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Craft In America - a journey to the artists origins and techniques of American craft
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TV Series artists exhibition education videos schedule about us Buy the DVD
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Memory Landscape Community Origins Process Messages Family Threads Crossroads Forge Holiday

Educators Craft gives us a big-picture view of our history and development as a country and a people. It’s a cornucopia, covering cultures and climates, philosophies and science, social causes and social action. It’s about discipline, excitement, and creativity. In short: it’s what makes America, America – and Americans, Americans. An art form no less valid than painting or sculpture, it’s played a more pivotal role in our lives than any other. It’s all around us, hiding in plain sight. If you think craft is just projects using Popsicle sticks or leftover yarn, think again. It’s truly the American project.

Cliff Lee hands

First thing, download the study guides you’ll find here. They have been written and designed to make craft the extraordinary learning experience it is. We’ve set up suggested lesson plans that you can adapt to your own class and personalize to your classroom, based on age and interests. We’ve included places to learn more, so that you can go further on a particular subject or example.

how to use the guides

The material presented in the seventeen Craft in America Educator Guides is organized into thematic groupings and written to support middle and high school art education curricula. Teachers are encouraged to use the content as presented or to enhance and further their established programs of study. The guides can also be adapted for use in other subject areas. The primary purpose of the guides is to deepen students’ knowledge, understanding and appreciation of craft in America.


forge holiday industry

Exceptional artists forging metal magically transformed by fire
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Embrace traditions, both familiar and new – all part of our American experience with the handmade.
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Explore the business of craft and how artists contribute to local and national economies. Coming soon

 
family threads crossroads

Is talent inherited? What is it like to live in a household where objects are made by hand? This episode explores the creative environments and personal dynamics of four families of craft artists.
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Interlacing, weaving, sewing and work that starts with the humble thread have brought mankind physical comfort and served as a means of expression. Threads explores the needle arts, including storytelling through quilts and textiles that speak to the creativity of the human spirit.
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How do borders and personal crossroads affect an artist? How do science and craft interact? How do other cultures influence American style and technique? This episode explores the intersections of craft, culture, and technology.
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messages process origins

Many craft artists go beyond skill to personal and political expression. They use craft to tell a story, prove a point, experiment or bring attention to contemporary issues.
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Artists are inspired in various ways - through collaboration, personal reflection and often, through the materials themselves. In the process, objects are given meaning, connections formed, and boundaries broken.
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There is great value in making an object by hand with time-honored techniques, using traditional designs. And there is an excitement in combining and reinventing these traditions with present-day ideas and motifs. 
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community landscape memory
Community has helped shape the creative processes of our collective craft history.  Craft forms are passed from generation to generation in necessity and survival, but also for the spirit of community and commonality.
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Craft artists depend on their natural environment for both materials and inspiration.  Materials are collected, combined and transformed through the creativity of human hands.
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Some hands create to record a place and time; others are more intimate gestures about personal histories.  In any case our Nation’s collective memory can become tangible when we examine objects created by the hand.
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