Craft in America: CALIFORNIA episode


MAN: THERE IS A SENSE
OF FREEDOM IN CALIFORNIA TO JUST BE INSPIRED AND DO WHAT
YOU THINK IS BEAUTIFUL. SECOND MAN: CALIFORNIA,
ESPECIALLY THE CREATIVE
INDUSTRIES– FILM, TECH, THE ARTS– PRIDES ITSELF ON
FORWARD-THINKING BECAUSE CALIFORNIA ATTRACTS
ARTISTS THAT THINK DIFFERENTLY. WOMAN: THE GREENES WERE
INFLUENCED BY THE ENVIRONMENT, BY THE LIFESTYLE,
THE CLIMATE. THEY WERE SEARCHING FOR THEIR
OWN ARCHITECTURE THAT THEY CONSIDERED TO BE
A CALIFORNIA ARCHITECTURE. THIRD MAN: IT’S REALLY NICE
IF YOU CAN COME HOME FROM A GOOD MORNING
OF SURFING, COME AND JUMP IN HERE, AND THEN JUST CREATE PIECES. SECOND WOMAN: POMO BASKETRY,
IT’S A SKILL THAT’S REALLY BEING LOST. I WANT OUR CULTURE TO BE
A LIVING CULTURE. THIRD WOMAN: WEARABLE ART
IN CALIFORNIA GREW OUT OF THE HIPPIE MOVEMENT. FOURTH MAN: I WOULD LIKE TO SAY
IT’S ALL A HAZE. IF YOU REMEMBER IT,
YOU WEREN’T THERE. FIFTH MAN: THE MOUNTAINS
TO THE NORTH AND THE OCEAN TO THE WEST
AND THE DESERT OUT TO THE EAST. I KNOW THAT I WOULDN’T BE
WHO I AM AND I WOULDN’T BE DOING
WHAT I DO ANYWHERE ELSE. IT MUST BE BECAUSE OF
CALIFORNIA. I DON’T KNOW WHAT ELSE
TO ATTRIBUTE IT TO. WOMAN: ♪ I LOVE YOU,
CALIFORNIA ♪ ♪ OOH ♪ CAPTIONING MADE POSSIBLE BY
CRAFT IN AMERICA, INC. ANNOUNCER: MAJOR FUNDING
FOR “CRAFT IN AMERICA” WAS PROVIDED BY CYNTHIA LOVELACE
SEARS AND FRANK BUXTON, LILLIAN PIERSON LOVELACE, L.L. BROWNRIGG, NATIONAL ENDOWMENT
FOR THE ARTS, CALIFORNIA ARTS COUNCIL, STOLAROFF FOUNDATION. ADDITIONAL SUPPORT WAS
PROVIDED BY THE FOLLOWING… WOMAN: I’M THE
GREAT-GREAT-GRANDDAUGHTER OF MARY FRANCISCO, ONE OF THE BEST POMO BASKET
WEAVERS THAT EVER LIVED. I NEVER MET MY GREAT-GRANDMA, AND I DIDN’T HAVE ANY LIVING
WEAVING TEACHERS. WHEN I WAS 9 YEARS OLD, I WENT ON A SCHOOL CAMPING TRIP. WE HAD A PRESENTER COME
TALK ABOUT BASKETS, AND THEY SHOWED SOME OF THEIRS AND THEY TALKED ABOUT
THEIR TYPE. AND THAT NIGHT WE CAMPED
UNDER A WILLOW TREE, AND I HAD A DREAM. I WAS WALKING TO A HOUSE
THAT’S NOT THERE ANYMORE, AND MY GREAT-GRANDMA
WAS THERE. [VOICE BREAKING]
AND SHE TOLD ME TO
SIT ON HER LAP. AND SHE PUT HER HANDS LIKE THIS, AND I PUT MY HANDS LIKE THAT. AND SHE SAID, “YOU KNOW,
YOU CAN WEAVE. YOU HAVE MY HANDS.
YOU CAN WEAVE.” I WOKE UP THE NEXT DAY,
AND THAT WILLOW TREE THAT WE WERE CAMPING UNDER
LOOKED VERY DIFFERENT. I WAS ABLE TO LOOK AT THIS
WILLOW TREE WITH BASKET MAKER’S EYES. SO I HARVESTED,
I WOVE A LITTLE BASKET THAT DAY, AND I’VE BEEN HARVESTING
AND WEAVING EVER SINCE THEN. WE ARE IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA, A COUPLE HOURS NORTH OF
SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA. THIS IS MY HOME RESERVATION, THIS IS MY HOME RANCHERIA, AND THIS IS REALLY WHAT
WE CONSIDER THE HEARTLAND OF POMO COUNTRY. WOMAN: POMO PEOPLES WERE NOT
EVER ONE NATION, ONE TRIBE. THAT IS A CONVENIENT TERM
THAT ANTHROPOLOGISTS GAVE TO WHAT WERE REALLY MANY
INDEPENDENT PEOPLES. WE ALL LIVE IN WHAT’S TODAY
SONOMA COUNTY, MENDOCINO COUNTY, LAKE COUNTY,
CALIFORNIA. POMO PEOPLE MADE BASKETS
USING MORE TYPES OF WEAVING TECHNIQUES THAN
ANYBODY ELSE EVER HAS. AND THAT WAS POSSIBLE IN PART BECAUSE IT’S AN AREA
THAT IS ONE OF THE MOST
BOTANICALLY DIVERSE IN THE WORLD. BASKETS WERE THE ESSENTIAL
TOOL OF LIFE. FROM BIRTH TO DEATH,
FROM HUNTING AND FISHING TO GATHERING AND COOKING, POMO BASKETS ARE THE BEST
IN THE WORLD, AND THAT’S THROUGHOUT TIME
AND THROUGHOUT SPACE. AND THE BASIS OF THAT JUDGMENT IS REALLY THE SHEER TECHNICAL
VIRTUOSITY. PEARCE: I’M TAKING
THIS REDBUD– THIS IS ONE OF THE MAIN
MATERIALS THAT WE USE FOR WEAVING IN POMO BASKETS. AND I HARVEST IT– THIS IS FROM THIS YEAR,
FROM OCTOBER. YOU SPLIT THAT BIG BRANCH
INTO HALF, AND THEN YOU HAVE TO THIN IT
EVEN FINER, AND YOU HAVE TO GET RID
OF ALL THESE LITTLE KNOTS. I’M BASICALLY JUST SPLITTING IT
OVER AND OVER AGAIN UNTIL I GET IT THE THICKNESS
THAT I WANT AND THE WIDTH THAT I WANT. WITH REDBUD,
IT’S VERY IMPORTANT TO HAVE THE BARK ON ONE SIDE AND THE BEAUTIFUL WHITE CREAM
COLOR ON THE INSIDE. GET TO DO A WHOLE BUNCH OF THEM
AND COIL THEM, AND THEN I ACTUALLY HAVE TO DRY
FOR 6 MONTHS TO A YEAR BEFORE YOU CAN WEAVE WITH THEM. SO WHAT I’M DOING THIS YEAR I WILL WEAVE WITH NEXT YEAR. SO YOU HAVE TO PLAN AHEAD. SMITH-FERRI: BASKETS ARE
THE PLANTS. YOU HAVE TO HAVE GOOD MATERIALS BEFORE YOU CAN MAKE
REALLY FINE BASKETS. THE THING ABOUT PLANTS
IS THEY’RE NOT EXACT. YOU KNOW, THEY’RE PRETTY SHAGGY. AND TO DO REALLY FINE BASKETRY,
IT HAS TO BE PRECISELY THE SAME, SAME DIAMETER, SAME TAPER,
SAME WIDTHS. IF YOU DON’T HAVE IT,
IT WILL NOT WORK. YOU HAVE TO GET SOMETHING
THAT’S IMPRECISE AND MAKE IT PERFECT,
AND THAT IS– IT IS JUST SOMETHING THAT IS
SO DIFFICULT TO DO. REALLY BY THE TIME YOU SIT DOWN
AND START WEAVING, YOU ARE ALMOST FINISHED
IN TERMS OF THE AMOUNT OF TIME THAT YOU’RE GOING TO SPEND
AND THE ACTIVITIES THAT YOU NEED TO PRODUCE
THAT PIECE. PEARCE: I ALWAYS
WATCH THE DAFFODILS. ONCE THE DAFFODILS COME
ALL THE WAY UP AND START TO DIE BACK,
THEN THE SEDGE ROOT IS READY. ALMOST ALL OF THE TAN COLOR THAT YOU SEE IN POMO BASKETS
IS MADE WITH THE SEDGE ROOT. ALL RIGHT. OK. PEARCE, VOICE-OVER: TO PROCESS
SEDGE, YOU HAVE TO HAVE A PATCH. WE ACTUALLY TRANSPLANTED
THIS PATCH. ITS NORMAL LOCATION IS
ALONG RIVERBEDS OR IN LOAMY SOIL ALONG
THE REDWOODS. IT JUST LOOKED LIKE
TUFTS OF GRASS. AND I’M GONNA USE
A DIGGING STICK AND I’M GONNA DIG DOWN
INTO THE SOIL TO FIND THE ROOT. OK, STICK YOUR HAND RIGHT HERE. – YOU FEEL THAT?
