Let me just get this off my chest: I hate doing crafts, mostly because I suck at them, and it’s incredibly depressing to look at the myriad projects I was forced to do in my childhood and see how sad and pathetic they actually are. Also, because the one time I actually attempted a pottery class, the lump of clay flew off the wheel and smacked me in the face. True story.
However, I can appreciate crafts when someone with actual talent (i.e. not me) does them. So, for those of us who don’t have the ability to sculpt that perfect vase or bowl, or even sew in a straight line, fear not!
Now, you can see what it’s like to be creatively inclined by watching the various processes of some seriously crafty people in the PBS documentary series, Craft in America, which will be screening at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art.
Carol Sauvion, the creator and director of the series, juried the Dimensions craft exhibit that was shown at SLOMA earlier this year.
Though it’s a full 7-part series, SLOMA will only be showing the episode Origins, which focuses on the evolution of traditional craft practices in various parts of the country. The one-hour documentary features the works of five artists who each focus on a specific craft practice: pottery, weaving, glassblowing, ironwork, and even Kiowa beadwork.
Teri Greeves, a Kiowa bead worker living in Santa Fe, N.M., grew up on a Shoshone reservation. Her mother owned a trading post, exposing her to different styles of bead works from tribes around the United States, which heavily influenced her style and process. Now, Greeves incorporates the stories and myths of the Kiowa people into artwork. Greeves is most famous for making fully beaded tennis shoes, which come in glittering onyx shades or eye-catching ruby red and feature images of what she calls the ‘super heroes’ of the Kiowa stories.
Philip Simmons, an American artisan and blacksmith who lived in Charleston, S.C., began his career at the age of 13. During his 78-year career, he created more than 500 separate pieces of iron balconies, window grills, gates, and fences.
You can catch the screening of Craft in America: Origins at SLOMA at 1010 Broad St. on Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. Suggested donations are $5 for museum members and $7 for the general public. The event includes complimentary refreshments. For more information, call 543-8562 or visit sloma.org.