Craft in America

Happy New Year!

That was an unintended couple of weeks away from this blog.  The busy holiday time, sure, but also a lot of personal family stuff, and I was away.  All full intentions of writing a couple of posts, but, well, you know, sometimes those good intentions don’t exactly pan out.

But, here we are, first day of 2019 and I’m hoping to get back on track with a loose schedule of two posts a week.  We’ll see how I do.

In the last bit of time, I was on the PBS website (looking up some episodes of the Antiques Roadshow, if you must know), and I saw an ad for one of their series:

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From the website:  “Craft in America, the Peabody Award-winning series on PBS, explores America’s creative spirit through the language and traditions of the handmade. With fifteen shows produced since 2007, the series takes viewers on a journey to the artists, origins, and techniques of American craft.  Each episode contains stories from diverse regions and cultures, blending history with living practice and exploring issues of identity, ritual, philosophy, and creative expression.”

On this page you can see brief descriptions of each of the episodes.   There are links to watching them online as well as learn about other ways to watch PBS shows.

As we sometimes struggle within the stitching community with words like “hobby” and “craft” and “art”, I find myself drawn to references with any of these three words.  It is probably why I was so interested when this show first started some years ago.  I’m glad my recent foray onto the PBS website reminded me of the episodes of this series that I have watched in the past and helped me realize that I have missed some of the more recent ones.

It is not that I loved every single segment, every single crafter/artist and their work.  Some are clearly more interesting to me than others (hello, fiber artists of any type!  hello also, book artists!) But, I loved the thoughtful way the show introduced me to many pieces of the craft world that I hadn’t known before.  At least, as I remembered some of the segments.  Cochineal bugs and the red dye that comes from them – I am almost positive I learned about that from one of the early episodes.  (That said, I’m not seeing anything from the brief descriptions that confirms this….hmmm)  And references to cochineal dye have come up numerous times, in visits to museums, in research, in reading, numerous times since.

I am looking forward to watching Craft in America – episodes I haven’t seen before, rewatching others I know I have.  Yes, I might fast forward through artists or techniques that don’t hugely interest me…but then again, you never know when new inspiration might strike.  Reality check:  I do not have the time or space in my life to take up basket-weaving, pottery, glass-blowing, wood carving…you get the picture.  But, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to know more about the incredibly talented people who do these things and be more educated about those crafts, those arts, when I encounter them in my world.

Perhaps I’ve inspired you to go check out a few of the episodes or individual segments of Craft in America yourself.

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1 thought on “Craft in America

  1. I recently discovered Craft in America for the first time. I watched all the episodes available online. I had been in a creative slump for a long time and that was the jump start needed. Just watching the artists talking about they lives and creative processes was inspiring — even the potters and sculptors.

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