Craft in America

S1 E3 | FULL EPISODE

COMMUNITY episode

Throughout time, craft work has been a community activity. Gifted artists and passionate newcomers alike reveal the deeply held belief that craft is about more than just the making of an object. Featured artists include Jamex & Einar de la Torre, Preston Singletary, Pilchuck Glass School, Sarah Jaeger, Ken Loeber, Dona Look, Mississippi Cultural Crossroads, Penland School, Denise & Sam Wallace.

AIRED: September 24, 2009 | 0:54:04
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

ANNOUNCER: COMING UP ON "CRAFT IN AMERICA"...

WOMAN: IT'’S IMPORTANT THAT WE PASS DOWN TRADITIONS

AND THINGS THAT WE'’VE LEARNED

SO THAT PEOPLE KNOW WHO THEY ARE AND WHERE THEY'’RE FROM.

MAN: I THINK THAT THAT ENERGY OF TEAMWORK ACTUALLY

IS TRANSFERRED INTO THE PIECE.

IT IS VERY MUCH ABOUT THE SPIRIT OF COOPERATION.

SECOND WOMAN: WE KNEW THERE WERE QUILTERS IN THE COMMUNITY

AND WE WANTED TO CELEBRATE A TRADITIONAL ART THAT IS HERE.

WOMEN: ♪ '’TIS A GIFT TO BE SIMPLE ♪

♪ '’TIS A GIFT TO BE FREE ♪

♪ '’TIS A GIFT TO COME DOWN ♪

♪ WHERE YOU OUGHT TO BE... ♪

♪ AND WHEN YOU FIND YOURSELVES IN THE PLACE JUST RIGHT ♪

♪ '’TWILL BE IN THE VALLEY OF LOVE AND DELIGHT ♪

CAPTIONING MADE POSSIBLE BY CRAFT IN AMERICA, INC.

WOMAN: AMERICA IS MADE UP OF A LOT OF DIFFERENT PEOPLE,

CULTURALLY AND ETHNICALLY,

AND SO WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT CRAFT IN AMERICA,

YOU'’RE TALKING ABOUT A LOT OF DIFFERENT CULTURES.

MAN: THE WHOLE CONCEPT OF THE LONE CREATOR ARTIST

IS ONE OF THOSE MODERN MYTHS IN MODERN ART HISTORY.

NOBODY IS REALLY THAT ALONE.

NOBODY REALLY COMES UP WITH THOSE IDEAS

COMPLETELY BY THEMSELVES.

THERE'’S ALWAYS OTHER PEOPLE.

SECOND MAN: IT'’S SO OBVIOUSLY MADE AND TOUCHED OVER TIME

BY ANOTHER HUMAN BEING.

THAT KIND OF TRANSFERENCE,

FROM ONE HUMAN BEING THROUGH AN OBJECT TO ANOTHER PERSON,

IN THIS CULTURE IS RARE.

SECOND WOMAN: ELLEN DISSANAYAKE HAS A THEORY

THAT WE ARE HARDWIRED TO MAKE ART.

HUMAN BEINGS AS NOT VERY BIG,

NOT VERY STRONG HUNTER-GATHERERS--

NO FUR, WE DON'’T HAVE MANY NATURAL DEFENSES--

NEEDED TO BAND TOGETHER TO SURVIVE.

AND THAT EMBELLISHMENT OF TOOLS,

CREATION OF ART WAS SORT OF A KIND OF GLUE BETWEEN PEOPLE.

NARRATOR: A QUILT MADE FOR A LOVED ONE.

A PIECE OF JEWELRY PASSED DOWN FROM ONE GENERATION TO THE NEXT.

CRAFTS CONNECT US TO OTHER TIMES,

OTHER PLACES, OTHER PEOPLE.

HOW DO SIMPLE, BEAUTIFUL OBJECTS BIND US TOGETHER

AND HOW DO THEY COME TO EMBODY OUR SENSE OF COMMUNITY?

[WOMEN VOCALIZING]

WOMAN: QUILTING IS VERY RELAXING.

I MEAN, IT REALLY JUST FREES YOUR MIND FROM THINGS

THAT MIGHT HAPPEN IN YOUR LIFE, LIKE IF SOMEONE DIES.

YOU'’RE HAVING A BAD DAY

AND YOU COULD JUST GET UP IN THE MORNING

AND JUST GO DIRECTLY TO QUILTING

BECAUSE IT JUST REALLY FREES YOUR MIND.

SECOND WOMAN: MOST OF THE TIME WHEN I'’M SEWING,

I CAN TUNE OUT THE ENTIRE WORLD.

I DON'’T HEAR ANYTHING AND DON'’T SEE ANYTHING BUT THAT QUILT.

I CAN SIT THERE FOR HOURS AND NOT EVEN THINK

ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE BUT QUILTING.

THIRD WOMAN: WHEN I RETIRED, I DIDN'’T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO.

I WENT TO PIGGLY WIGGLY FOR GROCERIES ONE DAY,

AND I MET PATTY ON MY WAY OUT,

AND SHE SAID, "OH, GUSTINA, WHAT ARE YOU DOING THESE DAYS?"

AND I SAID, "BEING BORED. I'’M NOT DOING ANYTHING."

AND SHE SAID, "WHY DON'’T YOU COME TO MISSISSIPPI CULTURAL CROSSROADS

AND LEARN HOW TO QUILT?"

NOW, LET'’S SEE. MRS. BUXLEY, SHE HAD TO GO.

FOURTH WOMAN: CULTURAL CROSSROADS GOT STARTED

BECAUSE WE KNEW THERE WERE QUILTERS IN THE COMMUNITY

AND WE WANTED TO CELEBRATE A TRADITIONAL ART THAT IS HERE.

- I KNOW, BUT WHICH DAUGHTER? - WHAT DAUGHTER?

CROSBY: THE FACT THAT WE HAVE A CENTER

WHERE WOMEN QUILT, WHERE WOMEN COME,

KEEPS THE TRADITION THRIVING.

WOMAN: I HAVE A LITTLE NIECE LIVE IN KANKAKEE, ILLINOIS.

SHE CAME DOWN LAST SUMMER AND WE PIECED ABOUT THREE ROWS.

I HELPED HER TO DO IT. WE PUT IT TOGETHER.

I'’LL LET YOU KNOW SHE HAS DONE AN ENTIRE QUILT ON HER OWN.

NICHOLS: THERE'’S SOMETHING VERY UNIQUE

ABOUT CULTURAL CROSSROADS BECAUSE THE PEOPLE--

IT'’S JUST LIKE THEY WELCOME YOU IN.

IT'’S LIKE YOU HAVE KNOWN THEM FOR A LONG TIME.

AND SINCE TAMMY IS THE YOUNGEST...

CROSBY: THIS IS A COMMUNITY THAT HAS A HISTORY

OF BEING SEGREGATED IN THE PAST.

THERE ARE VERY FEW AVENUES WHERE BLACKS AND WHITES

IN THIS COMMUNITY SIT DOWN AND WORK TOGETHER.

WOMAN: I WOULD PIECE IT DURING THE SUMMER

AND THEN QUILT ON IT WHEN SCHOOL STARTED

AND HAVE IT READY.

CROSBY: PEOPLE KNOW THIS IS A PLACE

THAT EVERYBODY'’S WELCOME.

WOMAN: NOBODY TOLD ME THAT YOU WOULD BE ADDICTED TO QUILTING.

[WOMEN LAUGH]

I DON'’T LIKE THAT I CAN'’T GO ON AND DO MY OTHER WORK

BECAUSE I WANT TO SEE HOW THIS IS GOING TO COME OUT.

NASH: I WAS JUST GOING TO GO IN MORE THAN ONCE--

JUST, YOU KNOW, GO AROUND AND THEN COME BACK OUT AROUND,

AND THEN JUST KEEP DOING THAT.

