Ceramic Industry

CRAFT IN AMERICA Wraps Second Season for PBS

May 13, 2009

The second season of the Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning CRAFT IN AMERICA, a filmed journey of the history, artists and techniques of our nation’s rich craft culture, recently concluded shooting. The two new episodes, filmed in locations including New York City, Oakland, Boston, Kansas City, Cleveland, Palm Springs, Los Angeles and New Jersey, will air nationally on PBS in the fall of 2009.

An encore presentation of the original three episodes from season one of CRAFT IN AMERICA has been scheduled for June 3, 2009, from 8 to 11 p.m. (check local listings).

CRAFT IN AMERICA, which premiered on PBS in 2007, is the result of a decade-long passion of Carol Sauvion, the project’s co-executive producer. Joining her are Steve Fenton, creative director and writer, and Jacoba Atlas, senior advisor, who is currently president of Creative Visions Productions.

The new episodes, titled “Origins” and “Process,” continue the journey into the diverse and ever-evolving world of American craft. “Origins” focuses on the origins of the American craft movement and features artists who tie their work to early craft techniques and pass these techniques to others in a continuum of creativity. Artists featured include South Carolina blacksmith Philip Simmons, North Carolina potter Vernon Owens, Kiowa beadworker Teri Greeves, weaver and UCLA teacher Jim Bassler, and New Jersey glass artist Paul Stankard.

“Process” looks at what inspires a person to choose a career in craft and shows how they go about acquiring the knowledge and necessary skills. Artists and institutions featured include New York City’s 92nd Street Y; Professor Cary Esser of the Kansas City Art Institute and Nikki Lewis, a recent graduate of her ceramics program; Miguel Gómez-Ibáñez, the director of Boston's North Bennet Street School, which has been training people for employment in the crafts since 1885; book artists Julie Chen and Tom Killion; and jewelers David and Roberta Williamson of Berea, Ohio. The episode also looks at some of the best and most interesting artists who turned to craft as a second career later in life.

Visit www.pbs.org/craftinamerica for more information.