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Publications (5 of 5) Show all publications
Peach, A. (2022). Putting the Art into Craft: The Craftman's Art exhibition 1973. In: Representing Craft/Crafting Representation: Craft Institutions. Paper presented at Design History Dialogues Virtual Seminar Series 2022.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Putting the Art into Craft: The Craftman's Art exhibition 1973
2022 (English)In: Representing Craft/Crafting Representation: Craft Institutions, 2022Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Putting the Art into Craft: The Craftsman’s Art exhibition, 1973  The 1970s were a unique period for craft in Britain, in which practice and idea experienced a significant renaissance. Sharing points of similarity with the previous century’s Arts and Crafts movement, the 1970s gave impetus to a new generation of craftspeople and crafts businesses. Crucially, it was supported by newly created government institutions, which attempted to redefine and shape the meaning of craft. This paper will focus on the newly created Crafts Advisory Committee (CAC - now the Crafts Council), and its flagship exhibition, The Craftsman’s Art, held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1973. The CAC was a state supported, centralized body with overall responsibility for the development and management of craft activity in Britain. As an organization, it continues to play a key role in how the crafts in Britain are supported and defined.  From its inception, the CAC chose to align itself with ‘fine art’ focusing its attentions on high-end studio craft rather than vernacular, traditional or amateur crafts. This ideological stance was boldly manifested in the title of The Craftsman’s Art, and was timed to coincide with the launch of its bi-monthly magazine Crafts (still in circulation). The exhibition was intended to change public attitudes by introducing them to the new, fine art crafts. The legacy of The Craftsman’s Art exhibition cannot be underestimated. This paper will explore the CAC’s attempts to elevate the status of craft, legitimising it in professional spheres, and introducing new ways of making, theorising, and exhibiting craft. 

Keywords
British Craft, Craftspeople, UK Crafts Council, Crafts magazine, Craft exhibitions, 1970s, Victoria and Albert Museum
National Category
Humanities and the Arts
Research subject
Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:konstfack:diva-8748 (URN)
Conference
Design History Dialogues Virtual Seminar Series 2022
Available from: 2022-11-29 Created: 2022-11-29 Last updated: 2022-11-29Bibliographically approved
Peach, A. (2021). Craft, Souvenirs and the Invention of Tradition in Highlands Scotland. In: Souvenirs 2021: Design, Craft and Experience. Paper presented at Souvenirs 2021, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland, 22-23 April 2021.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Craft, Souvenirs and the Invention of Tradition in Highlands Scotland
2021 (English)In: Souvenirs 2021: Design, Craft and Experience, 2021Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Scotland has long been a subject of the tourist gaze. By consequence, its identity and material cultural have undergone significant transformation and invention. This paper will analyse the relationship between craft, souvenirs and the invention of tradition in the Highlands of Scotland.  It argues that national development agencies, in particular the Highlands and Islands Development Board (1965-1990), played a key part in shaping the identity of Scottish craft in the twentieth century, by promoting it as a traditional Highland product to be consumed by tourists. The Board’s motivation was to diversify the economy by increasing the number of light industries. In a bid to arrest the crippling economic and social decline that can be traced back to Scotland’s industrial revolution, craft was commodified. By outlining the socio-economic context in Scotland following the Second World War, the paper will demonstrate how craft came to be associated with national development, and subsequently promoted as a cultural product, and souvenir. Building on archival research as well as oral history interviews, the paper focuses on the ceramic industry, Highland Stoneware (1973-present). Highland Stoneware provides an important case study of how Scottish development strategy attempted to link craft with tourism, with lessons that can be applied widely. The paper is conceptually underpinned by Hobsbawm and Ranger’s invention of tradition and Glenn Adamson’s thesis of the invention of modern craft.  Richard Peterson’s production of culture theory, as well as theories of tourism in a post-industrial context, including the work of Dean MacCannell, Nelson Graburn, provide further support to the arguments in the paper. As a case study, the paper sheds important light on the role that national development agencies play in shaping a nation’s cultural products, the relationship between tourism and the invention of tradition, and the economic impact behind the promotion of craft as souvenirs.

National Category
Humanities and the Arts
Research subject
Arts
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:konstfack:diva-8233 (URN)
Conference
Souvenirs 2021, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland, 22-23 April 2021
Available from: 2021-11-30 Created: 2021-11-30 Last updated: 2022-03-15Bibliographically approved
Peach, A. (2020). Far Out Crafting. In: A. Naudin and K. Patel (Ed.), Craft Entrepreneurship: (pp. 67-88). Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Far Out Crafting
2020 (English)In: Craft Entrepreneurship / [ed] A. Naudin and K. Patel, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2020, p. 67-88Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In 1963 Sutherland County Council purchased a disused airbase from the Ministry of Defence. Situated on the remote northerly coast of the Scottish Highlands, it consisted of a series of derelict, flat-roofed buildings, deemed uninhabitable due to their lack of insulation and basic utilities. Nevertheless, the Council had a vision: to create a thriving community of craftspeople that would address years of depopulation and economic decline. It was called ‘The Far North Project’. A singularly utopian vision, it attracted entrepreneurs and idealists from across the country and abroad. 

