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This episode explores the creative environments and personal dynamics of four families of craft artists and looks at the age-old debate of nature versus nurture.

Is talent inherited? What is it like to live in a household where objects are made by hand?

Georgia based wood turners, Matt and Philip Moulthrop, Mark Markley photograph

President Jimmy Carter shares his admiration for Ed Moulthrop, a fellow Georgian who was known as “the father of modern woodturning.” Ed was an architect who found a passion for creating beautiful large-scale turned wood objects. He single handedly raised national awareness of woodturning as an art while inventing tools used by woodcrafters for generations to come. His works can be found in the personal collections of Ted Turner, Jack Nicklaus, Nelson Mandela (a gift from Hillary Clinton), Paul Simon and Steven Spielberg. Philip Moulthrop followed a career path similar to his father’s. After a tour in Vietnam, he trained as a lawyer, but found greater satisfaction in making uniquely patterned wood bowls. Matt Moulthrop apprenticed with his father and grandfather and continues the family tradition, using modern techniques to bring out the innate beauty of the wood, believing that “each tree has a story to tell.”

Seattle glass artist, Dante Marioni, blowing glass with Preston Singletary, Mark Markley photograph

Paul Marioni creates sculptural and kinetic glass forms that explore concepts of human nature and challenge the physical limitations of the medium. Paul was an early member of the Studio Glass Movement in San Francisco, and as a single father, moved to Seattle, center of American glass, where his gifted son, Dante Marioni studied and continues to make internationally recognized work. Dante’s Venetian-inspired style is almost diametrically opposed to his father’s. His sister Marina Marioni is also a craft artist, creating jewelry that often plays with form and meaning, much like her father’s sculptures often play with visual puns.

Paul Marioni, The Visitor, 1984, Courtesy of the artist

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Watch a 30 second preview of the FAMILY episode.

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Craft In America Educational Materials look further at Family as a concept in craft. Visit the EDUCATION section HERE > to see what's available and download a Lesson Guide.

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We filmed artist Paul Marioni for the FAMILY episode. Learn more about the series HERE >

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Learn more about the artists in the FAMILY episode HERE >

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