Meet Funlola Coker, Jumpstarter Recipient

Meet Funlola Coker, Jumpstarter Recipient

Posted on Dec. 14, 2023

Congratulations to Funlola Coker, (@funlolacoker)one of the two recipients of the latest Craft Innovation Jumpstarter Grant! Coker received seed funding ($3,000) to advance her efforts to re-envision the use of craft tools, materials, or a particular project.

Coker utilizes electroforming and small-scale casting methods in reference to creating a skin or copy of memories and experiences. She would like to use the Craft Innovation funding to create large-scale bronze castings of her work to further explore my current ideas within the theme of memory. This will start with a small series of two to three pieces cast in bronze, accompanied by carved stone and welded steel forms. “I am specifically exploring the calabash, a common vessel around the world. In Yoruba culture, it is a typical household object.”

“My work explores this object as a container for secrets, shared stories and cultural significance. I will have the opportunity to fully immerse myself in the research of this humble object and experiment with new forms. I will be working with the Green Foundry in Elliot, Maine, to realize these sculptures. I am currently experimenting with smaller works to troubleshoot I will also use a portion of the funding to acquire safety equipment for welding as I venture into a new way of working.

This grant will help propel my work into spaces that are currently beyond my reach. Large-scale
casting is an expensive undertaking without substantial support. I have taken the first step in
building a working relationship with a trustworthy foundry close by, and can see the benefits of
this relationship.”

From the Jurors: “The meaning behind Coker’s work is compelling. Her emphasis on story keeping through Nigerian metalwork and sculpting, combined with her concept of exploring the object as a container for cultural significance was particularly interesting.”

The Society of Arts + Crafts announced its inaugural winners of its Craft Innovation Jumpstarter Grant at its 125th anniversary celebration.  The Jumpstarter is part of the SA+C’s commitment to support makers/artists directly. The Craft Innovation Jumpstarter grant is given to two makers, twice a year. The next entry deadline is in June. Learn more here.