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CRAFT IN AMERICA: Industry

Airs Sunday, May 4, 2014 at 2 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Artist Shane Yamane, shown working at his bench, combines traditional techniques with modern technology to create his precious jewelry.

CRAFT IN AMERICA, the Peabody Award winning series exploring America’s creative spirit through the language and traditions of the handmade object, begins Season 6 with "Industry," premiering May 2014 on PBS. "Industry" explores the business of the handmade, taking us to workshops where artists are crafting the future and making contributions to the local and national economies. "Industry" highlights the important connection between the consumer and the maker and explores the value of exquisitely crafted handmade objects in today’s creative economy.

Courtesy of Mark Markley

Quiltmaker Joe Cunningham at the frame with Gee’s Bend quilters Ritamae Pettway, Lucy Mingo and Revil Mosely.

Courtesy of Mark Markley

Boat builder Jeffrey Lane works with apprentice Graeme Potter at Lowell’s Boat Shop.

Courtesy of Mark Markley

The Oriole Mill staff with their bedding products. At the Oriole Mill in Hendersonville, North Carolina, American textile manufacturing is thriving once again.

In Gee’s Bend, Alabama, quilting has brought economic success to women whose remarkable quilts have astonished the world. San Francisco quilter Joe Cunningham visits Lucy Mingo and Mary Ann Pettway in Gee’s Bend, where quilters learned their skills from generations of women who passed down their expertise, never dreaming that what they were creating would one day be considered art. World-wide attention guarantees a stable income for these pioneers of the creative economy.

At Lowell’s Boat Shop in Amesbury, Massachusetts, Graham McKay makes dories in the 220-year tradition of Lowell’s craftsmanship and directs a living museum that features the craft of boat building and its pivotal role in the economy and history of New England. He opens the doors of the shop to local high school students, continuing the tradition by bringing them into the building process.

At The Oriole Mill in Hendersonville, North Carolina, American textile manufacturing is thriving once again. Deep in an area of the South, once the heart of textile manufacturing, artist Bethanne Knudson is proving, through creativity, expertise and sheer determination, that an industry can revive itself. Knudson is one of the many Western North Carolina artists who have revived the economy of Asheville through their creative endeavors and made it an arts destination.

In Brooklyn, New York, capital of the handmade, artist Shane Yamane combines traditional techniques with modern technology to market his precious jewelry on his website and through Etsy, the extraordinarily successful online craft marketplace that yields an astounding $895 million in annual sales for 850,000 artists worldwide.

CRAFT IN AMERICA is on Facebook, and you can follow @CraftinAmerica on Twitter.

Video

CRAFT IN AMERICA: Industry Preview

Video

Craft In America Series Preview

Above: Watch human hands transform humble materials into works of function and beauty. Discover what drives artists to create.

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