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Craft in America: FAMILY episode

Craft in America: FAMILY episode


MAN: LOOK AT THAT
BEAUTIFUL PIECE. THAT’S WHAT MAKES THE PIECE
SING. THE LIGHT WIGGLES. WOMAN: THIS IS WHAT
I CHOSE TO MAKE FOR DALE. WE WERE ACTUALLY MARRIED WITH HIM WEARING A PAIR
OF HIDEOUS, CHEAP BOOTS. SECOND MAN: PARENTS ALWAYS
WANT YOU TO BE A DOCTOR OR BE AN ATTORNEY,
GET MORE RESPECT. THAT’S IN OUR CULTURE. TO BE AN ARTIST? NO. THIRD MAN: MY FATHER’S
APPROACH AS AN ARTIST IS MUCH MORE REFINED
THAN WHAT MY GRANDFATHER DID. PEOPLE SEE THE WORK
AND THINK IT LOOKS THE SAME, BUT EVERYONE IN THE FAMILY
HAS A DIFFERENT APPROACH TO IT. SECOND WOMAN: I THINK WITHIN
THE DYNAMIC OF THE THREE OF US, I AM THE PEACEMAKER,
OR I TRY AND BE. WOMEN: ♪ ‘TIS A GIFT TO BE
SIMPLE, ‘TIS A GIFT TO BE FREE ♪ ♪ ‘TIS A GIFT TO COME DOWN
WHERE YOU OUGHT TO BE ♪ ♪ AND WHEN YOU FIND YOURSELVES
IN THE PLACE JUST RIGHT ♪ ♪ ‘TWILL BE IN THE VALLEY
OF LOVE AND DELIGHT ♪ CAPTIONING MADE POSSIBLE BY
CRAFT IN AMERICA, INC. MAN: I BEGAN
WOODTURNING WHEN I WAS 15. I WAS ALWAYS CARVING WOOD. JUST THE IDEA OF WORKING
IN WOOD AS A MATERIAL WAS ESPECIALLY APPEALING. SECOND MAN: MY FATHER WAS ALWAYS
VERY ARTISTICALLY INCLINED. HE WAS AN ARCHITECT
AS HIS PROFESSION, BUT IN THE LATE FIFTIES, HE
DECIDED TO TRY THE WOODTURNING BECAUSE HE LIKED
TO MAKE SCULPTURES OUT OF WOOD. ED: THIS PIECE IS OBVIOUSLY CUT FROM A SECTION THAT HAD
THE ROOT BUTTRESSES COMING OUT, AND SO YOU GET THAT DESIGN. PHILIP: OUR FAMILY DOES HAVE
3 GENERATIONS OF WOODTURNERS. OF COURSE, MY FATHER WAS
THE FIRST ONE, AND WHEN HE BEGAN DOING THE WOODTURNING,
HE JUST BEGAN SELLING LOCALLY. WOMAN: THE SIGNATURE SHOP
WAS OFFICIALLY OPENED IN 1962, AND IT GREW OUT
OF BLANCHE REEVES’ BUSINESS AS AN INTERIOR DESIGNER. IT WAS THE BEGINNING OF
THE CONTEMPORARY CRAFT MOVEMENT. MANY OF THE ARTISTS
WHO STARTED THAT MOVEMENT HAD OTHER CAREERS. THE MAKING GREW
OUT OF JUST A PASSION THEY HAD OF WORKING WITH THE MATERIAL
OR A PASSION TO MAKE SOMETHING. ED DESIGNED SOME BUILDINGS
IN ATLANTA, BUT THE PASSION THAT HE
HAD FOR WOOD SEEMED TO OVERTAKE EVERYTHING ELSE
THAT HE WAS INTERESTED IN. AND FROM ATLANTA,
IT JUST KIND OF SPREAD ACROSS THE UNITED STATES
WITH THE CRAFT MOVEMENT. PHILIP:
WHEN MY FATHER BEGAN TURNING, THE PIECES HE WAS MAKING WERE PROBABLY LITTLE
BITTY CUPS AND PLATES, MAYBE 4 INCHES IN DIAMETER. BUT I THINK HE HAD THIS URGE
TO SEE, COULD HE GO BIGGER THAN THAT, AND INSTEAD OF JUST FLAT
PIECES OR JUST SHALLOW PIECES, HE WAS ABLE TO MAKE PIECES
THAT WOULD ACTUALLY CURVE OVER AND HE COULD HOLLOW OUT. HE INVENTED HIS OWN
TOOLS AND ACTUALLY USED A FORGE AND AN ANVIL TO BEND
THESE TOOLS AND MAKE THE TOOLS
THAT HE FELT WOULD HELP HIM IN THIS TURNING PROCESS. MAN: WHEN MY GRANDFATHER
WAS CREATING THIS PROCESS, THESE TOOLS DID NOT EXIST, AND SO HE WAS LEARNING
ALONG THE WAY. WHAT YOU SEE US USE TODAY IS AN ADAPTION OF WHAT HE CREATED IN THE BEGINNING. HE BASICALLY HAD
TO FABRICATE HIS OWN DESIGNS, AND I’VE ALWAYS MARVELED
AT HOW HE CAME UP WITH A LOT OF THESE THINGS. ED: YOU HAVE
TO VISUALIZE THAT YOU HAVE A 500- OR 800-POUND LOG
HERE, ROTATING. PHILIP:
HE WAS KNOWN, PROBABLY, BEST FOR THE LARGE PIECES,
BECAUSE SOME OF THEM WERE PROBABLY ALMOST 4 FEET
IN DIAMETER AND MAYBE 3 1/2 FEET TALL. ED: SO THIS LOG, I–THE ORIGINAL
LOG MOUNTED ON LATHE PROBABLY WEIGHED 2,000 POUNDS. MATT: AS A CHILD, WE WOULD GO
OVER TO MY GRANDFATHER’S HOUSE, MY BROTHER AND I. THERE WAS A PIECE–
WAS PHOTOGRAPHED OF HIS, A LARGE GLOBE SHAPE. AND IN THE PIECE, YOU
COULDN’T TELL THE SCALE OF IT, SO THEY PUT AN APPLE
NEXT TO THE PIECE, AND IT DIDN’T DO IT
JUSTICE FOR HOW BIG IT WAS. PEOPLE STILL DIDN’T GET
THE CONCEPT THAT THESE WERE REALLY LARGE
ARCHITECTURAL-SIZE SHAPES, AND SO HE PUT ME
INSIDE THE PIECE. IT WAS ALMOST UNBELIEVABLE TO
SEE A TURNED OBJECT THAT LARGE AND THAT REFINED. MY GRANDFATHER ACTUALLY
POSED IN SOME OF THEM AS WELL, SOME OF THE REALLY
GIANT TURNINGS. [SAW BUZZING] PHILIP: THIS GIVES ME A ROUND
SHAPE TO START THE TURNING WITH AND A FLAT BOTTOM TO PUT
THE FACEPLATE ON, AND THEN THE WHOLE PIECE
WILL BE MOUNTED ON THE LATHE. MY FATHER ALWAYS HAD SAID
HE WOULD TEACH ME WHEN I WANTED TO BE TAUGHT, AND I MADE A FEW
PIECES OF FURNITURE, AND THEN I GOT INTO PHOTOGRAPHY AND THEN THOUGHT, “WELL,
I SHOULD TRY THE WOODTURNING.” I WAS PROBABLY 30
WHEN I STARTED DOING THIS. I HAD GONE TO LAW SCHOOL,
AND I BEGAN WOODTURNING JUST ABOUT THE SAME TIME. IT WAS PROBABLY
THE EARLY NINETIES WHEN I WENT FULL-TIME INTO WOODTURNING, BUT I HAD SLOWLY KIND OF
WEANED MYSELF OFF THE LAW WORK, FROM A 5-DAY-A-WEEK JOB
DOWN TO A 4-DAY TO A 3-DAY TO A 2-DAY,
AND THEN I FINALLY JUST LEFT. WOMAN: GETTING OUT OF THE LAW
WAS LIKE, “OK, SO HOW FAST
CAN YOU DO THIS?” HA HA! YOU KNOW? SO THAT WAS EASY. THAT WAS WONDERFUL. SO WE DID THAT WELL, AND IF WE’D
HAVE STARVED TO DEATH, WE’D HAVE STARVED TO DEATH. HA HA HA! PHILIP: IS THAT HOLLY? NO, THAT’S JUST– MATT: THAT’S ASHLEAF,
ROOT OF ASHLEAF… PHILIP: STUMP, YES. THIS
IS A PIECE OF ASHLEAF MAPLE, WHICH IS–THIS TRULY
IS A MAPLE FAMILY TREE, BUT THE COMMON NAME THAT MOST
