in Chicago, COLLECT in London and Messe Frankfurt in Germany, while sponsoring an annual award at the Tasmanian Craft Fair in Deloraine, Tasmania, since 1998. We thank them for the opportunities they have provided for others, and wish them well in their retirement!
Grace Cochrane AM
Writer, curator, historian and contributor
My contribution to the tribute to Ken Lockwood and Jenie Thomas may take a slightly different approach to others who quite rightly might concentrate on the extraordinary time this duo have spent in building such a firm audience for Craft Arts International. I’d like to draw readers’ attention to the fact that Ken was also the Editor of the Crafts Council of Australia’s journal Craft Australia and Jenie was the indomitable advertising manager. I remember when in 1981 Ken came for an interview that he had previously been editing a fishing omnibus, so it was obvious that publishing presented no mysteries, but when asked why he wished to switch from fishing to contemporary crafts as a focus he spoke with such zeal and enthusiasm that it was clear it was going to be an interesting collaboration – and it was, including some hindsights on publishing in Asia. My wish, and hope, for them, is that even though they have decided to bring regular journal production to a conclusion and take a breather, that it will not mean that they will not maintain their now encyclopaedic knowledge of the contemporary crafts of Australia and will proudly reflect on their part in its continuing developments.
Jane Burns AM
Director, Crafts Council of Australia 1972-1992, Sydney.
In providing a window into Australian and international craft practice for over three decades, Craft Arts has given its readers engaging insights in to the work of most of the country’s prominent practitioners, often following their careers from emergent to mature practice. As a curator, I have found that the journal provided a useful regular update on developments across the craft spectrum from informed writers and frequently return to earlier issues for reference points on the work of individual artists. Ken Lockwood and Jenie Thomas, in the consistent demonstration of their passion for, and knowledge of contemporary crafts, have encouraged and nurtured an informed cohort of writers and artists to contribute to the understanding of this
rich aspect of Australian art through its flowering over the past 40 years.
Dr Robert Bell AM
Senior Curator Decorative Arts and Design, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
In 1984 a new glossy magazine appeared on the street with Ken Lockwood and Jenie Thomas starting Craft Arts. Looking now at the first issue of 134 pages, I’m re-acquainted with the yellow band across the top left-hand corner with the word “NEW”, and its editorial focus on “the written and graphic documentation of the latest trends in the rapidly growing contemporary crafts movement … a vital role in marketing contemporary work within Australia and overseas”. It began as a cheeky mix that has continued until now unabated. Over 32 years Craft Arts has tenaciously published three issues per year, covering a catholic range of material and presenting the work of 1000s of Australian and international artists and the voices of 100s of writers. A vast array of art, craft and design has been documented and indexed for retrieval. Unlike several other publications, Craft Arts was always independent of an arts organisation or direct government subsidy. Its support rather, came from advertisers, subscribers and by people buying copies in newsagencies. It is probably one of the most widely read Australian-produced visual arts magazine. Brava, Bravo, Jenie and Ken!
Independent arts writer and editor based in Brisbane
Ken and Jenie have given crafts the space to breathe. CAI has promoted craft across its full spectrum – from the fine art to the design end of the continuum. It is almost the only place where makers can be profiled in depth, with space to examine their backgrounds, working practice and final objects, accompanied by a good spread of detailed, meticulously captioned images. They have assumed a similarly generous approach to reviews of exhibitions. At first meeting, some people make the mistake of underestimating Jenie & Ken, yet their knowledge, interest and enthusiasm is exceptional. Jenie always challenges perceived pomposity, but is generous in accepting new ideas; both have a thirst for knowledge and a love of crafts that is exhilarating. The closure of the magazine is a great loss.
Contributor to CAI, visual arts critic/curator. Chair of the UK’s Critics’ Circle Visual Arts & Architecture Section
Ken and Jenie may not have published the trendiest art magazine in Australia, but there have been few publications to rival Crafts Arts for consistency, longevity, and the sheer range of its coverage. On their watch, Craft Arts covered the field of contemporary applied arts – and the rest – with a thoroughness that no other journal could match. Pages were packed with so many reproductions it seemed you were viewing the entire exhibition. Content was king, design the vehicle to best convey information. It reflected Ken and Jenie’s blunt, no-nonsense attitude to life and art. It’s always sad when those who have been so devoted to a project decide to move on, but it isn’t because Craft Arts has lost favour with its many admirers. The qualities of the magazine and its publishers, can never be diminished. They are as permanent as porcelain. Ars longa, vita brevis.
