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Craft hub collaboration to explore heritage and celebrate contemporary innovation

Photo credit: UWTSD

UWTSD has secured funding through the Creative Europe programme of the European Union for a major three-year collaborative project focusing on Craft.

The project was conceived and developed by Dr Shelley Doolan, Senior Research Fellow at UWTSD in collaboration with European project partners. Craft Hub brings together nine partner organisations from eight European countries with shared passion for Craft and cultural heritage.

It is an ambitious collaboration that includes maker exchange residencies; community out-reach training and education workshops; touring exhibitions; conferences; a festival of Craft; a material library and a multi-media digital repository resource.

Dr Doolan said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with creative practitioners, researchers and communities throughout Europe, exploring and celebrating the richness of Craft – its heritage as well as contemporary innovation.

“The diversity of Craft practice, attitudes and motivations of practitioners ensures that Craft remains alive and relevant in contemporary society. It affords scope for self-expression, a statement of creativity in a society dominated by mass production. Craft objects find a resonance with us in their reflection of our human scale and capabilities, our ability to manipulate and transform materials in ways that we comprehend if not always fully master ourselves.”

Dr Amanda Roberts, Senior Education Liaison Officer at UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art said it was an exciting opportunity to expand the University’s existing portfolio of community engagement projects.

“Historically craft practices have nourished and developed vibrant and cohesive creative communities and this is a tradition we uphold at UWTSD,” she said.

“Workshops, activities and initiatives will be developed for local schools, college students, and community groups, individuals interested in learning new skills, those who would like to improve their wellbeing through hands on making, and those who would like to take their existing craft practice to the next level.”

Catherine Brown, Programme Director for Design Crafts at UWTSD said: “With our first graduate cohort for Design Crafts next year, we have some exciting up and coming students who will welcome the chance to take part. We celebrate and preserve the traditions of our stained-glass department along with contemporary and innovative new crafts. We look forward to sharing these skills and crafts.”

Dr Pete Spring, Academic Portfolio Director, Architecture & Design added: “We are renowned for skills based, practical teaching and learning and this remains at the core of what we all do. It is why we love our careers, this is our strength and this is what makes Swansea College of Art a unique, specialist educational centre in the UK.

“All our programmes, Design Crafts, a new course and exciting course, about to enter its first third year cohort, Surface Pattern Design, Product & Furniture Design, and the others that form Swansea College of Art are each dedicated to creativity, designing, making, building and exploring ways that grow valuable, meaningful – professional, highly employable graduates.

“The vision for the future of the programmes is one of growth and this will be assisted by developing and building on existing provision and maintaining the strong history and heritage of UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art.”