WOMAN: NO, NO. NASH: YOU DON'’T WANT THAT?

[ALL TALKING SIMULTANEOUSLY]

ATLAS: EVERYBODY CAN'’T MAKE A GOOD SQUARE.

[WOMEN LAUGHING]

I DO REMEMBER WHEN I FIRST STARTED QUILTING,

AND AFTER I WOULD CUT OUT THE PIECES,

I WOULD HAVE ALL THESE LITTLE STRINGS LEFT.

AND SOMEONE AT THE CULTURAL CROSSROADS

ASKED ME TO GIVE THEM MY STRINGS.

AND I SAID, "SURE, YOU CAN HAVE MY STRINGS.

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH STRINGS?"

AND MRS. RANKIN SAID, "MISS GUSTINA,

DON'’T EVER GIVE YOUR STRINGS AWAY."

AND I SAID, "WHY NOT?" AND SHE SAID,

"BECAUSE YOU CAN USE THEM YOURSELF TO MAKE A STRING QUILT."

AND THAT'’S WHEN I WAS INTRODUCED TO THE STRING QUILT.

RANKIN: MY GREAT-GRANDMOTHER WAS IN THE KITCHEN.

WHEN SHE WAS CUTTING OUT SCRAP MATERIAL,

SHE'’D GIVE MY MOTHER THE STRINGS, WHAT WAS LEFT,

AND SHE'’D SAY "IF YOU COULD KEEP THEM,

I'’LL SHOW YOU HOW TO START MAKING YOUR TOP."

SEE, I PUT '’EM TOGETHER.

I START HERE AND I'’M--OK, NOW, HERE I'’LL BE DARK...

CROSBY: MRS. RANKIN LEARNED TO QUILT FROM HER GRANDMOTHER,

WHO SHE SAYS LEARNED FROM HER GRANDMOTHER,

AND IT WAS UTILITARIAN QUILTING.

SHE USED WHAT SHE HAD AT HAND TO PUT QUILTS ON BEDS.

WOMEN FROM A CERTAIN GENERATION FIND IT BIZARRE

THAT PEOPLE WILL CUT UP LITTLE PIECES

AND THEN SEW THEM TOGETHER.

WHEN YOU HAVE THIS BIG PIECE,

WHY NOT JUST USE IT?

MRS. RANKIN DIDN'’T THINK OF HERSELF AS AN ARTIST.

SHE THOUGHT OF HERSELF AS A WOMAN

WHO WAS TAKING CARE OF HER FAMILY.

RANKIN: MY GRANDMA ALICE, SHE TAUGHT YOU HOW TO QUILT

TO HELP KEEP THE YOUNGLINGS WARM.

WE HAD TO HAVE COVER FOR THE BEDS.

THE DESIGN-- LATER ON IN LIFE,

I BEGAN TO ADD A LITTLE MORE TO IT.

FIRST, I BETTER START HERE.

DAD AND MAMA PICKING COTTON.

THEY'’RE PICKING COTTON.

YES, SIR.

OH, YES, THAT'’S...

KILLING A HOG.

SEE, THAT WAS OUR MAIN MEATS BACK THEN.

THIS IS WALKING TO SCHOOL.

WE'’RE OVER IN A DITCH HERE.

THIS WHILE THE WHITE KIDS ARE RIDING THE BUS.

CROSBY: THERE ARE WHITE CHILDREN ON THE BUS GOING ONE WAY

AND THERE ARE BLACK CHILDREN WALKING,

GOING THE OTHER WAY.

AND FOR HER AND SO MANY AFRICAN AMERICANS

GROWING UP IN THIS STATE,

THEY WALKED TO SCHOOL WHEN THEY COULD GET TO SCHOOL.

AND THE SCHOOL BUSES CARRYING THE WHITE CHILDREN

WOULD JUST PASS THEM BY.

SO THAT THAT IMAGE SETS OFF HER HISTORY

AND HER PARTICULAR TIME IN THIS COMMUNITY.

NICHOLS: WHEN MS. RANKIN WAS QUILTING,

SHE REALLY INSPIRED ME.

IT WAS THE WAY THAT SHE USED COLORS.

SHE COULD JUST TAKE SOME MATERIAL

THAT I WOULD CALL JUST UGLY AND BEFORE YOU KNEW IT,

SHE'’D HAVE MADE SOMETHING REALLY BEAUTIFUL OUT OF IT.

CROSBY: WHEN THE QUILTERS WIN PRIZES,

THAT VALIDATES THE WORK THEY DO.

A LOT OF TIMES WOMEN SEE THAT SOMEBODY THEY KNOW

CAN DO THIS WELL AND THEY SAY, "OH, I COULD DO THAT, TOO."

YOU KNOW, THAT THERE IS SOMETHING TO THIS, MAKING QUILTS.

MS. RANKIN RECEIVED THE NATIONAL HERITAGE AWARD

FROM THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS.

THIS IS AN AWARD THAT'’S GIVEN EVERY YEAR

TO ABOUT TEN TRADITIONAL ARTISTS

IN THIS COUNTRY.

RANKIN: WHEN I GOT A $10,000 AWARD,

THEY HAD ME TO THE WHITE HOUSE.

"LORD, HAVE MERCY, I'’M AT THE WHITE HOUSE,"

THAT'’S WHAT I'’M SAYING IN MY HEART.

BUT WHEN HILLARY CLINTON, WHEN SHE COME BY ME,

OH, SHE WAS SO NICE.

GOD, SHE'’S JUST LIKE ONE OF MY DAUGHTERS.

COME BY ME AND I WASN'’T NERVOUS OR NOTHING.

I DIDN'’T HAVE AN IDEA THE QUILT WOULD GO SO FAR IN LIFE.

JUST THINKING ABOUT HOW FAR CAN A NEEDLE CARRY YOU.

NARRATOR: QUILTING HAS LONG BEEN AN ART FORM PRACTICED IN GROUPS.

IN 1987, THIS NOTION WAS TAKEN TO AN EXTREME.

THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE CONTRIBUTED PIECES TO THE ORIGINAL AIDS QUILT,

MAKING IT THE WORLD'’S LARGEST COMMUNITY ART PROJECT.

THE WORK CONNECTED PANELS OF ALL SKILL LEVELS

AND PEOPLE FROM ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

THIS IDEA OF COMMUNITY, ALWAYS CENTRAL TO CRAFT,

BECAME A MORE FORMAL CONCEPT

DURING THE ARTS AND CRAFTS MOVEMENT,

THROUGH THE CREATION OF SEVERAL CRAFT SCHOOLS.

MAN: LUCY MORGAN WAS THE FOUNDER OF PENLAND SCHOOL OF CRAFTS.

SHE HAD BEEN QUITE DISMAYED WHEN SHE FIRST CAME TO PENLAND

TO DISCOVER THAT THERE WERE ONLY ONE OR TWO WOMEN

IN THIS AREA WHO WERE STILL WEAVING.

IT HAD PRETTY MUCH DIED OUT.

SHE GOT SOME LOCAL MEN WHO WERE CARPENTERS

TO BEGIN BUILDING NEW LOOMS, AND IN FAIRLY SHORT ORDER,

SHE HAD ABOUT 40 OR 50 WOMEN WHO HAD LOOMS IN THEIR HOMES,

WHO WERE WEAVING HAND-WOVEN GOODS.

AND THEN SHE ORGANIZED WHAT WAS CALLED THE PENLAND WEAVERS

TO MARKET THESE GOODS.

WOMAN: MISS LUCY SAW A NEED FOR THE MOUNTAIN WOMEN

TO HAVE SOME INCOME,

AND THAT'’S WHY WEAVING PROGRAMS STARTED.