Art critic, Sydney Morning Herald
Although I knew Craft Arts International, I didn’t actually meet Ken Lockwood and Jenie Thomas until the late 1980s when, as Director of the Australia Council’s Visual Arts/Craft Board, we collaborated on international marketing of Australian craft and design at SOFA Chicago. A yin and yang partnership, Ken, the retiring, urbane editor was foil to Jenie’s tenacity in selling advertising – a rottweiler wrapped in robust humour and goodwill. They set a benchmark standard for Australian craft publishing. I came to value them even more highly when working at Crafts Council of NSW/ Object, when I had general manager responsibility for the quarterly journal, Object, and gained a more acute understanding of magazine editing and publish ing. Ken and Jenie’s chemistry, vision and commitment are exceptional, underpinning their legacy contribution to the contemporary Australian crafts and design.
Professor of Art, Interim Dean of Arts, University of Tasmania.
Dear Jenie and Ken, some thoughts on your retirement: a sage tract of the Bible starts off with the words, ‘there is a time for everything…’ Usually we accept such words but in your case we have to ask – Why is this so? You have built a mighty legacy with Craft Arts International for others to follow, and the question yet to be answered is – can we ever find anyone worthy to fill the void that you will leave behind? The 96 issues of your magazine have become an international standard by which to measure others and we feel that with your departure the art world will feel the loss. On the other hand, we can all rejoice that these issues of your publication will, for years to come, serve as a reference point and will bring glory upon our corner of the globe. Thank you for your efforts and enjoy a well-deserved rest in your retirement. Much love.
Peter Kolliner OAM
and the Staff of Kirra Galleries, Melbourne
The names Ken Lockwood and Jenie Thomas are as synonymous as the magazine itself. I feel so fortunate to have been able to work with these dedicated and passionate people. They have produced one of the finest art magazines worldwide over its 32 years. Craft Arts International allows you to just stop for a moment and immerse yourself in the extraordinary art that it presents. They have, possibly more importantly, given the diverse art mediums of ceramics, glass, metal, jewellery, textiles and wood the exposure they so greatly deserve. On behalf of Sabbia Gallery I would like to thank Ken and Jenie for all their support of our artists and the gallery itself over many years.
Director, Sabbia Gallery, Sydney
As an artist, educator and gallery director, I am indebted to the ongoing support that Jenie and Ken have shown throughout my career. They have always been there on both a personal and professional level. They have been responsible for putting Australian and New Zealand craftsmanship on the international “map” by creating a most outstanding visual reference that served as a platform to launch and extend so many profiles.
This highly acclaimed archival reference is an indelible footprint that will always be part of our history to cherish. It has been an honour to share this journey from the beginning with you both. Thank you.
Glass artist, Founding Head, Glass Studio, Sydney College of the Arts and Director of Glass Artists Gallery, Sydney.
This magazine has been a remarkable source of inspiration to a wide audience over many decades, bringing the most extraordinary examples of artwork from within the international visual arts scene into the lives of interested art lovers. The spectacular and luxurious presentation of imagery has been one of the highlight of Craft Arts, supported with insightful texts written by leading artists, curators, academics and art historians. As a writer in recent years, largely on Australian Aboriginal art, I’ve felt extremely privileged to share my knowledge of this unique art tradition with others.
Writer, curator and PhD candidate, Aboriginal Art, Sydney.
Craft Arts International is an independent “chronicle” of substance and purpose – sharing a passion for the spectrum of human expression and conveying that passion and its intrinsic rewards to everyone. Founded by Ken Lockwood and Jenie Thomas, the sustained, deft formatting of the magazine involves an arduous (yet ostensibly invisible) process in order to showcase unique works and discuss the ideas, trends and current events that affect artists, craftspeople and exhibits alike from around the world. As a result, the founding editors and their team have given us over 30 years of considered examination of meaningful practice. The foundations of CAI are secure and will, I believe, continue in their resolute spirit.
Dr. Cassandra Fusco
New Zealand contributing editor.
Jennifer Hawkins Opie
I first met Ken and Jenie at Collect, the annual fair launched at the V&A Museum in 2004, run by the British Crafts Council. I was uncertain of writing for CAI in addition to my “day” job but found I had no defences against Jenie’s terrier-tenacity and Ken’s equally effective soft persuasiveness. My contributions have been on contemporary glass and even on the whole of Collect and, after my initial nervousness, I was (and remain) so grateful to them for persuading me. CAI is an astonishingly diverse record of arts events of every sort. Jenie's energy in marketing and Ken’s insistence on superb images and his skilful, and tactful, editing made each issue of CAI one to treasure.