PEOPLE KNOW IT IS BOX ELDER, AND IT’S A TREE THAT GROWS
ALL THROUGH THE SOUTH, UP THE EAST COAST. THIS RED COLOR,
THAT’S CAUSED BY A BACTERIA THAT GETS INTO
THE TREE, CAUSING THE COLOR, BUT DOESN’T SEEM
TO DAMAGE THE TREE AT ALL. THE TREES THAT WE USE
ALL COME FROM TREE CUTTERS WHO HAVE CUT THEM DOWN
DUE TO STORM DAMAGE OR CONSTRUCTION. THEY’RE NOT USED
FOR FURNITURE OR ANYTHING ELSE, BUT IT DOES WORK WELL
FOR WOODTURNING, SO WE HAVE SEVERAL SETS
OF TREE CUTTERS THAT WE’VE KNOWN OVER THE YEARS AND ALWAYS
TELL THEM TO WATCH FOR THIS. MATT: IT’S A VERY SOFT WOOD. STRUCTURALLY, IT’S NOT
GOOD FOR ANYTHING. IT’S VERY STRIKING TO THINK
A WOOD IN THE UNITED STATES HAS THIS BRIGHT COLOR RED IN IT. PHILIP: ONE OF THE STYLES
THAT I’M KNOWN FOR MAINLY IS WHAT I CALL A MOSAIC BOWL. AND IT’S A COMPOSITE. IT’S MADE OF
ALL THESE DIFFERENT PIECES OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF TREES. HERE’S THE ASHLEAF MAPLE,
THE RED-COLORED PIECES. HERE’S A PIECE
OF WHITE PINE IN HERE. HERE’S A PIECE OF PLUM
OVER HERE. THIS STARTS OUT–ALL PIECES
ARE GOING TO BE APPROXIMATELY THIS THICK
IN A BIG SLAB, AND THEN THE SLAB IS CUT
INTO THE CONTOUR THAT I WANT. THE NEXT ONE IN
THE GENERATION OF MOSAIC BOWLS WAS THIS TYPE,
WHICH I CALL BUNDLED BECAUSE ALL THESE
ARE BUNDLED TOGETHER. SO THESE ARE ALL CUT
TO FIT IN A PAIL THIS SIZE, AND THESE WILL BE PLACED
IN HERE. YOU CAN SEE THEY STAND ON END, BUT I’LL EVENTUALLY
FILL THIS WHOLE PAIL UP WITH THE DIFFERENT PIECES. THE RESIN IS POURED IN,
IT’S SET, AND ONCE IT’S SET, IT’S GOING
TO TAKE THE SHAPE OF THIS FORM. IN THIS CASE,
IT’S A SMALL 2-GALLON PAIL. THIS WHOLE THING WILL
BE ROUNDED OFF INTO A ROUND BOWL AND HOLLOWED OUT, AND EACH OF THESE PIECES
THAT YOU SEE FROM UP HERE, YOU’LL SEE WHERE THEY
COME OUT THE BOTTOM BECAUSE THIS WILL ALL
BE CUT INTO A SPHERICAL FORM AND THEN SANDED AND COATED,
JUST LIKE A NORMAL BOWL. MATERIAL THAT’S FILLING
IN BETWEEN THE SPACES IN THE WOOD
IS AN EPOXY MATERIAL, AND THE REASON IT’S BLACK
IS THAT YOU WANT SOMETHING THAT GIVES YOU SOME SORT OF
A STRIKING CONTRAST. THERE IS A NUMBER OF
PEOPLE WHO ARE WOOD PURISTS WHO THINK THAT WOOD SHOULD
BE MADE OUT OF ONE TYPE OF TREE ONLY,
WHICH IS FINE, BUT THIS IS JUST A VARIATION, JUST TO TRY TO GET A DIFFERENT
APPEARANCE USING WOOD. EVEN THOUGH YOU MAY NOT
KNOW HOW IT’S EXACTLY DONE, BUT YOU CAN TELL
IT’S MADE OUT OF WOOD, THAT’S KIND OF THE MESSAGE
I WAS TRYING TO GET ACROSS, THAT THIS IS JUST
A NEW WAY OF LOOKING AT IT. JIMMY CARTER: SOME OF THE MOST
BEAUTIFUL TURNINGS THAT’S MADE JUST CAME OUT OF OLD STUMPS OF, SAY, POPLAR
AND PINE TREES THAT MOST PEOPLE
THAT MAKE FINE FURNITURE WOULD NEVER THINK ABOUT USING. POPLAR WOULD ONLY BE USED
MAYBE IN THE BACK END OF A DRAWER OR THE BOTTOM
OF A DRAWER, FOR INSTANCE, AND PINE IS ORDINARILY
KIND OF DEROGATED AS AN INFERIOR
STRUCTURAL PRODUCT. BUT WHEN IT COMES OUT OF–
OFF THE LATHE OF ONE OF THE MOULTHROP
FAMILY MEMBERS, IT BECOMES A PERMANENT THING OF
BEAUTY AND A TREASURE IN ITSELF. PHILIP: NOW FOR
OUR THIRD GENERATION, MATT, WHO HAS A MASTER’S
IN BUSINESS AND FINANCE, WHEN HE FINISHED
GRADUATE SCHOOL, HE FELT THAT HE WANTED
TO DO THE WOODTURNING BECAUSE HE’D BEEN AROUND IT
SO LONG BY THAT TIME. I TOLD HIM, WELL,
THERE’S NO GUARANTEES HOW THIS WILL WORK OUT,
BUT IF YOU WANT TO TRY IT, YOU SHOULD TRY IT. SO HE’S BEEN DOING THAT, AND HE’S DONE VERY WELL AT IT. IT’S UNUSUAL TO HAVE IT PASSED
DOWN THROUGH 3 GENERATIONS AND STILL BE DOING IT. MATT: I’LL BE OK. MATT, VOICE-OVER:
HE’S STILL MY FATHER. I MEAN,
HE CAN STILL GET ON MY NERVES, AND I’M SURE I DRIVE HIM CRAZY, BUT IT’S JUST PART
OF THE DYNAMIC OF FAMILY. MAN: THE MOULTHROP FAMILY
ARE 3 GENERATIONS THAT HAVE WORKED WITH WOOD
AT THE VERY HIGHEST LEVEL. BUT WHAT MAKES THEM UNIQUE
IN MY MIND IS THE FACT THAT THEY CAME
TO WOOD NOT AS A PRIMARY GOAL. THERE WAS A LOT OF
EDUCATION FOR EACH GENERATION. ED MOULTHROP,
THE PATRIARCH OF THE FAMILY, WAS A YALE-EDUCATED ARCHITECT. HIS SON PHILIP IS AN ATTORNEY,
AND HIS SON MATTHEW HAS AN MBA. BUT THEY HAVE ALL CHOSEN
THEIR OWN WAY TO DEVOTE THEIR LIVES TO
WOODTURNING, AND I THINK THAT WE HAVE ALL BEEN ENRICHED BY IT. RENEE: ED, FOR SO MANY
YEARS, HAD WORKED ALONE THAT WHEN PHILIP JOINED IN
AND THEN, OF COURSE, MATT, THAT WAS–HE WAS
SO EXCITED. IT WAS SO WONDERFUL
FOR HIM BECAUSE FINALLY HE HAD SOMEONE HE COULD
REALLY SHARE EVERYTHING WITH, SO HE WAS VERY
ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT THAT. MATT: WHEN I LEFT COLLEGE,
I DIDN’T HAVE ANY– I DON’T WANT TO SAY
I DIDN’T HAVE ANY ASPIRATION TO BECOME AN ARTIST. I DIDN’T THINK I COULD MAKE
A LIVING AS AN ARTIST. AND I HAD WORKED FOR MY
GRANDFATHER FOR OVER A DECADE, APPRENTICING HIM, SO I KNEW
HOW TO CREATE WORK, I KNEW THE PROCESS. AND IT WASN’T UNTIL
I’D GRADUATED COLLEGE AND I HAD TAKEN MY FIRST JOB,
AND I REALLY HATED IT. AMANDA: MATT WAS MISERABLE IN
THE TRADITIONAL WORKING WORLD, SO WHEN HE DECIDED TO BE
A FULL-TIME WOODWORKER, I THOUGHT IT WAS REALLY
A BLESSING BECAUSE HE WAS
SO HAPPY DOING IT. YOU KNOW, EVERY WEEKEND
IN COLLEGE, HE CAME HOME AND WOULD HELP
ED AND WORK IN HIS STUDIO, AND HE LOVED IT. THAT WAS ALWAYS
