With hundreds of channels to choose from and amazing new series’ popping up on every cable channel, some days it still seems like there is nothing worthwhile to watch on television. One day last weekend while waiting for something more entertaining to begin, we happened upon a show entitled Craft in America on PBS. Now this is a program worth figuring out how to use that search function on your remote control!
Not knowing what to expect, we settled in to watch the episode entitled ‘Origins’, and were entranced by the stories of the potters behind Jugtown Pottery, a blacksmith from Charleston, South Carolina, a bead artist re-interpeting Kiowa traditional beadwork, a weaver inspired by the ethnic textiles encountered in his travels, and a glass artist continuing the centuries old lampwork tradition. Some of the artists seem to have been born to their craft; others finding inspiration on their journey through life, but all were absolutely transformed when they found their chosen medium, speaking wonderful stories through their art, and passing the skills on into the future.
When the credits rolled, I immediately began to look for other episodes. A quick on-line search turns up the website www.craftinamerica.org and the information that there have been 13 episodes of this Peabody Award-winning series produced by PBS since 2007. In an era where so many express concern with where something is made, how something is made, is a much deeper thing altogether. The artists and the work seen in this series will speak to your soul, and inspire your eyes and your hands to pick something up and give it a go.