Thursday, October 8, 2009

Craft in America

Craft in America, the Peabody Award winning series, premiered season two last night on PBS. Season two features two episodes focusing on the origins and processes of craft.

Craft traditions didn't just appear, fully-formed and mature. Episode IV - Origins focuses on craftspeople with a long history in the craft world. Include in this episode. just a few of the artist featured, are Jugtown Pottery and Teri Greeves. Jugtown Pottery was started in 1917 and, drawing from the tradition, creates traditional jugs, candlesticks and tableware. Teri Greeves, a member of the Kiowa Indian Tribe of Oklahoma, uses traditional Kiowa beadwork methods to tell the story of American Indians. Her work includes beaded books, jewelry and high top sneakers.

Episode V - Process focus's on what inspires a person to choose a career in craft. What makes an established professional give up everything to take up a career in arts? How do they learn their crafts? Along with several artist, Process looks as several important craft schools. The visit to the North Bennet Street School in Boston, with its emphasis on violin making, was fascinating. The Kansas City Art Institute has a ceramic arts program that produces many of today's prominent contemporary ceramic artist. And New York's 92nd Street Y...oh, to have access to the kinds of craft programs and classes offered, both for children & adults, would be such a gift.
While the episodes premiered last night, many PBS stations will be replaying them through out the month. If you love fine crafts, love beautiful handmade items, you should check you local station for airdates.

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