Craft is a sphere of activities where humans as cultural beings can dwell, a place in people's lives where processing of thoughts and feelings regarding everyday life and political events can take place. Craft as cultural heritage can also be directed toward the future, since understanding of handmade processes is a base for industrial production. It is a space for dreaming and planning as well as for material encounters between body and matter—in both ways changing the world. Dwelling in craft must not be idealized, though. Its manifold expressions and opposite features have to be studied critically.

Craftwork can be apprehended in various ways: calming but also frustrating, creative, and innovative, as well as boringly routinized. People can earn their living through craft, or they can reside in craft contexts like educational workshops, the DIY or DIT movement, and maker spaces for recreational purposes. Craft can be about healthy people's creative self-expressions, but it can also be used as a tool in therapeutic processes or in reminiscence work with persons who have dementia. Craft is social when learned and shared but often individually performed with personal bodily knowing as its prerequisite. Thus, it connects people and fosters self-esteem, but it also pinpoints differences regarding bodily performances and may lead to competition and envy. An ethnological "double glance" at the phenomenon is needed. We invite scholars to theorize on craft/making as cultural activities or to present empirical findings from the field.


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pp. 131-141
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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