Jennifer Hawkins Opie
Former Senior Curator, head of Ceramics & Glass Collection, V&A Museum, London
Ken and Jenie are unique individuals who, over their 96 issues, have created a beautiful magazine distinguished by its broad church all-inclusive approach. In it, on many occasions, artists for the first time received serious, intelligent critical attention accompanied by a generous number of high quality colour illustrations. Craft Arts International probably appears on more Australian artists’ CVs than any other arts magazine. As I felt that a sadly neglected area in Australian art writing was that of printmaking, I approached Ken with the idea of including a “Profiles in Print” article in each issue of the magazine. He readily agreed and thus it has continued for the past decade. Each time an email would arrive, containing a pdf proof of my article, it would be signed: “much love, Ken”. From all of us – much love to Ken and Jenie.
Emeritus Prof. Sasha Grishin AM
Jenie Thomas and Ken Lockwood are unsurpassed in their passion and zeal for presenting the best contemporary studio work in Craft Arts International. Their magazine is exceptionally beautiful, purposefully creative and disciplined – it has become the touchstone to measure all that is bold and new in the visual and applied arts industry around the world. They began small and stayed small but within that kernel they made a magazine that stands alone and has not been bettered. Its more than 30 years of publication are a tableau of the changing tastes and fashions that mark those decades. Perhaps its most definable feature is that Jenie and Ken have been able to capture a moment so beautifully and place it on a page for all to see.
A former senior adviser, National Gallery of Australia, and friend and colleague for more than four decades.
It was before he instigated Craft Arts International that I first met Ken. I recall being particularly taken with his obvious love of language and facility to speak and write a sentence that gave as much joy as can be had from rolling a ball of fine chocolate over the taste buds. Jenie and I had a longstanding phone relationship before meeting during which she managed to twist my arm up between my shoulder-blades while explaining the absolute merit of expending university funds on advertising. I wonder if any other person could have kept the publication afloat for so long.
Dr Gerry King
Adelaide-based, has written for CAI since its inception while exhibiting contemporary glass and teaching internationally
Over many years Ken and Jenie have been joint sponsors with the Rotary Club of Deloraine in providing the Artistic Excellence Award at the Tasmanian Craft Fair. This has been an important and valued award and Craft Arts International has been most generous in its sponsorship. Both Ken and Jenie have been judges at the Tasmanian Craft Fair and their wise and experienced opinions have been greatly appreciated. Ken and Jenie have also played an important role over the years in mentoring a number of Tasmanian Craft Fair directors, including myself, and this has not only been appreciated but has contributed to the success of this outstanding event. Ken and Jenie are excellent people as they have assisted a number of young talented people to reach for greater heights and set a path for success and so, on behalf of the Rotary Club of Deloraine and Rotary Tasmania, I wish them well.
Rotary Club of Deloraine, Tasmanian Fair Craft Director 2009–11, Rotary Tasmania, District Governor 2015–16.
Craft Arts International has been one of the great constants in a sector which has seen so much change, upheaval and reinvention over 31 years. Ken and Jenie’s firm and unwavering belief in the value of insightful writing supported by a generous quantity of high-quality colour photographs has created an unrivalled record of the thinking, making and completed works of so many leading crafts-based artists and designers. The 96 issues they created together will remain a great testament to them and to the arts and crafts practitioners whose works they have so passionately advocated and documented.
CEO at JamFactory Contemporary Craft & Design Centre, Adelaide
I began writing for Craft Arts International over a decade ago and for several years have contributed a regular profile of an artist working in wood, as well as an occasional review or profile in other media. It is a publication like no other, presenting an international array of works in craft media within a larger art historical context. Artists and collectors who have seen my articles always comment on why they subscribe – that they see an expansive array of excellent work that is not covered elsewhere. Working with Ken and Jenie has also been an excellent professional experience: I was just starting my career as a writer and independent curator when I first wrote for them and I was treated with the respect of a seasoned author. Ken kindly corrected my texts as my skills improved and was ever-patient when I was overwhelmed with other projects.
Director of the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts & Happy Valley Cultural Center, Ojai, California
International has played a major role in my professional and personal life, with Ken and Jenie not only as employers but as friends. The first occasion I wrote for the magazine I was living in Adelaide and writing as Art Critic for the South Australian daily newspaper, The Advertiser, and was a senior lecturer at the SACAE. I later became Dean of Visual Arts in WA.
The general public expected lots of information about the art world and I found Craft Arts an unusually reliable source. I returned to the UK 10 years ago and was able to cover many of the major exhibitions at the London galleries and placed many articles in the international context. I rapidly learned that Australian art, and craft in particular, could hold its own against all international competition, a view which was in accord with the editorial intention of the magazine.