WHERE HE WAS HAPPIEST, AND SO WHEN HE DECIDED THAT’S
WHAT HE WANTED TO DO FULL-TIME, YOU KNOW YOU HAVE
TO JUMP IN WITH BOTH FEET. RENEE: NOW, BE SURE IT DOESN’T
COME BACK AND HIT YOU. MATT: MY WIFE AMANDA
WAS IN LAW SCHOOL, AND SHE HAD A JOB AS
A FULL-TIME ATTORNEY UPON GRADUATION,
AND SO THAT WAS– SHE WAS WILLING
TO SUPPORT ME IN THE BEGINNING. McCUISTON: THEIR CLOSE-KNIT
FAMILY IS PROBABLY RESPONSIBLE FOR PHILIP AND MATT
HAVING THE SAME PASSION ABOUT WORKING WITH WOOD
THAT ED DID. THEY GREW UP LOOKING
AT THINGS DIFFERENTLY BECAUSE OF THEIR FATHER
AND THEIR GRANDDAD, LOOKING AT THINGS
WITH A DESIGNER’S EYE OR AN ARTIST’S EYE. THE IDEA FOR
THIS MACHINE CAME TO ME FROM WATCHING A PROGRAM
ON THE ASTRONAUTS AT NASA ON HOW THEY MAKE THEIR GLOVES. THEY WOULD MAKE
A–LIKE A PLASTER CAST OF THE PERSON’S HAND, AND THEN THEY WOULD TAKE
THAT PLASTER HAND, THEY WOULD PUT IT ON A MACHINE
AND SPRAY IT WITH LATEX. AND THIS MACHINE TURNED
JUST ABOUT THIS FAST, AND IT SPRAYED,
AND BY DOING THAT, YOU’D END UP WITH
THIS PERFECTLY EVEN COATING, SO THERE’S
NO THICK PLACES ANYWHERE. THEY’RE ALL
THE EXACT SAME THICKNESS, AND WHEN I SAW THAT,
I SAID, THAT WOULD WORK WELL WITH WHAT WE’RE DOING HERE. SO I CAME UP WITH A MOTOR
AND SOME GEAR RATIOS, AND THIS DOES ABOUT 7 TO 8 RPMs, WHICH IS AS FAST AS YOU
WANT TO GO WITH THIS. MATT: EACH PIECE
HAS 4 TO 6 COATS OF FINISH. THE FIRST COAT IS USUALLY
AS THIN AS WATER. IT’S ALMOST AS IF
IT’S A PRIMER COAT. WE CAN CONTROL THE FINISH AS
TO HOW THICK OR THIN WE WANT IT. WE CAN MAKE IT SET UP
IN 7 MINUTES OR 7 DAYS, DEPENDING ON WHAT
WE’RE TRYING TO COAT. BUT AFTER THE FINAL COAT, THAT’S WHEN WE
DO THE POLISHING OF THE PIECES. HELLER: MATT HAS ENHANCED
THE QUALITY OF THE WOOD BY EXPERIMENTING WITH
DIFFERENT POLISHING TECHNIQUES, MANY OF WHICH ARE USED
IN THE GLASS THAT WE SHOW IN THE GALLERY, AND THEY HAVE GIVEN
A DIFFERENT– A DISTINCTLY DIFFERENT
QUALITY TO THE WORK. HIS FATHER DEVELOPED A WAY
OF APPLYING FINISHES THAT MADE THEM VERY,
VERY BEAUTIFUL, AND MATT HAS NOW FOUND WAYS
OF POLISHING THOSE FINISHES THAT ENHANCE THE WORK
EVEN FURTHER. MAN: PEOPLE IN ATLANTA,
IN GEORGIA, REALLY HAVE A GREAT RESPECT AND
AFFECTION FOR PHILIP MOULTHROP AND FOR HIS FATHER ED, WHO DEVELOPED THE TECHNIQUE
OF THE WOOD CARVINGS OF THESE ELEGANT BOWLS. AND NOW HIS SON HAS TAKEN
UP THE TRADITION AS WELL. THESE BOWLS ARE
IN THE SMITHSONIAN, THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART
IN NEW YORK. GUMP’S IN SAN FRANCISCO
HAS A SALE OF MOULTHROP BOWLS EVERY YEAR AND OTHER THINGS, SO WE’RE VERY PROUD
OF THE MOULTHROPS, THE CREATORS OF A PROUD
TRADITION, AND WE’RE VERY PLEASED TO HAVE THEM
HERE IN ATLANTA. ED: AS AN ARCHITECT
AND A TEACHER AT GEORGIA TECH, YOU MAKE VERY LITTLE MONEY, AND WE WERE DESTITUTE
MOST OF THE TIME. AND WHEN I WENT
INTO WOODTURNING, THE MARKET HAD OPENED UP,
AND I WAS ABLE TO SELL THEM. AND FOR THE FIRST TIME IN
OUR LIVES, WE ACTUALLY MADE MONEY. PHILIP: IT’S ALMOST HARD NOT
TO PICK UP A PIECE OF WOOD AND JUST HOLD IT IN YOUR HANDS AND HAVE THIS NICE FEEL
ABOUT IT, AND I GET THAT EVERY TIME I PICK ONE UP. RENEE: HE LOVES
PEOPLE TO APPRECIATE THEM. HE LOVES PEOPLE TO BUY THEM, AND HE JUST ENJOYS
THAT SO MUCH. AND THEN WHEN I COME ALONG
WITH MY DISH RAG AND SAY, “I THINK I WANT
THIS ONE, SWEETIE,” AND HE SAYS, “OK!” HA HA! PHILIP: IT HAS THIS FEELING OF
STILL BEING ALIVE IN YOUR HAND, AND YOU CAN–SOMETIMES YOU
LOOK AT A PIECE OF WOOD AND YOU CAN IMAGINE SOMETHING
ABOUT THE LIFE OF THE TREE. AMANDA: IT’S CONSTANTLY WORK,
AND BECAUSE HE LOVES IT, HE DOESN’T MIND. I’M THE ONE WHO HAS TO PULL HIM
OFF THE PHONE. HA HA! MATT: ONE OF THE ASPECTS THAT I
LOVE ABOUT THE WORK THAT I DO IS BEING ABLE TO EXTEND
THE LIFE OF A TREE. THIS BEGAN WITH MY GRANDFATHER,
WHO CREATED A PIECE FROM A TREE THAT THOMAS JEFFERSON
HAD PLANTED. HELLER: THEY HAVE, I THINK,
TRANSFORMED, TO A LARGE EXTENT, THE WOODTURNING FIELD BY
THEIR LEVEL OF SOPHISTICATION, WHICH IS, IN CERTAIN RESPECTS,
VERY DECEIVING WHEN YOU FIRST LOOK AT THE WORK BECAUSE THERE’S
A REAL SIMPLICITY TO IT. BUT IN THAT SIMPLICITY,
THERE’S AN EXQUISITE QUALITY. WOMAN: COWBOY BOOTS
ARE AN AMERICAN ICON. YOU CAN SHOW COWBOY BOOTS
TO ALMOST ANYONE IN THE WORLD AND THEY INSTANTLY CONNECT
THAT WITH AMERICA. THEY REPRESENT AMERICA IN A WAY
THAT NO OTHER FOOTWEAR DOES. SO THIS IS THE FIRST PAIR
OF COWBOY BOOTS THAT I EVER HAD. WHEN I WAS 20, MY HUSBAND
AND I MARRIED, AND WE MOVED FROM MISSOURI
TO OKLAHOMA–TO GUTHRIE– AND I ANSWERED AN AD IN
THE PAPER FOR STITCHING BOOT TOPS. I HAD NO IDEA WHAT THAT WAS, AND IT WAS WITH
AN OLD MAN NAMED JAY GRIFFITH. HE WAS AN OLD ALCOHOLIC,
AND HE SCREAMED AND CUSSED, AND I HAD NEVER BEEN AROUND
ANYONE WHO DRANK OR CUSSED. I WAS RAISED IN A VERY
CONSERVATIVE LITTLE CHURCH, WHERE THE LADIES ALL WEAR
LONG HAIR AND LONG DRESSES, SO I WASN’T COWBOY AT ALL. I HAD NEVER OWNED
A PAIR OF COWBOY BOOTS UNTIL I GOT MY JOB WITH JAY. WE MADE THIS PAIR
OF BOOTS AT JAY’S. AT THE TIME, I WAS
ONLY STITCHING TOPS, JUST DOING THE DECORATIVE WORK. BUT NOW I THINK THESE BOOTS ARE JUST REALLY
OVERWHELMINGLY FEMININE. I WOULD NEVER, EVER WANT
