About The Craft Readers Group
The Craft Readers group at University of the Arts, London was set up by TED/TFRC PhD researcher Bridget Harvey and CSM research student Giorgio Salani early in 2016.
Bridget and Giorgio come from different material disciplines, but finding many crossovers and reference points in their reading interests, they decided to delve into these more deeply by starting a discussion and reading group, inviting postgraduate students from all UAL colleges and courses to join them.
Monthly meetings began in February 2016, exploring themes, methods of enquiry and texts chosen by the group including “What Is Contemporary about Craft?” (Julia Bryan-Wilson), Tim Ingold’s concept of ‘Creative Entanglements’, David Pye on ‘The Workmanship of Risk’ and Glenn Adamson (often).
Areas for lively discourse include technology and tradition; Post Capitalism and The Anthropocene; thinking through making, process and object; luxury and authenticity; nostalgia and memory; messiness and ‘Sloppy craft’; risk, control and safety.
Activities include attending and reviewing relevant art and design exhibitions and events, Betty Woodman at the ICA, Alison Britton at the V & A and Ceramic Art London being just a few of our early forays.
Craft Readers Members
Bridget Harvey’s practice-based AHRC funded PhD explores repair making as material and social action at CWW, UAL with the TED Research Group. Within this she seeks to define repair as part of an expanded design practice, using it to explore materials, joining methods and durability.
Bridget Harvey’s slow design practice is rooted in design activism; environmentally and socially conscious, manifesting research through practice and seeking mindful connections between hand, process and thing. She undertakes residencies, facilitates workshops and other events, curates and writes. Bridget is a founding member of creo collective, and is on the board of the annual Cambridge Sustainability Residency.
Giorgio Salani is a ceramic maker and doctoral researcher specialising in the intersection between traditional crafts and design. His focus on materials, methods and technologies derives from his engineering background and 8 years of consulting experience.
He holds an MSc in Environmental Engineering, an MA in Housing and a Graduate Diploma in Art History and Architecture. His ceramic practice started at evening courses in various London colleges and developed under Chris Bramble at the Kingsgate Workshops in Kilburn, and through further experience in Ghana and Japan.
He is currently working on a craft-based design start-up and keeps a blog on art, craft and design.
Katherine Pogson is a doctoral researcher in the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, London College of Fashion. Her research grows out of fifteen years’ experience as a designer-maker using leather as a primary material, and formulates the concept of the Companion Object, interrogating how thinking processes in craft can contribute to a set of alternative fashion practices which may help to reconnect us with nature.
As a crafts-practitioner, tutor and mentor to accessories design start-up businesses, Katherine set up Designer Courses in 2005. She was awarded a Queen Elizabeth Craft Scholarship in 2011, and is author of How to Work with Leather, Pavilion books, 2016.
Monika Dorniak uses her background in fashion design, psychology, neurology and contemporary dance/choreography to create transformational and thought provoking works.
Throughout her practice she explores the presence and history of natural and social sciences by considering manmade technological changes to 'nature' in our epoch; the Anthropocene.
Her upbringing in an artisanal and agricultural family influenced her practice as well as her German, Polish and Lithuanian roots that were marked by the trauma of sociopolitical events. Frequent research topics include authorship, body and mind, collective and self-consciousness, communication, control, gender equality, identity, senses, tradition, trauma.
Anna-Louise Meynell is a Scottish weaver who has worked in Asia for over a decade, in the jacquard industry and with traditional hand weavers. She is a part time research student at UAL, continuing with handloom consultancy projects alongside her research.
Anna-Louise's doctoral research is an ethnographic documentation of the eri silk weavers of Meghalaya, North East India. Eri silk, is also known as 'peace silk' for its non-violent method of extracting the silk from the cocoon without harming the silk worm. Cultivation and production of eri silk is deeply connected to community life, environment and local culture. Her research explores this field through a practice led enquiry, to understand the weavers perspective to the craft and the community approach to preserving ancient weaving traditions.