– YEAH. PEARCE: THAT’S A ROOT. PEARCE, VOICE-OVER: AND THEN
I’M GONNA FOLLOW THE ROOT UNTIL IT COMES TO THE END. IF YOU GET THERE TOO SOON,
IT’S TOO WET AND MUDDY AND YOUR ROOTS ARE TOO SHORT. IF YOU WAIT TOO LONG, YOU’RE FIGHTING SNAKES
AND SPIDERS, AND THAT’S NOT FUN. A PRETTY UNIVERSAL
POMO LEGEND IS THAT SPIDER WOMAN,
WHO LIVES IN THE SEDGE ROOT, HELPED US LEARN HOW TO WEAVE. AND SO OUT OF RESPECT FOR HER, ONCE SHE’S IN THE SEDGE ROOT, WE DON’T GO AND BOTHER HER. GOOD JOB. SMITH-FERRI: IT’S FAIRLY
SOPHISTICATED ENVIRONMENTAL
KNOWLEDGE, BECAUSE YOU CAN ONLY
PROCESS MATERIAL AT A PARTICULAR POINT OF
THE YEAR. YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS
YOU’RE LOOKING FOR, WHAT IS THAT PLANT
REALLY DOING? PEARCE: YOU KNOW HOW
TO SPLIT IT? MAN: I DON’T. PEARCE: I WILL SHOW YOU. SMITH-FERRI: MY GRANDMA
USED TO SAY, YOU KNOW, YOU CAN’T GO TO
A STORE AND FIND IT, BUT YOU ALSO CAN’T GO OUTSIDE
AND JUST FIND IT. IT’S THIS COLLABORATION
OF YOU AND THE PLANTS WORKING TOGETHER TO PROVIDE YOU
AS A BASKET MAKER THE KIND OF MATERIAL
THAT YOU NEED. AND THIS IS WHY WE DEVELOPED
THE GARDENS HERE AT THE GRACE HUDSON MUSEUM. PEARCE: WE TRANSPLANTED THE
BASKETRY MATERIALS LAST YEAR, SO THIS IS REALLY THE FIRST YEAR
OF FOCUSED TRAINING. – NO FLOWERS CAME OUT.
– NOPE. NOPE. PEARCE: IT’S GOING STRAIGHT
FOR LEAVES. SMITH-FERRI: YEP. PEARCE, VOICE-OVER: THE GRACE
HUDSON IS A REALLY GOOD RESOURCE FOR THE WHOLE COMMUNITY
IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. SMITH-FERRI:
THE ARTIST GRACE HUDSON WAS BORN IN 1865
NEARBY TO UKIAH, OUT IN THE COUNTRY
AS WE SAY HERE. HER CAREER WAS A SERIES
OF OIL PORTRAITS OF POMO INDIAN PEOPLE. AND SHE LIVED DURING
A VERY DIFFICULT TIME FOR NATIVE PEOPLE IN THIS AREA, NATIVE PEOPLE THROUGHOUT
CALIFORNIA. AND REALLY, SHE SINCERELY
THOUGHT THAT POMO PEOPLE WERE NOT GONNA SURVIVE. SHE HAD SEEN SO MANY
PEOPLE DIE FROM DISEASE, FROM STARVATION, FROM VIOLENCE, PEOPLE ARE DISPLACED. SO SHE WAS REALLY TRYING
TO PRESERVE SOMETHING THAT SHE THOUGHT WAS
GOING TO DISAPPEAR. GRACE HUDSON, THANKFULLY,
WAS WRONG. POMO PEOPLE ARE STILL
AROUND TODAY. PEARCE: THE GRACE HUDSON
IS A GREAT RESOURCE. YOU CAN GO THERE AND ASK
TO TOUCH AND HOLD THE BASKETS. THE OILS FROM YOUR HANDS
AND FROM YOUR FACE ARE GOOD FOR YOUR BASKETS. WHEN I GET TO HOLD OLD BASKETS, I SNUGGLE THEM BECAUSE
IT’S SO GOOD FOR THEM. THEY’RE LIVING THINGS. SMITH-FERRI: THIS IS THE OLDEST
BASKET IN OUR COLLECTION. WE KNOW IT’S AT LEAST
150 YEARS OLD BECAUSE WE KNOW THAT IT WAS
GIVEN AS A GIFT TO GRACE HUDSON’S FAMILY
IN 1860 WHEN THEY MOVED TO
POTTER VALLEY. POMO BASKETS, BESIDES BEING
THE STUFF OF EVERYDAY LIFE, HAD A LOT OF SOCIAL CURRENCY. THEY WERE GIVEN AS GIFTS
AT SIGNIFICANT LIFE EVENTS AND TO CEMENT TIES
AND FRIENDSHIPS. PEARCE: IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA, WE LIKE TO DO SITTING CRADLES, WHICH IS A U-SHAPE, AND THE BABY’S BUTT
GOES HERE. OK, SO THEY SIT LIKE IT’S A–
LIKE IT’S A SWING. THIS IS MADE OUT OF WILLOW. THIS IS PEELED AND UNPEELED
WILLOW, AND THIS SUPPORT ROD IS IN
EACH ONE OF THESE. IT’S MADE OUT OF SPLIT
BLACK OAK, WHICH IS EXTREMELY STRONG. THE RIM, AND IT’S NOT
A HANDLE, IT’S MADE OUT OF OAK. IT’S VERY IMPORTANT SPIRITUALLY. OUR STAPLE FOOD SUPPLY
IS ACORNS, SO IT’S A WAY OF TYING OUR
PLANT FAMILY TO THE BASKET. YOU DON’T MAKE CRADLES UNTIL
THE BABY’S ACTUALLY BORN, SO THAT BABY HAS A TON OF
INFLUENCE ON WHERE YOU HARVEST,
WHAT THE SEASON IS, HOW YOU PUT IT TOGETHER,
IF THAT BABY’S– LIKE, IF YOU’RE ALREADY FEELING
SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR THAT BABY,
YOU PUT IT IN THE BASKET. I PUT LOVE IN EVERY STITCH, AND EVERY SINGLE STICK IS
A CONSCIOUS CHOICE FOR A CRADLE. EVERY SINGLE BASKET
ON THE TABLE TODAY YOU GUYS COULD MAKE. THIS IS ALL THE TECHNIQUE
THAT YOU KNOW. YOU’RE MASTERS OF THIS WEAVE. PEARCE, VOICE-OVER:
THIS IS AN EDUCATION PROGRAM FOCUSED AT CHILDREN. LITTLE KIDS CAN’T WEAVE
ON THEIR OWN, SO THEY HAVE TO BRING
A GROWNUP. SO AT THIS POINT, I’M HAVING
MORE GROWNUPS AND ELDERS WEAVING, BUT THEY STILL BRING THE KIDS. WHEN YOU’RE STARTING TO SEPARATE
THEM INTO INDIVIDUALS, THEN YOU ADD ANOTHER SPOKE. PEARCE, VOICE-OVER: I LIKE TO
TEACH BASKETRY BECAUSE IT CONNECTS US ALL
AS HUMANS. – ARE YOU MISSING A BLACK ONE?
– I’M NOT. PEARCE, VOICE-OVER: FIRST I
TAUGHT NATIVES FROM ALL OVER THE COUNTRY
AND CANADA. – 3 MORE RED ONES.