A PAIR OF BOOTS LIKE THAT AGAIN, BUT THAT WAS MY FIRST PAIR. OK, WHAT I’M DOING HERE IS
I’M TRANSFERRING THE PATTERN ONTO THE LEATHER
SO I’LL KNOW WHERE TO STITCH. I ONLY DREW IT ON HALF. I FOLDED IT IN HALF,
AND I STITCHED IT WITH NO THREAD IN THE NEEDLE, AND THAT GAVE ME
A SERIES OF HOLES. I’VE APPLIED A REALLY
THIN COAT OF RUBBER CEMENT, AND THAT WILL HOLD
MY PATTERN ON. SO I’M GONNA LAY THIS PATTERN
HERE AND LINE IT UP CAREFULLY. NOW, THIS IS AN OLD SOCK
FILLED WITH BABY POWDER… AND THERE’S MY PATTERN
FOR STITCHING. MAN: LISA AND I
FIRST MET IN SPRINGFIELD. I HAD WENT TO THE CHURCH THERE, AND AFTER CHURCH,
THEY HAD PING-PONG. AND LISA SHOWED UP, AND
I DIDN’T KNOW HER AT THE TIME. LISA: I NOTICED HIM
AND MANUFACTURED AN OPPORTUNITY TO MEET HIM. WE ACTUALLY MET PLAYING
PING-PONG IN THE BASEMENT AFTER CHURCH. DALE: SO SHE PLAYED ME, AND
I ACTUALLY HAD TO PLAY TO KEEP FROM GETTING BEAT. LISA: THIS IS CALLED INLAY. WHERE YOU SEE THE RED,
I’VE ACTUALLY– I’VE CUT A LEAF-SHAPED HOLE
OUT OF THE BROWN, AND I’VE PUT
A DIFFERENT COLOR LEATHER– IN THIS CASE, RED–BEHIND, AND THAT’S CALLED INLAY. EVERY COLOR IS A DIFFERENT PIECE
OF LEATHER, AND EVERY PIECE OF LEATHER
HAS TO BE STITCHED. THE THING WITH LEATHER IS, ANY TIME YOU STITCH
SOMETHING, YOU HAVE A HOLE… AND SO YOU CAN’T MAKE MISTAKES. I USED 2 SKINS OF
NAVY ALLIGATOR, AND THEY WERE MATCHED SKINS. THEY WERE THE SAME SIZE,
THE SAME TILE PATTERN AND EVERYTHING BECAUSE
I WANT MY VAMPS TO MATCH. THE VAMP IS THE FOOT PART
OF THE BOOT. AND THE NAVY ALLIGATOR
IS AMERICAN ALLIGATOR. IT’S FARM-RAISED. SO I WAS CUTTING OUT THE VAMPS. YOU WON’T REALLY SEE
THAT WHITE LEATHER, THE LINING LEATHER, BECAUSE IT’S
WHAT’S TOUCHING YOUR FOOT. AND THEN THE NAVY ALLIGATOR
IS WHAT YOU WILL SEE, BUT THERE’S ACTUALLY
2 LAYERS OF LEATHER IN THERE– THE LINING LEATHER
AND THE VAMP LEATHER. I PUT THEM IN WATER BECAUSE I’M
GOING TO CRIMP THE VAMPS NEXT. THIS RIGHT HERE IS CALLED
THE LAST. THIS IS THE FORM
THAT THE BOOT IS BUILT AROUND, AND THIS IS A COMPLETELY
3-DIMENSIONAL SHAPE. IT HAS TO MAKE
THIS CURVE AND SNUG IN HERE AND WRAP AROUND HERE
AND MAKE THAT TOE. AND SO THE VAMP
THAT I WAS CUTTING IS A FLAT PIECE OF LEATHER,
BUT IT HAS TO BECOME THIS COMPLETELY
3-DIMENSIONAL SHAPE. AND SO I’M GOING TO TAKE THAT
VAMP AND I’M GOING TO CRIMP IT. I’M GOING TO PUT IT ON A–
STRETCH IT OVER A BOARD AND BEGIN GIVING IT
THAT SHAPE. AND SO THE LEATHER
ALWAYS NEEDS TO BE WET WHEN YOU’RE
WORKING IT IN THAT WAY, OTHERWISE IT WILL HAVE
A TENDENCY TO TEAR. I PUT THE BABY POWDER IN BECAUSE
IT HELPS THE WET LEATHER SLIDE AND NOT STICK TOGETHER. I’M CRIMPING THE VAMPS
WRONG SIDE OUT… SO THAT I CAN
USE THE HAMMERHEAD TO RUB ON THOSE WRINKLES
AND MAKE SURE I GET THEM OUT. NOW, THIS PAIR OF BOOTS–
THIS IS A PAIR OF BOOTS THAT I TOOK TO GERMANY
FOR A COMPETITION. I ENTERED A COMPETITION CALLED THE INTERNATIONAL SHOEMAKING
DAYS IN WIESBADEN, GERMANY. I WAS THE ONLY BOOT
OR SHOEMAKER FROM AMERICA, AND–SO TO ENTER IN THAT SYSTEM
AND THEN TO WIN A GOLD MEDAL IN THAT SYSTEM WAS VERY
MEANINGFUL FOR ME BECAUSE IT KIND OF VERIFIED THAT, YES, I
REALLY HAVE LEARNED SOME THINGS BECAUSE THERE IS NO FORMAL
WAY TO KNOW THAT HERE. I LOVE THE MOOD OF THIS BOOT. THE COLORS ARE KIND OF SUBDUED,
BUT YET THE THEME IS SPRING. THE NAME OF THIS BOOT IS “IF
WE MAKE IT THROUGH DECEMBER.” I NAME ALL OF MY BOOTS
AFTER CLASSIC COUNTRY SONGS. SINGERS: ♪ LET’S DO IT AGAIN ♪ ♪ LET’S FALL IN LOVE ♪ ♪ ALL OVER AGAIN ♪ ♪ SPEND THE TIME ♪ ♪ THAT WE SHOULD SPEND ♪ ♪ JUST TO DO IT AGAIN… ♪ DALE:
AS LISA WAS WORKING FOR JAY, SHE DISCOVERED THAT BOOTMAKING
WAS WHAT SHE WANTED TO DO, SO SHE WORKED FOR JAY
FOR ABOUT A YEAR AND A HALF, AND THEN I FOUND
A SEWING MACHINE FOR SALE, AND SHE STARTED STITCHING
TOPS OUT OF OUR BACK ROOM. SHE DIDN’T EVEN KNOW
HOW TO MAKE THE TOTAL BOOT. SHE WAS JUST STITCHING THE TOPS. THE OTHER BOOTMAKERS TOLD HER ALL THE WORK WAS ALWAYS
DONE IN-HOUSE. THEY WAS NOT GOING TO FARM
BOOT TOPS OUT TO SOMEBODY ELSE TO STITCH. WELL, LO AND BEHOLD, SHE WAS
SO GOOD AT STITCHING TOPS, THE WORD GOT AROUND. PEOPLE WOULD ACTUALLY GO
TO THE BOOTMAKER AND SAY, “I WANT YOU TO MAKE ME
A PAIR OF BOOTS BUT HAVE LISA STITCH THE TOPS.” SHE DID THAT FOR 3 YEARS
UNTIL SHE WAS ABLE TO HIRE A FORMER STUDENT OF JAY’S
TO TEACH HER TO MAKE BOOTS. SO IN THE BEGINNING,
IT WAS A LOT OF FAITH AND TRUST THAT IT WOULD WORK OUT. LISA: MOST OF MY
LASTS ARE FROM THE 1940s. THE REALLY GOOD ONES
ARE FROM THE 1940s. THE OLD LASTS FOR
HAND-LASTING ARE JUST BEAUTIFUL. ANYONE CAN SEE HOW
BEAUTIFUL THESE ARE. MY FAVORITE BRANDS
ARE THE KRENTLER BROS AND THE WESTERN BOOT LAST. EACH LAST IS CUSTOMIZED
FOR THE PERSON’S FOOT, SO IF SOMEONE HAS–LET’S SEE. IF SOMEONE HAS… A HIGH INSTEP
OR THEY HAVE A BUNION OR THEY DON’T LIKE
THE TOE SHAPE OF THE LAST, WE CAN CHANGE THE TOE, SO EVERY LAST
IS CUSTOMIZED FOR EACH PERSON. I DO HAVE TO MEET AND PERSONALLY
MEASURE EVERY CUSTOMER, AND SO THAT’S HOW
THE PROCESS BEGINS. SOMEONE COMES IN, AND I SIT THEM
DOWN AND I MEASURE THEIR FEET, I TALK TO THEM ABOUT THEIR FEET,
IF THEY HAVE ANY FITTING ISSUES, AND THEN I USE THAT INFORMATION
TO CHOOSE THEIR LAST AND TO FIT IT FOR THEIR FOOT. COWBOY BOOTS DON’T HAVE
