Discover the beauty, significance and relevance of handmade objects in “Home” on CRAFT IN AMERICA – Dec. 16 at 10 pm

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Exploring the Many Meanings and Environments of Home

December 16, 2022, 10pm


The episode is part of the newest season of Craft in America, the Peabody Award-winning documentary series discovering the beauty, significance and relevance of handmade objects and the artists who create them. The idea of Home has taken on heightened importance in recent years. Craft in America’s new episode embraces its many meanings—from the physical structure, to the belongings we cherish, to the meals we share with family and friends.

Wharton Esherick Museum
Wharton Esherick Museum – Courtesy Wharton Esherick Museum; Charles Uniatowski photo

“Through the artists and stories represented in this episode, HOME honors the significance of our surroundings, while also acknowledging the challenging histories that have shaped our ideas of it,” shares Carol Sauvion, Executive Director of Craft in America. Executive Producer Patricia Bischetti adds, “HOME offers a nuanced exploration of the environments we make and the personal, historical, and creative influences that shape them.”

“Craft in America…[has a] knack for telling big stories…about the formation of culture, the purpose of creativity, the idea that the pursuits of beauty and utility are foundational to humanity.”
New York Times

Ojibwe Tribe (Wisconsin)
Our exploration of handmade environments and hand built homes begins with the Ojibwe wild rice harvest in Northern Wisconsin. Members of the Ojibwe tribe have been living in this region for generations, and tribal member and craftsman Biskakone Greg Johnson shares his mastery of the crafts and traditions of his people.

North House Folk School (Grand Marais, MN)
Our crew then films the start of the construction of a timber frame house at the North House Folk School. Here, Scandinavian and northern European traditions and techniques are taught to craftspeople of all skill levels interested in building and living a well-crafted life.

Sim Van der Ryn sitting iin chair carved from tree
Sim Van der Ryn.

Syd Carpenter (Philadelphia, PA)
We meet sculptor Syd Carpenter whose work sheds light on the obstacles faced by African American farmers to remain landowners. Carpenter’s work speaks to the systemic racism that continues to threaten the homes of many communities throughout the nation.

Wharton Esherick (Philadelphia, PA)
We explore the life and legacy of Wharton Esherick, one of this country’s most innovative artists who reimagined “home” through the creation of his hand-built studio, furniture, utensils, and other objects that expressed his commitment to artful living.

Biskakone Greg Johnson decorates a birch bark basket
Biskakone Greg Johnson decorates a birch bark basket; Denise Kang photo

Outlaw Builders (Northern California)
Viewers are then introduced to a series of experimental buildings from visionary architect Sim Van der Ryn and the “Outlaw Builders,” an irreverent group who flourished among the counterculture of the 1960s and early 70s. We take our cameras to the sleepy Marin County town of Inverness, where on a remote wooded ridge we find a remarkable example of this sensibility.

Helen Drutt English (Philadelphia, PA)
To conclude the episode, we turn our attention inward, to the handmade objects that fill our homes and the histories that impact our sense of place. In Philadelphia, Helen Drutt English, considered the “godmother of craft and a global ambassador,” shares her remarkable collection, which reflects handmade objects at their best.