– OK. PEARCE, VOICE-OVER:
AND THEN I WENT TO LEBANON AND TAUGHT BASKETRY. AND I’VE BEEN TO EUROPE
AND TAUGHT BASKETRY. AND WHAT I REALIZED IS THAT
IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT TRIBE ON THE PLANET
YOU’RE FROM, YOU ALL STILL MADE BASKETS. [INDISTINCT CHATTER] EVERYONE ALREADY HAS
A BASKET IN THEM, AND I’M JUST HELPING THEM
TO BRING IT OUT. WE’D HAD A FIRE LAST YEAR. IT RIPPED THROUGH OUR VALLEY. WE HAD WINDS OF UPWARDS
OF 75 MILES AN HOUR, AND THE HUMIDITY WAS NOTHING. IT WAS A FIRESTORM. [VOICE BREAKING]
WE LOST KIDS AND ELDERS
AND… IT WAS VERY IMPACTFUL. WE LOST SOMETHING LIKE
15% OF THE HOMES THAT WE HAVE IN OUR VALLEY. WHEN I SEE A FRIEND WHO LOST
THEIR ENTIRE HOUSE, THEY ALSO LOST ALL THE OAK TREES THAT I HARVEST CRADLE BASKET
RIMS FROM. OR WHEN I DRIVE DOWN
IN THE VINEYARD, ALL THE REDBUD THAT I HARVESTED,
THEY’RE ALL GONE. MY BASKET GARDEN TOTALLY
BURNT DOWN, AND WE LOST A LOT, BUT WE ACTUALLY PULLED OUR
COMMUNITY TOGETHER. WE HAVE THESE CLASSES SO THAT
COMMUNITY MEMBERS CAN COME AND LITERALLY WEAVE
WHAT THEY LOST. MY INTENTION IS TO HEAL
THE LAND AND THE COMMUNITY, AND THAT’S WHAT
WE’RE DOING HERE. THIS IS ART. IT’S CULTURALLY RELEVANT. IT’S HISTORICALLY SIGNIFICANT. IT’S MORE THAN THAT. THIS IS HOW WE CONNECT
TO OUR LAND. [GUITAR PLAYING SLOW TUNE] WOMAN: ♪ COUNTERFEIT HEART,
COUNTERFEIT PLEASURE ♪ MAN: WE’RE UP HERE,
WE’RE LOOKING AROUND THINKING WHAT A BEAUTIFUL AREA
THIS IS, AND, “GOD, I’D LOVE TO LIVE
AROUND HERE.” AND, “BEING AN ARTIST,
MAYBE I CAN LIVE ANYWHERE
I WANT TO LIVE.” SO I PUT IN MY RESIGNATION. YOU KNOW, LIKE,
“WELL, I’M GONNA GO “AND LIVE SOMEWHERE BEAUTIFUL “AND I’M GONNA GET SOME GOOD
EXERCISE AND GO SURFING AND HAVE SOME FUN,” AND SO THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED. WOMAN: ♪ COUNTERFEIT PLEASURE ♪ SECOND WOMAN: SOME PEOPLE CALL
IT THE MIDDLE KINGDOM. IT’S THE CENTRAL COAST
OF CALIFORNIA, AND IT’S PARADISE. WE MOVED IN 1979. I GOT A JOB AT HEARST CASTLE, AND RANDY HAD TO FIND A PLACE
TO DO HIS SILVERSMITHING. IT TOOK AN ACT OF BRAVERY,
BUT IT WAS THE BEST DECISION WE EVER MADE. RANDY: THIS GUY. RANDY, VOICE-OVER:
SO MUCH OF SILVERSMITHING IS THE CONCEPTUALIZING
AND THE PLANNING OF THE PIECE. YOU SPEND SO MUCH TIME
THINKING ABOUT HOW TO PUT EVERYTHING TOGETHER, HOW TO GET FROM “A” TO “Z,” AND THEN WHEN YOU START
DOING IT, YOU KIND OF RELY ON THE CRAFT. YOU JUST KIND OF GET INTO
BEING A CRAFTSMEN AND A SILVERSMITH, AND YOU DO
THE RIGHT SILVERSMITHING THING. WE’RE MAKING A BOWL. AND THE PROCESS IS
METAL SPINNING. AND I COAX THE METAL UP OVER
THE WOOD FORMS THAT I’VE TURNED. THIS LATHE WAS MADE IN 1900, AND IT OPENS UP TO SPIN
SOMETHING 44 INCHES IN DIAMETER. SO I CAN SPIN A BOWL THIS BIG
IF I WANTED TO, IF I COULD. [CHUCKLES] BUT IT’S A GREAT WORKHORSE, AND IT’LL PROBABLY BE AROUND
ANOTHER HUNDRED YEARS ‘CAUSE I CAN’T SEE HOW YOU COULD
HURT THIS THING. MY FIRST JOB WAS PAINTING MURALS
AT SURF SHOPS, AND THEN I TRADED
FOR SURFBOARDS. FRIDAY EVENING, OUR PARENTS
WOULD DROP US OFF IN MALIBU AND THEN PICK US UP,
YOU KNOW, SUNDAY AFTERNOON. WE’D SURF ALL DAY AND GO AND SLEEP ON THE BEACH AND HAVE A LITTLE BONFIRE. THE WAVES WERE PERFECT. THE WEATHER WAS PERFECT. WE WERE JUST KIDS.
WE WERE JUST SOAKING IT ALL IN. I LOVED SHAPE AND I LOVED
SCULPTURE. I LOVED FORMS. AND I WANTED TO CREATE MOVEMENT. I WANTED TO GIVE THE ILLUSION OF LIKE A WAVE BREAKING
AND LIKE RIPPLES IN THE OCEAN. BUT I ALSO WANTED TO MAKE IT
LOOK LIKE IT WAS SPINNING ROUND, AND I ALSO WANTED TO MAKE
A PETAL, A BLOOM, LOOK LIKE IT’S OPENING UP. SO I WANTED TO CREATE
ALL THIS MOVEMENT OUT OF SOMETHING THAT
WAS JUST A SHAPE. I CREATE ILLUSIONS, AND YOU SEE THE REFLECTIONS
COMING BACK AND YOU AREN’T QUITE SURE
WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING AT, AND I THINK THAT’S FASCINATING. IF I CAN GET PEOPLE TO LOOK
AT SOMETHING FOR 5 MINUTES AS OPPOSED TO 5 SECONDS,
I’VE DONE MY JOB. WHEN I WAS 18, I ENROLLED
IN L.A. VALLEY COLLEGE. ONE OF THE CLASSES WAS CALLED
CRAFTS WORKSHOP. THE FIRST PROJECT WE MADE
IN THE CLASS WAS A BAND RING. AND I CARVED IT AND DID
ALL THIS WORK TO IT, AND I WAS THINKING,
“I LIKE THIS FEEL. “I LIKE THE WAY THIS FEELS
TO DO THIS PROCESS. THIS IS A NICE PROCESS.” AND THE TEACHER GRABBED
THAT PIECE FROM ME, SHE HELD IT UP TO THE CLASS
AND SHE GOES, “EVERYBODY, WE HAVE
A CRAFTSMAN IN THE CLASS.” THROUGH THE CLASS,
WE WENT ON A TOUR OF
A SILVERSMITH’S STUDIO, THE SILVERSMITH TO THE STARS
IN HOLLYWOOD, PORTER BLANCHARD. I WALKED IN THERE,
I WAS JUST BLOWN AWAY. I LOOKED AT ALL THE WOOD
AND LEATHER AND STEEL TOOLS, THINGS THAT
WERE A HUNDRED YEARS OLD, THINKING, “BY GOD, LOOK
AT THIS PLACE. THIS IS FASCINATING.” THEN I SAW THESE SILVER COFFEE
SETS HE WAS MAKING, THESE SILVER CANDLESTICKS
24 INCHES TALL WITH S-CURVES ON THEIR BASE AND JUST, OH, THE CRAFTSMANSHIP AND THE EXECUTION
AND THE DESIGN. I WAS JUST–I WAS FLOORED. I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT. PORTER WAS DEMONSTRATING SOME
RAISING ON AN OVAL DISH. HE SEES ME WALK BY AND HE GOES, “HEY, HOW ABOUT YOU? YOU COME OVER HERE AND TRY
THIS OUT.” I LOOKED AT WHAT HE WAS DOING AND I KNEW WHAT TOOLS TO USE. AND SO I GRABBED THE RIGHT
RAISING HAMMERS AND I GRABBED THE RIGHT STAKES
AND I START DOING IT, AND HE GOES, “WELL, JUST HAMMER
A HALF-INCH HIGHER “THAN WHAT YOU’RE HAMMERING. “YOU HAVE TO GET THE LEVERAGE. YOU HAVE TO HIT
A LITTLE BIT ABOVE.” ALL OF A SUDDEN, THE THING
STARTS GOING AROUND, I START RAISING AND IT STARTS
MOVING AND EVERYTHING’S GOING. AND HE’S GOING, “WOW, YOU WANT
TO COME BACK AND WORK?” AND I’M THINKING, “THIS GUY’S
84 YEARS OLD. “HE’S WORLD RENOWNED.
LOOK AT THIS WORK HE’S DOING. “THIS IS, LIKE, UNBELIEVABLE. AND WHAT AN OPPORTUNITY
THIS WOULD BE.” I DECIDED, “YES,
I’M GONNA COME BACK.” THIS IS A PIECE THAT
PORTER BLANCHARD USED TO MAKE FOR HIS TEA SET. THIS IS NOT SOMETHING I REALLY
WANT TO MAKE A TEAPOT OUT OF, BUT IT’S SOMETHING I LOVE
FOR THE BOWL SHAPE. PORTER WAS DESIGNING
PEWTER AND SILVER WITH A MODERNIST FEEL TO IT, BUT HE WASN’T ONLY JUST
A MODERNIST, HE HAD HIS OWN SET OF IDEAS, AND HE DIDN’T FOLLOW ANYBODY
ELSE’S PROTOCOL OR THOUGHT PROCESS. HE JUST DID WHAT HE WANTED
TO DO. THIS IS PORTER BLANCHARD’S
ACTUAL HANDWORK ON THIS. HE HAD A SET OF DRAWERS
LIKE THIS JUST FULL OF DRAWINGS. THESE ARE MADE BY HAND. ALL THIS SORT OF WIRE WORK HERE
WAS ALL FILED IN. THIS IS ALL HAND-FILED
AND THIS IS ALL HAND-CHASED. THIS IS THE OVAL GEORGIAN
SCROLL. PORTER ORIGINALLY DID IT FOR
JOAN CRAWFORD AND CARY GRANT, BACK IN THAT ERA. JOAN CRAWFORD WAS
HIS BEST CUSTOMER. SHE HAD THOUSANDS OF
HIS PIECES. THEY NEVER SAW EACH OTHER
IN PERSON, BUT THEY SPOKE ON THE PHONE
ALMOST DAILY, AND THEY’D SPEAK FOR AN HOUR
OR TWO A DAY. SO THEY’RE LIKE BEST FRIENDS,
BESTIES, WITHOUT EVER SEEING
EACH OTHER. PORTER WAS A MAN BEFORE
HIS TIME. HE WAS INTO HEALTH FOOD.
HE WAS INTO EXERCISE. HE HAD IT ALL GOING ON. WE WERE MAKING BIG
SILVER PLATTERS, AND I WAS HOLDING THEM FOR HIM
AND TWISTING THEM AND MOVING WITH HIM. AND IT WAS TWO OF US
WORKING AS ONE. IT WAS A GREAT EXPERIENCE. I REALIZED I WASN’T GOING TO
HAVE TOO MANY YEARS WITH HIM AND I WANTED TO GAIN AS MUCH
KNOWLEDGE AS I COULD. WE WORKED WEEKENDS.
WE WORKED OVERTIME. WE WORKED NONSTOP. WE HAD A VAULT FULL OF SILVER, WE HAD A SHOP FULL OF TOOLS, AND IF I MESSED ANYTHING UP, ALL I HAD TO DO WAS MELT IT DOWN
AND GO RIGHT BACK AND DO IT AGAIN. IT WAS A TIME THAT YOU NEVER
CAN DUPLICATE. SO I JUST FILLED IT UP
WITH SUBSTANCE, AND IT’S GONNA SUPPORT IT
WHILE I DO MY CHASING. AND I’M GOING TO THROW THIS
INTO THE FREEZER. I’M GONNA FREEZE IT, AND WE’RE GONNA COME BACK
AND CHASE IT WHEN IT’S FROZEN. [INDISTINCT CHATTER] [RANDY CHUCKLES] LISA: WE FOUND THIS PIECE
OF LAND BY ACCIDENT. WE HAVE 28 ACRES. WE GROW WALNUTS
AND ASIAN PEARS, PLUMS, APPLES, GRAPES. WE HAVE A 5-ACRE VINEYARD. OUR KIDS BASICALLY GREW UP
GOING DOWN TO THE CREEK, PICKING FLOWERS,
CATCHING CRAWDADS, DOING ALL KINDS OF THINGS THAT
ARE KIND OF MORE COUNTRY LIVING SORT OF THINGS. WOMAN: I GREW UP TRAVELING
TO DIFFERENT ARTS FESTIVALS. IT WAS SUPER FUN. THERE WAS USUALLY
A MUSICAL GROUP. AND MY DAD, HE’D TAKE A BREAK
FROM THE FESTIVALS, WE’D GO EXPLORE THE DIFFERENT
MUSICAL ACTS. AND GROWING UP IN HIS WORKSHOP, HE ALWAYS HAD MUSIC
PLAYING AS WELL. AND A LOT OF MY MEMORIES
I HAVE OF MUSIC, I HAVE HIS HAMMERS ALSO GOING
AT THE SAME TIME, SO… YEAH, IT’S PRETTY SPECIAL. [TAPPING] RANDY: I’VE TAKEN THIS BOWL
AND I’VE FROZEN IT. I WANTED THE SUBSTANCE
TO SOLIDIFY AND BECOME FIRM SO MY CHASING WENT INTO
A HARD SURFACE. TO ESTABLISH THE LINES,
I HAVE TO HAVE A FIRM SUBSTANCE. AND AS IT THAWS AND BECOMES
SOFTER, MY CHASING WILL BECOME
MORE PRONOUNCED, I’LL GET MORE CURVES AND MORE
SHAPE TO MY PIECES. CHASING ENCOMPASSES MANY
DIFFERENT THINGS– SURFACE ORNAMENTATION. AND THIS IS FLUTING. I’M USING THE LIGHT TOOL
TO ESTABLISH THE LINE, TO GET THE LINE STARTED, THEN I USE HEAVIER TOOLS
TO MAKE IT A DEEPER LINE, AND THEN I’LL TAKE OTHER TOOLS
AND ACTUALLY START SHAPING IT AND CREATING THE ROUNDNESS
OF THE FORMS. [TAPPING] IN 1993, I RECEIVED A LETTER,
AND IT SAID, “WE HAVE CHOSEN 35 AMERICAN
CRAFTSMEN TO BE PART “OF THE FIRST COLLECTION OF
AMERICAN CRAFTS “IN THE WHITE HOUSE, AND YOU’RE INVITED
TO BE IN IT.” I HAD BEEN PLAYING AROUND
WITH THIS IDEA, JUST THE LOOK OF A DOME,
MORE OF A DOME LOOK, AND WITH THE 3-TIERED EFFECT
PLAYING ON 3s WITH COLUMNS ON IT WITH GOLD
AND SILVER. IT KIND OF SEEMED LIKE
A WHITE HOUSE BOWL TO ME. SO I SAID, “HOW ABOUT
THIS PIECE?” AND IT WORKED OUT PERFECT. IT LOOKED VERY FITTING
IN THE WHITE HOUSE. WE WERE INVITED BACK
TO THE WHITE HOUSE FOR THE OPENING OF THE WHITE
HOUSE CRAFT COLLECTION. I FELT SO FORTUNATE
TO BE INCLUDED INTO THIS GROUP, AND IT WAS A GREAT NIGHT. LISA: HANDMADE OBJECTS
ARE BECOMING SO RARE, ESPECIALLY IN
THE METALSMITH WORLD WITH 3-D IMAGING AND DIFFERENT
AVENUES PEOPLE ARE TAKING NOW
TO MAKE METALWORK AND JEWELRY. WHEN SOMETHING IS HANDMADE
FROM BEGINNING TO END BY ONE PERSON, I CAN’T NOT BELIEVE THAT PART
OF THEIR SOUL IS IN THAT PIECE. IT WILL LAST FOREVER AND EVER
AND EVER. RANDY: I LOVE BEING
WHERE WE ARE AND I LOVE HAVING A SHOP
LIKE THIS. IT IS REALLY NICE IF YOU
CAN COME HOME FROM A GOOD MORNING OF SURFING, COME AND JUMP IN HERE, AND THEN JUST CREATE PIECES. IT’S NOT MUCH OF A BETTER
LIFESTYLE. WOMAN: ♪ HOME
IN PASADENA ♪ ♪ HOME WHERE GRASS
IS GREENER ♪ MAN: THE ARTS AND CRAFTS
MOVEMENT WAS A REACTION TO THE OVERINDUSTRIALIZATION
OF SOCIETY. THE ARTS AND CRAFTS MOVEMENT
IN CALIFORNIA RECOGNIZED A CLOSER