ANY LACING OR BUCKLES OR ANY WAY TO ADJUST
THE FIT AFTER YOU PULL THEM ON, AND SO YOU HAVE TO HAVE
AN AREA THAT FITS PROPERLY. AND YOU CAN’T PINCH IN THE BALL, OR THE NEXT MEASUREMENT
WILL BE THE INSTEP, AND SOME PEOPLE
ARE VERY SENSITIVE THERE. DALE: WELL, THE CHURCH
THAT WE GO TO IS QUITE SMALL. IT USED TO
BE A ONE-ROOM SCHOOLHOUSE, AND SO IT HAS A LOT OF
HISTORY, AND IT’S JUST VERY INTIMATE AND CLOSE. CONGREGATION:
♪ HALLELUJAH, GOD IS LOVE ♪ ♪ PARADISE NOW HELPS
TO SWELL IT ♪ ♪ SAINTS ON EARTH AFAR
GO TELL IT ♪ ♪ SATAN’S HOST
CAN NEVER QUELL IT ♪ ♪ FOR THE LORD OUR GOD
IS LOVE ♪ LISA: I’M QUITE PROUD
OF MY TWO DAUGHTERS. I HAVE MORGAN, MY 16-YEAR-OLD,
AND PAIGE, MY 13-YEAR-OLD. THEY’VE BOTH GROWN UP
IN A BOOT SHOP, AND I’VE TRIED TO RAISE THEM
TO BE VERY STRONG AND CONFIDENT. IN THE CHURCH I WAS RAISED
IN, THE WOMEN DON’T HAVE JOBS, AND I WANTED MY GIRLS
TO BE CONFIDENT AS WOMEN. MORGAN: YES, PAIGE. I’LL EVEN HELP YOU… DALE: MORGAN IS A NOVELIST
AND AN ARTIST, AND I THINK SHE GETS THAT
FROM LISA’S SIDE, AND LISA AND I,
WE’RE JUST WAITING TO GET THE NEXT CHAPTER TO READ IT AND SEE WHAT’S GOING
TO HAPPEN TO THE CHARACTERS. MORGAN: I’M VERY, VERY PROUD
OF MY MOTHER. ALL HER LIFE, DUE
TO THE WAY SHE WAS RAISED, SHE WAS TOLD, “NO, YOU’RE
A WOMAN. YOU CAN’T DO THIS. NO, YOU’RE NOT SMART ENOUGH.” SHE STARTED OUT STITCHING
AND MAKING DRESSES, AND SHE TOOK
WHAT SHE LEARNED FROM THAT AND PUT IT INTO STITCHING
BOOT TOPS, AND SHE TURNED THAT
INTO BEING A BOOTMAKER AND A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSWOMAN. LISA: PAIGE, YOU WANT
TO COME HERE? PAIGE: YEAH. LISA: ALL RIGHT. TAKE IT AWAY. PAIGE:
I STARTED BECOMING INTERESTED IN WORKING WITH MY MOM
WHEN I WAS HAVING A SLEEPOVER WITH MY BEST FRIEND. WE WERE BOTH SO BORED, AND WE WERE
JUST ANNOYING MY MOM TO NO END, SO SHE DECIDED WE SHOULD MAKE
A BRACELET. SO SHE CUT OUT 3 STRIPS
OF LEATHER AND HELPED US BRAID IT AND HELPED US SEW THE ENDS
TOGETHER AND EVERYTHING, AND AFTER THAT, I DECIDED
I REALLY LIKED MAKING BRACELETS, SO SHE TAUGHT ME
HOW TO PATTERN AND HOW TO CUT OUT LEATHER, AND FROM THERE I JUST DECIDED
I REALLY LIKED WORKING WITH LEATHER. I’M 13, SO THE FACT THAT MY MOM
AND MY SISTER ARE BOTH ARTISTS IS REALLY NICE BECAUSE
IT’S EASIER TO EXPRESS MYSELF AND THEY UNDERSTAND
WHY I LIKE TO BE CREATIVE. MY DAD HAS A BUSINESS DEGREE, SO WITH MARKETING
AND THINGS LIKE THAT, HE IS VERY SUPPORTIVE AND HELPFUL. LISA: WHEN I FOUND BOOTMAKING,
IT WASN’T LIKE DISCOVERING WHAT I WANTED TO BE. IT WAS LIKE FINDING OUT
WHO I’D BEEN ALL ALONG AND I JUST HADN’T KNOWN. I GOT TO SEW AND BE CREATIVE
AND BE ARTISTIC, BUT AT THE SAME TIME,
I GOT TO HAMMER. AND IT WAS A VERY
PHYSICAL THING, AND THAT APPEALED TO ME GREATLY, THAT IT HAD THIS CRAFT ASPECT
TO IT, THIS VERY HARD PHYSICAL LABOR, AND I LOVE THAT ASPECT OF IT. DALE: I THINK IT’S BEEN
SAID ABOUT COWBOY BOOTS, THEY’RE TIMELESS. IT’S NOT A THROWAWAY PRODUCT. WITH CUSTOM-MADE ANYTHING–
COWBOY BOOTS, BASKET, POTTERY, CLOTHES–IT’S JUST A SENSE
OF OWNERSHIP AND PRIDE, AND I JUST FEEL LIKE
YOU TREAT IT DIFFERENTLY THAN JUST SOMETHING THAT
YOU PICKED UP OFF THE SHELF. LISA:
I THINK CRAFT IS EMPOWERING. I THINK WHEN PEOPLE HAVE
THE ABILITY TO MAKE SOMETHING OR TO FIX SOMETHING, THEN
THEY ARE COMPLETELY EMPOWERED. IT’S POSSIBLE FOR ONE PERSON
TO MAKE A PAIR OF COWBOY BOOTS. MAN: I GREW UP
IN CINCINNATI, OHIO, WHICH IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE, BUT 5 DAYS AFTER
I GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL, I PACKED THE CAR UP
WITH ALL MY STUFF AND DROVE TO SAN FRANCISCO. WORKED FOR A WHILE
AND STARTED GOING TO SCHOOL, AND THAT’S WHEN I DECIDED
TO BECOME AN ARTIST. TWO OF MY BROTHERS WERE ARTISTS, AND I COULD SEE THAT THEY
WERE THE ONLY PEOPLE I KNEW IN SOCIETY
THAT WERE ALLOWED TO DO WHATEVER THEY WANTED TO DO. BUT AT THE SAME TIME,
I HAD MET THIS WOMAN TRYING TO DO SOMETHING AS
AN ARTIST WITH STAINED GLASS, AND AS AN EXCUSE TO GET
TO KNOW HER, I ASKED HER TO SHOW ME
HOW TO WORK WITH GLASS. SHE’D SHOWN ME HOW TO CUT
GLASS AND SOLDER, AND THEN SHE KICKED ME
OUT OF HER STUDIO, AND SHE GAVE ME
THE BEST ADVICE POSSIBLE. SHE SAID, “GO HOME
AND DO WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO.” SO I STARTED WORKING IN GLASS WITH NO REAL TRAINING OR IDEA, AND I MADE A LOT
OF WEIRD, WONDERFUL STUFF AND GOT MY FIRST SHOW AT THIS GALLERY
IN SAN FRANCISCO. BY SHEER CHANCE,
CECILE McCANN OF “ART WEEK” TOOK A LIKING TO ME AND GAVE ME
2 FULL PAGES WITH 7 PHOTOGRAPHS, AND MY CAREER WAS LAUNCHED. I MEAN, IT JUST–OVERNIGHT
BECAUSE “ART WEEK” WAS READ ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES. MAN:
I GOT INTO GLASS AS A YOUNGSTER. MY FATHER, PAUL MARIONI, STARTED WORKING
WITH GLASS IN ABOUT 1970. HE WOULD BRING HOME THESE
LUMPY LITTLE FORMS THAT HE MADE, AND I WAS SO…INTRIGUED. I HADN’T SEEN ANYTHING HANDMADE. I HADN’T SEEN SOMETHING
THAT WAS GOOPY AND AMORPHOUS, I KNEW I WAS GOING
TO HAVE TO TRY IT. AND WHEN WE MOVED HERE
IN 1979 TO SEATTLE WHEN I WAS 15 YEARS OLD,
I DID HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO START BLOWING GLASS. BUT I WAS PRETTY DETERMINED
I WASN’T GOING TO FOLLOW IN HIS FOOTSTEPS, UM, OR ANYBODY’S
HIPPIE GLASS FOOTSTEPS, FOR THAT MATTER. IT JUST DIDN’T LOOK LIKE A VERY
EASY WAY TO MAKE A LIVING. AND I WAS RIGHT. IT REALLY ISN’T. WHEN I WAS STILL IN HIGH SCHOOL,
I HAD MET BENJAMIN MOORE. I WORKED WITH HIM RIGHT
WHEN I GOT OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL AS AN ASSISTANT
ON A GLASS-BLOWING TEAM, AND I JUST REALLY LIKED
HIS APPROACH. HE HAD A DESIGN-SPECIFIC
APPROACH TO GLASSMAKING THAT NOBODY ELSE
DID AT THAT TIME. HE COULD BLOW GLASS
ON CENTER AT WILL. FROM THERE, I CONTINUED
TO WORK WITH BENNY THROUGHOUT THE EIGHTIES
AND NINETIES, AND I STILL DO. WOMAN: EVERYBODY, OF COURSE,
EXPECTED ME TO BE A GLASS ARTIST, AND IT REALLY HELD
NO FASCINATION TO ME. IT’S HOT, IT’S DIFFICULT,
IT’S BORING, AND I WAS ALSO
PRETTY REBELLIOUS, YOU KNOW, AS MUCH AS
I COULD REBEL AGAINST THE MOST LENIENT
PARENT EVER, WHO, YOU KNOW– BASICALLY THERE WAS
VERY LITTLE THAT WE COULDN’T DO. SO PEOPLE WOULD SAY, YOU KNOW,
“OH, SO YOU’RE A GLASS BLOWER, TOO,”
AND I WOULD SAY, “NO,” AND USUALLY
WITH PROFANITY INCLUDED. I CAN’T GET AWAY FROM IT. IT’S THERE, YOU KNOW, AND I
WORK WITH MY FATHER SO MUCH, AND I KNOW HOW TO DO IT. IT NEVER HELD ANY…ANY DRAW
TO ME WHATSOEVER. I’M DOING EMBROIDERY ON COTTON, AND I EMBROIDER
TINY LITTLE PICTURES THAT I THEN EMBED
EITHER IN RESIN OR BEHIND A WATCH CRYSTAL. I’LL SET THEM THE WAY YOU WOULD
SET A STONE IN A BEZEL. I MAKE ALL OF MY OWN RINGS
AND STRUCTURES THAT I EMBED IN. RIGHT NOW, I’M WORKING
ON A COUPLE OF BRACELETS USING THESE LITTLE PICTOGRAM IMAGES. MY FATHER ONE DAY CAME
TO ME AND SAID, YOU KNOW, “YOU HATE WORKING FOR PEOPLE. IT’S TIME YOU JUST
EMBRACED BEING AN ARTIST,” BECAUSE I HAD NEVER WANTED
TO BE AN ARTIST BEFORE, LIKE HIM, AND WORK FOR MYSELF
BECAUSE I SAW HIM STRUGGLE SO MUCH. JEWELRY, I JUST STARTED
TO DO BECAUSE AT THE TIME I WAS BARTENDING,
AND I WAS THINKING ABOUT THIS RING THAT I
HAD SEEN ONE TIME, AND I REALLY WANTED IT, BUT I KNEW THAT I
COULDN’T FIND IT ANYWHERE. SO I WENT AND BOUGHT
JUST THE BASICS OF WHAT I NEEDED AND STARTED WITH
JUST A LITTLE, YOU KNOW, HANDHELD TORCH AND TAUGHT MYSELF
HOW TO MAKE JEWELRY. SINCE THEN, I’VE WORKED
FOR MYSELF, AND, YOU KNOW, I’VE BEEN ABLE TO MAKE A LIVING. I’VE BEEN VERY FORTUNATE. [DANTE SPEAKING INDISTINCTLY] DANTE: COME ON. COME ON. I MAINTAIN A STUDIO
HERE IN THIS BUILDING, AS DOES MY DAD, AND MY DAD ACTUALLY
RESIDES HERE AS WELL, AND MY SISTER MARINA HAS
A STUDIO SPACE WITHIN DAD’S STUDIO. SO, YEAH, WE SEE EACH
OTHER PRETTY MUCH EVERY DAY NOW. [INDISTINCT CONVERSATION] WHERE’D YOU SEE THAT,
POP, THAT I WAS GOING THERE? PAUL: GOT AN AD FOR IT IN
THE MAIL TODAY. SO I LOOKED TO SEE
WHO WAS GOING TO BE THERE, AND I SAW YOUR NAME. MARINA: SERIOUSLY? PAUL: MM-HMM. MARINA: WHAT DID IT SAY? “MY PARENTS WERE HIPPIES, CUT ME SOME SLACK”? PAUL: “CUT ME SOME SLACK. MY PARENTS WERE HIPPIES.” MARINA’S GOT A BUTTON. MARINA: MOM SENT ME THAT. DANTE: YOU KNOW, MOM AND DAD GOT
DIVORCED WHEN WE WERE LITTLE, AND AFTER THAT, IT WAS–
I DON’T KNOW. THAT’S KIND OF A… STRANGE THING TO TALK ABOUT,
BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, I HAD A RATHER ALTERNATIVE UPBRINGING,
I GUESS YOU COULD SAY. MARINA: DANTE AND I GREW UP
IN MARIN COUNTY EARLY IN THE MID-SEVENTIES, AND IT WAS A PRETTY
FREE AND EASY TIME. THERE WAS A LOT OF…YOU KNOW… I THINK OUR FAMILY MOTTO IS
“MISTAKES WERE MADE.” HA HA HA! THERE WAS A LOT OF, YOU KNOW,
A LOT OF HIPPIES AND FREE LOVE. AND WHEN MY MOM LEFT,
I WAS 4 AND DANTE WAS 6. I REMEMBER
WHEN MY FATHER SAID TO US, “HELP ME THROUGH
THIS,” BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, HE WAS IN HIS TWENTIES AND
HAD 2 LITTLE KIDS AND NO HELP, AND HE WAS JUST STARTING
HIS CAREER AS AN ARTIST, WHICH IS DIFFICULT
UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. BUT DANTE WAS A LOT
MORE DISCIPLINARIAN, YOU KNOW. DANTE WAS THE ONE WHO WOULD
SAY, “YOU’RE NOT DOING THAT,” AND I’D SAY,
“YOU’RE NOT MY FATHER.” HE’D SAY, “I DON’T CARE. YOU’RE NOT DOING THAT.” PAUL: I WORKED FOR MAYBE 14,
15 YEARS WITH DALE CHIHULY, PUTTING THE PROGRAM
TOGETHER AT PILCHUCK, WHAT I CALLED
THE FLAT GLASS PROGRAM. DANTE: WHEN I FIRST WENT
TO PILCHUCK, I’D BEEN HEARING ABOUT IT FOR YEARS FROM DAD. I COULD TELL FROM
HOW ENTHUSIASTIC HE WAS ABOUT IT EXACTLY WHAT WAS
GOING ON UP THERE. AND, SURE ENOUGH,
THE FIRST TIME I WENT UP THERE, I WENT ON MY MOTORCYCLE. I WAS 15, I THINK, AND AS
I CAME RIDING UP THE DRIVEWAY, THERE WAS THE POND. IT WAS ON A HOT SUMMER DAY,
AND THERE WAS EVERYBODY, NAKED AT THE POND,
HANGING OUT, INCLUDING MY DAD. AND HE WAS RIGHT. IT WAS AN AMAZING PLACE. THE VIBE THERE
WAS PRETTY EXCITING. PAUL: AND THEN LINO TAGLIAPIETRA
CAME TO PILCHUCK WHEN DANTE WAS THERE, AND THEN LINO
MENTORED DANTE, SO HE GOT THE BEST TEACHERS. DANTE: I AM COGNIZANT OF HOW
GENEROUS LINO TAGLIAPIETRA WAS TO ME–HE’S SHOWN ME
EVERYTHING–AND DICK MARQUIS. I MEAN, THERE’S NO SECRETS,
YOU KNOW? THE ONLY WAY YOU LEARN HOW
TO DO THINGS LIKE THIS IS BY OBSERVING THEM. PAUL: THIS ONE ROCKS
PRETTY GOOD, PROBABLY ABOUT 10 MINUTES. BASICALLY IT’S KINETIC ENERGY
THAT I’VE FOUND THROUGH EXPERIMENTS. THE SHARPER THE CURVE,
THE SLOWER IT ROCKS. TEND TO LIKE TO MAKE FACES,
SO THIS IS THE PATTERN. I USE A PINK FOAM. THAT’S THE PATTERN FOR
THE FINISHED PIECE HERE, SO YOU CAN SEE I WAS ABLE
TO SLUMP THIS TO THIS 3-DIMENSIONAL CURVE. LET ME SHOW
THE WHISTLING VASE. THIS ONE WIGGLES ITS BUTT. HEH HEH! I THOUGHT TO MYSELF, HOW FAR
CAN I REDUCE THE HUMAN FORM AND STILL MAKE IT
IMMEDIATELY RECOGNIZABLE? WELL, THE LIPS
WILL DO IT–HEH HEH!– AND THE BUTT. HEH! MARINA: THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
MY BROTHER AND MY FATHER, AS I SEE IT,
IS THAT FOR MY FATHER, HE LOVES GLASS BECAUSE,
AS HE SAYS, IT CAPTURES LIGHT. BUT TO HIM, IT DOESN’T
HAVE TO BE BLOWN GLASS. IT CAN BE, YOU KNOW,
WHATEVER–KILN-CAST OR SAND-CAST OR WHATEVER WAY TO BEST CONVEY THE MESSAGE HE’S
TRYING TO CONVEY, BECAUSE HIS WORK
IS ALL ABOUT CONTENT, AND MY BROTHER’S
WORK IS ALL ABOUT DESIGN. MY BROTHER BELIEVES
HIS CRAFT IS CONVEYED IN GLASS. HE’S USING HIS INFLUENCE
OF ITALIAN GLASS– SHAPE AND FORM AND ALL
OF THAT AND COLOR. DANTE: JUST THAT
PROCESS OF STRETCHING IT OUT DOWN THE HALLWAY, IT LOOKS SO SIMPLE,
AND IT REALLY IS, BUT STILL, THERE’S JUST
A WHOLE BUNCH OF DIFFERENT WAYS YOU CAN MESS IT UP
AND HAVE IT PULLED TOO SKINNY OR REALLY SKINNY ON ONE END
AND REALLY FAT ON THE OTHER. YOU KNOW, IT’S JUST–
IT’S LIKE ANYTHING. YOU JUST HAVE
TO REALLY PAY ATTENTION. AND I’M JUST LAYING THESE OUT
SO THAT THEY ALL INTERLOCK, AND THEN WE’LL PICK
THEM UP ONTO THE PIPE, AND I’LL JUST MAKE
A SIMPLE CYLINDRICAL SHAPE AND MAKE A PIECE OUT OF IT. PICKING THIS UP ONTO A BLOWPIPE
ISN’T REALLY AS DIFFICULT AS IT LOOKS. YOU NEED TO HAVE SOMEBODY
WHO KNOWS WHAT THEY’RE DOING HELPING YOU OUT. I COULD NOT DO IT BY MYSELF. YOU JUST HAVE
TO BE REALLY CONSCIENTIOUS OF THE TEMPERATURE
THAT IT’S AT. IF YOU DO IT TOO HOT, IT’S GOING TO WANT
TO FLOP RIGHT OVER ONTO ITSELF. IF YOU DO IT TOO COLD, YOU’RE IN DANGER OF IT BREAKING BEFORE YOU CAN GET IT BACK
INTO THE FIRE. IT CAN BE A DISASTER,
AND THAT’S HAPPENED BEFORE. PAUL: PEOPLE ASK ME ALL THE TIME IF I TAUGHT HIM
HOW TO BLOW GLASS. I LAUGH, BECAUSE OF COURSE NOT. AS A TEENAGER, HE HAD
THE ATTENTION SPAN OF A GNAT, AND I HAD A QUIBBLING AMOUNT
OF PATIENCE. I’VE BEEN WATCHING HIM
BLOW GLASS SINCE HE WAS 17. 30 YEARS I’VE BEEN WATCHING HIM. I STILL COME DOWN EVERY
DAY, AND I CAN’T BELIEVE IT, YOU KNOW, HE’S JUST SO GOOD. HIS EYE-HAND COORDINATION
IS PHENOMENAL. HIS SKILL LEVEL IS–I MEAN,
I’M STILL AMAZED. I WATCH HIM AND GO,
“HOW CAN HE DO THAT AND WORK ON THAT SCALE?” EVERYTHING’S GOT
TO BE PERFECT WITH DANTE, AND HE GETS IT PERFECT. I MEAN, OF COURSE, HE HAS TENS OF THOUSANDS
OF HOURS EXPERIENCE. WOMAN: AS A YOUNG PERSON,
I HAD SUCH A DIVERSE BACKGROUND, AND I SPENT A LOT OF TIME
IN ASIA, IN TAIWAN. MY FIRST EXPERIENCE IN THE ARTS
WAS CHINESE BRUSH PAINTING, AND THAT WAS
A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE FOR ME. CLIFF: I CAME TO UNITED STATES, GO TO SCHOOL, I MAJOR IN BIOLOGY… AND THEN LATER ON
WENT TO MEDICAL SCHOOL, AND I NEVER THOUGHT
I WOULD BECOME A POTTER. WOMAN:
WHAT KIND OF GLAZE IS THIS? CLIFF: THAT’S GREEN TEA DUST. I WAS A NEUROSURGEON, YOU KNOW,
AND THEN ONE OF MY PATIENTS, HAPPENED SHE WAS A POTTER. ONE DAY WE WERE TALKING. I TOLD HER I NEED A HOBBY BECAUSE I’M VERY, VERY TIRED. I’VE GOT LONG HOURS. I NEED SOMETHING TO RELAX. SHE TOLD ME, “WHY DON’T
YOU LEARN HOW TO MAKE POTS?” AND I GOT SO MUCH FREEDOM. I’M ABLE TO DO WHATEVER
I WANT IN THIS COUNTRY, SO I HOOK ON CLAY. FIRST TIME I TOUCH THE CLAY,
I JUST FALL IN LOVE WITH IT. EVERY TIME I TAKE CARE
OF MY PATIENTS AND LOOK AT THEIR SKULL,
I THINK ABOUT POTS, HOW TO MAKE A POT LIKE IT. SO MY SECOND SABBATICAL,
I’M STILL ON SABBATICAL. I NEVER GO BACK. HOLLY: I FEEL VERY FORTUNATE
THAT I HAD THIS EXPERIENCE WITH THE ASIAN CULTURE BECAUSE IT MADE MY RELATIONSHIP
WITH MY HUSBAND, CLIFF, A LOT EASIER. I UNDERSTOOD THE CULTURE. I UNDERSTOOD THE LANGUAGE,
THEIR ART. I THINK IT’S DIFFICULT
FOR 2 CULTURES TO COME TOGETHER AND CO-EXIST, NOT TO MENTION MAN
AND WOMAN COMING TOGETHER AND CO-EXISTING. WHEN CLIFF AND I FIRST
MET, ACTUALLY, THERE WAS AN INSTANT DISLIKE
OF EACH OTHER, AND I THINK PART OF IT WAS
THOSE 2 EGOS COMING TOGETHER. THEN WE SLOWLY STARTED
TO TALK MORE, AND THAT’S WHEN HE STARTED
TO APPRECIATE THE FACT THAT I WAS SO UNDERSTANDING
OF HIS CULTURE, AND SO WE HAD SOMETHING
TO TALK ABOUT. THERE BECAME AN EASE BETWEEN US. BUT THE THING THAT I THINK
REALLY GLUED US TOGETHER WAS OUR TOTAL DEDICATION
TO WHAT OUR FOCUS WAS. FOR HIM IT WAS THE CERAMICS,
AND FOR ME IT WAS THE JEWELRY. CLIFF: FOR MANY YEARS… I LOSE TOUCH WITH
MY PARENTS BECAUSE I WAS AFRAID. I CHANGED WHAT THEY WANT
ME TO BE. AND THE DAY AFTER MY
OLDEST SON, DOUGLAS, WAS BORN, I SAY, IT’S TIME FOR ME
TO TELL MY PARENTS THEY ARE GRANDPARENTS NOW. SO I CALLED
THEM, AND THEN MY FATHER SAID, “BEING ARTIST IS VERY, VERY
DIFFICULT LIFE, AND YOU MUST, REALLY, REALLY POOR.” HA HA HA! FOLLOWING YEAR, MY MOTHER COMES. WE WERE DRIVING A VW BUS. WE NEED IT–HOLDING OUR CLAY,
HOLDING DIFFERENT THINGS, YOU KNOW? MY MOTHER SAY, “I DON’T FEEL THIS CAR IS
SAFE FOR YOU GUYS GET IN THERE.” NEXT DAY, TOOK HOLLY SHOPPING,
