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Faux Food Artist Cited for 'Mastery of Art Form'

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The Early American Life Traditional American Crafts Directory annually honors the country's best artisans.
SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio (August 2018) -- For the eighth year in a row, faux food artist Sandy Levins of Haddonfield, NJ, won the highest award as a traditional artisan in this year's Directory of Traditional American Crafts, and her work is showcased in in the 2018 August issue of Early American Life magazine.

'Mastery of the art form'
Ms. Levins ranks top in her field, according to a panel of national experts convened by the magazine. Each year, those experts -- curators from such institutions as the American Folk Art Museum, Frontier Culture Museum, George Washington's Mount Vernon, Hancock Shaker Village and Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, the National Trust, Old Sturbridge Village, Southern Highland Craft Guild, Strawberry Banke Museum, and Winterthur Museum as well as antiques dealers, independent scholars and professional instructors -- select the top craftspeople working with traditional tools and techniques for the magazine's annual Directory of Traditional American Crafts.

This year's jury cited Levins for mastery of the art form and workmanship. More of her work can be seen on her company website:

The Directory of Traditional American Crafts is a special listing that appears in the August 2018 issue of Early American Life, a national magazine focusing on architecture, decorative arts, period style, and social history
Sandy Levins faux food
The August, 2018 Early American Life annual 'Directory of American Crafts' section featured a roast ham display made by Ms. Levins
from colonial times through the mid-19th Century. The Directory has been used for the past two decades by curators at living history museums, owners of traditional homes, and motion picture producers for finding artisans to make period-appropriate furnishings and accessories for displays, collections, and use.

Scholarship and technique
"The judges look for authentic design and workmanship, whether the piece is a faithful reproduction or the artisan's interpretation of period style," said Tess Rosch, publisher of Early American Life. "Scholarship, as well as use of period tools and techniques, is particularly valued in this competition."

One goal of the Directory is to help preserve traditional handcrafts, part of our culture that is rapidly being lost in the digital age. Many of these skills were passed down from master to apprentice for hundreds of years, but now few new people choose to learn and master them. "If our traditional arts are lost, we have forgotten a part of who we are as Americans," Rosch said.

The August 2018 issue of Early American Life lists all artisans selected for the Directory as well as contact information for those wanting to own their work. The Directory layout features lush color photos of many of these artworks photographed in Delaware's Winterthur Museum.

"The Directory is a source for collectors and historic museums eager to own fine, handcrafted, period-accurate objects and also a means of supporting those who perpetuate the art forms that are such an important part of our nation's heritage," Rosch said. To learn more about Early American Life, for subscription information, or to purchase a copy, visit

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Early American Life is a bimonthly magazine with a circulation of 90,000. The magazine was founded in 1970 and is owned by Firelands Media Group LLC, Shaker Heights, Ohio. Press copies of the August 2018 issue with the 2018 Directory of Traditional American Crafts are available by contacting the editor.