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Craft in America

Craft in America Series Preview

Watch human hands transform humble materials into works of function and beauty.


CRAFT IN AMERICA, the Peabody Award-winning series on PBS, explores America’s creative spirit through the language and traditions of the handmade. With 29 episodes 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.

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INSPIRATION reveals the magic and influence of craft. Featuring Betye Saar, Alison Saar, Maddy Leeser, Simon Rodia & Watts Towers, Diedrick Brackens, Ayumi Horie, Suzanne Thao, Mandora Young, Tousue Vang, Chef Yia Vang, Mary Little. PBS Broadcast premiere December 16, 2022 (check local listings). Streaming November 2022 on the PBS Video App.

HOME visits craft artists whose environments are filled with meaning and metaphor. Featuring Biskakone Greg Johnson, North House Folk School, Syd Carpenter, Wharton Esherick, Sim Van der Ryn, and Helen Drutt English. PBS Broadcast premiere December 16, 2022 (check local listings). Streaming November 2022 on the PBS Video App.

HARMONY bridges the art forms of music and craft, celebrating the joy of music and the creation of handcrafted instruments. Featuring accordion maker Marc Savoy & the Savoy family, bow maker Susan Lipkins, luthier Doug Naselroad & the Appalachian Artisan Center Culture of Recovery Program, artist Richard Jolley.

JEWELRY explores the history, artistry, and impact of personal adornment. Featuring jewelers Tom Herman, Harriete Estel Berman, the coeditors of Ornament Magazine, the legacy of Art Smith, Gabrielle Gould, Jesse Monongya.

Diego Romero Identity

STORYTELLERS highlights artists and approaches that use narrative to communicate personal and universal truths. Featuring sculptor George Rodriguez, gallerist Julie Schafler Dale, textile artist Linda J. Mendelson, artist Nicholas Galanin, glass artist Christina Bothwell.

Victoria Findlay Wolfe Quilts

DEMOCRACY explores how craft is intertwined with our nation’s defining principles. Featuring: Robert L. Lynch, calligrapher Sammy Little, Smithsonian Institution museums, artist Harvey Pratt, Eudorah Moore, and Berea College Student Craft.

Diego Romero Identity

IDENTITY: Artists explore issues of gender, race, culture and place, offering true expressions of their experience in this world. Featuring potter Diego Romero, photographer Cara Romero, furniture maker Wendy Maruyama, and sculptor Cristina Córdova.

Victoria Findlay Wolfe Quilts

QUILTS: Learn about contemporary quilters from diverse traditions as we celebrate the important role quilts have played in our country’s story. Featuring Susan Hudson, Victoria Findlay Wolfe, Michael A. Cummings, Judith Content, the International Quilt Museum, and special guest Ken Burns.

Kay Sekimachi leaf bowl visionaries

VISIONARIES documents the ways in which artists and influencers inspire new generations to envision the limitless possibilities of craft. Featuring textile designer and founder of LongHouse Reserve Jack Lenor Larsen, curator Helen Molesworth and Black Mountain College, weaver Kay Sekimachi, collector Forrest L. Merrill, and book artist Felicia Rice.

Randy Stromsoe California

CALIFORNIA explores the diverse craft heritage, traditions and innovations in the Golden State. Featuring Pomo basket weaver Corine Pearce, silversmith Randy Stromsoe, the Arts and Crafts architecture of Greene & Greene, stained glass artists at Judson Studios, cabinet makers James Ipekjian and Jack Ipekjian, and textile artist Deborah Cross.

Magdalena Pedro Martinez Neighbors

NEIGHBORS explores connections between Mexico and the United States through craft. Featuring ceramic artist Gerardo Monterrubio; ceramic artists Carlomagno Pedro Martínez and Magdalena Pedro Martínez; glass artist Jaime Guerrero; silver designers William Spratling, Miguel Angel Ortiz Miranda, Carmen Tapia, Cristina Romo, and Eduardo Herrera; muralist Judy Baca and Social and Public Art Resource Center.

Borders J. Isaac Vasquez Garcia

BORDERS explores connections between Mexico and the United States through craft. Featuring master altar-maker Ofelia Esparza, Self Help Graphics & Art, and the Day of the Dead celebration; master weaver J. Isaac Vásquez Garcia and family; weaver Jim Bassler and potter Veralee Bassler and the colorful Guelaguetza parade; and artist Kiff Slemmons and maestro Francisco Toledo at Taller Arte Papel.

Preston Singletary Teachers

NATURE features artists who explore the beauty and wonder of the natural world. Featuring sculptor Patrick Dougherty, fiber artist Mary Merkel-Hess, woodworker Michelle Holzapfel, glass artist Preston Singletary, and book artist Catherine Alice Michaelis.

Mark Mitsuda Teachers

TEACHERS highlights artists committed to sharing their skills and passion for craft with students of all ages. Presented by PBS for Spotlight Education week. Featuring glass artist Mark Mitsuda, Navajo weavers Barbara Teller Ornelas and Lynda Teller Pete, ceramic artist Linda Sikora, and glass artist Therman Statom.

Yoshiko Yamamoto Celebration

CELEBRATION examines the role craft plays in our holiday customs, with a focus on our winter observances and the traditions that are handed down from one generation to another as well as new rituals that define the season. Featuring lion dancers and float builders for San Francisco’s Chinese New Year Parade, Pewabic, Motawi Tileworks, Kwanzaa celebrations, and woodblock print artist Yoshiko Yamamoto.

