I was going to get all up in your face about the recent SNAG conference as well as the crafthaus Think Tank Symposium I was at over this past weekend, but I read an article this morning that I want to share instead.
Well, not exactly instead. After my weekend experiences at Touchstone, where a group of about thirty skilled and passionate craft makers, facilitators, leaders and educators came together to pave the path, through thoughtful dialogue, to a connection that will allow for much-needed collaboration between the fields, I think that this piece by Mauro Gil Fournier E. settles well into the part of my brain that is still ruminating.
While the article tends to paint ‘the architect’ as the primary agent, the piece is general enough to allow the same to apply instead to the artist/craftsperson. A message of care shaped to help engage architects with their “transformation of the collective and urban” applies equally to actors in another kind of space, the community.
One of our ‘actors’ over the weekend was Michael Strand, self proclaimed ceramics evangelist, from Fargo, North Dakota. He explained his practice as existing in the space between objects and humanity. On his site is a list of his projects, as well as a link to his Tedx Fargo talk where he explains his work in depth. He spoke on Friday about the fact that he likens himself to the potters of old, a trades-person in service to a community, and you can see from his talk and his site that his projects are as much about people and their narrative and memory as they are about the object. He is an illustration of artist as care provider, and one thread of potential solution, in microcosm, to the essential problem that the group was discussing, craft awareness.