Today marks the final day of my internship at Craft in America and I can gratefully say that I have been introduced to a multitude of opportunities that have advanced my skills as both a digital media technician and an artist. During my 10 weeks I received the opportunity to work with several members of the Craft in America team to help build and add to the Craft website. With their guidance, I have since completed 24 artists profiles, edited the captions of 6 YouTube videos, input tags for a future episode, and added profiles for the artwork exhibited at Craft, along with various other projects I have assisted with.
Through my trainings I have learned that running a non-profit such as Craft in America comes with an immense responsibility and that there is a great importance of a team. Observing each team member of Craft, the responsibilities they are in charge of, and the projects they are working on has let me know that there are many components to the success of an organization and that each member plays an important attribute. As someone who wants to create her own production company in the future, witnessing these elements, I believe, are a crucial factor that will help guide me to achieve and develop a stable foundation for my future organization.
Along with my tasks, I was also exposed to an array of incredible crafters from around the country who have inspired me to adopt some of their techniques into my own art practice. Interested in the craft of basket and tapestry weaving, beading, and glass making, learning about crafters such as Mary Jackson, Consuelo Jimenez-Underwood, and Ehren Tool has motivated me to experiment with new materials. In the process of my new work, I have created my very first tapestry and am currently working on my second, and in the future, I hope to take basket weaving and glass making classes.
As my internship comes to a close, I want to thank the Craft in America team for granting me the opportunity to assist in the development of Craft, having patience with me as I learn and for exposing me to the behind the scenes of running an organization. I am extremely grateful for the knowledge I have gained and I cannot wait to utilize these experiences in my future practices.
– Shardé N. Alexander
Today marks the halfway point of my internship (5 weeks), and I can say that I have been learning the ropes with ease. The Craft in America team has been tackling quite a few projects currently, and I have had the opportunity to sit in on conversations and learn about what everyone has been working on.
As of now, I am being introduced to the processes of creating a well-functioning server and am receiving training that will allow me to contribute to making the server easier to navigate for those who access it.
My favorite project I have been tackling currently are the artist profiles for the Craft in America website. I have the opportunity to do research each week on a few artists (about 2-5 per week), and with the information I find, I create thorough descriptions of the artists and post them on our website along with a few images that display their work. This opportunity has been an eye opener and has largely influenced how I have been approaching my own art practice. Though I mainly do video work and paint, I have been increasingly motivated to try my hand at tapestry weaving and basket making when researching other artists, and have slowly been incorporating these practices into my daily life.
Lastly, some small and somewhat exciting adventures I have had are the location scouting tasks I have been doing for my mentor. Currently I have “visited” small cities in Oklahoma, Kentucky, and recently Alaska. Calling coffee shops has weirdly been the most interesting thing, but somewhat heartwarming because of the friendliness of the people working there.
Overall, the past 5 weeks have been filled with knowledge, fun, and a bit of adventure. I am getting to know every individual in the Craft in America organization and it has been a great experience to be a part of this team and to then come together to create a great resource for the world to access and learn from.
Hello everyone, my name is Shardé N. Alexander, I am Craft in America’s Getty Marrow Digital Media Intern for Summer 2020. I am a recent graduate from the University of California, Los Angeles where I majored in Art, with a concentration in Painting and New Genres, and minored in Film. Since graduating, I am now devoted to building my skills and gaining knowledge in the fields of art, production, and creative directing in hopes of opening my own production company.
As a frequent crafter, when I received the news that I would be working with the Craft in America team I was excited to immerse myself in a space where I would be introduced to the array of craft artists around North America. As of today, I have completed my first week of interning and can happily say that I have already learned so much about how this nonprofit organization operates and what it stands for. By providing accessible information to the public through thorough research and documentation, I have learned that Craft in America shows an appreciation for an often-overlooked community of hardworking craft artists and makers with inspiring stories.
With the broad range of artists that I am observing daily, I am not only advancing my skills in digital media, additionally, I am developing stronger interests in the concept of craft with a focus in basket weaving and embroidery. Strenuous, yet highly rewarding skills, these two styles are heavily rooted into my own culture of Gullah and I am excited to experiment and incorporate these practices into my own artwork.
In this one week alone, with the help of a great team of people, I have already learned some of the many responsibilities that it takes to operate the digital side of Craft in America and am excited for what has yet to come.
