I’ve been watching this series on PBS. Obviously, it is called “Craft in America.” For anyone that is not familiar, it documents the lives of American artists of a particular craft. The people on the show are just wonderful. Everyone’s craft and personality are very different from one show to the next. I can even get my husband to watch it. Of course marriage is always a compromise, so it’s one show about art for one show on the military channel. ( I would love a combo-show, “Crafting in the American Army”) Last night one of the artists said something that really hit home with me. It was, “Being an artist means mastering the materials of your craft in order to express your heart.”
This statement really puts it into words for me. I make scarves. Maybe your thinking, “no big deal.” But I really put all of myself into each one. Every piece is different so I give it a personality of its own. Unfortunately this can mean way too much time is spent on one piece. The problem is, I don’t feel complete until I feel the piece is complete. I want to be satisfied and I want the consumer to be satisfied. It is far better to spend an extra 10 or 20 minutes on something and really be proud of it than to rush through it.
This is my third season making scarves and I’ve really been inspired by small details this year. It’s about getting into the piece and using five or six types of fabric and adorning them with handmade buttons or vintage beads. I really want anyone who buys my piece to feel special when they wear it. I want an individual to feel like I made it solely for them. Each scarf has a voice. Eventually one will speak to you.
Here are few examples of where I’ve been going this season:
Craft gives pleasure as well as function. It is inspirational as well as useful. It is the best representation of who we are as a culture. Craft is democratic. It is broad enough to accommodate anyone who makes something or appreciates the handmade. Craft is all around us. You’ll find it wherever you look – hiding in plain sight.
Craft in America offers you a place to explore these connections and to inspire your own creativity – through the PBS documentary series and this website. Join us on this voyage of discovery. View the programs online or purchase DVDs of the Peabody Award-winning series for your home library.