It is sometimes in the most humble objects that our history is most vividly recalled. Craft objects, being made by hand to use, to collect, to be part of our everyday lives, are more than our history, they are our memory. MEMORY features woodworker Sam Maloof, furniture maker Garry Knox Bennett, basket makers Mary Jackson and Pat Courtney Gold, and blacksmith Tom Joyce. We see what these artists are doing to ensure that this most basic form of human expression – creating from nature with ones hands – does not become a thing of the past. PBS premiere: May 30, 2007.
Cranbrook was founded in 1904 by George and Ellen Booth in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Cranbrook is comprised of a graduate Academy of Art, an Art Museum, House & Gardens, Institute of Science, and Pre-K through 12, college preparatory school. There is no formal class structure but an active program of studio work, critiques, reading groups/seminars, and student group projects. They offer study in the following areas: Architecture, Ceramics, Fiber, 2-D Design, 3-D Design, Metalsmithing, Painting, Photography, Print Media, and Sculpture.
Garry Knox Bennett is a furniture maker who works in Oakland, CA. He attended the California College of Arts and Crafts where he learned to paint and sculpt. In the 1960s, he used the skills he learned to found a metal plating business, specializing in handmade jewelry. In the 1970’s he began making clocks which expanded into furniture design. He is most well known for his chairs and for combining conventional woods and unusual materials such as plywood, aluminum, steel, and plastics.
Pat Courtney Gold is a basket maker influenced by her ancestors, the Wasco Indians. Her baskets are based on the baskets of her Wasco ancestors using the full turn twine technique but she experiments with different materials and designs, with similar patterns and motifs. The materials she uses include cattail leaves, tule, dogbane fiber, cedar bark, tree roots as well as chenille, dyed wool, and other textured materials. She is enrolled in the Wasco Nation of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Oregon. She received her BA in mathematics from Whitman College, Washington and has taught mathematics and worked as a mathematician-computer specialist.
Mary Jackson is a basket maker who lives in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband Stoney. She makes sweetgrass baskets that come out of a tradition that has been passed down to her from her ancestors. It originated in West Africa, and then was brought to America by slaves. This kind of basket making is an identifying cultural practice for people who were cut off from their own history, and has been a part of Charleston and Mt. Pleasant communities for more than 300 years. Jackson uses sweetgrass, palmetto, pine needles and bulrush in her work, which is innovative, but always mindful of its past.
Tom Joyce is a blacksmith who works in Santa Fe, New Mexico. At the age of 13, he became an apprentice to a blacksmith and at 16 he dropped out of school to dedicate his life to metalsmithing. He constructs in iron to express the landscape through classical and contemporary forging techniques. He creates architectural blacksmithing pieces like gates as well as lighting fixtures. He is a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation fellowship and was an artist in residence at Kohler Arts/ Industry Program’s factory in Wisconsin.
Sam Maloof is a self-taught furniture maker, woodworker who works and lives in Alta Loma, California with his wife Beverly. He married his first wife Alfreda Ward (d. 1998) in 1948 and together they founded the Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts in 1994. He is known for his signature rocker—which is comfortable above all, and has been commissioned by Presidents Carter, Reagan and Clinton. In 1985 he was awarded the MacArthur Foundation fellowship “genius grant,” making him the first craftsman to ever receive the honor.
Director Nigel Noble ∙ Executive Producers Carol Sauvion, Kyra Thompson ∙ Created by Carol Sauvion ∙ Writer Kyra Thompson ∙ Editor Yaffa Lerea ∙ Director of Photography Don Lenzer ∙ Music Laura Karpman ∙ Line Producer Patricia Bischetti ∙ Consultant Amber Howell ∙ Narrator Randy Oglesby ∙ Production Coordinator Sandi Williams ∙ Associate Producer Lisa Chemery ∙ Assistant Editor George Valdez ∙ Additional Editing Howard Leder ∙ Additional Camera Dyanna Taylor ∙ Sound Recordist Edward Luke O’Connor, Grant Taylor ∙ Assistant Camera Ronan Killeen, Alan Gitlin, Steve Lubensky, Paul Marbury ∙ Production Assistants Caitlin Parker, Dave Daniels, Armand Diab, Ryan Leone, Sigfried Seeliger, Marq Sutherland ∙ Main Title Director of Photography Steven Poster ∙ Main Title Cinematography David Drzewiecki ∙ Title Sequence Design Solly Communications ∙ Post Production Video The Post Group ∙ Post Production Sound Wild Woods ∙ Additional Music Nora Kroll Rosenbaum ∙ Music Editor Shannon Halwes ∙ Archival Materials Courtesy of Corbis Images, From the Collections of the Henry Ford, American Craft Council Library, California College of the Arts Libraries, Hearst Publications, Maynard L. Parker, Photographer courtesy of The Huntington Library San Marino CA, The Huntington Library Art Collection and Botanical Gardens San Marino CA, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, KQED, Library of Congress, Maryhill Museum of Art, The Museum at Warm Springs, National Archives, Nebraska State Historical Society Photograph Collections, Pasadena Star-News, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, From the Penn School Collection, Permission Granted by Penn Center Inc., St. Helena Island SC, Collections of the S.C. Historical Society, Thought Equity Motion, V&A Images/Victoria and Albert Museum, Clare L. Yellin ∙ Special Thanks Jacoba Atlas, Steve Fenton, Susan A. Grode, Jo Lauria, Donna Ropp, Dighton Spooner ∙ Thank You Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, Shaye Areheart, Sue Barry, Carolyn Benesh, Roslyn Bock, Ken Brecher, John Cain, Judy Coady, Mark Coir, Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, Miguel Angel Corzo, Lois Dubin, Lani Lattin Duke, Lisa Edwards, Shan Emanuelli, Jeannine Falino, Patty Foster, Roberta Gilboe, Dale Gluckman, Beverly Gordon, Lloyd Herman, Karin Higa, Elaine Levin, Robert Liu, Bruce Metcalf, Felicia E. Molnar, Eudorah Moore, Alix Myerson, Rachael Reitman, Howard Risatti, Dale Rosengarten, Santa Fe Millenium Trust, Santa Maria de la Paz Catholic Community, Scot Forge, Toshi Seeger, The Smithsonian Institution and The Smithsonian Craft Show, Kenneth R. Trapp, Roz Tunis, Yakama Tribal Council, Washington State Parks & Recreation Commission ∙ Pro Bono Professional Services Au Bon Climat Winery, David Berger CPA, JD, Katten, Muchin, Rosenman, LLP, Steve Fenton, Lloyd Solly ∙ Pro Bono Technical Services Anthony Cortese, Barry Dornfeld, Innovision, Plus 8 Video ∙ Executive in Charge for ITVS Sally Jo Fifer ∙ Presented in association with KCET / Los Angeles ∙ KCET Executive in Charge Joyce Campbell ∙ KCET Production Executive Robert McDonnell ∙ Craft in America is a co-production of Craft in America, Inc. and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). © 2006 Craft in America, Inc. All Rights Reserved.