“Craft, both historical and contemporary, is all around us,
and it recognizes and communicates much about what
we are as a country. It is our identity and our legacy. — Former U.S. president Jimmy Ca”rter
Craft in the Classroom
Engage students in a conversation about how craft can reveal our personal
and cultural identities.
Denise and Sam Wallace
Have students investigate Denise
Wallace’s jewelry on her website
( www.denisewallace.com). Look for
other belts she has designed. What
are their stories? How are these
belts similar to, or different from,
the Crossroads of Continents belt?
In what way are artworks by Sam
and children David and Dawn similar to Denise’s work?
Have students visit www.crafti-namerica.org and find other artists
who make jewelry. Print out copies of the pieces students selected.
Have students consider materials,
form, function, and subject as they
arrange the images in a continuum,
ranging from those most similar to
Denise’s work, to those that are dif-
ferent. Engage students in conversation about the wide range of jewelry
styles seen in these examples.
Have students design a piece of
jewelry, such as a pin, buckle, or
pendant, that represents a character
from a family or community story.
Remind students that Denise Wallace and other craft artists often
begin their processes with drawing.
Many craft artists keep sketchbooks
for developing and refining their
ideas. Ask students to create two
or more sketches. Older students
might make drawings of more than
one side of the piece. They might
also consider creating hinged components like those in the pieces created by Denise Wallace.
Craft in America: The Series
Craft in America’s nationally
broadcast PBS documentary series
seeks to celebrate craft by honoring the artists who create it. In
three episodes entitled “
Memory,” “Landscape,” and “
Community,” Craft in America television
viewers travel throughout the
United States visiting America’s
premier craft artists in their studios to witness the creation of
handmade objects, and into the
homes, businesses, and public
spaces where functional art is
employed and celebrated. The primary objective of the series is to
convey to a national audience the
breadth and beauty of handmade
objects in our culture.
Craft in America is a monthly feature in SchoolArts magazine. Article and Educator
Guides by Marilyn Stewart, professor of art education, Kutztown University, Kutztown,
PA; Lise Dubé-Scherr, director of education, Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, PA; and
Kathleen Walck, art educator and fiber artist, Kutztown, PA for Craft in America, Inc.
Ordering the DVD and Companion Book
To order the Craft in America DVD for long-term viewing
and in-classroom use, or to order the companion book
Craft in America: Celebrating Two Centuries of Artists
and Objects contact PBS Video at 1-800-752-9727, or
Three Educator Guides accompany Craft in America. Each
and Community—relates to and
reflects the core ideas, artists, and
art forms presented in the corresponding series episode. Educator
Guides are available at www.pbs.