10 November 2006

craft research

There is an interesting discussion going on in the forum of the Craft Scotland website. http://www.craftscotland.org under "Craft in Crisis" posted by Tina. This was a recent comment by 'Duncan' "I think Liz and her question about who the credit goes to (the work or the maker) is a moot point. The work and the maker are related - but surely the work is the most important thing - many great works have been produced by not very nice people (!), but that does not make the work less important.Also, knowing what craft is and this encouraging people to come and see/buy craft is not a strong link. Perry won the Turner Prize (although avoided using the craft word) and Chihuly does 'glass sculpture'. These people avoided the craft word, and reaped the benefits, it could be argued. Potentially, had they used the craft word, they would not be where they are now. I still think this hangup on names is becoming irrelevent. On fewer people going to craft shows - correct. But fewer people go to installation shows in visual art, fewer go to photography shows by less well-know photographers than painting/photography shows by better-known artists, but that does't faze photographers - as they have high profile blockbusting photographers to carry the torch for the profession.Maybe galleries don't sell/show craft as much because it is on the whole 3D - takes up more space and is harder to show and ship than 2D works (this alos applies to the buyer). And again, the auction resale market and lack of museum shows and permanent collection reinforces this negative circle (well established by reports written by the Arts Council for England for example). What do gallery owners think about this?Yes, people should study craft like fine art. How would this get started - is this something Creative and Cultural Skills are working on? Anyone working in universities reading this who has ideas about how it would start?Duncan.

Let's start here in answer to your point. I don't know if Creative and Cultural Skills are working on this. I do know that a lot of funding is going to people who are researching craft, craft practice, what craft is and how it should be 'read' and taught. Dr Sandra Wilson has just finished her PhD looking at Craft and linking it to Goetha's theory of holism and William Morris. Very interesting reading! I am part of the 'Past Present and Future Craft Practice' project looking at the interrelationship between skill, intent and culture. My part of that is looking at the aesthetic embodied in craft by researching methodological approaches in historical and contemporary craft practices. I guess that's a start. part of my research is to develop a model for reading craft so that it can be taught )I am also a teacher and this is very close to my heart)We are having a big New Craft-Future Voives conference next year in July which hopefully will provide a voice for craftpeople and those interrested in craft. http://www.newcraftfuturevoices.com/ Take a look I agree with you that craftpeople and artists are crossing the bounderies and using each others disciplines to create their work.(Perry & Chihuly ) I also agree with you that people are afraid to use the word Craft. Isn't that exactly the point we are trying to make? That the term craft and craftsperson is no longer afforded credibility, value, or dignity? This is exactly why AHRC and other bodies are giving funding for research in this area.
No, you don't have to be a nice person to make beautiful or important 'work'. LOL! By this I take it you mean crafted objects and not art/craft. craft/art or design? Or are you blurring the three, combining them, diluting them in fact? Anything diluted is weaker than the origional. I believe craft - the craftperson, process, methodologies, methods, and product has in itself a stronger identity, than when it seeks to try to be accepted by the marketplace by diluting it's ethos and identity.
Perhapse you have a comment you would like to post in response?

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