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Traditional Irish Crafts

The Martha Stewart Show, Episode 6112

While their parents Sally and David Shaw-Smith made the award-winning collection of films called "Hands," documenting Ireland's traditional crafts in the 1970s and 80s, siblings Melissa and Daniel grew up traveling the country alongside them, taking in the beautiful hand crafts ranging from basket-weaving to delicate pottery, textiles to artisanal woodworking, which are featured in the documentary series.

The Shaw-Smith family traveled the length and breadth of Ireland in a VW bus, interviewing local artisans whose work exemplified the skills of human hands rather than machines. And this dedication to the handmade lives on in Ireland today: The Crafts Council of Ireland has named 2011 "The Year of the Craft," and credits the "Hands" films with inspiring many of Ireland's most talented contemporary crafters.

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