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The Craft in America Collection, Episodes 1-3

5.0 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • The Craft in America Collection, Episodes 1-3
  • +
  • Craft in America: Season 4- Threads
  • +
  • Craft in America: Crossroads -Season 4
Total price: $44.63
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Editorial Reviews

The Craft in America Collection, two centuries of artists and objects. The Peabody Award-winning series that promotes and advances original handcrafted work and inspires people of all ages to pursue their own creativity. In this collection discover the beauty and originality of our nations rich cultural heritage through these seven specials.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: .
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: October 18, 2011
  • Run Time: 420 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005DJ7B2S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,985 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Craft in America Collection, Episodes 1-3" on IMDb

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Top Customer Reviews

By Marshall R. Hudson-knapp on September 17, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What an exceptional series! My daughter, who teaches art, encouraged us to purchase this series of programs because she was deeply inspired by watching one of the programs, so we gave it a try. Wow! What an adventure, visiting amazing, inspiring people from all across the country, and feasting on the rich diversity of gorgeous, works of crafted art! You meet delightful, funny, earthy, courageous people of many different "types" who share their lives and works. You see them doing their work, gathering in communities, struggling to find their way through life... and bearing the mosts beautiful, diverse works! The quality of the creations makes it harder to discern art from craft. But the best part is just delighting in story after story of amazing people, the moving accounts of their life journeys, to communities that sustain them, and their awesome works of art! Another delight is the photography of the people and the environments from which their works arise. The filming and editing are exceptionally beautiful and often powerful!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As a crafts person , I find this series quite uplifting and also rather honest.
Staying true to one's inspiration and passion can be challenging in a world which seems to obsess on efficiency and automation - not to mention a far cheaper labor pool overseas. To me, viewing this series can feel like a reassuring hug when those pressures make you question the very fire that feeds your soul.
It helps to answer the question:
Craft In America - Why do we do this?
We do this because it is important.
These are the very things that make us who we are. The titles of each segment explain it well; It is what connects us to our history, family, our community. It is communication and contemplation. Collectively, it is a distillation of the American spirit. The interviews are a glimpse into the diverse personalities and motivations that bring us back to who we are..
and - bonus! - it is a frequently entertaining, thought provoking, and often inspiring slice of life we are invited to share.

FYI - The DVD set "The Craft In America Collection" includes the following episodes:
Memory
Landscape
Community
Origins
Process
Messages
Family

The two episodes
Threads
and
Crossroads
are currently not in this set and are sold individually.

Enjoy!!
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Format: DVD
This series came as a wonderful surprise; I had never heard of it and had low expectations. But the consistent high quality of the interviews and the visuals, and the enormous diversity of the featured artists, makes it a stand-out in the art documentary genre. It emphasizes each artist's sense of place, as well as illustrating the way creative traditions are fused with culture and passed down over generations. A must-see for anyone interested in the creative process.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This 3 hour dvd is a wonderful glimpse into skilled artisan/craftspeople that shows their studios, their inspirations, motivations, and technique. Not a "how to" at all, but a "why and how and who". HIGHLY recommend!
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If you are interested in American crafts this is a wonderful documentary of artists in America. An expansive review including all the handmade arts; wood turning, jewelry making, quilting, ceramics, glass, and many more. It is very moving to have the artists talk about the creative process. A wonderful gift for anyone that loves the arts or is creative.
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Format: DVD
If you grew up watching the PBS children's program "Reading Rainbow", you may remember the occasional vignette showing brief glimpses into the working lives of people from different professions: railroad engineers, artists, scientists, authors, musicians, etc. These segments were so simple, yet extremely memorable. Levar Burton would take a break from narrating, and you would be left with just the person in their element, speaking to the viewer about their life. It was like getting to meet these people and accompanying them to their workplace for the day.

"Craft in America" feels like an extended, slightly more elaborate version of those "Reading Rainbow" vignettes, focusing on talented craftspeople throughout the United States. The bulk of the footage is simply these artists at work, set to a soundtrack of their own voices describing their history, process, motivations, inspiration, and the quirks of their craft. Again, very simple. But also refreshing in its simplicity in this age of glossy television, manipulated, teased, and edited beyond recognition for maximum drama and suspense.

In many ways, "Craft in America" feels oddly homey and familiar, almost predictable, down to a rendition of the Quaker song "Simple Gifts" in the title sequence. Yet its predictability is more an asset than liability. The filming feels free of gimmick and the interviews feel candid, honest, and low-key. There's no agenda here other than to document American craft. This transparent approach, which could have amounted to a middle-of-the-road insipidity, is saved by the thoughtful artists themselves, who come across as imaginative, dedicated, and quite grounded.
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