Weekly Wrap Up + Working Title

by Grace Bonney

One of the biggest things that keeps me going as a human being is problem-solving. Nothing makes me more excited and motivated than seeing an issue and setting out to fix, improve or remove the problem. That desire lead me to create some of my favorite D*S projects like our scholarship, Biz Ladies series and our ongoing DIY 101 posts. But there’s always been one problem I’ve felt totally helpless to work on- television. As an avid and somewhat voracious consumer of television content, I feel like I’m constantly lamenting how few really quality programs there are for design fans. I know there are contest shows and makeovers, but I’m always hoping for something that focuses more on small-scale makers and the challenges they face. Thankfully there are people tackling that problem now and looks like they’re doing it beautifully- Kelly Lynn Jones of Little Paper Planes and Andrew Martin Scott of Needles and Pens.

Kelly and Andrew have a new video podcast show on KQED in the Bay Area called Working Title. Through a series of videos, interviews, articles and essays, Kelly and Andrew will highlight local artist entrepreneurs and how they’re building communities, running successful businesses and living their dreams. While the podcast is still in video form and not on TV, I think this has huge potential to get picked up by the station and hopefully a larger channel. Video content has, in general, mainly focused on the flashier parts of the design world, but I’m really excited to see more content like this pop up. I’m going to be watching these videos excitedly, but it made me think- are there other videos, shows or podcasts you’re watching that serve this purpose? Am I missing great independent TV or video content online or on-air that I should be watching? If you’ve got a favorite show like this (independent, focusing on small makers) I’d love to hear in the comments below. I’m trying to build an archive of video/tv inspiration and would love to hear your favorites in this area. Congrats to Kelly and Andrew- I can’t wait to see the next episodes! xo, grace

Below is a summary of this week’s highlights:

Suggested For You


  • PBS has a ton of online video content, and one program that I’d never heard of until recently is the Woodwright’s Shop with Roy Underhill. Although he’s fond of jokes that make you groan, the host is obviously obsessed with and very knowledgeable about traditional woodworking. Though I can’t say I’ve found every episode to be riveting and at first glance the show looks hopelessly dorky, I find the craft and attention to detail amazing, as well as the ingenious tools woodworkers came up with before we relied on electricity so much.

  • I feel hopeful after watching the video. In my opinion, for what it is worth, having access to learning about artisans and their work is paramount to bringing this small-scale creative culture to a broader audience. An audience which may need this exact type of inspiration for their own creative process. The current atmosphere of small-scale creativity is heartily pumping in avenues of art, cooking, building to jewelry-making and everything in between; I think it is time to allow it to have more exposure. This is a great post, D*!

  • This is so encouraging for a small scale crafter to see people with successful business based on their art. I have 3 kids so starving artist is definitely not an option.

  • Thanks so much Grace for posting our show! I hope we get to continue making more episodes!! We are just trying illustrate that through hard work and passion, your dreams can happen, though nothing is ever easy and you have to be willing to live for what you love. We want to highlight that the definition of success varies from different types of people.

  • so cool! i had the pleasure of meeting andrew a few years ago… can’t wait to see more of this series! i hope it makes it to TV.

  • I’m torn between loving this and thinking that it’s a skit from an episode of Portlandia. Having lived in San Francisco, I’m a little tired of the preciousness of the San Francisco creative community celebrating its creativeness. However, this is much better TV fare than Real Housewives and I do actually think that artists should be celebrated more than they are.

  • I agree with Anna about the similarity to Portlandia. Unfortunately, I found the video to have an insincere and self-important feeling. I like the idea of new content that features dedicated artists and craftspeople, but this video isn’t making me excited about what’s happening in the Bay Area…it’s just making me wonder if all the stereotypes are true.

  • Right now, my favorite coverage of artists and designers is coming from In the Make. They started with really well-written and well-photographed interviews and studio visits, but lately they have been producing some short video posts. Their newest video covers shibori dyeing by Job & Boss (http://inthemake.com/job-boss/).

    Like Working Title, In the Make focuses on the west coast. I’d love to know about anything similar that’s showcasing the east coast. Any ideas?

  • My current favourite video coverage of makers is by independent Australian film makers Commoner (http://commonerfilms.com.au/). They make beautiful online videos covering boutique artisans, from chocolatiers & beekeepers to smokehouse builders and potters.

    Short insights into creative lives and processes..well worth a watch!

  • Wow, really excited about this, we spend part of the year in Sebastopol (50 mins north of SF) living and working and I really love anything that keeps me in the loop with the bay area arts/design/maker/crafts community. Kudos to both Kelly and Andrew!

  • Titus transforms an empty loft into a cozy residence, he makes everything himself, recycling as much as he can (a window is a fromer old train window, a bathtub becomes a rocking chair, gas cylinder turns into barbecue,…). Low budget, high creativity.
    It is in Dutch (Belgian television), sorry about that.


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