NAKED CRAFT NETWORK
Craft is significant to Canadian culture; historically, socially, culturally and economically having the ability to unify and connect diverse cultures, ethnicities and ways of life. Many people define craft differently and consequently the term has a wide range of meanings and values within contemporary society. We all have a connection to craft in some way, through the products we consume, through the cultural traditions passed down from generation to generation or through the items and objects we encounter on a daily basis. What draws people to contemporary craft is authenticity, originality, creativity and the tangible experience of an object that creates meaning and value beyond its’ physical form.
The Naked Craft Network is an international research project that brings together the best of contemporary Canadian and Scottish craft.
Naked Craft is designed to be playful in how it engages a public audience; at a time in popular culture when the words “handcrafted” and “artisanal” are the “it” words of marketing houses, attention must be redirected back to craft itself. Craft is a sexy word, and Naked Craft intends to show the viewer just how sexy craft itself can be. Naked Craft examines craft practice through the four main themes: New Positions; Down and Dirty: politics and materials; DIY; and Tooling up: new technologies and economies.
Naked Craft looks to contribute towards a better understanding of continuity and change within the discipline. It is evident that despite the cultural diversity and obstacles that influence craft making in Canada, in Scotland, and around the world, there are many similarities and shared values that influence the craft sector. In Canada we’re putting forth a concerted effort toward public outreach and new ways of presenting craft to audiences as diverse as the communities of craft makers whom we support. With an increase in the awareness of contemporary craft and an understanding of its value, comes the potential of increased sales, consumption, recognition and promotion for both makers and their objects. As such, both the individuals creating craft as well as those consuming it are rewarded with culturally enriching experiences, which support the local economy and encourage a focus on high-quality craft objects that are lasting and well made.
Naked Craft has spanned almost four years of research in two countries and includes two workshop/residencies, three symposiums, a touring exhibition and a publication. The NCN is interested in broadly developing a better understanding of the relationships between the identities that are inherently attributed to geopolitical regions of practice, and the reciprocal role that the material production of craft plays in building, maintaining and disseminating these identities in a global arena of commerce and culture in the future.
PROGRAMMED AS PART OF:
Juliette MacDonald describes The Naked Craft Network, an AHRC funded collaborative project which aims to develop a greater understanding of the evolution of practices of craft in Scotland and Canada: