Textiles Faculty Member Lia Cook in PBS's "Craft in America"

Textiles faculty member Lia Cook (photo: Liz Hafalia, SF Chronicle)

As an award-winning textile artist and longtime professor at the California College of the Arts in Oakland, Berkeley resident Lia Cook admits to a slight bias about the importance of craft to a person's emotional well-being.

"We're a visually oriented culture, one in which other senses aren't emphasized," she says. "But using your hands to make something is part of what it means to be human."

Cook was therefore pleased to be included in the next episode of PBS's Craft in America series, which seeks to explore, preserve and celebrate the role of craft in American tradition.

Each episode of the Peabody Award-winning series focuses on one aspect of craft, like community, memory or process. The next episode of the current season, set to air locally on Nov. 17 and 18, focuses on the unique role that craft represents as a crossroads: between fine art and function, between old and new, between tradition and evolution.

As with prior episodes, the series follows acclaimed artists working in diverse media through their daily labors, revealing the inspirations, motivations and questions that push their art forward.

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Craft in America: Crossroads: 11 p.m. Nov. 17 and 5 a.m. Nov. 18 on KQED Life; 5 p.m. Nov. 18 on KQED Plus

Visit the artist's website at www.liacook.com