AND AT ONE TIME THERE WERE UP TO 60 WOMEN

THAT WERE WEAVING FOR THE PENLAND WEAVERS.

THE WEAVING CABIN DOWN THE ROAD WAS BUILT

BECAUSE THEY HAD TO HAVE A PLACE TO GO TO.

AND THAT'’S WHERE THE THREAD WAS,

AND THE WOMAN IN CHARGE WOULD TELL THEM WHAT TO WEAVE,

AND THEN WHEN THEY CAME BACK,

THEY WERE PAID BY THE PIECE-- IT'’S CALLED PIECE WORK--

FOR EACH PLACEMAT OR NAPKIN OR APRON THAT THEY DID.

DREYER: THE WAY THE SCHOOL CAME ABOUT

WAS THAT IN 1928,

SHE PERSUADED A MAN NAMED EDWARD F. WORST

WHO WAS A RENOWNED EXPERT ON HAND WEAVING.

AND SHE GOT HIM TO COME DOWN HERE FOR A WEEK

AND WORK WITH THE PENLAND WEAVERS.

WITHIN A FEW YEARS AFTER THAT,

SHE ADDED POTTERY, METAL WORK, LEATHER CRAFT,

ALL KINDS OF STUFF.

AND BY THE MID-THIRTIES,

SHE HAD THIS THRIVING SUMMER SCHOOL

WITH THESE WORKSHOPS

AND ALL KINDS OF DIFFERENT TRADITIONAL CRAFTS.

[LAUGHTER]

WOMAN: LOOK HOW WELL THAT WORKS.

SECOND WOMAN: OH, YES.

FIRST WOMAN, VOICE-OVER: IT'’S AN INTENSIVE.

IT'’S ART CAMP, AND UNLIKE ANY OTHER ENVIRONMENT

THAT I'’VE BEEN IN BEFORE,

THE, UM, THE INTEREST AND THE ENTHUSIASM

ABOUT COLLABORATING AND ELEMENTS FROM OTHER MEDIA

TRICKLING IN IS SO EXCITING.

CYNTHIA: I MOVED HERE BECAUSE I WANTED TO BE IN A COMMUNITY.

SO, COMING UP HERE AND SEEING WHAT WAS HAPPENING

WITH THE SCHOOL AND THE RESIDENCY PROGRAM

THAT BILL BROWN WAS STARTING,

I FELT LIKE THIS WOULD BECOME A COMMUNITY OF CRAFTS PEOPLE.

AND THAT'’S WHERE I WANTED TO BE.

DREYER: THERE ARE PRESENTLY

ABOUT 50 WORKING CRAFT STUDIOS

IN THIS AREA THAT ARE RUN BY PEOPLE

WHO HAVE BEEN RESIDENT ARTISTS AT THE SCHOOL.

EDWINA: IF IT HADN'’T BEEN FOR PENLAND,

I WOULDN'’T BE A WEAVER.

I HAD ANOTHER CAREER AND I WOULD GO BACK TO MEMPHIS AND WORK

AND COME BACK AND TAKE MORE WEAVING CLASSES.

THE THING ABOUT THE COMMUNITY AROUND HERE

IS A LOT OF CRAFTS PEOPLE COME BECAUSE OF PEOPLE

OF LIKE MINDS THAT ARE AROUND THEM.

THE RESIDENCY PROGRAM GIVES YOU THAT TIME

TO EXPERIMENT AND TO SPEND TIME

GETTING YOUR WORK OUT INTO THE WORLD

BECAUSE YOU GET TO START A STUDIO.

AND YOU GET TO START A BUSINESS IN A SUPPORTED ATMOSPHERE

WITH ARTISTS ALL AROUND YOU

AND ALSO THE EXPOSURE OF PEOPLE COMING IN AND OUT CONSTANTLY.

WOMAN: THERE IS INSTANT COMMUNITY,

INSTANT STUDIO, AND INSTANT HOUSING.

IT'’S THREE YEARS THAT, YOU KNOW,

YOU SORT OF REALLY DO BECOME PART OF THE COMMUNITY HERE

AND, UH, IT MAKES YOU WANT TO STAY.

[INDISTINCT CHATTER]

BEER: PENLAND IS A VERY SOCIAL PLACE.

A COUPLE HUNDRED PEOPLE COMING THROUGH EVERY TWO WEEKS.

IN THE SUMMER, IT'’S UNBELIEVABLE,

AND THAT'’S NOT EVEN TO TOUCH THE NUMBER OF STUDIOS

THAT ARE ALL OVER THESE MOUNTAINS AROUND HERE.

[LAUGHTER]

MAN: THERE'’S THIS FUNNY THING WITH CRAFT:

IT AFFECTS YOUR LIFE AND CHANGES THE EXPERIENCE

OF DOING SOMETHING THAT'’S QUITE ORDINARY.

SO IT'’S NOT IMPORTANT LIKE SUCCESSFUL CHEMOTHERAPY

OR SOMETHING, I DON'’T KNOW, YOU KNOW.

IT'’S IMPORTANT IN A-- IN A VERY QUIET WAY.

SECOND MAN: IT'’S QUALITATIVE, BETTER THAN QUANTITATIVE.

WOMAN: I DON'’T THINK MY WORK WOULD BE A QUARTER AS GOOD

IF I WASN'’T LIVING HERE, HONESTLY,

JUST BECAUSE OF HAVING TO-- HAVING TO LOOK

AT WHAT EVERYBODY ELSE IS DOING.

AND I... I DO MEAN SOMETIMES HAVING OR FEELING FORCED

TO LIKE ACTUALLY LOOK AND SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE DOING,

IT REALLY KEEPS ME...

IT FORCES ME TO STAY ON SOME KIND OF CREATIVE EDGE.

THIRD MAN: IT'’S LIKE A COOPERATIVE COMPETITION,

LIKE WE ALL WANT TO, YOU KNOW,

DO THE BEST WE CAN DO.

DREYER: IT WAS PART OF LUCY MORGAN'’S BRILLIANCE,

THAT SHE VALUED THE EFFECT THAT DOING THIS WORK HAD ON THE MAKER

EQUALLY WITH WHAT WAS BEING PRODUCED.

[LAUGHTER]

WOMAN: THAT HAS A NICE FEEL TO IT.

SECOND WOMAN: YEAH.

EDWINA: THEY WORK REAL HARD AT TRYING

TO GET ALL AGES OF STUDENTS AT PENLAND.

THEY'’RE FROM 19 TO 80-PLUS.

I THINK THE GREATEST THING IS TO HAVE A STUDENT WHO IS YOUNGER

AND THEY'’RE SITTING NEXT TO SOMEONE WHO IS

THEIR MOTHER OR GRANDMOTHER'’S CONTEMPORARY

AND THEY CAN'’T KEEP UP WITH THEM.

AND SO THEY SEE PEOPLE IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT THAT WAY.

WOMAN: YOU WANNA CHOOSE A CUP?

MAN: I THINK I'’LL JUST HAVE A SORT OF A MID AMOUNT.

WOMAN: OK. MAN: THAT ONE.

WOMAN: I'’M GONNA HAVE AN ANDREW MARTIN CUP AND SAUCER.

MAN: YOU'’RE GOING FORMAL.

WOMAN: I'’M GOING FORMAL, YEAH.

I'’M GONNA DO THAT.

AT SOME POINT SOMEBODY SAID TO ME,

"YOU KNOW, SARAH, YOU'’RE THE VILLAGE POTTER."

AS MANY CERAMIC ARTISTS AS THERE ARE WORKING HERE IN HELENA,

I AM THE ONE WHO SORT OF MAKES POTS DAY IN AND DAY OUT.

AND PEOPLE WHO KNOW ME KNOW

THAT THERE ALWAYS WILL BE POTS HERE.