Jenie and Ken could be regarded as gatekeepers on the road to quality at the highest level of art and craft object making. Thank you Ken and Jenie.
Artist, art critic and academic, a regular contributor to CAI from its beginning
In an article I wrote in 2004, celebrating the 60th issue of Craft Arts International, the final paragraph included: ‘If this magazine didn’t exist … can you imagine? I can’t.’ Quoting from that article: ‘By its continuous publication since 1984, this
magazine is one of Australia’s foremost proponents of the visual arts and contemporary crafts, presenting and promoting their richness and vitality in an international context. We should all be immensely grateful for the passion, commitment and dedication of Ken Lockwood, Jenie Thomas and their staff … There is no other quality publication in Australia that so comprehensively documents, in image and text, our ceramics, glass, wood, fibre and metal, juxtaposing articles on contemporary arts worldwide.’ The magazine is a key resource, a source of inspiration and a great communicator. In their dedication, Ken Lockwood and Jenie Thomas are part of that essential chain of connection which links artists, galleries, museums, collectors, students, writers, photographers and institutes of education. If this magazine didn’t exist, that chain would be broken.
Director, Narek Galleries, Tanja, NSW.
Congratulations to Ken Lockwood and Jenie Thomas for a major commitment to continuously produce the Craft Arts International magazine. For more than 30 years, this unique full colour magazine has made a significant contribution to the visual arts in Australia. Craft Arts International has presented and promoted the work of Australian designermakers world-wide and introduced us to the creative work of overseas artist practitioners. It has also been a valuable forum
for experienced and new writers of reports, criticism and human interest stories. As a former Director of the ANU School of Art, I was always keen to respond to Jenie’s call for the School to be represented in a forthcoming issue knowing that the School’s profile would be enhanced by the magazine’s wide readership and circulation throughout the arts sector. Thank you Ken and Jenie for your contribution and a job well done !!
Emeritus Professor David Williams AM
Director ANU School of Art, Canberra, 1985-2006
David Mac Laren
When Jenie would ring the gallery, invariably someone would comment, ‘who is that cheeky person from Craft Arts’. I’d say, ‘Oh, that’s just Jenie’s way.’ From my years in the Big Apple I was familiar with that peculiar New York directness – a lingua franca so jarring to WASP sensibilities. Anyway, Jenie was always sweet to me because she knew I was an easy touch. All she had to say to sell me on advertising was that the institutions were having their budgets cut back (again!), and she really needed my help. How could I refuse? I will miss Jenie and Ken. I will miss the Craft Arts International. I will miss those phone calls!
David Mac Laren
Gallery Director, Bungendore Wood Works, Furniture Designer Maker, NSW
During the mid-1980s, the Tasmanian School of Art was among the first in Australia to form an alliance with a University – the University of Tasmania. For young academics during this period, eager to establish a publishing reputation in the fiercely competitive pedagogical world of the university research hierarchy, Craft Arts International provided a vital publications platform for many of us. Thank you Ken and Jenie for allowing me the space at this time to explore the contentious issues of Tasmanian wilderness politics from an artistic perspective that helped shape my future directions.
Studio potter and writer, and former Head of the Ceramic Studio, Centre for the Arts, Hobart
When I reflect on the length of time I have written for Craft Arts, what strikes me most is that it has been such a fantastic support for artists. Initially it was mostly about Australian artists but has expanded to include artists from around the world. I feel humbled when I look at my collection of past issues and see and remember all the other writers whose articles have been published. Ken and Jenie, congratulations for all that you have done for artists, supporting their work through profiles and reviews of their exhibitions. I will miss you greatly and send you best wishes for the future.
Arts advocate, writer, valuer and contributor, Canberra
When we were all much younger and trying to establish our careers and somehow understand our own identities through our body of work, Ken and Jenie and the platform offered by their magazine provided an invaluable service to the
individual artists and the community at large. Beyond that, a long lasting and personal friendship developed. One of my first acts upon the birth of my son some 25 years ago was to drop in on Ken and Jenie and introduce them to one another. I remember the day.
Sydney-based artist using glass and a repertoire of other media to produce largescale commissioned and public artworks
I remember first meeting Ken Lockwood under a “hot tin roof” – the editorial office of Craft Australia magazine. He was very supportive and a productive association continued with Ken and Jenie Thomas via their newly formed Craft Arts journal. Articles about my story of an emerging designer maker in wood were essential formy progress. Mention of collaborations and commissions, Woodworkers Association of NSW shows and Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney projects recorded these events. Reading informed articles on Australian and international practitioners, in all craft media, furthered my knowledge base. I valued the opportunity to discuss craft with the master himself in his office, the computer screen humming with super large text, brewing the next issue. With profound thanks Ken and Jenie for underpinning the development of craft in Australia. Best wishes for a well-deserved change of focus.
