Dr Kevin Murray is a prolific writer, curator, teacher and academic dedicating his professional practice to craft and the handmade. For seven years he was director of Craft Victoria and is currently the managing editor of the online journal, Garland Magazine (http://garlandmag.com/), and the Online Encyclopedia of Crafts in the Asia Pacific Region. His most recent book, co-authored with Damian Skinner, is Place and Adornment: A History of Contemporary Jewellery in Australia and New Zealand (Bateman, 2014). He is currently a Senior Vice-President of the World Craft Council Asia Pacific Region (http://wccapr.org/), coordinator of Southern Perspectives (http://southernperspectives.net/) and Sangam: A Platform for Craft-Design Partnerships (http://sangamproject.net/).
Willemien Ippel is co-founder of Crafts Council Nederland. She has her roots in the world of art, architecture and fashion and since 2013 in crafts. Crafts Council Nederland bridges the gap between heritage and innovation and has a strong focus on transmission of knowledge and skills from the older to the younger generation.
In her talk Willemien Ippel will present Crafts Council Nederland as an example of the challenges crafts are facing nowadays. She will take you on a journey through the Netherlands and will present some answers Crafts Council Nederland formulated over the years. It is her strong belief that crafts do unite us as humans and that we should take better care of them.
Maja Frendrup is working as a ceramic artist on the danish island Bornholm and is also chairman of Arts and Crafts Association Bornholm. Bornholm was the first place in Europe to receive the title as World Craft Region and is home to many talented craftspeople.
Maja Frendrup was educated at the Royal Danish Academy, department of ceramics in Bornholm in 2014. In her ceramic work she handbuild pots and focuses on the qualities of the material and how to enhance them to create an experience for the viewer.
Rosemary Steen was appointed CEO of the Design and Crafts Council Ireland in February 2020. Rosemary came to DCCI after successful team leadership roles with both EirGrid and Vodafone Ireland. Earlier in her career, Rosemary worked with IBEC where she served as Director of the Irish Textiles Federation, and was also a member of the National Economic and Social Council. Rosemary has a MA in Business Studies from UCD, a BA (Moderatorship) from Trinity College Dublin in Economics and Philosophy, and a Diploma in Legal Studies from DIT. Outside of her work with DCCI, Rosemary also works in roles to support inclusion and diversity in the voluntary and education sectors.
Julia is Head of Research and Policy at the Crafts Council. An experienced policy specialist and research manager, Julia generates rigorous evidence on socio-economic and practice trends in craft, achieving recognised impact on policy and practice.
Julia has led research, policy and strategy development programmes for national and local organisations in the public and charity sectors, working as a service head and an independent contractor to improve business effectiveness.
Julia has experience of working in arts development, education policy, governance, local government policy and public health.
Born and raised in Edinburgh, Adil Iqbal studied Textile Design at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh before working in the industry all over Europe, including France, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland. Adil’s designs have been showcased at celebrated fashion weeks in London and New York and worked with high profile labels, including Hugo Boss, TataNaka and Popinjay. Building on his interdisciplinary background he successfully completed a Master’s degree in Anthropology, Art and Perception in 2016 from the University of St Andrews. Adil uses methods, such as collaborative practice, narrative art and digital media to discover new ways of creating a bridge between western and indigenous craft culture.He was awarded the prestigious Dewar Art Award for a cross- cultural arts project ‘Twilling Tweeds’ connecting traditional Scottish and Chitrali cultures through weaving, and hand embroidery. He conducted a series of art workshops with the local communities exploring cultural similarities between Scotland and Pakistan. Narrative discussions, life drawings and digital art mediums were used to develop storyboards and final artworks. Since then several exhibitions have been curated internationally, including at the Royal Scottish Academy, Patrick Geddes Centre at Riddle’s Court, The Nomad Tent in Edinburgh, The Nomad Arts Gallery (Islamabad), An Lanntair (Stornoway) and Shekih Abdullah Al Salem Culture Centre (Kuwait). The combination of professional experience in textile design and craft-making along with his cultural and linguistic knowledge complements Adil’s training in anthropology. His Scottish Pakistani identity places him in a unique position to develop cross-cultural dialogues between different communities. Adil’s deep passion is facilitating artists and the wider communities to break down cultural barriers that separate each other. His work celebrates the common threads that connects our traditions. He currently lives in Edinburgh and continues to work as an independent self- employed artist.