WOMAN: HI.

JAEGER: IT'’S SO NICE TO MEET YOU, LINDA.

THANK YOU FOR BRINGING THE ENTOURAGE HERE.

AND LET ME EXPLAIN ONE OTHER THING, UM,

I HAVE WORK IN MY SHOWROOM HERE IN THE HOUSE

AND WORK IN MY STUDIO OUT IN BACK.

AND IT MIGHT BE, YOU CAN JUST FAN OUT AND GO BOTH PLACES.

JUST MAKE YOURSELVES AT HOME.

[OVERLAPPING CHATTER]

WOMAN: THERE'’S SO MANY DIFFERENT COLORS TO IT.

SECOND WOMAN: YEAH, IT'’S, UM, $30...

JAEGER: I WALK INTO A LOT OF HOUSES

AND THERE ARE MY POTS,

OR I MEET SOMEBODY I'’VE NEVER MET BEFORE

AND THEY SAY, "OH, MY GOSH, THAT CUP I GOT FROM YOU,

"I USE IT EVERY DAY.

"AND IF IT'’S IN THE DISHWASHER,

"I HAVE TO GET IT OUT AND WASH IT OUT

SO I CAN HAVE MY COFFEE IN THE MORNING."

I LOVE THE PHYSICALITY OF MY WORK,

BOTH IN TERMS OF MY OWN ACTIVITY

AND THE FACT THAT, YOU KNOW, AT THE END OF A WORK DAY,

I CAN SEE WHAT I'’VE DONE.

IT'’S SO SATISFYING TO GET THE FEEDBACK FROM PEOPLE WHO USE IT.

IT MAKES ME FEEL THAT WHEN I'’M AT THIS MOMENT IN MY STUDIO

MAKING THESE PHYSICAL OBJECTS

THAT I NEED TO REALLY PAY ATTENTION AND BE CAREFUL

NOT JUST TO TRY TO GET SOME CURVE RIGHT

OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT, BUT TO MAKE AS, UH...

JUST TO DO THE BEST I CAN POSSIBLY DO.

I SPENT TWO YEARS AT THE ARCHIE BRAY FOUNDATION.

HERE IN HELENA, THE BRAY HAS A TRADITION

OF REALLY WELL-KNOWN ARTISTS.

PETE VOULKOS, RUDY AUTIO, AND KEN FERGUSON.

THOSE WERE, LIKE, THREE OF THE FIRST GENERATION

FATHER FIGURES FROM THE BRAY.

WE ALL LEARNED FROM EACH OTHER, I THINK.

THAT'’S THE GREAT THING ABOUT THAT PLACE.

IT'’S A COLLECTION OF PEERS.

I MEAN, THERE'’S NO HIERARCHY.

WE CAN BE VERY VULNERABLE WHEN WE PUT OUR WORK OUT THERE.

THERE WERE PEOPLE IN MY YEARS AT THE BRAY

THAT I REALLY CAN TALK TO ABOUT MY WORK.

I WORKED IN CLOSE--LIKE, IN THE STUDIO RIGHT NEXT TO

AKIO TAKAMORI FOR THE FIRST YEAR.

AND, YOU KNOW, WE TALKED ALL THE TIME.

HE HAD A WAY OF MAKING OBSERVATIONS

THAT WERE REALLY ABOUT THE WHOLE

AND THE KIND OF EMOTIONAL QUALITIES OF A PIECE.

HE'’S JUST SO PERCEPTIVE.

THAT KIND OF DIALOGUE AND CONVERSATION

BROADENS YOUR PERSPECTIVE SO MUCH.

JAEGER: SO I WANT TO SEE WHAT SANKOU'’S DOING,

'’CAUSE I HEARD IT'’S A REALLY GREAT PIECE...

JAEGER, VOICE-OVER: WHEN YOU WALK THROUGH THAT SUMMER STUDIO

AT THE BRAY WITH HOW MANY DIFFERENT LANGUAGES--

8 PROBABLY--AND THE RANGE OF WORK IS BREATHTAKING.

JAEGER: SO HOW MUCH MORE--

HOW MUCH MORE IS IT GOING TO GO?

SANKOU: NOT MUCH. IT'’S ALMOST DONE.

JAEGER: ALMOST DONE?

ONCE YOU FIGURE OUT THE HORSE?

SANKOU: YEAH, I'’M TRYING TO, YOU KNOW, MAKE ONE MONTANA HORSE.

[LAUGHING]

THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL.

MAN: NICE USE OF PORCELAIN, HUH?

JAEGER: I CAN'’T BELIEVE IT'’S THE SAME CLAY BODY THAT I USE.

AND THAT YOU... MAN: YEAH.

JAEGER: ...CAN MAKE THOSE THINGS AND NOT HAVE '’EM CRACK.

SANKOU: YOU NEVER KNOW. IT WILL CRACK.

[LAUGHING]

JAEGER: THERE ARE LOTS OF CLAY OBJECTS

THAT ARE NOT UTILITARIAN THAT I LOVE,

BUT I LOVE THEM AS SOMEBODY ELSE'’S WORK,

NOT AS SOMETHING THAT I WANT TO DO.

THERE ARE CERTAIN QUALITIES THAT I ASPIRE TO IN MY WORK.

IT'’S THAT ELEGANT, FOLKY THING

WHICH, TO ME, IMPLIES MAKING WORK

THAT IS USEFUL AND BEAUTIFUL.

PEOPLE LIKE ME HAVE-- FORMER RESIDENTS HAVE SETTLED IN HELENA,

THERE'’S KIND OF AN EXTENDED COMMUNITY.

I LOVE WHAT HAPPENS WITH PEOPLE SITTING AROUND A TABLE

EATING AND DRINKING TOGETHER.

AND POTS ARE PART OF THAT.

[LAUGHING]

TO ME, THAT'’S THE THING ABOUT COMMUNITY. IT'’S A...

SHARING FOOD, PRESENTING FOOD,

CELEBRATING THE REALLY BASIC ACTIVITY OF NOURISHING OURSELVES.

UM, BUT IT CAN BE NOURISHMENT ON A LOT OF LEVELS.

AND I THINK WHEN YOU ADD THE ELEMENT OF BEAUTY

AND THE PERSONAL ELEMENT THAT COMES

FROM SOMETHING MADE BY ANOTHER PERSON'’S HAND,

IT JUST DEEPENS THAT EXPERIENCE.

NARRATOR: CLAY IS AMONG THE OLDEST TRADITIONAL ART FORMS.

GLASS HAS BEEN AROUND NEARLY AS LONG,

BUT FOR CENTURIES WAS PRODUCED ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY IN FACTORIES.

HARVEY LITTLETON CHANGED ALL THAT IN 1962

WITH THE CREATION OF THE STUDIO FURNACE.

THE STUDIO GLASS MOVEMENT WAS BORN,

AND IT PAVED THE WAY FOR A NEW GENERATION OF GLASS ARTISTS

AND ONE VERY INNOVATIVE SCHOOL.

MAN: PILCHUCK CAME ABOUT BACK IN 1971.

WE BUILT, UH, TWO FURNACES AND TWO ANNEALING OVENS,

AND KIND OF A TENT AFFAIR THAT WENT OVER IT, UH, IN 16 DAYS.

AND WE ALSO EACH HAD TO BUILD OUR OWN SHELTER.

AND IT WAS RAINING A LOT.

EVERYBODY HAD SOME KIND OF LITTLE CAMP THEY HAD STAKED OUT.

BUT EVERYBODY LOVED DOING IT.

I THOUGHT WE'’D DO IT FOR ONE SUMMER,

AND EVERYTHING JUST WENT JUST RIGHT.