Kamaka ukulele Music

MUSIC features finely crafted handmade instruments and the world renowned artists who play them. MUSIC features interviews and performances from Joan Baez, Rhiannon Giddens, Director of the Count Basie Orchestra Scotty Barnhart, banjo master Tony Ellis, L.A. Philharmonic timpanist Joseph Pereira, and virtuoso ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro. Instrument makers featured are Martin Guitar, Hartel Banjos, Monette trumpets, Stelling banjos, and Kamaka ukuleles.

Ehren Tool Service

SERVICE is the story of craft and the military. From the origins of the Army Arts and Crafts Program and the G.I. Bill to contemporary soldiers and veterans, SERVICE documents the power of the handmade to inspire, motivate and heal. Featuring Eugene Burks Jr., Pam DeLuco, Judas Recendez, Ehren Tool and Peter Voulkos.

Shane Yamane Industry

INDUSTRY: Handmade in the Creative Economy. Featuring Gee's Bend quilters Lucy Mingo and Mary Ann Pettway, quilter Joe Cunningham, boat builder Graham McKay and Lowell's Boat Shop, Bethanne Knudson (The Oriole Mill), Libby O'Bryan, Shane Yamane, Jan Lee, and Etsy.

Harley Refsal Holiday

HOLIDAY embraces familiar and new winter celebrations as part of our American experience with the handmade. Featuring ceramic artist Susan Garson, Garcia Art Glass, paper artist Kathleen Trenchard, ceramic artist Veronica Castillo, National Gingerbread House Competition at Grove Park Inn, Biltmore House, woodcarver Harley Refsal, and John C. Campbell Folk School.

Albert Paley Forge

FORGE: Exceptional artists forging metal magically transformed by fire. Featuring silversmith Chloe Darke, Old Newbury Crafters, artist Tom Pullin, Corcoran College of Art + Design, and sculptor Albert Paley.

Jeff Oestreich Crossroads

CROSSROADS: 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. Featuring sculptor Tanya Aguiniga, fiber artist Lia Cook, ceramic artists Warren MacKenzie, Jeff Oestreich, Clary Illian.

Randall Darwall Threads

THREADS explores the needle arts including weaving, storytelling through quilts and textiles that speak to the creativity of the human spirit. Featuring fiber artists Terese Agnew, Randall Darwall, Faith Ringgold, and Consuelo Jimenez Underwood.

Moulthrop Family, Wood Turned Bowl, Craft in America

FAMILY: 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. Featuring ceramic artist Cliff Lee, jewelry artist Holly Lee, glass artists Paul Marioni and Dante Marioni, jewelry artist Marina Marioni, wood turners Ed & Philip & Matt Moulthrop, and boot maker Lisa Sorrell.

Tom Mann Messages

MESSAGES: Some craft artists go beyond skill to create works that bring attention to contemporary issues. Find out what inspires artists to create and how they transform their personal beliefs into works of art. Featuring santero Charles M. Carrillo, glass artist Beth Lipman, jeweler Thomas Mann, bead artist Joyce J. Scott.

North Bennet Street School violin PROCESS

PROCESS: What inspires a person to choose a career in craft? And how does one acquires the knowledge and skills necessary to become a craft artist. Featuring the 92nd St Y, jewelers Dave & Roberta Williamson, ceramic artists Cary Esser & Nikki Lewis, Kansas City Art Institute, North Bennet Street School, book artist Julie Chen, and printmaker Tom Killion.

Mark Hewitt Origins

ORIGINS: Craft traditions didn't just appear, fully-formed and mature. Artists tie their work to early techniques and pass these practices on in a continuum of creativity. Featuring blacksmith Philip Simmons, potter Mark Hewitt, Vernon & Pam & Travis Owens at Jugtown Pottery, weaver Jim Bassler, glass artist Paul J. Stankard, and Kiowa bead artist Teri Greeves.

Preston Singletary Glass Community

COMMUNITY: Throughout time, craft work has been a community activity. This hour focuses on the spiritual connection artists have to their communities through craft making. Some express the ideas, beliefs and desires of their community through their craft objects. Some pay homage to the community by continuing craft traditions that are in danger of being lost. Featuring glass artists Jamex & Einar de la Torre, glass artist Preston Singletary, Pilchuck Glass School, potter Sarah Jaeger, jeweler Ken Loeber, basket maker Dona Look, Mississippi Cultural Crossroads, Penland School of Crafts, and jewelry artist Denise & Samuel Wallace.

Richard Notkin teapot LANDSCAPE

LANDSCAPE focuses on the relationship between the artists and their physical environment. Craft artists depend on their natural environment for both materials and inspiration. This hour looks at the processes through which natural materials become finished works of craft, and what deeper messages may be contained therein. Featuring jeweler Jan Yager, ceramic artist David Gurney, woodworker Mira Nakashima, jewelry artist Kit Carson, ceramic artist Richard Notkin, and Timberline Lodge.

Sam Maloof Rocker MEMORY

MEMORY takes a personal tour through craft's history in America beginning with the pioneers of the field. This episode juxtaposes the intimate stories of some of our country's most prominent craft artists against the larger historical context of craft itself. Featuring woodworker Sam Maloof, basket maker Mary Jackson, furniture maker Garry Knox Bennett, blacksmith Tom Joyce, and Wasco basket maker Pat Courtney Gold.