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Good Work: Masters of the Building Arts

Monday, June 26, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jesse A. Fivecoate
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Directed and Produced by Marjorie Hunt and Paul Wagner --


This 65-minute documentary film captures the knowledge, skills, and traditions of master artisans in the building trades and explores the spirit of creativity and excellence that infuses their work. Through profiles of eight master craftspeople from across America – stone carvers, masons, terra cotta artisans, plasterers, metalsmiths, stained glass artisans, decorative painters, and adobe craftsmen – Good Work addresses themes that like at the heart of craftsmanship, including teaching and learning, connections to family heritage and occupational traditions, community standards for judging excellence, creativity and innovation, and efforts to revitalize and sustain endangered craft skills in today’s world. Throughout the film, craftworkers relate their stories and experiences in their own words, revealing the underlying attitudes and values that shape and give meaning to their work. Viewers come to understand and appreciate not only the deep and complex body of knowledge and technical mastery that artisans bring to the performance of their craft, but their great care and commitment, their delight in skill, and their feelings of pride and satisfaction in creating a lasting material legacy for generations to come.

Good Work is a co-production of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and American Focus Inc. in collaboration with the American Institute of Architects, the Associated General Contractors of America, the National Building Museum, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Major funding was provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.


The film is available on Amazon. For more information, visit


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