When sculptors craft

Theme for issue 3.3

How comfortably does craft fit within the history and practice of sculpture? Why is the crafted essence of sculpting so often ignored? And, more positively, what ideas and narratives about sculpture might be generated by accounting for it in terms of craft?

Image: Cecile Johnson Soliz finishing Warm, a sculpture that functions as a wood-burning stove, in Castellamonte, Italy, 2007.

Does craft want to be free?

Photo of impressed gable by Don Shall, creative commons license

Traditionally, craft evolved in guilds that limit access to technical knowledge and controlled prices. Today there is talk of ‘digital guilds’ that use open platforms to freely share information. Yet, the modern design industry depends on the notion of intellectual property to encourage investment in innovation. How do current systems like Creative Commons relate to the spirit of craft – past, present and future?

Read feature article Virtual Guilds: Collective Intelligence and the Future of Craft by Leonardo Bonanni and Amanda Parkes from issue 3.2

Join our guest bloggers to consider the role of intellectual property in the ongoing craft movement.

Can a copy be creative? Craft in Japan

Ise Grand Shrine, which is completely re-build every 20 years

Ise Grand Shrine, which is completely re-build every 20 years

The Japanese concept of dentō kōgei ( ‘traditional art crafts’) recognises the practice of reproducing classic works as an ideal of ‘formative expression’. By contrast, the studio craft movement of the West celebrated originality. Does the reverence for the copy in traditional Japanese culture inhibit its entry into modern craft?

Two articles in issue 3.1 cover this question:

  • Kida Takuya ‘Traditional Art Crafts (Dento¯ Ko¯ gei): From reproductions to original works’
  • Christine Guth ‘The multiple modalities of the copy in traditional Japanese crafts’

Join our guest bloggers to consider ways in which the process of re-making can be a meaningful activity in itself.