– Shardé N. Alexander
In 2012, a group of talented musicians set up their instruments in the front window of the Craft in America Center and presented a delightful evening of music. A tradition was born, and the concerts became a regular feature at the Center. With the doors to the Center temporarily closed, we’re presenting a virtual mini concert series on select Sundays at 2 p.m. throughout the summer.
Sunday, June 28, at 2pm PST
Composer/songwriter Craig Wedren (of indie rock group Shudder to Think) performs a live composition of vocal textures to create a complex and layered musical meditation.
Watch here: craftinamerica.org/event/sunday-sound-streams-concert-craig-wedren
Watch on YouTube Live: youtu.be/jT0FrUeVCZw
Sunday, July 5, at 2pm PST
LIMINAL SPACE: standing in the threshold
Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Amy K Bormet (Washington DC) explores the emotions and stories of the past, present, and future. Inspired by jazz and poetry as both a fuel for revolution and a balm for healing, Bormet works to expand the ear and heart.
Watch here: craftinamerica.org/event/sunday-sound-streams-concert-amy-k-bormet
Watch on YouTube Live: youtu.be/1OR0Vq3AVKo
Sunday, June 12, 2pm PST
Bassists/vocalists/songwriters Maggie Hasspacher and Noah Reitman perform in a celebration of moving forward no matter what the future brings with new tunes, old hymns and colorful classics live from Vancouver, BC. Hasspacher will perform an internet premiere of American composer Paul Brantley’s piece,”Alone,” which he wrote for her in 2018.
Watch here: craftinamerica.org/event/sunday-sound-streams-concert-maggie-hasspacher-and-noah-reitman
Watch on YouTube Live: youtu.be/h6Y-eeKzFrc
Sunday, July 26, 2pm PST
Composer/vocalist/violinist Melinda Rice offers songs that have become important to her in pandemic solitude, arranged from various original forms into tunes and folk songs for violin and voice. She will be making music and also storytelling from Pasadena, CA.
Watch here: craftinamerica.org/event/sunday-sound-streams-concert-melinda-rice
Watch on YouTube Live: youtu.be/BP8hdUMclkA
Sunday, August 2, 2pm PST
To conclude this series, a pre-recorded performance will be available for viewing (links forthcoming): Aperture Duo bring us a video compilation from Snapshot, a multidisciplinary performance project for this socially distant time. Performed and recorded “live” over Zoom, Snapshot is a series of short instruction pieces written for Aperture Duo to explore chamber music in the time of quarantine. Join us for microtonal drones, conversations, coffee, lemonade, dogs, violin, and viola!
Diego Romero’s work integrates traditional techniques from his Cochiti heritage with his love for both the ancient and contemporary storytellers of Western culture. From Greek vases depicting legends of gods and heroes, to comic books hailing the deeds of superheroes of the modern age. Romero uses his pottery to tell narrative from his own experience and indigenous folklore, a contemporary storyteller within craft.
In this hands-on activity, let Diego Romero’s work inspire you to make your own bowl, and tell the story of someone you consider a hero, whether from life or legend!
Watch the video below of Diego Romero on his life and work for inspiration, and ask yourself: Who are the heroes in my world?
Video Treasure Hunt:
- Rolling clay into a long coil shape
- Young children dressed as knights
- An ancient Greek chariot
- A coyote stealing fire
- Polishing with a stone
- A fallen angel
- Using breath as a tool
Hands-on Activity: Papier-mâché Narrative Bowl
- 1 cup flour
- 2 cups water
- Aluminum foil
- Cooking spray
- Acrylic paint, or markers
- Cut or tear your newspaper into strips. Make sure the paper is clean and dry.
- Choose a bowl to use as a mold for your paper mache. Larger bowls will require more newspaper.
- Place the bowl on a flat surface, bottom side up. Cover the bowl with tin foil. If you don’t want your bowl to have much texture, try to make the foil lay as flat to the surface of the bowl as possible.
- Lightly coat the tin foil with cooking spray or oil. This will help make it easier to remove from the paper mache bowl when it is dry.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour and water. Mix until it resembles thin pancake batter.
- Take a strip of newspaper, dip it into the flour mixture, and use your fingers to remove any excess liquid before laying it on the bowl.
- Continue coating strips of paper in the mixture and laying them onto the bowl until it is completely covered. You may need one or two additional layers to strengthen the shape of the object.
- Feel free to experiment with different shaped vessels, like cups or glasses. When complete, allow the form to dry completely overnight.
- When the papier-mâché is dry, remove it from the tin foil. Trim any rough edges with scissors.