Designer furniture maker, Gerringong, NSW
Ken and Jenie are not only the brains and impetus behind one of the world’s most beautiful and informative magazines on the arts, they are also terrific people. Like many others, I have benefitted from being written about in Craft Arts and also honoured to write for it. Their outstanding support for the craft community is nowhere more obvious than at the Tasmanian Craft Fair, which they have championed in every way possible: with encouragement, counsel, participation and a high-powered profile for an individual craft person each year through their unique Craft Arts Award. They are true heroes.
Tasmanian painter and Visiting Artist
Researcher at Tate Britain, London
Craft Arts International is of exceptional quality for its insightful articles and magnificent images of artwork. The magazine has given important coverage to many artists, like myself, who have enjoyed a wider audience because of the efforts of Jenie Thomas and Ken Lockwood. This partnership has delivered a magazine of world class quality. I cherish my full set because it chronicles the history of craft in my lifetime.Without this magazine and other publications they have produced, many talented art practitioners would not be known widely. This duo has contributed to the health of our society and it is sad to see the magazine come to an end. Let us hope that someone will pick up the baton and keep it going in some form or other. Thank you to the twosome at Craft Arts International for all you have done for me as a writer and an artist.
Artist/printmaker, painter and contributor, Bardwell Park, NSW.
Craft Arts, published first in 1984, became Craft Arts International, a truly global publication, documenting three decades of creativity, humanity’s greatest gift. Peter Crisp Glass Artist, featured in issues 1 and 18, was launched simultaneously with Craft Arts at The Waterford Shop, Martin Place, Sydney, in 1985, by the then CEO, Stuart Gentle, also a Director of the Glenaeon Rudolph Steiner School in Middle Cove. My subsequent success and international reputation was nurtured and reinforced by the dedication of Jenie Thomas and Ken Lockwood, which has resulted in a very close lifelong friendship – the most valued of all. Craft Arts International provides a most important historical documentation, over 96 issues, of our time in the Visual Arts.
Glass artist, Bowning, NSW
What can one not say about such stalwart supporters of the arts? They have put their hearts, souls and livelihood into supporting and promoting craft practitioners for so many years, ensuring that the best in Australia are adequately compared with the best in the world. The full set of volumes makes a wonderful archive. I have been lucky enough to be the subject of a number of articles over the years and the author of many more giving me an opportunity to promote Western Australian craftspeople. My greatest thrill was to have the cover story when writing on Christel van der Laan’s first solo show. This hospitable couple offered a bed in Sydney with lovely dinner parties at their home or we met up in London. Their wide circle was an entertaining and interesting group and I felt privileged to be made welcome. Well done you wonderful pair. You will be sorely missed.
Dorothy Erickson PhD
Artist jeweller, writer and friend, Perth, WA.
I live in Chicago and am a personal friendof Ken and Jenie, not a professional colleague. I have been a very small (but very fun) part of Craft Arts. I met Ken and Jenie through a close colleague while I was assigned to work in Sydney in the 1990s. They wrapped themselves around solitary me (and in Jenie’s case it was sometimes literal) and shared their world with me. A beautiful, loving – and very interesting – world! And whenmy art interest became known, they shared all their experience, advice and invitations. Jenie’s “knows-nobounds”- style is infectious, and it’s probably why I still am enthusiastic for three dimensional art. Certainly, without Jenie’s help I would not have acquired my prideof-collection.
Later, Jenie kept in contact as if 11,000 miles didn’t exist, at first asking, and then allowing me to help at the SOFA Chicago shows. It was fun! I encountered myriads, met hundreds and made many friends. I treasure the experience. No matter what may befall, I won’t forget the generosity and inner-beauty of my dear, dear friends Ken and Jenie.
Friend and volunteer CAI stall manager at SOFA-Chicago fairs
In my 20 years working at Craft Arts I’ve always admired the dedication of both Jenie and Ken to make sure every issue is a treat for our readers. I often hear from subscribers how much they love the magazine and enjoy each issue. It has been a delight dealing with the subscribers, artists and advertisers and has been very interesting to see all the different types of artworks that we publish in the magazine. At times I have had the opportunity to go to exhibitions and even visit some artists’ studios and see how their work is made.
Editorial assistant /subscriptions officer, CAI, for 20 years