Artist Ira Blount talks about the influence of his father and mother as well as the Shaker Movement and their belief in frugality on his life and his art. He talks about ROTC training while he was a student at Tuskegee Institute and training troops to go overseas when he was stationed at Fort Lee, Virginia. Blount states his life after the army was unpleasant because of his divorce. When he moved to Washington, D.C., he focused on craft making, particularly calligraphy, to overcome his drinking problems. Blount gradually became involved in different programs in his church, Asbury United Methodist Church, and eventually started a handbell choir in the early 1990s. Blount talks about his other creative endeavors in basket weaving, origami, and woodcarving as well as his interest in oriental arts. Specifically, Blount talks about his first attempt at basket weaving, his fondness of the egg basket, using natural grapevine frames with commercial reed for his baskets, making origami kimonos and cranes, and the beauty of the grain when he carving wood. He talks about his creative process and working hard to perfect a craft. Blount explains an inner need to create and his hope that his work will inspire other people to do craft work. He talks about the need to engage senior citizens in creativity and craft; and the lack, and therefore necessity, of a craft museum in Washington, D.C. He stresses the need of a vehicle to encourage untrained people to create particularly those who live in Ward 7.
Interview. Dated 20110316.
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