6
The Craftperson

Essentially and absolutely a craftsperson is a maker. Craft textiles, as a distinct category, are commonly perceived as multi-media, exploring the inherent qualities of different textile materials, sometimes in combination with other materials and objects. Modern craftspeople, in the process of establishing their practice, pursue and explore textiles in a wide variety of commercial and professional contexts. Often they draw on a range of cultural issues, or adapt to social trends, and form an individual, personal and expressive textile language. As stated previously, there are many similarities between the textile craftsperson and the textile designermaker, which can give rise to confusion. There are major differences in the way they produce textiles but their modes of professional practice are alike; they may supply the same markets; operate within a comparable model of studio practice; finally, their work or products may be perceived in a similar context by the viewer. The craft approach to textiles is very much process-led; the actual pursuit of making by hand is of paramount importance for the craftsperson.

The personal interaction with making and the control this gives to the maker is indicative of craftspeople's attitude to their work. This is contrary to the attitude of designer-makers, who are not worried about using ready-assembled components or the services of a third party in the making process. However, we cannot escape the fact that there is a craft element underpinning the design process which the designer-maker is involved with, simply because to create a prototype calls for a ‘hands-on’ approach. Eventually, designer-makers choose to have their product completely or partly produced or manufactured by someone other than themselves. Having said this, today such craftspeople as Miglena Kazaski originate their product by means of craft, but in her case, in order to deal with the volume of orders placed with her, she is left with no alternative but to out-source the manpower required to carry out the work (Hoggard and Coatts, 2000: 38). Despite this, we can continue to term her trade as craft-based because her outworkers are still performing their tasks by hand and not by way of an industrially mechanized process.

When it comes to textile crafts, we cannot overemphasize the importance of the sense of touch which can carry a status at least equal to visual aesthetics. Also the dexterity of hands and fingers provide the craftsperson with creative opportunities not matched by machinery. Given this, the critical ‘hands-on’ philosophy

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The Textile Book
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Part I - Overviews *
  • 1 - What is Textiles? 3
  • 2 - The Culture Place of Textiles 7
  • 3 - Perceptions of Fabric 21
  • Part II - The Creative *
  • 4 - The Textile Designer 37
  • 5 - The Designer Maker 49
  • 6 - The Craftperson 63
  • 7 - The Textile Artist 77
  • Part III - The Social and Industrial Context *
  • 8 - Globel Textiles Tradition 91
  • 9 - Ecology 107
  • 10 - Industry 121
  • 11 - The Role of Trends and Forecasting 133
  • Part IV - Related Disciplines and Studies *
  • 12 - The Buyer 145
  • 13 - Journalism 157
  • 14 - Science 167
  • 15 - Research 179
  • Bibliography 191
  • Index 201
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