AND SOME PATRONS, THE HAUBERGS,

GAVE US THE MONEY TO KEEP IT GOING.

WOMAN: ACTUALLY, AN INTERESTING PART ABOUT PILCHUCK

IS THAT THEY'’RE NOT TEACHERS,

THEY'’RE PEOPLE THAT DO SOMETHING WELL.

PEOPLE ARE INTERACTING ALL THE TIME

AND LEARNING FROM EACH OTHER.

THE PEOPLE THAT ARE ACCOMPLISHED LEARN FROM

THE PEOPLE THAT WANT TO BE ACCOMPLISHED AND VICE VERSA.

CHIHULY: PILCHUCK PLAYED AN IMPORTANT ROLE

FOR ALL OF OUR CAREERS.

I MEAN, ESPECIALLY THOSE THAT ARE HERE TODAY.

WE STARTED OUT THERE, UH, VERY EARLY ON.

WE'’RE NOT AS INVOLVED NOW, BUT ANOTHER GENERATION IS.

MAN: WE USUALLY DO SKETCHES IN ORDER TO COMMUNICATE BETWEEN US

AND WITH A TEAM OF PEOPLE WHO ARE HELPING US

AND ALSO TO DECIPHER HOW WE'’RE GONNA CONSTRUCT THIS,

WHAT COMES FIRST,

LIKE, YOU KNOW, IF WE'’RE GONNA MAKE A FACE,

THE NOSE COMES FIRST.

WHERE ARE THE LAYERS OF IT?

SECOND MAN: SO ONE THING THAT I SEE A LOT OF PEOPLE DO

THAT I'’VE NEVER UNDERSTOOD...

JAMEX: ONE OF THE MOST ENJOYABLE THINGS

ABOUT THE MEDIUM IN PARTICULAR IS THAT

IT'’S LIKE SOME SOCIAL EVENT

BECAUSE MOST GLASS PEOPLE, UH, REALIZE, UH,

PEOPLE HELPING YOU

IN ALL DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF THE PRODUCTION OF A PIECE.

AND IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, THEY'’RE ADDING TO THIS PIECE.

WOMAN: ANY QUESTIONS, YOU GUYS?

JAMEX: IT'’S FASCINATING WHEN THE DANCE BETWEEN THE PEOPLE

TO PRODUCE THIS THING GOES ALONG

AND PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY CONTRIBUTING

AND THEY FEEL FREE TO DO SO.

MAN: KEEP IT TURNING, JIMMY. KEEP IT TURNING.

OK, NOW BLOW.

MAN: GLASS STUDENTS SOMETIMES SAY THEY'’RE FEARLESS

BECAUSE THEY HAVEN'’T BEEN TAUGHT HOW TO BLOW GLASS

AND THEREFORE, THEY GRAB IT AND TAKE THEIR PLACES.

AND IT'’S FASCINATING TO SEE SOMEBODY WHO JUST DOESN'’T,

YOU KNOW, THAT WON'’T BE STOPPED.

MAN: READY? WOMAN: YEAH.

EINAR: THINGS MOVING AROUND GOOD.

NICE AND HOT. HOTTER, ACTUALLY.

RIGHT IN--GO IN THIS GLORY HOLE FOR A SECOND.

GO IN THERE.

HEAT IT UP SOME MORE. WOMAN: HEAT IT LONG?

EINAR: YEAH, GO AHEAD.

TILL YOU CAN'’T STAND IT, THEN BRING IT.

THAT'’S WHEN IT'’S PERFECT, WHEN YOU CAN'’T TAKE IT.

WOMAN: GOOD, ALL RIGHT, COME ON OUT. NICE.

EINAR: STRAIGHT UP AND DOWN.

WOMAN: BRING IT UP TO HIM.

EINAR: YOU'’RE GONNA HOLD IT RIGHT THERE IN THE AIR.

WOMAN: GOOD.

EINAR: JUST SO-SO.

WOMAN: NICE. WAY TO GO, CHRISTINA.

WHOO-HOO.

EINAR: ONE THING THAT I THINK WAS JUST AMAZING

IS TO GO ON A HILLSIDE FOR TWO WEEKS

IN SUCH A BEAUTIFUL PLACE.

IT'’S JUST WONDERFUL TO SORT OF IMMERSE YOURSELF

AND NOT THINK ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE BUT THE WORK YOU'’RE DOING.

[INDISTINCT CHATTER]

[BELL RINGING]

WOMAN: THERE'’S SOME PEOPLE THAT CAME TO PILCHUCK

TO BE PART OF THE CLASS AND THE SESSION,

A COUPLE MORE VISITING ARTISTS.

AND THAT'’S EINAR AND JAMEX DE LA TORRE.

[APPLAUSE AND CHEERING]

THEY'’RE GONNA BE INVOLVED...

EINAR: IT'’S A LITTLE MICROCOSM THAT HAPPENS HERE.

SOMETIMES THEY CALL IT THE PILCHUCK BUBBLE.

IT'’S NOT UNCOMMON TO HEAR THAT THIS PLACE

HAS CHANGED SOMEBODY'’S LIFE.

WE USUALLY LIKE TO TAKE OVER A PALETTE...

MAN: I HAVE KNOWN EINAR AND JAMEX DE LA TORRE

FOR MANY YEARS.

I MEAN, I WAS EXCITED THAT THEY WERE HERE

BECAUSE OF MY CLASS IN PARTICULAR WAS, YOU KNOW,

MORE ABOUT SYMBOLISM AND ICONOGRAPHY

AND THAT TYPE OF THING.

THEY'’RE A PERFECT FIT FOR, YOU KNOW,

GIVING A TALK TO MY CLASS AND INSPIRING THEM.

SINGLETARY: WE HAD SOME IDEAS

ABOUT THE NATIVE AMERICAN INFLUENCE

AND MEXICAN CULTURE.

JAMEX, VOICE-OVER: THE SEARCH FOR IDENTITY IS

A GREAT DEAL--PART OF OUR WORK.

IT HAS TO DO WITH OUR CATHOLIC BACKGROUND,

AND ALSO OUR BACKGROUND AS MEXICANS.

WE DON'’T LOOK FOR THE SIMPLIFICATION OF ONLY ONE IMAGE.

WE WANT LAYERS. WE WANT MORE.

EINAR: THINK OF A PIECE OF ROCK AND THEN SCULPT OUT THE SIDE.

THAT'’S HOW I WOULD THINK OF IT.

JAMEX: '’CAUSE THIS IS, LIKE, THE MEXICAN WRESTLING MASK.

SINGLETARY, VOICE-OVER: WE HAVE VERY COMMON BACKGROUNDS.

YOU KNOW, PRE-COLUMBIAN, AZTEC, AND MAYAN TYPES OF WORKS,

BUT LOOK REMARKABLY LIKE NORTHWEST COAST.

EINAR: LET ME SEE SOMETHING REAL QUICK.

I'’M GONNA PUT A BEAK ON IT STILL,

SO IT'’S STILL GONNA BE BIGGER THAN THIS.

SINGLETARY, VOICE-OVER: THE HEAD THAT THEY CREATED,

I WOULD RELATE THAT

TO SORT OF A NORTHWEST COAST TRANSFORMATION MASK

WHERE THE BEAK OF THE EAGLE WOULD OPEN UP

AND THEN THERE'’S A FACE INSIDE.

EINAR: SLICE OF PIZZA.

CAN HOOK IT AROUND, YEAH.

JAMEX: I THINK ONE OF THE HARDEST THINGS

FOR AN ARTIST TO DO WITH COLLABORATING

IS JUST BASICALLY LETTING GO

BECAUSE IF YOU'’RE TRULY COLLABORATING,

YOU HAVE TO COMPLETELY LET GO

AND THE OTHER PERSON HAS TO BE ABLE TO DO

WHATEVER THEY SEE FIT.

