TEACHERS highlights artists committed to sharing the skills and passion for craft with students of all ages. Featuring Navajo weavers Barbara Teller Ornelas and Lynda Teller Pete at Idyllwild Arts, glass artist Mark Mitsuda at Punahou School, glass artist Therman Statom, and ceramic artist Linda Sikora at Alfred University School of Art and Design. PBS premiere September 15, 2016
Navajo weavers Barbara Teller Ornelas and her sister Lynda Teller Pete learned the craft of weaving the time honored way –through family. Often this method of teaching begins with observation, when skills are absorbed. This legacy of learning is essential to Navajo weavers. The Teller sisters spent summers with their grandparents in Canyon de Chelly, Arizona, ancestral home of the Navajo people, in an environment where weaving is a way of life. In early childhood they were introduced to weaving by their mother, Ruth Teller, who instilled the belief that beauty and harmony should be woven into every rug.
Artist Mark Mitsuda introduces professional glass forming techniques to his students at Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii. In 1972, his mentor Hugh Jenkins started the high school glass program at Punahou, using recycled milk and mayonnaise bottles as raw materials. Mitsuda took charge of the program after Jenkins’ retirement in 1998. Since its inception, participation in the program has doubled. Underscoring the intergenerational mission of teaching, Mitsuda says that what he learned from Jenkins, he now passes on to his own students. “I feel fortunate to be teaching something that I feel passionate about and being able to inspire other people in the place that inspired me to first go into glassblowing.”
In Omaha, Nebraska, Therman Statom, a major figure of the Studio Glass Movement, decided to start programs for underserved inner city students and at risk youth. He states, “I think teaching is the highest form of advocacy in terms of influencing the world or having the chance to be a part of something that you can change.” Therman works in his studio and teaches excited students working with glass for the first time at Hot Shops Art Center, witnessing how art and glass blowing inspires youth.
At Alfred University in Alfred, New York, Professor Linda Sikora describes the program: “We teach many disciplines alongside what might be more strictly categorized as craft. This is deliberate and allows our students to become broad thinking in terms of visual and material culture regardless of how they specialize. It is also, I believe, what keeps our program vitalic and contemporary.”
Executive Producer & Director CAROL SAUVION ∙ Executive Producer PATRICIA BISCHETTI ∙ Producer & Director ROSEY GUTHRIE ∙ Editor BETH SPIEGEL ∙ Director of Photography SIDNEY LUBITSCH ∙ Music by LAURA KARPMAN ∙ Associate Producer DENISE KANG ∙ Senior Advisor JACOBA ATLAS ∙ Production Coordinator BEVERLY FELDMAN ∙ Production Controller JUDY J. HING ∙ Sound Recordist ALAN BARKER, DEREK HANSON, ASHLEY MARIA ∙ Assistant Camera ROBERT W. FAISON, LANCE HASHIDA ∙ Gaffer MARK MARKLEY, PETER HORWITZ ∙ Main Title Crew CAMERA CONTROL INC., JASON RAU, CHRIS TOTH, CHRISTOPHER WILLIAMS ∙ Assistant Editors DESTINY PINEDA, HEATHER TRAWICK, TYLER WRIGHT ∙ Music Mixer NORA KROLL-ROSENBAUM ∙ Station Relations DE SHIELDS ASSOCIATES, INC. ∙ Post Production Video SHAPESHIFTER ∙ Colorist DEAN CHU ∙ Online Assistant Editor CINDY FANARA ∙ Post Production Sound WILD WOODS ∙ Re-Recording Mixer JONATHAN IGLECIAS ∙ Archival Materials Courtesy of ARIZONA STATE MUSEUM/UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA/HELGA TEIWES, COLLEGE ARCHIVES NEW YORK STATE COLLEGE OF CERAMICS AT ALFRED UNIVERSITY, WAYNE HIGBY/DAVID MORABITO/NICK GEANKOPLIS, GEORGE H. H. HUEY, IDYLLWILD ARTS FOUNDATION, H.L. JAMES/SCHIFFER PUBLISHING, DANNY LEHMAN/CORBIS DOCUMENTARY/GETTY IMAGES, RICK MCLAY/LYRIC CREATIVE, LEE MILTIER, MARK MITSUDA, MICHAEL MORTARA, NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION, BARBARA TELLER ORNELAS, PALACE OF THE GOVERNORS PHOTO ARCHIVES (NMHM/DCA), LYNDA TELLER PETE, JEREME RAUCKMAN/FLICKR, BOYD SUGIKI ∙ Special Thanks ANDERSON RANCH ARTS CENTER, TIM BARRY, OSCAR BIA, CAITLIN BROWN, GERALD CLARKE, HENRY CRISSMAN, PETER HANSEN, HAYSTACK MOUNTAIN SCHOOL OF CRAFTS, JONATHAN A. HOLSHUE, HOT SHOPS ART CENTER, LAUREL BOWERS HUSAIN, JEFFREY MEYER TURNTABLES, KATTEN MUCHIN ROSENMAN LLP, RUSS KATTO, SUSAN KOWALCZYK, TERRY B. LEE, RANSOM LOMATEWAMA, ORNAMENT MAGAZINE, EMILY MCCARREN, JANE MILOSCH, VERNA MULLEN, STEVEN POSTER, NOAH REITMAN, RACHAEL REITMAN, RICHARD TSOSIE ∙ This program was produced by Craft in America, Inc. which is solely responsible for its content. © 2016 CRAFT IN AMERICA All Rights Reserved