The Hand and the Glove... ramblings about making.

The Midwife and the Gravedigger

Having spent a few more days thinking about the Craft Matters campaign the more strongly I feel that the Crafts Council should encourage a more inclusive definition of craft and its place in society.
As I said before, Craft is not just concerned with exquisite, hand made, bespoke objects. Though there is a need and place for work of that type in society, if craft is to matter when it comes to its recognition, promotion and support by governments, the public needs to know how craft affects them in almost every area of life.
As Glenn Adamson says, "Craft only exists in motion. It is a way of doing things, not a classification of objects, institutions or people"*
As such, both the midwife and the person that buries you are craft experts, they have developed the tacit knowledge and skills necessary to safely bring you into this world and to leave it with dignity. At every stage in between craft shapes our lives, it is what differentiates us from the other species on this planet. Craft has even helped to shape our bodies, both in an evolutionary sense and in the way our bodies are affected by physical activity.
In getting this message across a recent Radio 4, Point of View programme could be very helpful. It was the last of a series by Professor Lisa Jardine who used the example of crystallographer, Dorothy Hodgkin to demonstrate how science and the arts can both benefit through collaboration. Lisa jardine referred to a letter to the Observer signed by many eminent thinkers who are concerned that future government spending cuts will sacrifice the arts in favour of the sciences, a policy that appears extremely short-sighted.

Adamson, G. Thinking through Craft. Berg 2007, p4.