“Documenting craft in the military and the power of the handmade to inspire, motivate, and heal.”

Craft in America: Service is the latest release from the PBS series. It’s probably the most somber of the episodes I’ve seen thus far, focusing on how crafting intersects with military service. Crisscrossing with the main storyline of the documentary are historical bits designed to enhance your knowledge of past service men and women and their contributions to American crafting. The four artisans showcased here each have a link to the military, be it as a former active duty service member or as someone whose work serves to draw attention to a facet of military life. We deal with ceramics, papermaking, and leather work this go around.

Craft in America: Service is easy to recommend for fans of the series overall, those with an interest in crafting, and those who enjoy learning more about the military. I definitely learned something new and enjoyed watching the various artists at work.

As with other episodes in the Craft in America series, the video transfer features a 1.78:1 aspect ratio and very little tweaking. The palette is as natural as you can get and there is occasionally some minor pixilation but nothing overly distracting. The focuses are the work and the people; both are showcased well. The audio is a simple Dolby Digital 2.0 track and isn’t asked to do any heavy lifting, providing a serviceable audio experience. There no special features.

Smoothly blending history with contemporary crafting, Craft in America: Service is another win for PBS. Whether you watch it as part of your Veterans Day or Memorial Day celebrations or just as a casual observer, chances are high you’ll learn something new and enjoy watching these talented people work.

THE VERDICT

Not guilty.

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