Methodological perspectives on craft research

Av: Kirstine Riis og Camilla Groth


Konferansebidrag i Nettverkskonferansen -Kunst og håndverk 2019, arrangert på Universitetet i Sørøst-Norge, campus Notodden.

Teachers in the field of arts and craft are often crafts persons or artists – makers – themselves. Understanding learning through the making process from inside is essential for understanding how to teach in the field. In this paper we focus on academic research in crafts, conducted by crafts persons from an inside perspective and through practice-led approaches, and where the objective is to explore, understand and communicate the knowledge developed in the making process.

By taking two doctoral thesis as examples, the paper discusses methodological perspectives on craft research and the relevance of this research as essential contribution to develop future educational knowledge in the field of arts and craft. Academic research in crafts conducted by researcher/practitioners is still young, as the practice fields only quite recently were accepted in academia.

This paper presents methodological perspectives on the study of craft with a focus on experiential and embodied processes. The two doctoral thesis that are discussed both deal with making in material by hands and both researchers use a theoretical frame that allows knowledge to emerge through the body in action and interaction with the material and environment. Both use video and practice-led research, where the video analysis plays a central role, additionally both researchers are reflecting on the double role of researcher-practitioner.

In the paper, we will a) discuss the importance of accordance between the knowledge explored, the epistemological standpoint, theoretical framework and methods used in the research. Based on experiences and results from the two doctoral projects we will b) suggest and discuss relevant methods to conduct research from inside perspective and through practice-led approaches. These methods could be used for developing teaching and learning activities based on practice-led processes.

Nøkkelord: Craft research, Methodology, experiential knowledge, embodied making, doctoral study

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