CONNECTION WITH NATURE. PASADENA WAS A LOCUS FOR ITS
OWN PARTICULAR EXPRESSION OF THE ARTS AND CRAFTS
MOVEMENT, AND THAT’S LARGELY THANKS TO
THE PRESENCE OF TWO BRILLIANT ARCHITECTS,
CHARLES AND HENRY GREENE FROM ABOUT 1893 ON. THE MOVEMENT WAS AN APPROACH
TO DESIGN AND CRAFT THAT INCORPORATED A HIGH LEVEL
OF HANDWORK. AND I CAN’T THINK OF A PLACE
WHERE IT’S BETTER EXPRESSED THAN HERE AT THE GAMBLE HOUSE. WOMAN: THE GAMBLE HOUSE IS ONE
OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECES OF RESIDENTIAL
ARCHITECTURE IN OUR COUNTRY AND PROBABLY
INTERNATIONALLY. IT’S A CELEBRATION
OF AMERICAN CRAFT AND DECORATIVE ARTS. IT’S A TIMELESS PIECE
OF ARTS AND CRAFTS ARCHITECTURE. CALIFORNIA, THE SETTING,
HAD A BIG INFLUENCE ON CHARLES AND HENRY GREENE. THEY WERE INFLUENCED
BY THE ENVIRONMENT, BY THE LIFESTYLE, THE CLIMATE, AND THEY WERE SEARCHING
FOR THEIR OWN ARCHITECTURE THAT THEY CONSIDERED TO BE
A CALIFORNIA ARCHITECTURE. BOSLEY: THE GAMBLE HOUSE
WAS SEEN AS A RADICAL STATEMENT ON THE LAND WHEN IT WAS
BUILT IN 1908. AND WHEN THE GAMBLES
OCCUPIED IT, THEY KNEW THEY WERE MOVING
INTO A WORK OF ART. WOMAN: I CAME HERE
AS A CHILD FOR SUNDAY LUNCH. IT WAS SORT OF A COMMAND
PERFORMANCE THAT WE BE HERE. WE WERE ALLOWED AFTER
OUR LUNCH TO PUT OUR PLAY CLOTHES ON AND ROAM AROUND WHEREVER
WE WANTED TO GO IN THE HOUSE. I THINK THE DINING ROOM
WAS MY FAVORITE BECAUSE OF THE FAMILY TOGETHER. THIS WAS A HOME, AND WE LIKE TO THINK OF IT STILL
AS A HOME. SUTHERLIN McLEOD:
I LIVED HERE IN THE HOUSE WHILE I WAS STUDYING
ARCHITECTURE AT USC. I WAS SO FORTUNATE TO BE ABLE
TO EXPERIENCE IT AS A HOME AS THE GAMBLES DID. I WAS ABLE TO EXPERIENCE
THIS BUILDING AS THE GREENES DESIGNED IT
TO BE EXPERIENCED. THE GREENES WERE EXPLORING HOW
TO BRING GOOD DESIGN TO THE DAILY LIVES OF THE PEOPLE
WHO INTERACT WITH IT, WHETHER IT BE ARCHITECTURE,
DECORATIVE ARTS, TEXTILES, FURNISHINGS. FOR THE GREENES, NO DETAIL
WAS TOO SMALL TO BE CONSIDERED AND DONE WELL. BOSLEY: ONE OF THE REASONS
THE GREENES HAVE THE REPUTATION FOR HIGH-ART ARCHITECTURE
AND BEAUTIFUL CRAFTSMANSHIP THAT THEY HAVE IS BECAUSE
OF THE MAKERS. THEY HAD PUT TOGETHER
A GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO WERE ABLE TO EXECUTE
AT THE LEVEL THAT THEY
WERE DESIGNING AT. MAN: THE HALLS WERE
A PAIR OF BROTHERS, JOHN AND PETER HALL. THEY WERE ESSENTIALLY
THE ONLY CONTRACTORS WHO WERE BUILDING THE FURNITURE
AND LIGHTING FOR THE GREENE & GREENE FIRM. PETER WAS A GENERAL CONTRACTOR, AND JOHN WAS HIS SHOP FOREMAN. AND THEY HAD THEIR OWN SHOP
HERE IN PASADENA. IN ALMOST ALL GREENE &
GREENE-DESIGNED CHAIRS, THE WIDTH AT THE BACK
IS NARROWER AND IT’S WIDER AT THE FRONT. AND THE LEGS ARE NOT SQUARE, THEY’RE PARALLELOGRAMS. AND THAT SHAPE IS TO MEET
THE ANGLE CREATED BY THAT TAPERING
IN THE BACK. THE HALLS CAME UP
WITH A TECHNIQUE FOR HOW TO DO THE JOINERY
ON THESE PARALLELOGRAM LEGS. IN ADDITION TO CUTTING
THE MORTISE FOR THE TENON, YOU HAVE TO CUT A SECONDARY
MORTISE TO HOUSE THE ENTIRE RAIL. MAN: THERE IS A SIMPLICITY
THAT HIDES THE COMPLEXITY IN THE HALL-BUILT GREENE & GREENE-DESIGNED
PIECE. IT WAS THE HALLS’ UNDERSTANDING
OF WOOD AND SEASONAL WOOD MOVEMENT THAT ACTUALLY CONTRIBUTED TO
SOME OF THE DESIGN ELEMENTS THAT WE SEE IN
THE GREENES’ WORK. THERE’S JUST THIS INTERPLAY
OF UNDERSTANDING THAT HAD TO EXIST, AND IT
AFFECTS THE FINAL OUTCOME. BOSLEY: THE GREENES DESIGNED
A SMALL HANDFUL OF HOUSES ON THE SCALE OF THE GAMBLE HOUSE AND AT THIS LEVEL OF DESIGN
AND QUALITY, AND ONE OF THEM WAS
THE BLACKER HOUSE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF TOWN
HERE IN PASADENA. IT’S A 12,000-SQUARE-FOOT HOUSE, COMPARED TO THE APPROXIMATELY
8,000-SQUARE-FOOT HOUSE THAT THE GAMBLES HAD. JAMES: THE BLACKER HOUSE
NEEDED A COMPLETE RESTORATION, WHICH BEGAN IN 1994 AND HAS
CONTINUED TO THIS DAY. THE REPRODUCTIONS THAT
I’VE DONE ARE BUILT TO EXACTLY MATCH WHAT WAS
ORIGINALLY CREATED. IN ORDER TO RECREATE THE DESIGNS
OF GREENE & GREENE, IT WAS NECESSARY TO UNDERSTAND
THE METHODOLOGY THAT THE HALLS USED IN JOINING
THE VARIOUS PIECES OF WOOD TOGETHER, TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THE DIFFERENT
MATERIALS WERE, TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT INLAYED
SURFACE REALLY WAS. JACK: WE’RE DOING A GREENE
& GREENE-DESIGNED CHAIR FROM THE THORSEN HOUSE
IN BERKELEY. AND THIS CHAIR HAS INLAY
IN THE CREST RAIL. THE CHAIR IS MADE OF MAHOGANY. MOST OF THE VINE AND BRANCH
AND LEAVES ARE MADE OF WHITE OAK. THE ROOT, WHICH IS DARKER
IN COLOR, IS MADE OF ROSEWOOD. WHEN YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE
THE LOOK, WHEN YOU WANT IT TO
LOOK AUTHENTIC TO
THE WAY IT WAS DONE, YOU REALLY HAVE TO MAKE IT
THE WAY IT WAS MADE. WE’RE NOT USING A MODERN TOOL
LIKE A RANDOM ORBIT SANDER. WE ARE USING THE TOOLS
THE HALLS WERE USING– HAND PLANES AND SCRAPERS
AND SANDPAPER THE WAY THAT THEY WERE USING IT. WE STARTED BY TAKING
A TRACING OF THE ORIGINAL CREST RAIL. FROM THERE, WE MAKE
OUR OWN DRAWING, AND WE CUT OUT EACH
PAPER PATTERN. THOSE PAPER PATTERNS THEN
GET GLUED TO THE INLAY MATERIAL
WE’RE USING. IT CAN BE WOOD,
IT CAN BE PRECIOUS METALS, IT CAN BE STONE. WE TAKE A JEWELER’S SAW AND WE CUT OUT ALL OF THOSE
PUZZLE PIECES. WE ARRANGE THEM ON
THE BACKGROUND AND WE INSCRIBE AROUND IT
WITH A KNIFE. THESE MATERIALS ARE INLAYED
INTO THE SURFACE. SO YOU NEED TO EXCAVATE A POCKET APPROXIMATELY 1/16 TO AN 1/8
OF AN INCH, DEPENDING ON THE SIZE, SO YOU HAVE TO GET IT
VERY, VERY PRECISE. WE GLUE THE PUZZLE PIECES IN. AFTER THE GLUE IS DRY,