- Now you can paint or decorate your bowl however you may like. Here are some ideas:
- Choose a scene from a myth, legend, or story that influenced you and illustrate it on the inside of your bowl.
- Create a portrait of someone you consider a hero – it could be a specific person (a relative, a friend, or a public figure), a role in society you respect (doctors, teachers, or firefighters), or a fictional character that inspires you (a comic book hero or figure from literature).
Cristina Córdova explores the human figure, and all of the expressions and emotion that can be found within. Using clay as her medium, she allows the material to guide her through the act of sculpting, finding the character as she moves through her process.
In this hands-on activity, make your own “clay” from materials in your pantry, and sculpt your own expressive features with this easy salt dough recipe. You can craft facial features, different parts of the human form, or an entire figure!
Watch the video from our IDENTITY episode below about Córdova’s life and work for inspiration, and see what expressive characters you can sculpt as you craft at home.
Treasure Hunt: Watch closely! Check off these visual clues as you find them in the video.
- A woman among ferns
- Trio of photos on a studio wall
- A pool of sunken ships
- Using vinegar as a tool
- A mural featuring a flying animal
Hands-on Activity: Make your own clay, and craft your own human sculptures
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup fine salt
- 2 tbsps. vegetable oil
- ¾ cup water
- Food coloring, optional
- Sculpting tools (toothpicks, popsicle sticks, rubber stamps, etc), optional
- Acrylic paint, optional
1 – In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Use fine salt if possible, as courser types will lead to granular dough.
2 – Add the vegetable oil, then gradually mix in the water until you get a clay-like consistency. You may add another tablespoon or two of water if you need more.
3 – If using food coloring, separate the dough into portions and add a drop or two of color to each portion, mixing well.
[TIP: Food coloring may stain your hands while working with the clay.]
4 – Once completely mixed, use the dough to sculpt your desired shapes or figures. You may craft a part of the body, a whole figure, or a variety of facial features with different expressions.
[TIP: Be careful not to make your sculptures too thick, or they may crack while baking.]
5 – Bake your finished sculptures in an oven set to 250º for one hour, making sure that they do not burn. Some sculptures may take more or less time, depending on how thick they are.
[TIP: For a golden look, you may brush egg yolk over your sculpted pieces before baking.]
6 – Allow finished sculptures to cool completely, and decorate your sculptures with acrylic paint if you wish. Be creative and experiment with imagining a personality waiting to be crafted from clay!
Wendy Maruyama’s recent work, The WildLife Project, was inspired by the harm being done to African elephants. Informed by the issues and problems of poaching and its impact on wildlife, her wood sculptures of elephants bring new life to the animal. Each knot representing a desire to repair the damage done to these beautiful creatures, Maruyama connects ideals of conservation to the art of craft.
In this at-home activity, we will connect another aspect of conservation to craft: recycling! Watch the video clip from our IDENTITY episode below to learn all about Maruyama’s work, while keeping an eye out for the treasure hunt clues. Then, using recyclable materials like cardboard, create your own elephant sculpture with these simple steps!
Treasure Hunt: Watch closely! Check off these visual clues as you find them in the video.
- Woman wearing a face shield
- A dog shaking hands
- A yellow rose
- Maps as skin
- A bird hitching a ride
Hands-on Activity: Make your own elephant sculpture!
- Scrap paper
- Clean cardboard
- Glue (optional)
- Paint & paintbrushes (optional)
1 . Sketch out the basic shape of the elephant’s side view onto a piece of paper or directly onto the cardboard – do not include any limbs or large features. This is our base shape.
2 . Mark on the top of the base shape where the pieces for the head and body will be (Make at least 2 marks for the body). Draw a line at each mark across the base shape. Use a ruler to measure each line. Write those measurements down to help you remember!
3 . For each measurement, draw a circle with an equal diameter. You will have at least 3 circles: 2 for the body, 1 for the head.
4 . Draw ears on the smallest circle for the elephant’s head.
5 . Draw the shape of a pair of legs for the elephant. You will make 2 of these pieces.
6 . Cut all of these shapes out of the clean cardboard. You will have:
- The base shape
- 2 body circles
- 1 head (with ears!)
- 2 pairs of legs
7 . Make a cut about halfway into the center of the body circles, the head, and each pair of legs. This is how the pieces will attach to the base shape.
8 . Make a cut for each piece into the base shape. Make these cuts equal in size to the cuts made in the pieces themselves. Cut the slits for the head and body pieces at the top of the base, with the legs attaching to the bottom.
