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Focus 1:
Mapping knowledge

CRAFT aims to capture and record processes, technologies, material knowledge, skills techniques and recipes for ceramic making and identify regions of specific ceramic expertise at European Union level to share practice and build support networks.

One of the main challenges facing ceramics education is that knowledge is confined to areas of specific expertise based on historical or technical factors such as locality proximity to consumers, materials, or natural resources, resulting in a sporadic and disconnected relationship between industry and knowledge communities. 

As the relevance of the historical factors for locational production declined, a situation has emerged where knowledge is marooned in discrete centres of specialist know-how and more dangerously, remains housed in the minds of a select few researchers, craftspeople, and heritage producers. 

As industry evolves in the face of economic imperatives, it has increasingly become the raison d’etre of Higher Education Institutions or Research Centres to try to capture and preserve this knowledge, before particular processes and insights disappear.

The mapping exercise will connect expertise and knowledge across Europe, build connections and identify salient transferable skills and processes.

The research will be collated, catalogued, and published on this website.

CRAFT aims to record where different typologies of skills can be identified, followed by identifying locations where those skills exist or can be acquired, explore possible relations with the available materials and local historical traditions, and finally showcase those we can share and teach. The typologies of skill will also be related to typologies of knowledge, which will result from a cross-cultural approach and effective transdisciplinary between fields related to craft, art and technology, both at a practical level as well as a theoretical one. 

We will use a range of methodologies in archiving and transferring valuable knowledge in the form of skills and expertise including demonstrations, interviews, instruction and step-by-step diagrams.

CRAFT’s initial primary target group will be educators, trainers and their students; however, it is expected that the resource will be relevant to the wider communities of practice, ateliers, single-person educators, small and large commercial operations, shared studio workers and Fab-labs. 

The work will have a direct and tangible impact by creating greater cohesiveness across the community. It will enable wide access to discourse and provide the basis for sharing knowledge across huge geographical distances and diverse knowledge fields, delivering essential information to artists, craftsmen, designers, industry, conservators, historians, museum curators and material scientists. 

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