For the Far North pioneers however, reality was often far from the dream. Although the project presented an opportunity for adventurous artisans, those hoping to escape from the rat race were quickly subsumed by another sort of tyranny - the production of souvenirs for tourists. This chapter will examine what became of the Far North Project, and consider whether any lessons can be learned. It will question the role of government in supporting craft communities, and the relationship between national development strategy, economic sustainability in remote locations and the individual’s desire for creative autonomy. 

This chapter will draw on extensive primary research including interviews with makers involved in The Far North Project, policy documents from the Highlands and Islands Development Board and the Scottish Development Agency, as well as archive research from the Scottish Craft Centre. Conceptually the chapter is underpinned by theory from the fields of sociology, material culture and anthropology. Namely Petersen and Anand’s research on The Production of Culture (2004), Becker’s Art Worlds (2008) Riello’s work on cultural value of products in a consuming culture (Reillo 2009), as well as Graburn (1979) and Hickey’s (1997) writing on craft objects and souvenirs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2020
National Category
Arts Humanities and the Arts
Research subject
Arts
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:konstfack:diva-7590 (URN)978-1-78661-374-5 (ISBN)978-1-78661-375-2 (ISBN)
Available from: 2020-12-14 Created: 2020-12-14 Last updated: 2021-08-16Bibliographically approved
Peach, A. (2020). ‘Made with love, filled with hope’. Knitted knockers and the materiality of care: their impact on the women who make and receive them. Journal of Arts and Communities, 10(1-2), 83-93
Open this publication in new window or tab >>‘Made with love, filled with hope’. Knitted knockers and the materiality of care: their impact on the women who make and receive them
2020 (English)In: Journal of Arts and Communities, ISSN 17571936, Vol. 10, no 1-2, p. 83-93Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This reflective case study sets out to ask ‘How do participatory textile-making projects engage and impact participants and recipients?’ by focussing on Knitted Knockers UK, a global network of knitters who voluntarily create prosthetics for by women following mastectomy or lumpectomy. The paper examines the choices women are faced with following breast cancer surgery, and considers ‘softer options’ to surgical reconstruction, including knitted prosthetics. Drawing on qualitative data gathered via personal communications and social media, personal experience of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, and feminist discourse with relation to breast cancer and the body, the paper evaluates the relationship between well-being, healthcare and digitally connected knitting communities. It offers reflections on the materiality of care the Knitted Knockers represent and considers the role these hand-knitted prosthetics can play in providing a sense of community and emotional well-being for both the creators and the recipients of these knitted gifts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
UK: Intellect Ltd., 2020
Keywords
community, craft, healthcare, well-being, knitting, socio-material engagement
National Category
Arts
Research subject
Arts
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:konstfack:diva-7535 (URN)10.1386/jaac_00007_1 (DOI)
Available from: 2020-11-27 Created: 2020-11-27 Last updated: 2021-03-01Bibliographically approved
Peach, A. (2019). Highland Romance or Viking Saga? The Contradictory Branding of Orkney Tweed in the Twentieth Century. Journal of Design History, 32(3), 263-279
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Highland Romance or Viking Saga? The Contradictory Branding of Orkney Tweed in the Twentieth Century
2019 (English)In: Journal of Design History, ISSN 0952-4649, E-ISSN 1741-7279, Vol. 32, no 3, p. 263-279Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Few have heard of Orkney tweed today, but in the mid-twentieth century it was as well known as Harris Tweed, and praised for its soft and light characteristics. This article investigates the rise and fall of Orkney tweed and suggests that its decline in the 1960s can be attributed to a variety of factors, including the advent of synthetic, ready-to-wear clothing, but also problems inherent in the mixed marketing messages around the textile. While the main producers of Orkney tweed emphasised the Viking connections of the Orkney islands and their product, the fashion media and overseas customers were more comfortable with positioning Orkney tweed within a stereotypic context of Scottish romanticism, in which Orkney tweed became interchangeable – and replaceable - with all Scottish tweeds. Contemporary attempts to re-establish tweed production on the Orkney Islands have rejected both approaches, focusing instead on the ‘natural’ properties of the fabric and the production of easily portable souvenirs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
UK: Oxford University Press, 2019
Keywords
Textile design and manufacture, branding, Scotland, twentieth century, cultural nationalism, national identity
National Category
Arts Design
Research subject
Arts; Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:konstfack:diva-7536 (URN)10.1093/jdh/epy046 (DOI)
Available from: 2020-11-27 Created: 2020-11-27 Last updated: 2023-12-01Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-5730-5951

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