Breaking Boundaries

Woodworker Brendon Farrell brings varied wares to Nov. 16-17 West Coast Crafts fair
West Coast Crafts

It would be hard to call Brendon Farrell typical of anything. An architect who's worked on high-rise condos and private homes that range from rustic modern to Richardsonian Romanesque, he'll be in San Francisco next weekend showing his handmade furnishings.

But perhaps he is somewhat typical of the crafts people who'll be showing at the first-ever, and free, West Coast Crafts show, Saturday and Sunday, November 16 and 17, at Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion.

Expect to see artists who are "all West Coast people," says Nick Sarno, one of the show organizers, people who enjoy "exploring what things mean, erasing the boundaries between craft and fine art, entering that uncharted no-man's land."

There will be ceramics, jewelry, clothing, and more from more than 100 designers. The work of several is rooted in mid-century design.

"I gravitate to Danish and Scandinavian and Shaker. It's got clean, essential lines, but a more humanist quality," Farrell says of his work. "I try to make all the designs as essential as possible, minimal in concept but paying attention to the material and how it's made."

Farrell will offer mirrors, coat racks, shelving, and a hanging lamp. He also creates furniture and suggests would-be buyers check out his website "as a springboard for individual custom work."

Also on offer will be silk-screened flashcards that reveal the process of small animal butchery. "Many of us eat meat and might want to understand the process without doing it ourselves," he says.

That is an exploration.

For more on the West Coast Crafts show, click here.