The Crafts Council partners with academic institutions to bring specialist knowledge and depth of understanding to research projects.
We are currently engaged in two projects:
• CinBa – led by Dr Jo Sofaer of Southampton University
• Connecting Craft and Communities
Creativity and Craft Production in the Middle and Late Bronze Age (CinBA) is a major international research project funded by HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area). It is led by Dr Jo Sofaer, Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Southampton, and brings together partners from the Universities of Cambridge and Trondheim, the National Museum of Denmark, the Natural History Museum of Vienna, Zagreb Archaeological Museum, Lejre Archaeological Park and the Crafts Council.
The CinBA project offers important insights into the fundamental nature of creativity by exploring a period of European history not influenced by contemporary concepts of art – the Bronze Age (c. 2500 – 800 BC). The research looks at developments in textiles, ceramics and metal during the period from the perspective of creativity. It also considers contemporary perspectives on Bronze Age craft as a potential source of creative engagement for different groups, including heritage visitors and contemporary makers.
The Crafts Council is a non-academic partner in the project, creating connections between the academic research and contemporary makers, from students to professionals. The project presents new and exciting ways to articulate the nature and value of contemporary crafts practice, particularly within the context of humanities research.
The makers we have engaged in the project have been pivotal to new considerations of creativity of the Bronze Age and in the craft of this period. Rather than simply reconstructing finds, the makers have used these prehistoric objects as sources of inspiration and conversation, offering insights and interpretations based upon their own material knowledge, making expertise, and their creativity.
The CinBa conference Creativity: An Exploration Through the Bronze Age and Contemporary Responses to the Bronze Age is taking place on 10/11 April 2013.
Find out more about CinBA
Visit the CinBA website
Crafting communities of practice and interest: connecting ‘online’ and ‘offline’ making practices
This research will undertake a systematic review of practices of online/offline participation within craft related communities of practice and communities of interest. It will address the development of new cultures of communication within online/offline communities linked to craft, and the role of creativity in shaping those cultures. This project will also review the new cultural, social and economic practices in the crafting movement, in relation to online/offline practices of community building. It will analyse how the adoption of ICT tools has shaped the connections, practices and processes that constitute craft communities. These tools include the Internet, social media, Web 2.0 applications, and using digital technologies in the production of craft objects themselves.
The Research is sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and is a partnership between the University of Birmingham, King’s College London, the AHRC REACT Knowledge Exchange Hub and the University of Exeter. The Crafts Council is amongst the supporters of the project. For more information see the research project website www.craftcommunities.com
Your Craft, Your Connections: A survey for 21st century makers
Using a survey, the researchers are trying to get a better understanding of how makers create meaningful connections with other people in their lives and their practices. This is particularly important to understand as new social media technologies are constantly being invented and changing the way we all live.
To participate in the survey please go to http://www.craftcommunities.com/survey.html Your answers will remain confidential and, unless you would like to identify yourself at the end as a maker we can interview further, your answers will also remain anonymous.