crafty movies
December 26, 2010 4:18 PM   Subscribe

I really enjoy watching skilled craftspeople do their thing. Please suggest some TV shows that document an individual showing off their skills.

a couple of examples that I have enjoyed:
- this from a recent metafilter post documenting the making of a canoe (I especially valued the lack of commentary and music in this doc)
- this BBC Mastercrafts series
posted by SueDenim to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (20 answers total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I watch The New Yankee Workshop every weekend. Norm knows his way around a woodshop, that's for certain.
posted by sanka at 4:24 PM on December 26, 2010 [4 favorites]

Best answer: I love watching the Woodwrights shop reruns. He likes to use hand tools alot. Delightfully oldschool

posted by Redhush at 4:25 PM on December 26, 2010 [2 favorites]
posted by Redhush at 4:25 PM on December 26, 2010

plus, see this post:
posted by Redhush at 4:31 PM on December 26, 2010

Best answer: Craft in America! You can watch the TV show online. It's so great. Also nthing Woodwrights!
posted by hansbrough at 4:32 PM on December 26, 2010 [2 favorites]

Best answer: IIRC, "Alone in the Wilderness" documented one man's struggle to survive in the Alaskan wild. The series followed him as he built a cabin, hunted and fished and developed all kinds of skills to get by. YouTube snippet here.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:35 PM on December 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

How Ink is Made (from a recent Mefi post) is both educational and visually stunning.

The making-of video for this art exhibit by the residents of a small Chinese town (previously) was also beautiful to look at.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:05 PM on December 26, 2010

When I worked at Adobe, I saw Final Marks: The Art of the Carved Letter, which is a documentary about stone carved typography. Truly fascinating.
posted by plinth at 5:13 PM on December 26, 2010

The Woodwrights shop is really great.
posted by OmieWise at 5:39 PM on December 26, 2010

Etsy's Handmade Portraits perhaps.
posted by backwards guitar at 5:42 PM on December 26, 2010

While How It's Made doesn't feature skilled craftsmen, the Science Channel show documents how everything from astrolabes to cymbals to mattresses come to be.
posted by princesspathos at 7:34 PM on December 26, 2010

Dirty Jobs
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:45 PM on December 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've been watching "How Do they Do It" on the Science Channel all day, which seems to fit your bill. It consists of brief explanations for how things are made. The ones I remember from today included making: Astroturf, Brita filters, real swords, lawnmowers, sushi, orange juice, fire extinguishers, and helicopter rotor blades.

I second the recommendation of Craft in America. In particular, I loved this episode.
posted by gemmy at 8:47 PM on December 26, 2010

While every detail isn't shown, one of my favorite aspects of Mythbusters has always been watching the various hosts use their skills to build the various things for their experiments. They definitely have some real skill.
posted by DMan at 9:28 PM on December 26, 2010

There was a show that would air on my local PBS station called Handmade. It was a five minute segment showing a different artisan hand making something. There was no speaking, only some classical music. It sounds like just what you're after.

The only thing I could find about it online was this link telling me that it's not currently airing in my area. Maybe you'll have better luck.
posted by TooFewShoes at 9:45 PM on December 26, 2010

Not sure if it counts as a movie, but if you haven't watched How Its Made, kiss goodbye the next 100 odd hours of your life...
posted by LongDrive at 10:31 PM on December 26, 2010

Response by poster: thanks folks! some great suggestions here.....
posted by SueDenim at 3:12 AM on December 27, 2010

Maybe slightly different from what you're looking for, but the Discovery Channel show Brewmasters documents operations at Dogfish Head Brewing. They definitely fit the bill of craftspeople who take their art seriously.
posted by proj at 8:29 AM on December 27, 2010

Best answer: This post from earlier this month led me to a ton of videos of people making stuff. The one on Champleve enameling was particularly interesting when it gets to the craftsman carving the copper plate.
posted by quin at 3:10 PM on December 27, 2010

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