9 . Ready to assemble! Place each piece into its corresponding spot, using the cuts you have made to slide them onto the base shape and push them into place.
10 . Ta da! You have made an elephant! Feel free to use glue to keep the pieces in place permanently, or have fun taking it apart and putting it back together again. You can also decorate the cardboard with scrap or wrapping paper, paint, or markers! If you do, make sure to let the cardboard dry completely before you connect the pieces again.
Experiment with making other animals using these same steps, but with different shapes. Get creative and happy crafting!
Summer 2020 Digital Media Internship at Craft in America
Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Internship
This summer, the Craft in America Digital Media intern will provide support and assist in various aspects of digital media. Currently, Craft in America has a digital library of over 700 videos and 10,000 images. The intern will assist in cataloging and organizing our digital library to house on a Network Storage System server. The intern will also assist with editing and correcting video caption files. The intern will assist the Associate Producer with image/video research for the PBS documentary series and gain exposure to aspects of obtaining rights and reproductions. The intern will assist with special edits (process based videos and interview videos) specifically for social media. S/he will have structured time to familiarize with Craft in America’s web resources, artist database, and style guide. Over the summer, the intern will participate in outreach with outside organizations, collectors, local businesses, student groups, and art schools and will be trained on Constant Contact. In addition, the intern will be involved in research, writing, and editing web and social media content to support the organization’s programming, website, and PBS documentary series under the supervision of the Associate Producer. S/he will be trained to use our CMS (Content Management System) website. In addition, the intern will be involved in research, writing, designing, and editing web and social media content to support the organization’s programming, website, and PBS documentary series through work with Craft in America’s production team.
Craft in America is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the exploration, preservation and celebration of the handmade and its impact on our nation’s cultural heritage. Craft in America’s projects include the Peabody Award-winning documentary series on PBS nationwide and the free-to-the-public Craft in America Center in Los Angeles. With twenty-three episodes produced since 2007, Craft in America takes viewers on a journey to the artists, origins and techniques of American craft. Each episode contains stories from diverse regions and cultures, blending history with living practice and exploring issues of identity, ritual, philosophy and creative expression.
- Be of a group underrepresented in museums and visual arts organizations, including, but not limited to, individuals of African American, Asian, Latino/Hispanic, Native American, or Pacific Islander descent;
- Be currently enrolled undergraduates. Students must have complete at least one semester or two quarters of college by June 2020. Students graduating in May or June 2020 are also eligible. (Students who are enrolled in a second BA or BS program are not eligible.)
- Reside or attend college in Los Angeles County; and
- Be a United States citizen or permanent resident.
The internships are full-time (40 hours/week) positions, each with a stipend of $6,000, for a consecutive ten-week work period between June and August, 2020.
Submit resume (if possible), two letters of recommendation or contact information (phone/email) for two references (teacher, professor, former employer, etc.), and a description of how you meet the requirements for the position. Email all submissions to [email protected] Denise Kang, Associate Producer with the subject heading “Internship.”
Deadline: May 8, 2020
Artist Felicia Rice‘s work explores how to draw the viewer into a story contained within the pages of a book. Artist books must be handled in order to be fully experienced, and can contain many different forms of media! This activity teaches us about one of the most versatile artist book styles – the accordion book.
Watch the video below to learn all about the incredible craft of book arts & Felicia’s work, while keeping an eye out for the treasure hunt clues. Then, get creative telling your own story with the activity below!
Treasure Hunt: Watch closely! Check off these visual clues as you find them in the video.
- Leopard print in a book
- Pink armchair
- Purple ink
- A doctor’s stethoscope
- A face on a metal plate
Hands-on Activity: Make your own accordion book!
- Blank paper – any type or size will do.
- Glue or tape
- Any art supplies you have – crayons, pencils, markers, etc.
- Cardstock or cardboard – cut out cereal boxes work too!
- Decorative scrap or wrapping paper (optional)
- Decorative materials – stickers, feathers, fabric, sequins, etc. (optional)
1 . Cut (or fold and tear) a piece of paper in half lengthwise to make two long, skinny rectangles.
2 . Fold each piece of paper in half widthwise.
3 . Fold the top flap in half again, with the bottom edge of the paper meeting the first top crease.
4 . Flip over the paper and do the same fold. Your paper should now look like a W.
5 . Repeat this with the other rectangle of paper so that you have 2 Ws. (You can begin with more sheets of paper, and make more Ws for an even longer book!)