EINAR: I THINK THAT WHAT GLASS HAS THAT IS, I THINK,

SOMEWHAT UNIQUE IS

THAT THERE'’S A LITTLE BIT OF PERFORMANCE ART GOING ON,

BECAUSE IT'’S A STAGE OUT THERE.

YOU'’RE ON THE HOT SEAT.

YOU CAN'’T JUST STOP AND SAY,

"WELL, LET ME SEE IT, LET ME THINK ABOUT IT."

THERE'’S A "THE SHOW MUST GO ON" KIND OF ATTITUDE

'’CAUSE THE FURNACES ARE HOT.

YEAH, COME ON OVER.

MAN: ONE, TWO, AND...BINGO.

EINAR: OK, COME ON OUT.

MAN: DO YOU WANT ME TO GET THE [INDISTINCT]?

EINAR: OK. GO AHEAD.

TURN IT OVER.

OK, PUSH.

SINGLETARY: NATIVE CULTURES HAVE A SORT OF

DEFINING HISTORICAL CONNECTION TO BEADS AND GLASS,

SO WHAT WE'’RE DOING TODAY--

WORKING WITH SCULPTURE AND HOT GLASS--

IT'’S SORT OF AN EXTENSION OF THAT.

THE AMAZING THING ABOUT THE GLASS COMMUNITY IN GENERAL

IS THAT IT IS VERY MUCH ABOUT THE SPIRIT OF COOPERATION.

I THINK THAT THAT ENERGY OF TEAMWORK ACTUALLY

IS TRANSFERRED INTO THE PIECE.

DENISE: YOU KNOW, THERE'’S ALWAYS BEEN A DESIRE

TO MAKE THINGS OR TO MAKE JEWELRY TO ADORN YOURSELF,

BEAUTIFY YOUR WORLD.

MY GOAL IS TO DO AS GOOD OF WORK AS I CAN AS A CRAFTSPERSON,

TO REPRESENT MY CULTURE AND COMMUNITY AS A NATIVE PERSON,

AND IN THE PROCESS, EXPOSE THE WORLD TO THAT CULTURE

AND THAT BEAUTY THAT I FIND IN THE PEOPLE

AND THE COUNTRY AND THE OBJECTS THAT THEY MAKE.

MY MOTHER'’S MOTHER LIVED IN A SMALL TOWN IN ALASKA.

SHE WAS A STORYTELLER,

AND SHE SANG IN HER NATIVE TONGUE,

AND SHE WAS REALLY A WONDERFUL GRANDMOTHER.

WHEN WE WERE KIDS, WE WOULD GO UP FAIRLY OFTEN.

WE ALWAYS WENT FOR HIKES UP IN THE MOUNTAINS

AND WENT LOOKING AT THE FISH

AND WENT LOOKING AT THE EAGLES AND EVERYTHING.

I ALWAYS FELT A CONNECTION TO OUR FAMILY UP THERE

AS NATIVE PEOPLE, ALTHOUGH WE DIDN'’T HAVE

A LOT OF STRONG TRADITIONAL ACTIVITIES GOING ON.

THERE WAS NO DANCING.

THE LANGUAGE REALLY WAS ONLY SPOKEN BY MY GRANDMOTHER

AND HER PEERS.

THE WHOLE THING WAS ASSIMILATION FOR OUR PARENTS

AND OUR GRANDPARENTS,

TO LET GO OF YOUR TRADITIONAL WAYS AND YOUR LANGUAGE.

AND IT JUST FELT LIKE I NEEDED TO DO SOMETHING

THAT SAID WHO I WAS AND WHERE I WAS FROM.

IT STARTED OUT THAT WE WERE BOTH DOING LAPIDARY

AND SILVERSMITHING, AND THEN WE SORT OF SETTLED

INTO WALLY DOING LAPIDARY AND I DOING SILVERSMITHING.

SAM: THE NORMAL WAY TO DESIGN A PIECE OF JEWELRY

IS TO TAKE A STONE OR SEVERAL STONES

AND DESIGN THE PIECE AROUND IT,

BUT WE DO IT THE OPPOSITE.

DENISE MAKES THE PIECE, GIVES IT TO ME,

AND THEN I FIT THE STONE INTO IT.

THAT FREES HER UP TO DESIGN IT ANY WAY SHE WANTS TO.

DENISE: I WENT TO THE INSTITUTE OF AMERICAN INDIAN ARTS,

AND IT HAPPENED TO BE IN SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO,

WHICH I THOUGHT WAS REALLY AN EXOTIC PLACE.

IN SANTA FE, WHERE ALL THE INDIAN PEOPLE SELL

ON THE PALACE OF THE GOVERNORS,

THAT'’S WHERE WE WOULD SELL.

SO I SAT NEXT TO PEOPLE FROM SANTO DOMINGO PUEBLO

AND SANTA CLARA PUEBLO AND NAVAJO JEWELERS.

AND BEING AROUND THESE OTHER VERY ROOTED CULTURAL PEOPLE

MADE ME WANT TO REALLY GO FORWARD

AND MAKE THINGS HAPPEN.

MY GRANDMOTHER WAS ILL, AND SHE PASSED AWAY,

AND I HAD A COUPLE OF MY COUSINS

WHO WERE REALLY CLOSE IN AGE TO ME

THAT HAD COMMITTED SUICIDE.

AND SO I THOUGHT, "I REALLY NEED TO DO SOMETHING,"

AND THAT'’S REALLY WHERE THAT WHOLE NEED TO EXPRESS MYSELF

AS A NATIVE ALASKAN PERSON CAME FORTH.

THE FIRST MAJOR PIECE WE DID WAS THAT KILLER WHALE BELT.

THE REASON I WANTED TO DO KILLER WHALES IS

BECAUSE AS A CHILD,

WHEN I WOULD GO TO ALASKA AND I WOULD SEE THEM,

I JUST THOUGHT IT WAS THE MOST MAGNIFICENT THING

I'’D EVER SEEN.

IT'’S THE KIND OF THING WHERE YOU TRY AND SHUT EVERYTHING ELSE OUT

AND YOU JUST FILL YOUR WHOLE SPACE

WITH THIS IMAGERY FROM HISTORIC PIECES.

IT'’S LIKE YOU'’RE TAKING A WALK

AND YOU'’RE LOOKING AT THINGS AS YOU GO DOWN THIS TRAIL.

THE NEXT ALASKAN PIECE WAS A MASK BELT.

THIS IS ALL BASED ON YUP'’IK MASKS.

THIS IS THE PRELIMINARY DESIGNS

FOR THE WOMEN AND CHILDREN BELT.

SO I WAS TRYING TO IMAGINE THAT THERE WOULD BE

SEVERAL MOTHER FIGURES

AND THEN TWO OR THREE CHILDREN IN BETWEEN.

I MIGHT LOOK AT SOME OF THE OLDER PIECES

AND, YOU KNOW, LITTLE SCENES OF DANCING.

THE IDEA OF DOORS OPENING UP

CAME DIRECTLY FROM SOME OF THE OLDER MASKS

THAT WOULD OPEN UP.

THIS IS THE DRAWINGS OF THE CROSSROADS BELT.

IN THIS PARTICULAR BELT, I IMAGINED THIS ARC OF FIGURES,

YOU KNOW, FROM SIBERIA CROSSING TO ALASKA.

THE FIRST FIVE ARE SIBERIAN AND THE NEXT FIVE ARE ALASKAN.

SAM: WHEN WE SELL THINGS, PEOPLE WILL ASK US, YOU KNOW,

"WHAT IS THE BACKGROUND OF THIS PIECE?"

"IS IT FROM A LEGEND?"

SO WE EXPLAIN THAT TO THEM AND EVERYTHING.