WE CARVE THOSE PIECES TO GIVE IT A 3-D SCULPTURAL
EFFECT. THERE’S A TACTILE TEXTURE
TO THE WORK. JAMES: ESSENTIALLY, THERE
HAVE ONLY REALLY EVER
BEEN TWO COMPANIES THAT HAVE EVER BUILT GREENE
& GREENE-DESIGNED FURNITURE FOR A GREENE &
GREENE-DESIGNED HOUSE. THAT WAS THE HALLS
AND THAT WAS ME. I GOT TO DO THAT. IT WAS–IT WAS,
AND CONTINUES TO BE, THIS ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE
EXPERIENCE. BOSLEY: THE GAMBLE HOUSE WAS
BUILT AS A WINTER HOME. AND THERE ARE THINGS
ABOUT THIS HOUSE THAT MAKE A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT
OF SENSE IN THE CLIMATE AND TOPOGRAPHY
OF PASADENA AND THE LIFESTYLE OF CALIFORNIA. THE ENTRY HALL OF THE GAMBLE
HOUSE IS ONE OF THE GREAT SPACES IN AMERICAN DOMESTIC
ARCHITECTURE. THE TREMENDOUS LEADED
ART GLASS TRIPTYCH, THIS GREAT TREE WITH
SPREADING BRANCHES. THE IDEA OF NATURE IS
A DOMINANT FEATURE AND TRANSFORMS THE EMOTIONS
OF PEOPLE WHO WALK IN THE DOOR. WE FEEL VERY PROFOUNDLY
A SENSE OF CALM AND BEAUTY WHEN WE’RE SUDDENLY
IN THIS COMPLETELY
DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENT. MAN: GLASS IS THE PERFECT
MEDIUM TO SEE THIS MARRIAGE OF ART
AND ARCHITECTURE WHICH HAS BEEN DONE FOR
NEARLY A THOUSAND YEARS NOW. AND GLASS IS JUST THIS
AMAZING MATERIAL. THE COLOR IS WORKING WITH
TRANSMITTED LIGHT AS OPPOSED TO REFLECTED LIGHT, AND SO IT ADDS A WHOLE ‘NOTHER
DIMENSION TO HOW AN ARTIST CAN WORK. THE JUDSON STUDIOS WAS FOUNDED
IN LOS ANGELES IN 1897 BY MY GREAT-GREAT-GRANDFATHER
AND HIS 3 SONS. AND WE’VE BEEN MAKING
STAINED GLASS IN LOS ANGELES FOR
OVER A HUNDRED YEARS. JUDSON MANUFACTURED THE WINDOWS
FOR FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT AT THE HOLLYHOCK HOUSE, AS WELL AS THE ENNIS HOUSE
A LITTLE BIT LATER. THE JUDSON STUDIOS ARE BASED
RIGHT HERE IN THE ARROYO SECO, WHICH WAS THE LOCATION WHERE
A LOT OF THE ARTISTS AND ARTISANS SETTLED BECAUSE IT FIT RIGHT IN BETWEEN
THE MILLIONAIRES OF PASADENA AND THE BUSINESS DISTRICT
OF DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES. CALIFORNIA AT THAT TIME WAS ALSO
A PLACE OF RENEWAL. WILLIAM LEES JUDSON CAME HERE
FROM CHICAGO FOR HEALTH REASONS, BUT FOUND RENEWED LIFE
AND ENERGY. THERE WAS A VERY OPTIMISTIC
MENTALITY A LOT OF PEOPLE HAD THAT
PLAYED OUT IN THEIR WORK. CALIFORNIA ATTRACTS ARTISTS
WHO THINK DIFFERENTLY, BUT ALSO THE CLIENTELE. CALIFORNIA PROVIDED A MARKET
FOR THESE ARTISTS, AND WE’RE STILL IN A GROWTH AREA WHERE THEY’RE STILL BUILDING
CHURCHES AND THEY’RE STILL BUILDING
COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS AND MUSEUMS. THAT HAS A REALLY STRONG
INFLUENCE ON THE JUDSON STUDIOS. WE’VE ALWAYS BEEN LOOKING
FOR NEW WAYS TO EXPRESS GLASS. WE’VE BEEN ABLE TO DO SOMETHING
A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT AND START FUSING GLASS. FUSING GLASS IS A VERY
CONTEMPORARY, MODERN APPROACH TO THE USE OF GLASS. MAN: IS EVERYONE ON A THUMB? BLACKMAN: THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
FUSED AND STAINED GLASS IS THAT FUSED GLASS
WAS DESIGNED TO HAVE EVERY COLOR
BE COMPATIBLE. DIFFERENT COLORS OF GLASS HEAT
AND CONTRACT AT DIFFERENT RATES. AND IF YOU WANT TO MELT
THEM TOGETHER, ONE OF THEM IS GONNA COOL
FASTER THAN THE OTHER ONE, WHICH WILL CAUSE IT TO CRACK. SO WE HAD A VERY LARGE
PALLET OF GLASSES THAT ALL HAVE THE SAME
COEFFICIENT OF EXPANSION, WHICH MAKES IT SO WE CAN ADD
AS MANY COLORS AS WE WANT INTO ONE SINGLE PIECE OF GLASS
WITHOUT STRESS. JUDSON: ALL OF THE PROJECTS
THAT WE DO HERE AT JUDSON STUDIOS
ARE CUSTOM DESIGNED. AND SO WE START BY GATHERING
INFORMATION FROM A CLIENT AND PUTTING
THAT DOWN IN A ROUGH SKETCH FORM
IN THE COMPUTER. WOMAN: BEING ABLE TO DESIGN
THINGS ON THE COMPUTER AND BEING ABLE TO CHANGE THEM
JUST SAVES US A LOT OF TIME. AND WHEN MOVING FROM DESIGN
TO THE FULL SIZE, IT ALSO SAVES US A LOT OF TIME BECAUSE WE CAN JUST PRINT
SOMETHING THAT’S AT THE ACTUAL SIZE. IT’S CALLED THE CARTOON. JUDSON: THE FULL-SIZE CARTOON
THEN IS USED BY THE CUTTERS TO CUT UP
SHEETS OF MANILA PAPER THAT BECOME TEMPLATES
TO CUT THE GLASS. AND THE GLASS IS CUT BY HAND
WITH A SIMPLE STEEL WHEEL THAT RUNS ON THE SURFACE
OF THE GLASS AND IS BROKEN INTO PIECES. [WOMAN SPEAKING SPANISH] JUDSON: IT’S TAKEN TO
THE PAINTERS IF IT’S PAINTED ON, AND THEN THE PAINTERS PAINT
AND FIRE ON THE GLASS. MAN: THE COLOR COMES
FROM THE GLASS. AND WHAT I DO IS MOSTLY
CREATING LIGHT AND SHADOW AND OUTLINES TO
CREATE IMAGE. WE’LL DO WATER-BASED
PAINT FIRST, AND THEN WE’LL DO OIL-BASED, THEN WE’LL FIRE IT AFTER. AND IF WE NEED TO DO MORE
LAYER ON TOP, WE CAN PAINT IT AND FIRE
IT AGAIN. JUDSON: ONCE IT’S FIRED,
IT CAN COME BACK FOR GLAZING, WHICH IS THE LEADING
OF THE PIECES. THE LEADING IS BASICALLY
CHANNELS OF LEAD THAT ARE WRAPPED AROUND THE
PIECES OF GLASS AND SOLDERED WHEREVER THOSE JOINTS MEET. CORDOVA: IT’S EASY TO WORK
WITH LEAD BECAUSE WE CAN BEND IT,
YOU KNOW. I HAVE 35 YEARS IN
THE STAINED GLASS. I LOVE THIS JOB. NO MATTER HOW DIFFICULT
IT IS, I ENJOY IT MORE WHEN IT’S
MORE DIFFICULT. JUDSON: BEING THE PRESIDENT
OF AN OLD, TRADITIONAL
LEGACY STUDIO, IT’S A TRICKY THING
BECAUSE YOU WANT TO KEEP THE QUALITY AND REPUTATION
OF THE COMPANY WHILE AT THE SAME TIME
REACHING OUT AND LOOKING FOR NEW WAYS TO PUSH
THE MEDIUM OF GLASS. THE SENSE OF CRAFT
IN THE HUMAN HAND IN OUR ART AND DESIGN IS MUCH MORE DESIRABLE NOW
THAN IT HAS BEEN IN THE RECENT PAST. AND SO I THINK THERE’S
A RENEWED INTEREST IN ART FORMS THAT WORK
IN DIFFERENT MATERIALS, NOT ONLY IN STAINED GLASS
BUT OTHER MEDIUMS AS WELL. [CHOIR VOCALIZING] GAMBLE HIRREL: I ALWAYS THOUGHT