6 . Glue your Ws together to make an accordion (or use tape if you don’t have glue). If you are using a thick type of paper, you might want to use a heavy object like a book to press down on top of it for a few minutes.
7 . To make your book cover, take two pieces of cardboard or cardstock (you can cut up cereal boxes too!) and cut them to the same size as the accordion.
8 . Take your decorative or scrap wrapping paper and cut two pieces a little larger than the cardboard, about an inch or two bigger on each side.
9 . Glue your cardboard in the center of the scrap or wrapping paper, decorative side out. Clip the corners of the paper, then fold and glue in the excess paper on the sides. Repeat for each cover.
10 . Glue the covers to each end of the accordion. You might need to press the book under something heavy again for a few minutes.
You’re all set! Now you can decorate your beautiful book however you decide! You can add decorations to your cover, like ribbon, glitter, feathers, rhinestones, or anything else you can think of. You can use the pages of the accordion to tell a story, create drawings, collect pictures…the possibilities are endless! Be as creative or as colorful as you want, and have fun!
Craft in America Shares Its Abundant Library of Free Videos & Online Resources for Educators and At-Home Learning
As educators across the country creatively and swiftly activate new systems for learning at home, Craft in America is enhancing free online access to its treasure trove of inspiring, educational materials that explore craft as a part of American history, culture, art, and technology. Over the past 14 years, Craft in America has built its website with a multimedia library of lesson plans and accessible learning resources that are at the fingertips of teachers, students, and families. Craftinamerica.org is making innovative education materials available, easily accessible, and best suited to the needs of our nation’s students and communities.
(more information below)
Educational videos, including 400+ shorts that vary in length from 2-15 minutes plus 23 complete, hour-long episodes of our Peabody Award-winning PBS series that tell the story of how craft shapes American life and art through stories of innovative artists living and working in cities and towns across the U.S. These engaging, visually-stunning free videos are applicable to a range of subjects: history, social studies, art appreciation, English language arts, and STEAM-learning.
Craftinamerica.org offers 33 national standards-based Education Guides with lesson plans for K-12 teachers that bring the story of American craft to students anywhere. Lessons written by respected art teachers for all teachers are designed to encourage critical thinking skills and creative engagement. These guides engage students in making meaningful interdisciplinary connections between craft and diverse content areas, from environmental sciences to history and social studies. They can be woven into existing lessons or stand alone units. Educators can use and adapt guides to lead thoughtful discussions on art and culture, assign creative and responsive writing prompts, or engage students in meaningful art-appreciation projects.
Lesson plans are enhanced by video segments that can be watched at home for free on craftinamerica.org for example:
The most recently published 2019 Education Guide covers social studies, story and scene creation, and offers numerous interdisciplinary connections.
The Education Guides are developed by a team of respected art teachers under the direction of Dr. Marilyn Stewart, Professor Emerita of Art Education, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, with Dr. Amy Bloom, Art Teacher, Exeter Township Junior High School, Exeter PA and Dolores Eaton, Art Teacher, The Pennington School, Pennington, NJ.
Virtual galleries and video tours of Craft in America Center, with exhibits spanning ten years, provide gallery installation views and detailed images of artworks, giving students the opportunity to experience a museum from home, and allowing them to independently explore art.
The current exhibition Identity: 4 Voices explores works by nationally acclaimed artists who convey heritage, cross-cultural histories, and personal belief systems through ceramics, woodworking, furniture-making, and photography.
Our playlists feature videos in one central location, organized by subject and theme so teachers may easily find content to compliment lessons across all content areas. These videos are available for teachers of all subjects to incorporate into their lessons as needed. Newly launched playlists include: History & Culture, STEM Handmade, Language & Storytelling, Performing Craft, Craft & Kids, Craft in History, Schools of Craft and much more.
Craftinamerica.org is regarded as an encyclopedia of national craft. The website contains over 350 profiles of leading and emerging artists across the country, serving as a who’s who in contemporary craft. Informative short-format bios are enhanced by portraits of the artists and images of their artworks.
Craftinamerica.org includes over 60 hour-long lectures given by leading, noteworthy contemporary artists working in ceramics, fiber, glass, wood, and metal. These filmed talks give students the chance to learn in-depth about artistic inspiration, technique, and about the professional and creative choices and pathways that artists take to pursue their dreams.
PLUS: PBS LearningMedia maintains an additional portal of Craft in America online resources for students to learn about the artists, origins, and techniques of American craft.