Perspectives on Craft: Products and Processes as Crafticultural Artifacts

By Anna Kouhia.

Published by The International Journal of Designed Objects

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The concept of craft embodies an idea of ability or accomplishment, but it also employs the aspects of attained skills and expertise. As a culturally constructed artifact, craft refers either to the act of making or to the outcome of the act, which both bear a vast weight of cultural tradition. The aim of this article is thus to enlighten the relationship between crafts, materiality, and immateriality: this article embraces the questions of objecthood and substantiality of crafted artifacts in connection with the cultural viewpoint and since, all handcrafted constructions, initially all human-made, are called for crafticultural artifacts. In the task of analyzing these issues, article employs a theory-driven coding scheme deriving from Marx Wartofsky’s (1979) cultural-historically oriented artifact theory. Therein, artifacts are divided up to the primary, secondary or tertiary categories due to their nature. The coding reveals that crafticultural artifacts are perceived clusters of primary, secondary and tertiary categories, though crafts is often perceived referring most of all to its material presence.

Keywords: Craft, Arifact Theory, Cultural Mediation, Materiality, Immateriality

The International Journal of Designed Objects, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp.71-84. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.214MB).

Anna Kouhia

Postgraduate Sudent, Department of Teacher Education, Craft Science and Textiles Teacher Education, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

Master of Education Anna Kouhia is a postgraduate student in the University of Helsinki in the Department of Teacher Education in the Craft Science study programme. In addition, she has a degree of Master of Arts in Art and Design in the University of Lapland in the Department of Textile Design. Her doctoral dissertation concentrates on the multicultural craft experience and it applies the activity-theoretical framework.