‘Celebration’ Set to Premiere in December on PBS

At Pewabic pottery studio in Detroit, Kevin Kwiatkowski presses clay into a mold to create its popular 12 Days of Christmas ornaments. CREDIT: MARK MARKLEY

At Pewabic pottery studio in Detroit, Kevin Kwiatkowski presses clay into a mold to create its popular 12 Days of Christmas ornaments. CREDIT: MARK MARKLEY

“Celebration,” part of the ongoing Peabody Award-winning Craft in America series, marks the upcoming holiday season with an all-new hour premiering nationwide on PBS Friday, Dec. 11. The new episode examines the role craft plays in holiday customs.

Kelly Haehl, a Pewabic pottery artist, glazes the studio’s Midsummer Night’s Dream tiles. CREDIT: MARK MARKLEY

Kelly Haehl, a Pewabic pottery artist, glazes the studio’s Midsummer Night’s Dream tiles. CREDIT: MARK MARKLEY

 

Celebration starts off in Detroit, a city being revitalized in part by artists building on traditions established by previous generations of Detroit artisans. This rebirth is evident at Pewabic, founded in 1905 and now one of only two active turn-of-the-century pottery studios in the country. It focuses on the creation of Pewabic’s 12 Days of Christmas ornaments, which not only decorate Christmas trees in Detroit but are sought after by families across the country.

 

In Chicago, artist Babatunde Graves has been making kinaras, the candleholders for Kwanzaa celebrations, for more than 40 years. At Chicago State University, viewers join with people of all ages in the music and dancing of the Kwanzaa festivities, and are given insights into the meaning of the ceremonial table and the traditions of the seven days of Kwanzaa.

“Kwanzaa honors people coming together to make a better life,” explains Chicago artist Babatunde Graves, who has been making kinaras, the candleholders for Kwanzaa celebrations, for more than 40 years. CREDIT: MARK MARKLEY

“Kwanzaa honors people coming together to make a better life,” explains Chicago artist Babatunde Graves, who has been making kinaras, the candleholders for Kwanzaa celebrations, for more than 40 years. CREDIT: MARK MARKLEY

 

In the new episode, viewers take part in a Kwanzaa celebration at Chicago State University. CREDIT: MARK MARKLEY

In the new episode, viewers take part in a Kwanzaa celebration at Chicago State University. CREDIT: MARK MARKLEY

 

The finished Winter Cardinals tile, a collaboration between Yoshiko Yamamoto and Motawi Tileworks.

The finished Winter Cardinals tile, a collaboration between Yoshiko Yamamoto and Motawi Tileworks.

 

Motawi Tileworks founder Nawal Motawi and her team of artists translates Yamamoto’s Winter Cardinals design into a ceramic tile. CREDIT: MARK MARKLEY

Motawi Tileworks founder Nawal Motawi and her team of artists translates Yamamoto’s Winter Cardinals design into a ceramic tile. CREDIT: MARK MARKLEY

Sending holiday greeting cards to friends and family is still a cherished American tradition. In Tacoma, Wash., woodblock artist Yoshiko Yamamoto creates a special Winter Cardinals card for this episode, then shares her design with ceramic artist Nawal Motawi in Ann Arbor, Mich. Nawal and the artists at Motawi Tileworks translate the Winter Cardinals into a ceramic tile, using their signature raised-line technique to produce a simple and elegant work of art.

 

Near Tacoma, Wash., artist Yoshiko Yamamoto takes viewers through the process of creating a special Winter Cardinals card for this episode, then shares her design with the artists at Motawi Tileworks in Ann Arbor, Mich. CREDIT: MARK MARKLEY

Near Tacoma, Wash., artist Yoshiko Yamamoto takes viewers through the process of creating a special Winter Cardinals card for this episode, then shares her design with the artists at Motawi Tileworks in Ann Arbor, Mich. CREDIT: MARK MARKLEY

 

In San Francisco, Christian Eichelberger paints a float figure for the city’s much-anticipated Chinese New Year parade. CREDIT: MARK MARKLEY

In San Francisco, Christian Eichelberger paints a float figure for the city’s much-anticipated Chinese New Year parade. CREDIT: MARK MARKLEY

 

The episode concludes in San Francisco, where the 150-year-old tradition of celebrating the Chinese New Year with a parade continues to thrive. Artists Corey Chan and Jeff Lee carry on the tradition of the lion dance and dragon-making to a new generation of artists, while Dave Thomas, Stephanie Mufson and Yumei Hou, with a staff of exceptional artists, create more than 20 floats for the parade, estimated to draw over a million spectators.

 

Yumei Hou carves a sheep out of styrofoam for a Chinese New Year float, one of 20 created especially for the Chinese New Year parade in San Francisco, where the 150-year-old tradition continues to thrive. CREDIT: MARK MARKLEY

Yumei Hou carves a sheep out of styrofoam for a Chinese New Year float, one of 20 created especially for the Chinese New Year parade in San Francisco, where the 150-year-old tradition continues to thrive. CREDIT: MARK MARKLEY

Check local listings for times on PBS stations of this episode, or view it online at www.pbs.org/craftinamerica

 

 

 

 

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