CAME HOME WITH MERCEDES. POOR POTTER DRIVING MERCEDES. HA HA HA HA! THAT’S MY LIFE. HOLLY: WE WERE YOUNG, STRUGGLING
ARTISTS, NO MONEY. HA! AND THEN DOUGLAS CAME, AND, BOY, DID THAT CHANGE
MY LIFE A WHOLE LOT. NOW I HAD A BUSINESS,
I’M A JEWELER, AND NOW A MOM. YOU HAVE A CRYING BABY, CUSTOMERS COME INTO THE STORE,
AND SO WHAT WE WOULD DO TO ENTERTAIN HIM–WE WOULD
ACTUALLY GIVE HIM A BIG POT. AND HE WOULD TAKE THAT POT
AND HE WOULD PUSH IT TO ONE END OF THE GALLERY AND PUSH IT BACK TO
THE OTHER END OF THE GALLERY, AND HE’D JUST GO BACK AND FORTH,
BACK AND FORTH. AND, YOU KNOW, OF COURSE IT
WOULD GET BROKEN AT SOME POINT IN TIME–HA HA!–BUT THAT’S
HOW WE ENTERTAINED HIM WHEN CUSTOMERS
CAME TO THE STORE. [WATER SLOSHES] CLIFF: NOW WHOLE WORLD KNOW
HOW I MAKE THIS NOW. [CHUCKLES] HOLLY: ALRIGHTY. WELL, CHEERS. CLIFF: CHEERS. HOLLY: CHEERS, CHEERS. DOUGLAS: I THINK THE FREEDOM
IN THIS COUNTRY AND THE ABILITY TO TAILOR WHAT YOU WANT TO DO
AS A PROFESSION INTO YOUR PASSION REALLY GAVE
MY FATHER THE ABILITY TO FORGO
HIS PREVIOUS PROFESSION AND REALLY BECOME ENGULFED
IN THE ART PROFESSION. AND HE REALLY INSPIRED
THAT INTO US. HE BASICALLY JUST SAID, “DO
WHATEVER YOU GUYS WANT TO DO. “YOU DON’T HAVE TO FOLLOW US
IN OUR FOOTSTEPS. “YOU CAN BECOME AN ASTRONAUT
IF YOU WANT. “YOU CAN BECOME AN ENGINEER
IF YOU WANT, YOU KNOW. JUST WORK HARD AND DO WHATEVER
YOU’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT.” I ACTUALLY DID COMMERCIAL
PHOTOGRAPHY IN PHILADELPHIA FOR 3 YEARS, AND THEN I DECIDED,
TO EARN A MORE STABLE PAYCHECK, I WENT
INTO COMPUTER PROGRAMMING, AND THAT’S WHAT
I’M CURRENTLY INVOLVED IN. CLIFF: BEFORE I PUT A PIECE
OF CLAY ON MY POTTER’S WHEEL, I ALREADY KNEW WHAT SHAPE,
WHAT STYLE POT I WANT TO MAKE. AND, ALSO, I KNEW WHAT KIND
OF PATTERN I WANT TO CARVE ON. IN THE BEGINNING,
I DID NOT DO THAT. HAPPY GO LUCKY. NOW, AFTER PRACTICE
FOR SO MANY YEARS, I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT I’M DOING. PEACE VASE. I HAD ONE
OF THESE IN THE WHITE HOUSE, PERMANENT COLLECTION. NOW RESIDES
IN ARKANSAS, CLINTON LIBRARY. I THROW THIS VASE
ON THE POTTER’S WHEEL. AFTER THAT, I CARVE, AND THEN I ADD THE BRANCHES ON, AND THEN I ADD THE LEAF ON,
AND THE LEAF– SOMETIMES I USE MY KNIFE
TO CARVE OUT, CUT IT, AND THEN FLIP OVER. [DOG WHIMPERS INSIDE] HOLLY: HA HA HA! NOW YOU WANT TO COME OUT. DOUGLAS’ BROTHER: MY BROTHER
AND MYSELF BOTH LIKE TO DO WORK WITH OUR PARENTS. I ENJOYED MORE
THE PHYSICAL ASPECT OF METAL– THE FORMING OF METAL,
THE BENDING OF METAL. DOUG ENJOYED THE FREEFORM
ASPECT OF POTTERY, SO WE KIND OF HAD
THE PERFECT SET-UP FOR DOUG AND I TO PLAY WITH. HE WENT THERE
AND PLAYED WITH CLAY, I WENT UP TO
MY MOM’S AND PLAYED WITH METAL. CURTIS: I DIDN’T REALLY
EVER THINK ABOUT BEING AN ARTIST BECAUSE MY PARENTS, WHEN YOU SEE
WHAT THEY WENT THROUGH, IT WASN’T REALLY FOR ME. IT WASN’T THE TYPE
OF STYLE THAT I WANTED. I WOULD PROBABLY SAY THAT. BUT IT WAS SOMETHING THAT
WAS OBVIOUSLY INTERESTING TO ME, AND I CAN SEE THEIR ARTISTIC
NATURE COME OUT IN THE WORK THAT I DO TODAY. IT’S JUST
A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WORLD; I’M AN ENGINEER,
SO I LIKE TO WORK WITH MY HANDS, I LIKE TO BUILD STUFF AND SEE
MY CREATIVITY COME TO LIFE. BUT I DON’T KNOW IF I COULD
BE AN ARTIST FOR MY LIFE. IT’S A BIT TOO DIFFERENT
AND ECCENTRIC FOR MY TASTE. HOLLY: I GOT THIS INSPIRATION FROM THE OPENING AT THE RENWICK THAT MY HUSBAND
JUST RECENTLY HAD. HE WAS WEARING
THIS BEAUTIFUL BOUTONNIERE, AND TO ME IT JUST SCREAMED LIKE IT NEEDED
TO BE A PIECE OF JEWELRY. [TOOL TAPPING] MY POOR HUSBAND. I’M SO SORRY. HA! MY STUDIO IS ABOVE HIS, AND WHEN I POUND, THE SOUND
JUST REVERBERATES THROUGHOUT HIS STUDIO. HIS WORK IS PEACEFUL AND QUIET. AND THE HUM OF THE WHEEL, AND THEN THERE’S BAM, BAM, BAM! DOESN’T GO TOGETHER AT ALL. WE TAKE PIECES OF
MY HUSBAND’S WORK THAT HAS NOT BEEN SUCCESSFUL– IT HAS CRACKED IN THE KILN
OR THE GLAZE HAS CRAWLED– WE’LL TAKE A HAMMER
TO IT AND BREAK IT UP. AND SOMETIMES THESE SHARDS
BREAK IN REALLY LOVELY WAYS, AND THEN I’M ABLE TO TAKE
AND ACTUALLY MAKE A PIECE OF JEWELRY OUT OF THEM. I LOVE THE PROCESS OF TAKING
SOMETHING THAT IS USELESS BUT YET STILL BEAUTIFUL, AND BEING ABLE TO TURN IT
INTO SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE CAN ENJOY. IF YOU BELIEVE IN DESTINY, IF
YOU BELIEVE THAT THERE IS A PATH IN LIFE, AND IF YOU
FOLLOW IT AND NOT RESIST IT, IT LEADS YOU SOMEPLACE,
AND THIS IS WHERE IT LED ME. CLIFF: CRAFT ARTISTS
ARE JUST LIKE FAMILY. WE KNOW EACH OTHER. THEY SEE OUR CHILDREN GROW UP. WE’RE ALL IN THE SAME BOAT,
FINANCIALLY, PERSONALLY. NOW MY KIDS ARE GROWN. WHEN THEY WERE YOUNG,
THEY GO TO SHOW WITH US. EVERYBODY,
THEY KNOW THEIR NAMES, THEY KNOW HOW OLD THEY ARE,
WHAT THEY LIKE. WHEN THEY GET OLDER,
THEY ASK THEM, “CAN YOU STAY IN MY BOOTH FOR A FEW
MINUTES, I CAN TAKE A BREAK?” MY KIDS SAY, “OF COURSE!” JUST LIKE A FAMILY.

Comments (2)

  1. Such a great experience in seeing how this family has a labor of love and share it with the world. Thank you. Wow!! Wood !!

  2. Superb! Love this channel. Thank you.

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