AND THE STORY IS SPREAD,

SO THE PERSON WHO OWNS THE JEWELRY

BECOMES A STORYTELLER LIKE DENISE IS.

DENISE: WHEN I COME BACK TO CORDOVA,

I FEEL DEFINITELY LIKE I'’M HOME.

AND HAVING MOST OF MY SIBLINGS HERE AND THEIR CHILDREN HERE

MAKES IT EVEN BETTER.

HI, MOM.

DENISE, VOICE-OVER: IT'’S JUST A RICH EXPERIENCE

FOR ME, AND IT'’S ONE THAT,

EVERY TIME I COME BACK, I CAN'’T FIGURE OUT

WHY I LIVE SOMEWHERE ELSE.

WOMAN: AND SOME OF THEM ARE HINGED.

THIS PIECE.

DENISE: WELL, DAVID DOES A LOT OF THE WORK WITH IT.

WOMAN: ISN'’T THAT CUTE?

SECOND WOMAN: IT LOOKS GREAT ON BLACK.

DENISE: OK, BUT YOU HAVE TO TELL ME

WHO YOU WANT ME TO SIGN IT TO.

JERRY: JERRY, LAST NAME GEORGE.

DENISE: OK.

JERRY: I'’VE SEEN YOUR WORK BEFORE,

BUT THIS WAS TOO MUCH OF AN OPPORTUNITY TO MISS.

DENISE: YOU CAN JUST KIND OF TURN IT INTO SOMETHING,

SHAPE IT A LITTLE BIT MORE,

OR YOU CAN LEAVE IT LIKE IT IS

AND POLISH IT UP A LITTLE BIT MORE

AND DO YOUR SCRIMSHAW ON IT.

BUT, LIKE, IF YOU WANTED TO TAKE IT

AND MAKE IT INTO A SEAL SHAPE OR...

IT'’S IMPORTANT THAT WE PASS DOWN TRADITIONS

AND THINGS THAT WE'’VE LEARNED

SO THAT PEOPLE KNOW WHO THEY ARE AND WHERE THEY'’RE FROM.

EVEN IF YOU'’RE TEACHING NON-NATIVE PEOPLE,

YOU'’RE STILL KEEPING IT ALIVE

AND SOMEWHERE ALONG THE LINE,

IT'’S GOING TO GET PASSED ON TO SOMEBODY ELSE.

AND IT MAY NOT BE RIGHT NOW, BUT IT WILL HAPPEN.

THE MAIN THING IS TO KEEP THINGS GOING.

WOMAN: I'’M LOOKING FOR A LARGE DIAMETER TREE

BECAUSE I WILL USE--THE BARK PEELS OFF AROUND THE TREE,

AND THEN I CUT IT IN STRIPS

OR CUT MY PATTERN PIECES OUT ON THIS LINE--

THE SAME LINE THAT YOU SEE

THE ACTUAL NATURAL MARKINGS ON THE BARK.

AND IF I CAN HAVE A LARGER DIAMETER TREE,

I GET LARGER SHEETS.

AND, UM, A BIGGER, MORE MATURE TREE COULD BE

36, 40 INCHES IN LENGTH.

WHEN I FIRST STARTED WORKING WITH BIRCH BARK,

I WAS CUTTING MOST OF IT INTO STRIPS

AND DOING A LOT OF WEAVING WITH IT.

AND THE MORE I WORKED WITH IT, I FOUND THAT IT HAD,

IT WAS TEACHING ME A LOT ABOUT TECHNIQUES

AND I WAS LEARNING HOW I COULD CREATE CERTAIN FORMS.

AND THAT BECAME MORE LIMITED,

AND I SWITCHED TO DOING

BOTH WEAVING AND SEWING PIECES TOGETHER

BECAUSE I COULD CREATE, UM, FORMS THAT WERE

IN MY IMAGINATION BY SEWING BARK TOGETHER

RATHER THAN WEAVING IT.

I'’VE ALWAYS CALLED MYSELF A BASKET-MAKER

BECAUSE I MAKE CONTAINERS THAT ARE MADE OUT OF A FIBER

WHICH HAPPENS TO BE THE BARK OF A TREE.

BUT I'’M NOT REALLY INTERESTED IN FUNCTIONAL WORK,

SO MY WORK IS NOT MEANT TO BE CARRYING THE LAUNDRY

OR, YOU KNOW, FEEDING THE ANIMALS IN THE BARN,

THAT SORT OF THING.

I'’VE JUST SEEN MY WORK AS MORE SCULPTURAL WORK.

WHEN I'’M WORKING ON A PIECE,

I GENERALLY HAVE BARK FROM ONLY ONE TREE.

FOR INSTANCE, ALL OF THE CUT OUT PIECES OF BARK

ARE FROM THE SAME TREE,

SO THAT I HAVE THE SAME THICKNESS AND THE SAME COLOR.

I JUST HAVE LITTLE NUMBERS HERE IN THE CORNER

THAT TELL ME, UM, WHAT YEAR IT IS

AND WHAT TREE IT WAS, AND THEN I NUMBER THE SHEETS.

SO THAT I KNOW THIS PIECE OF BARK CAME FROM BELOW

OR THIS PIECE OF BARK WAS UP NEAR THE TOP,

BECAUSE THE BARK WILL BECOME THINNER GOING UP THE TREE.

HI, KENNY. HOW YOU DOING?

LOEBER: OK.

LOOK: KEN AND I MET IN HIGH SCHOOL ON THE SCHOOL BUS.

WE WERE 14 AND HE JUST HAPPENED TO BE ON THE SAME BUS

AND WE GREW UP KIND OF, UH, TALKING ABOUT EACH OTHER'’S WORK

AND, UM, OUR FRIENDSHIP WAS SO TIGHT,

AND IT DEVELOPED A PATTERN OF BEHAVIOR THAT CONTINUED

WHEN WE BECAME-- WHEN WE GOT MARRIED.

WE'’VE WORKED TOGETHER FOR 20 YEARS MAKING JEWELRY.

AND OUR PRODUCTION LINE OF JEWELRY

HAS ALWAYS BEEN A COLLABORATION IN DESIGN,

AND HE DID 99% OF THE METAL WORK.

I RAN THE OTHER END OF THE BUSINESS

IN TERMS OF, UM, SALES AND MARKETING

AND ALL THE COMPUTER WORK THAT HE DOESN'’T LIKE.

I'’M GOING TO THIN THIS OUT.

LOEBER: THERE WAS NOTHING IN HERE.

LOOK: I HOPE NOT. LOEBER: OK.

LOOK, VOICE-OVER: KEN AND I WERE PLANNING TO GO TO BALTIMORE

AND THE AMERICAN CRAFT COUNCIL SHOW IN BALTIMORE

A FEW DAYS BEFORE HE HAD HIS STROKE.

LOEBER: IT ALL HAPPENED SO FAST.

UH, UH, ONE DAY WHEN I WAS SKIING

AND THE NEXT DAY I WAS...

CLEAN...PLEATING...

LOOK: NEXT DAY YOU WERE IN THE HOSPITAL.

LOEBER: YEAH. LOOK: YEAH.

I DIDN'’T KNOW IF KEN WOULD EVER WORK AGAIN.

AND INITIALLY IT APPEARED THAT HE WOULD NOT.

I JUST WENT IN HIS STUDIO AND LEARNED HOW TO MAKE

WHAT HE WAS DOING SO THAT I COULD CONTINUE THAT BUSINESS,

HOPING THAT HE WOULD GET BACK TO IT.

AND AT ONE POINT I THOUGHT THAT I SHOULD PROBABLY

JUST LIMIT THE WORK HERE IN OUR STUDIOS

AND NOT TRY TO DO BOTH JEWELRY MAKING

AND BASKET-MAKING,

I SHOULD JUST DROP ONE OF THEM AND GO FIND A JOB.

