Abstract

In this research project ‘Communication of Craft Practice’ is the subject and the problem is one of transparency of the intellectual act and accessibility to the embodied knowledge. Why? The skill of coherently expressing the intellectual and personal voice within the development of craft practice is usually missing. There is a gap in our knowledge. The methodological framework is Mindful Inquiry which is a synthesis of critical social science, hermeneutics, phenomenology and Buddhism (Bentz and Shapiro, 1998).The research involves working directly with professional practitioners to embark on a series of creative journeys from which craft as an experience, process, product and service could be observed and evaluated. The practitioners included a 3-D metal designer, curator, interactive jeweller, product artist and woven textile designer. The aim is to reassess the term craft practice as a means of understanding the impact of social, political and technological change by documenting the practitioner’s thinking processes throughout a period of practice. It is to consider combining visual and written outputs as means of supporting the identification of the new knowledge gained through practice, and how this knowledge is used cumulatively to develop craft. The objective is to nurture a dialogue with practice and to document the process of thinking and making associated with craft. This paper provides the context and framework for research as well as presenting the findings from it. It exposes the methods and the accompanying rational for using them in relation to mindful inquiry, and it presents a new perspective from which to view and discuss craft practice. The argument is concerned with articulating the relevance of mindful inquiry as a methodology for critiquing and supporting the development of craft thereby supporting the contextual understanding and meaning of the research findings and procedures when they are presented. It is also to offer new craft knowledge in terms of the phrase ‘practice’.

Keywords:

Craft Practice, Mindful Inquiry, Visual Language, Communication, Methodology

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Jul 7th, 12:00 AM

Craft as a Form of Mindful Inquiry

In this research project ‘Communication of Craft Practice’ is the subject and the problem is one of transparency of the intellectual act and accessibility to the embodied knowledge. Why? The skill of coherently expressing the intellectual and personal voice within the development of craft practice is usually missing. There is a gap in our knowledge. The methodological framework is Mindful Inquiry which is a synthesis of critical social science, hermeneutics, phenomenology and Buddhism (Bentz and Shapiro, 1998).The research involves working directly with professional practitioners to embark on a series of creative journeys from which craft as an experience, process, product and service could be observed and evaluated. The practitioners included a 3-D metal designer, curator, interactive jeweller, product artist and woven textile designer. The aim is to reassess the term craft practice as a means of understanding the impact of social, political and technological change by documenting the practitioner’s thinking processes throughout a period of practice. It is to consider combining visual and written outputs as means of supporting the identification of the new knowledge gained through practice, and how this knowledge is used cumulatively to develop craft. The objective is to nurture a dialogue with practice and to document the process of thinking and making associated with craft. This paper provides the context and framework for research as well as presenting the findings from it. It exposes the methods and the accompanying rational for using them in relation to mindful inquiry, and it presents a new perspective from which to view and discuss craft practice. The argument is concerned with articulating the relevance of mindful inquiry as a methodology for critiquing and supporting the development of craft thereby supporting the contextual understanding and meaning of the research findings and procedures when they are presented. It is also to offer new craft knowledge in terms of the phrase ‘practice’.

 

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