Craft in America

Wed, 10/07/2009 - 8:00pm

Pictured: Owens throwing one of the traditional candlesticks for which Jugtown Pottery is famous.

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, airs Wednesday, October 7 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV (DT21.1/cable1011/cable11).
The new episodes of the critically acclaimed series, which premiered on PBS in 2007, continue the journey into the diverse and ever-evolving world of American craft. 
Origins, airing at 8 p.m., 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. Featured artists 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, airing at 9 p.m., looks at what inspires a person to choose a career in craft and shows how each goes 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. The episode also looks at some of the best and most interesting artists who turned to craft as a second career later in life.