I JUST SAID TO HIM THAT I NEEDED TO KNOW

WHETHER HE WAS GOING TO CONTINUE.

IT SEEMED AFTER THAT HE WAS UP IN THE MORNING

AND HE WAS OUT THERE.

AND HE MADE A DECISION TO REALLY MAKE A HUGE EFFORT THERE,

AND THAT'’S HELPED ME UNDERSTAND WHICH WAY I WAS GOING.

MAN: I THINK PART OF THE RECOVERY OF HIS BRAIN

IS ALL BASED ON MENTAL ACTIVITY.

SO I THINK WHATEVER HE DOES IN HIS STUDIO HELPS HIM A LOT.

HE USED TO WORK VERY, UH, JUST DO VERY LITTLE IN HIS STUDIO,

JUST SIMPLE THINGS THAT HE WANTED TO DO

THAT HE WANTED TO DO THAT, UH, HE COULD DO

AND HE WANTED TO DO JUST TO HELP OUT,

BUT NOW HE'’S WORKING ON

INCREASINGLY MORE COMPLICATED THINGS.

IT'’S GOOD.

HE'’S MADE A LOT OF PROGRESS, I THINK, YOU KNOW.

HOW MANY DO YOU WANT ME TO CUT?

TEN AT A TIME?

LOEBER: YEAH, UH HUH. REID: OK.

THERE IS DEFINITELY AN IMPACT BY THE CRAFT COMMUNITY

IN MY DAD'’S RECOVERY BECAUSE THERE'’S JUST SO MUCH SUPPORT

COMING FROM THEM AND JUST ALSO THERE'’S

AN ARTIST RELIEF FUND THAT DONATED--

THEY DONATED MONEY TO MY PARENTS AFTER MY DAD'’S STROKE,

SO THERE'’S DEFINITELY A LOT OF HELP THAT COMES FROM THEM.

LOOK: THERE WERE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHEN KEN WAS IN THE HOSPITAL,

A LOT OF ARTISTS THAT WE, SOME WE KNEW,

SOME WE DIDN'’T KNOW AT ALL THAT HAD HEARD,

UM, OF HIS STROKE AND, UM, WANTED TO JUST BE SUPPORTIVE

IN DIFFERENT WAYS, FINANCIALLY AND, UM, EMOTIONALLY.

THAT WAS--IT WAS A REALLY WONDERFUL HELP.

LOEBER: BIG BOX OF THEM...

LOOK: KEN HAS A BIG BOX OF... LOEBER: YEAH.

LOOK: ...OF CARDS AND NOTES THAT HE HAS TO RESPOND TO ONE DAY.

I REALIZED THERE'’S SO MANY OF THOSE PEOPLE IN THAT COMMUNITY

THAT ARE SO CONCERNED ABOUT KEN'’S WELFARE

AND SO CONCERNED ABOUT ENCOURAGING HIM

TO REMAIN DETERMINED.

IT'’S REALLY IMPORTANT FOR ME TO SEE THOSE PEOPLE.

I ALWAYS APPRECIATED GOING TO SHOWS.

IT WAS ALWAYS SO MUCH FUN TO GET AWAY FROM THE QUIET,

MEDITATIVE STUDIO SPACE.

DO YOU WANT ME TO DOUBLE THIS AROUND YOU

OR DO YOU WANT TO PUT IT ON?

LOOK, VOICE-OVER: IT'’S EXCITING BECAUSE YOU GET

IMMEDIATE FEEDBACK ABOUT WORK,

AND YOU GO HOME FEELING HOPEFULLY VERY POSITIVE

ABOUT WHAT YOU'’RE DOING,

BUT, ALSO, THE IMPORTANT THING IS COMING HERE

AND INTERACTING WITH OTHER ARTISTS

AND JUST THE STIMULATION OF

SEEING OTHER PEOPLE'’S WORK EVOLVE AND GROW

AND THE FUN OF BEING WITH FRIENDS.

THERE'’S THIS GREAT SUPPORT BETWEEN THE ARTISTS.

WOMAN: YOU HAVE TO COME BY OUR BOOTH IN A LITTLE BIT.

LOOK: I WILL.

WOMAN: WHEN YOU'’RE NOT SO BUSY.

IT LOOKS CRAZY BACK HERE.

SECOND WOMAN: THE CRAFT COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE

IS A VERY CLOSE-KNIT GROUP.

WE KNOW EACH OTHER'’S WEAKNESSES AND STRENGTHS

AND ILLNESSES AND MARRIAGES AND DIVORCES AND BIRTHS

AND, UH, SORT OF LIKE A BIG, BIG FAMILY.

MAN: COMING TO A SHOW

REALLY DOES FULFILL A WHOLE SOCIAL NEED.

A LOT OF OUR FRIENDS ARE SIMILAR KINDS OF PEOPLE.

SECOND MAN: I NOTICED THAT KEN WASN'’T HERE.

LOOK: I NEEDED SOME HELP. KEN'’S BEING A DAD.

[INDISTINCT CHATTER]

WOMAN: WE COME HERE. WE JOIN TOGETHER.

WE HAVE A COLLECTION OF OBJECTS AND A COLLECTION OF PEOPLE.

WE HAVE A NEIGHBORHOOD, AND THEN IT'’S OVER.

WE DISBAND AND WE GO BACK TO OUR OWN ENVIRONMENTS.

LOOK: WE'’RE MAKING ITEMS THAT NO ONE NEEDS

EXCEPT FOR ESTHETIC REASONS.

THEY'’RE BUYING OUR OBJECTS BECAUSE SOMEONE THOUGHT IT UP,

IT'’S THEIR DESIGN, AND IT COMES FROM THE HAND.

WOMAN: THERE'’S THAT INNER DRIVE TO SPEAK THROUGH YOUR WORK,

AND I THINK NO MATTER WHAT,

YOU TRY TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO DO THAT

BECAUSE THAT REALLY IS THAT VOICE...

MAN: YES.

WOMAN: AND YOUR CONNECTION TO OTHERS.

CROSBY: WE HAVE A NEED TO BE CONNECTED TO COMMUNITIES.

HAVING PIECES OF ARTWORK OR PIECES OF CRAFT

REMINDS US OF WHO WE ARE.

DENISE: MAKING AND EXPERIENCING BEAUTY BETWEEN EACH OTHER

IS REALLY A BASIC HUMAN NEED.

LOOK: I THINK IT'’S ESSENTIAL TO HAVE

A WAY TO EXPRESS YOURSELF,

AND IT DOESN'’T HAVE TO BE SOMETHING SALABLE.

IT CAN JUST BE SOMETHING THAT COMES FROM YOUR OWN HANDS

AND YOUR OWN HEART.

CAPTIONING MADE POSSIBLE BY CRAFT IN AMERICA, INC.

WOMEN: ♪ '’TIS A GIFT TO BE SIMPLE ♪

♪ '’TIS A GIFT TO BE FREE ♪

♪ '’TIS A GIFT TO COME DOWN WHERE YOU OUGHT TO BE ♪

♪ AND WHEN YOU FIND YOURSELVES IN THE PLACE JUST RIGHT ♪

♪ '’TWILL BE IN THE VALLEY OF LOVE AND DELIGHT ♪

♪ WHEN TRUE SIMPLICITY IS GAINED ♪

♪ TO BOW AND TO BEND WE SHAN'’T BE ASHAMED ♪

♪ TO TURN, TURN WILL BE OUR DELIGHT ♪

♪ TILL BY TURNING, TURNING, WE COME ROUND RIGHT ♪

STREAM CRAFT IN AMERICA ON

  • ios
  • apple_tv
  • android
  • roku
  • firetv