I am fascinated by the seemingly endless possibilities of
this medium and am ever expanding its range by inventing
new techniques and using them in ways that challenge
the viewer’s preconceived notions of beadwork in the
—David Chatt, contemporary beadworker
Craft in the Classroom
Have students read the quote by
David Chatt above. Note his artwork
below, and visit www.craftinamerica.
org/artists_fiber/ story_318.php to find
out more about his work. Check out
the virtual exhibition of fiber art and
the artist’s website, www.davidchatt.
com. How does his artwork challenge
our preconceived notions of beadwork? Engage students in a discussion
in which they compare David Chatt’s
beadwork to that created by Teri
Greeves. How are they similar? How
are they different? How does each artist anticipate the future?
Have students investigate the history of American Indian beads and
beadworking. The Hudson Museum
at the University of Maine provides
a history and beautiful images of
Northeastern beadwork from the
seventeenth century to the present
Have students explore the process
of beading. Suggest that, like Teri
Greeves, they can embellish something that normally wouldn’t be decorated. What items of contemporary
clothing (shoes, hats, etc.) or objects
(lunch box, cell phone, water bottle,
etc.) might they bead? Will their
motifs be geometric, floral, or what
Greeves calls “pictorial”?
Students should create the bead
design on a fairly small piece of felt
and attach the fabric to their objects.
Make several sketches, choose a
favorite, and simplify the pattern to
include a few colors and shapes. To
sew, push a bead needle, threaded
with beading thread, from the back
of the fabric to a line drawn on the
front. Select three seed beads of the
appropriate color and place them on
the needle. Push needle through fabric next to the last bead. Repeat, adding beads to complete the design.
Teri Greeves working in her studio.
Teri Greeves, NDN Art, 2008.
Craft in America is a monthly feature in SchoolArts magazine by Marilyn Stewart,
professor of art education, Kutztown University, Kutztown, PA; and Kathleen Walck,
art educator, Kutztown, PA, for Craft in America, Inc.
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.
David Chatt, White Men in Suits, 2002, Harriet Burger photograph. Teri Greeves, Prayer
Blanket, 2006, James Hart, photograph. Teri Greeves, Prayer Blanket (detail), 2006,
James Hart, photograph.
Three Educator Guides accompany
Craft in America. Each guide—Memory,
Landscape, 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.org/teachers.
Ordering the DVD and Companion Book
To order the Craft in America DVD for long-term viewing
and 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