THE GAMBLE HOUSE WAS WHAT EVERYBODY’S
GRANDPARENTS’ HOUSE WAS LIKE. WHEN I WAS A SOPHOMORE
IN HIGH SCHOOL, THE HOUSE OPENED TO THE PUBLIC, AND I REMEMBER STANDING
IN LINE TO GET INSIDE
MY GRANDPARENTS’ HOUSE AND REALIZING JUST EVERYTHING
THAT THE GREENES PUT INTO IT, FROM THE JOINERY TO THE CARPETS TO THE PEGS IN THE FURNITURE. THIS REALLY WAS SOMETHING
EXTREMELY SPECIAL. JACK IPEKJIAN: IT’S HARD
TO DENY THE SENSE OF FREEDOM THE GREENES MUST HAVE FELT
BEING HERE IN CALIFORNIA. IN HIS WRITINGS, CHARLES
TALKS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF CLIMATE
AND THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE EFFECT THAT THAT HAS
ON HIS DESIGNS. JACK: THERE’S A FREEDOM
IN CALIFORNIA. THERE IS INSPIRATION
FROM THE PAST AND THERE’S A FEARLESSNESS
TO GO BEYOND IT. SUTHERLIN McLEOD: THE GREENES
WERE ACTUALLY QUITE FORWARD-THINKING
AND QUITE MODERN AND VERY INFLUENTIAL IN
OUR MID-CENTURY MODERN MOVEMENT THAT CAME OUT OF
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. THE GAMBLE HOUSE IS
AS RELEVANT TODAY AS WHEN IT WAS BUILT. WOMAN: I THINK THERE’S 250
CRAFT STUDIOS IN SANTA CRUZ. THERE’S CERAMIC STUDIOS,
GLASS STUDIOS. IT’S A GREAT ARTIST COMMUNITY. I KNOW PEOPLE WOULD SAY,
“OH, A CALIFORNIA ARTIST,” BUT BEING CREATIVE IS, LIKE,
WHO I AM. MAKING CLOTHES IS WHO I AM. IT’S MY WORLD,
AND I LOVE IT. MY MOM SEWED, AND SHE TAUGHT
US TO SEW. WHEN I WAS, I WOULD SAY
JUNIOR HIGH, MY MOM TAUGHT ME ON THIS
MACHINE, THIS LITTLE SINGER, AND IT’S JUST SIMPLE. IT’S NOT INVOLVED TO THREAD OR– IT JUST MAKES ME HAPPY WHEN
I SIT AT THIS MACHINE. I STARTED OUT–OF COURSE
IT WAS THE SIXTIES, AND, YOU KNOW, THE SIXTIES
WERE ALL ABOUT BACK TO THE LAND. AND SO WE WANTED TO MAKE
EVERYTHING. I WOULD GET THE RAW WOOL
AND CARD IT, AND THEN I HAD TO SPIN IT, AND THEN I WOULD WEAVE WITH
THE YARN THAT I SPUN. I HAD MET GORDON. WE WERE LIVING TOGETHER,
AND I TAUGHT HIM TO WEAVE. AND HE WOULD DO THE SHOWS
WITH ME. I WAS DOING SCARVES AND PILLOWS.
I WAS DOING CARPETS. I KIND OF BUSINESS-WISE KNEW
THAT WOMEN WERE GONNA SPEND MORE ON CLOTHES
THAN ON CARPETS, SO I WOVE AND MADE CLOTHES. WOMAN: THE MUSIC WAS
OUTRAGEOUS. PEOPLE WERE GROWING
THEIR HAIR LONG AND THEN ALL OF THE
FLAMBOYANT CLOTHING. THERE WAS ALSO ALL THE CROCHET
AND THE BEADS. IT WAS JUST PART OF
THE LAIDBACK, REALLY RELAXED, SOMETHING TO DO WITH YOUR HANDS. MAN: I WOULD LIKE TO SAY
IT’S ALL A HAZE. YOU KNOW, IF YOU REMEMBER IT,
YOU WEREN’T THERE. BENNETT: IT WAS AN OVERALL
REBELLION. PEOPLE WANTED TO CHOOSE SIDES. ONE WAY WAS TO DRESS
APPROPRIATELY OR NOT. I’D SEE WEARABLE ART
AS SOMETHING THAT REALLY RISES ABOVE
THE AVERAGE, WAY ABOVE THE AVERAGE, AND BECOMES SOMETHING OTHER
THAN JUST A COAT OR YOUR GRANDMOTHER’S
HAND-KNITTED SHAWL. LEVENTON: WEARABLE ART IS
CLOTHING MADE BY PEOPLE WHO IDENTIFY AS ARTISTS, USUALLY FROM THEIR OWN
HANDMADE TEXTILES. AND ORIGINALLY IT WAS PIECES
THAT WERE ONE OF A KIND. BENNETT: THIS COAT WAS
COMMISSIONED AND CREATED FOR ME. THE ELEMENTS ARE JUST SO
DRAMATIC. IT WAS A WONDERFUL PIECE. I JUST–I LOVE IT.
I STILL LOVE IT. JANET LIPKIN INCORPORATED INTERESTING MATERIALS
IN HER WORK, PREDOMINANTLY CROCHET,
BUT A LOT OF THEM ARE EMBELLISHED WITH BEADS. I WISH I WERE A BETTER
HAT PERSON. I WOULD HAVE WORN THEM
FAR MORE. LEVENTON: WEARABLE ART
IN CALIFORNIA GREW OUT OF THE HANDMADE,
DO-IT-YOURSELF IMPULSE… AND THE IDEA THAT MASS-PRODUCED
CLOTHING IS SOULLESS. TIE-DYEING, THE QUINTESSENTIAL
HIPPIE DECORATIVE TECHNIQUE IS A VERY SIMPLE FORM
OF SHIBORI DYEING. IT IS ONE OF THE KEY TECHNIQUES
FOR ARTWEAR. A LOT OF ARTISTS WERE USING
THE GARMENT AS METAPHOR. YOU HAVE GARMENTS THAT
ANTHROPOMORPHIZE PEOPLE. YOU HAVE GARMENTS THAT
ARE POLITICAL. YOU HAVE GARMENTS
THAT ARE LANDSCAPES. AND MANY PEOPLE WERE THINKING
OF THESE GARMENTS NOT ONLY AS HANGING
ON THE BODY, THEY WERE ALSO THINKING ABOUT
THEM AS HANGING ON THE WALL. THERE WAS THIS DUAL WEARABLE,
UNWEARABLE ASPECT TO THEM. IT BEGAN WITH THE TEXTILE
AND THIS LABORIOUS, LOVING, OBSESSIVE
HAND-MAKING PROCESS. CROSS: I WANT TO SEE THE RED
ONE, THIS ONE. YEAH. – SHOULD I SET IT?
– YEAH. CROSS, VOICE-OVER: WHEN I SAW
WHAT OTHER WEAVERS WERE DOING, IT WAS LIKE THE COCOON. IT WAS MUCH MORE FLOWY,
UNCONSTRUCTED. AND I KNEW I COULD DO BETTER. I KNEW HOW TO SEW CLOTHES, SO I COULD DO MY WOVEN, BUT MAKE IT MORE FITTED. IF YOU CUT HAND WOVEN,
IT JUST FALLS APART. AND PEOPLE ALWAYS THOUGHT,
“OH, THAT MUST HAVE BEEN SCARY TO CUT UP YOUR WOVEN,”
BUT YOU KNOW WHAT, THE FABRIC MEANS NOTHING UNLESS
YOU MAKE IT INTO SOMETHING WHERE SOMEBODY LOVES
TO PUT IT ON. THAT’S A REALLY GOOD FEELING! DOING THE CRAFT SHOWS,
WHETHER THEY WERE RINKY-DINK OUTDOOR SHOWS OR AT
THE SMITHSONIAN, PEOPLE WERE LIKE, “OH, MY GOD,
YOU MADE THIS?” AND THAT’S PART OF IT. I COULDN’T WAIT TO GET BACK
TO THE SHOP AND CREATE. I LOVE THAT ASPECT OF IT. MAN: WE TRAVEL TO ALL
THE MAJOR CITIES, PROBABLY ABOUT 10 SHOWS A YEAR. I MEAN, THAT’S JUST–
THAT’S THE FUN OF IT. YOU KNOW, THE BEST PART IS
GOING AND SELLING, TALKING TO THE PEOPLE. COMING HOME AND MAKING IT
IS A WHOLE OTHER THING. CROSS: OH, THE COLOR’S COMING
OUT REALLY NICE. HEINEL: AND YOU KNOW HOW
CALIFORNIA IS A GREAT PLACE TO HAVE YOUR STUDIO AND WORK ON,
YOU KNOW, AN ART AND CRAFT. CROSS: I’VE BEEN WORKING
WITH ROSA MARTINEZ FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS, AND SHE IS AMAZING. WHEN WE WORK TOGETHER,
WE LOOK AT THE PIECE, I SAY, “ROSA, YOU KNOW WHAT,
I’D LIKE THE COLLAR TO BE HIGHER OR MORE”–
“OH, OK.” WE’RE JUST ON THE SAME PAGE. OH, GREAT.
