Welcome to the Table
‘First there should be a table. ‘ Roland Barthes (An almost obsessive relation to writing instruments 1973) The print version of the Journal of Modern Craft has published nine issues containing scholarship about the role of craft in modernity. The website builds on this knowledge archive as a resource for fostering a network of craft writers.
The Table is a network where those interested in modern craft can exchange information and ideas. It’s a place to post project outlines, reflect on recent publications or exhibitions, announce upcoming events, raise concerns, mobilise action and argue with each other (in the most polite manner). It’s designed for not only academics, but also independent craft writers, curators and artists.
To join the Table, you will need to provide information about yourself, including an email address for notifications and image. This information will become part of your profile, so please be generous with what you disclose so others know where you are coming from. The email address will remain private. You can determine whether or not to receive email notifications. It’s good to have at least some Table email so that you don’t miss interesting updates. When you register, you will have a drop down menu My Account. This provides alternative slices of information, as follows.
The Activity Stream is the place where you can keep up to date on what is happening. This is information only relevant to you. You can contribute to the Table by:
- Writing a status update in your activity stream
- Posting a new topic in a group forum, or adding to an existing conversation
- Uploading an image of interest
- Adding a craft-related link
‘Friends’ around the Table are unfortunately unlikely to be passing the pepper and salt, but they’re a useful way of staying in touch with people who share your interest. By making someone a ‘friend’, their contributions to the Table will subsequently appear in your activity stream. You can also send messages directly to Friends and invite them to Groups. As an alternative to Friend, you can choose to ‘follow’ someone by clicking that button next to their name. This person’s contributions will appear on your activity stream. They will receive a notice that you are following them, but they don’t need to agree to it.
Groups are a key to the Table. Here you can join other members who share a common interest. There are already a few established groups:
- Contemporary Craft – general interest in contemporary craft
- Craft History – researchers in ‘pre-contemporary’ craft
- Café Austral – those from across the southern latitudes
Within a Group, you can post a topic for discussion. You can also start your own Group if there’s an interest of yours that doesn’t seem represented yet. This can be useful for issues specific to a particular local region.
At the Table
Once you’re registered, you’ll notice menus at the top of the screen.
- Features your own activity, those you have ‘friended’ or ‘followed’ and groups you belong to, including status updates, posts and links, and those that you have marked favourite.
- The activity stream for everyone at the Table
If you visit someone’s page, you can either send them a private massage or ‘mention this user’, which is similar to posting on a wall in Facebook. The user is notified of your mention and it is visible to others.
You can post a status update on your profile page or in one of the groups. Also in the group you can post a topic in a forum. Topics are more formal and invite discussion. They are listed separately.
- Be relevant. Try and keep to the subject of craft. Facebook and Twitter are wonderful alternative platforms for ad hoc musings.
- Be supportive. The success of this network does depend on the vibe that we all bring to the Table.
- Be generous. Take risks with bold ideas. Support others, particularly those off the beaten track. Invite others along.
The Table is a stand-alone network. The information you provide here is kept secure and cannot be accessed by any other platform. You are free to delete your account when you wish.
How Table evolves will depend on what you bring to it. As a community, there are some potential collective actions that can make a substantial difference in the way we appreciate craft today. We can pool our knowledge of the craft network with a wiki, featuring active organisations and individuals. We can pool resources to commission new writers, particularly from parts of the world there is not yet infrastructure for craft publishing. Could someone pass the salt, please?