YOU KNOW, I REALLY LIKE DOING THE SEAMS ON
THE OUTSIDE. THAT REALLY WORKED OUT. MARTINEZ: WE READ OUR MINDS.
[LAUGHS] SHE MARK THE FABRICS
AND I DO THE CUTTINGS. IN MEXICO, I WENT TO
THE PATTERN SCHOOL AND SEWING SCHOOL. I LOVE MY WORK.
IT’S MY PASSION. LEVENTON: PART OF THE REASON
WEARABLE ART HAS BEEN SUCH A QUINTESSENTIALLY
CALIFORNIA FORM ARE THE PLACES TO STUDY– UC DAVIS, UC BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA COLLEGE OF ARTS
AND CRAFTS. MANY OF THE ARTISTS CAME FROM
NON-FIBER PROGRAMS AND SEVERAL OF THE EARLY
BAY AREA ARTISTS STARTED BY PAINTING
ON FABRIC. BENNETT: FRIENDS SAID, “SYLVIA
YOU DON’T WEAR CLOTHES, YOU WEAR PIECES.” WHICH IS TRUE. I’VE ALWAYS REFERRED TO THIS
WORK AS PIECES, NOT JACKET, VEST, WHATEVER. LEVENTON: K. LEE MANUEL
WORKED PRIMARILY WITH FEATHERS AND PAINTED
LEATHER. THIS COLLAR IS VERY WEARABLE. IT JUST FOLDS OVER
THE SHOULDERS, TIES IN BACK, AND FORMS TO THE BODY. JEAN CACICEDO’S RAIN COAT, IT’S A FELTED COAT. THE WORDS “RAIN” ARE PUNCHED
INTO THE COAT. AND THE COAT ITSELF IS SLASHED
FULL OF LITTLE RAINDROPS. IT’S A RAIN COAT THAT IS
A RAIN SHOWER, BUT IT’S FULL OF HOLES. YOU ARE NEVER EVER EVER GOING
TO BE ABLE TO KEEP THE WATER OFF YOU. KAISIK WONG GREW UP
IN THE BAY AREA. HE WENT TO PACIFIC BASIN
COLLEGE OF FASHION. AND KAISIK WAS INVOLVED IN THE
AVANT-GARDE UNDERGROUND WORLD IN SAN FRANCISCO. HE LOVED ETHNIC FABRICS– GUATEMALAN IKAT
AND CHINESE BROCADE AND LAMÉ.
HE LOVED LAMÉ. KAISIK WAS DOING SOMETHING
VERY INDIVIDUAL. IN 2002, BALENCIAGA SENT
A VEST DOWN THE RUNWAY, AND IT WAS A DEAD RINGER
FOR A VEST THAT KAISIK HAD DESIGNED
IN 1974. KNOX BENNETT: YOU CAN’T
COPYRIGHT ANY OF THIS STUFF. BENNETT: IF YOU HAVE THE TALENT, YOU REINVENT AND MOVE ON. YOU DON’T–YOU KNOW, YOU CAN’T
PROTECT ANYTHING. PEOPLE WERE SO CREATIVE. THERE WERE SOME JUST FABULOUS
PIECES OF WORK THAT WERE SO INVENTIVE. AND AS CLOTHING, THEY WEREN’T ALWAYS THE MOST
COMFORTABLE THINGS TO WEAR. YOU FELT LIKE A WALKING
SCULPTURE. LEVENTON: YOU NEED
A CERTAIN CONFIDENCE TO CARRY OFF A MAJOR
PIECE OF CLOTHING SO THAT YOU ARE WEARING IT INSTEAD OF HAVING IT
WEAR YOU. BENNETT: THIS IS JANET LIPKIN. IT’S A SWEATER/JACKET. THE ELEMENTS ARE FLOWER SHAPES,
PETALS. THE COLLAR WILL GO UP INTO
A FULL SORT OF BLOSSOM EFFECT AROUND THE FACE. IT’S A REALLY NICE EXAMPLE
OF HER FREEFORM CROCHET. I USED TO WEAR IT ALL THE TIME
BACK IN NEW YORK, BUT I COULDN’T GO HALF A BLOCK
WITHOUT BEING STOPPED BY PEOPLE–“WHAT IS IT?
WHO MADE IT? HOW DID YOU GET IT?” AND ON AND ON AND ON. IT FINALLY GOT TO THE POINT
WHERE– I’M SERIOUS,
I COULD NOT WEAR IT IF I WERE IN A HURRY OR THAT. I HAD TO JUST LEAVE IT
AT THE HOTEL. THAT WAS CALIFORNIA. THAT WAS THE IMPACT IT HAD. I MEAN, THAT REALLY WAS
CALIFORNIA INFLUENCE. KNOX BENNETT: YEAH. CROSS: WHEN I DECIDED
TO MAKE THE TRANSITION FROM WEAVING MYSELF
TO BUYING THE FABRIC, JUST OPENED A WHOLE WORLD
FOR ME. I COULD TAKE SOME OF
THE COLOR OUT AND OVERDYE IT, EMBELLISH IT,
DO MY APPLIQUÉS ON IT. I CAN AIRBRUSH OUT
A COLOR I DON’T LIKE. IT’S JUST ENDLESS
WHAT I CAN DO. IT’S LIKE I HAVE THIS CANVAS
IN FRONT OF ME, BUT IT’S A GARMENT. LIVING IN CALIFORNIA, THE WHOLE WEARABLE ART MOVEMENT
WAS HAPPENING, AND IT WAS SO EXCITING TO SEE
ALL THESE ARTISTS, BUT IT WAS CONCEPTUAL CLOTHING. AND I KNEW I DIDN’T WANT
TO DO CONCEPTUAL CLOTHING, BUT THAT WAS AN INFLUENCE, THAT WORLD OF CONCEPTUAL,
WEARABLE ART. I’M MORE WEARABLE DESIGN. THEY’RE WEARABLE ART. LEVENTON: I’M NOT SURE
I AGREE WITH HER, ALTHOUGH THERE IS NOT
NECESSARILY OVERT CONTENT IN DEBORAH CROSS’ WORK. THERE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN PEOPLE
IN THIS MOVEMENT WHO CONCENTRATED ON MAKING
BEAUTIFUL CLOTHES. AND SO TO BE CALLED
WEARABLE ART FOR JUST SHEER PHYSICAL,
AESTHETIC BEAUTY, I THINK THAT’S PERFECTLY
LEGITIMATE. LEVENTON: CALIFORNIA,
I THINK, HAD THE IDEAS OF DESIGN. THE ARTISTS IN CALIFORNIA, THEY WERE DIFFERENT. IT DID LOOK DIFFERENT. THERE’S SOMETHING IN CALIFORNIA
MENTALLY THAT’S JUST MORE FREEING. IT REALLY IS A CREATIVE STATE. WOMAN: ♪ I LOVE YOU ♪ ♪ CALIFORNIA ♪ ♪ YOU’RE THE GREATEST STATE ♪ ♪ OF ALL ♪ ♪ OOH ♪ CAPTIONING MADE POSSIBLE BY
CRAFT IN AMERICA, INC. CAPTIONED BY THE NATIONAL
CAPTIONING INSTITUTE
–www.ncicap.org– ♪ OOH ♪

4 comments

  • jacksontabasco

    YESSS!!!! I have been waiting for the next episode!!!! Such great artist!!!!

    Reply
  • Likely General

    this is so moving! thank you so much for documenting Corine Pearce!!!

    Reply
  • Website & Graphic Design

    wow, that's great. If you need a virtual video editor then I can help you at an affordable cost. I do green screen video editing, editing with adobe premiere pro and after effect. my mail address is [email protected]

    Reply
  • D. M sanchez

    what a great video love to learn to do basket weaving better… living in lake county i forget sometimes how much culture is in are area I would like to take a class with Corine if anyone has info about classes please let me know thanks

    Reply

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