Elisa Guidi is an Architect, she studied in Florence and in Paris, University of Architecture Paris – La Villette. She graduated with a dissertation concerning “The restoration of historical buildings in France”.
She has worked since 1996 for Artex, Center for Artistic and Traditional Crafts for Tuscany, and has worked on projects concerning the link between artistic crafts and cultural heritage, and restoration of artworks.
In 1999 she became the manager of the Research and Development sector of Artex, developing projects concerning innovation in crafts: shape innovation; market innovation; new formal trends and new consumers’ behavior. Since 2004, Elisa is the General Coordinator of projects for Artex.
Elisa also worked for the University of Florence as a Contract Professor in Conservation of Ancient Building. In 2016, Elisa became a member of the board of the Foundation MIC – International Museum of Ceramics – onlus in Faenza.
Elisa joined the board of WCC Europe in 2015. In September 2020, she was elected President of the World Crafts Council Europe who represent over 30 craft organisations from 20 EU countries.
Michael developed his interests in the field of Art and Cultural History since the second year of his undergraduate Visual Communication Design program. He became a faculty member at Universitas Ciputra since 2008 and has been teaching Art and Cultural History and Cross-Cultural Design in the context of Creative and Cultural Industries in various multi-discipline design undergraduate programs for the past decade. He is also one of the Kauffman Foundation Global Faculty alumni who intensively studied entrepreneurship education at Kansas City, the United States of America in 2011.
In 2016 he was awarded a scholarship from the Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP). Upon attaining a Master of Art in Art and Design in Education in 2017 from the distinguished University College London (UCL), Institute of Education (IoE), in 2018 Michael established the Centre for Creative Heritage Studies (CCHS) at Universitas Ciputra and is currently the Head of CCHS. His goal as a faculty member and a researcher in the field of art and cultural history, art, design, and entrepreneurship education, and the creative and cultural industries is to help future young designers to co-create sustainable Indonesian cultural heritage for the future.
Locating her work in the intersections between Material and Visual Culture, Kaamya Sharma has an overarching interest in how people engage with and produce meaning from their material worlds through stories and practices. With consonant interests in craft, clothing, heritage and gender, she combines ethnography, visual analysis, media study and archival work to examine the relationship between material and social life, the body, politics and markets.
Kaamya began research in material culture with an investigation of clothing as a site where semiotic expression, bodily practices, the boundaries between the self and the world are navigated. Her doctoral project examined how the sari is a space for contested identities through a cultural analysis of its mutations in colonial and postcolonial urban India entailing ethnographic, archival, media and social media study. She has published peer reviewed articles on this research and is currently preparing a monograph on the modern sari.
In her current research project titled ‘Decolonising Craft Narratives in the Postcolonial State: Craft as Material Culture in India‘, she explores how craft in usage and practice is a site for the generation of meaning and value for various actors in the Indian craft world. Using insights from ethnographic fieldwork in India contextualised using visual, media, and archival analysis, she is interested in how affective tropes of the handmade, authentic and traditional interact with mechanisation and industrialisation in the craft world. As a member of the Editorial Board for Garland, she is in dialogue with craft practitioners and researchers across the world. Through this research, she hopes to decolonise craft discourse by moving away from West-centric concepts and theories about craft and industrialisation and be at the forefront of the emerging field of Craft Studies.
Kaamya is interested in an open-ended exploration of digital tools and their uses in the domain of culture. At present, she is examining the politics, modes, and challenges of using digital tools to archive Intangible Cultural Heritage, especially the textile heritage of nineteenth century Britain and India. With this research, she hopes to push our imagination of digitisation of textiles past the visual to capture the haptic dimensions of material. She also plans to explore the use of Computer Vision and Machine Learning for the ethnography of Visual Social Media moving away from Big Data approaches and Search algorithms controlled by Big Tech.
A through-line in all her research projects is the relationship between aesthetics, social and material life; aesthetics understood here not merely as a preoccupation with the ‘beautiful’ or ‘decorative’ but in the larger sense of being embedded in and informing the modalities, practices and infrastructures of people’s lives.
Rajan Vankar is a fourth-generation textile artisan born into a traditional weaving family in the Sarli village, located in the Kutch region of India. He and his family have been creating intricately woven textiles for six generations.
As Rajan honed his craft, he started to work with European designers such as Kavita Parmar of the IOU Project. He is highly skilled in mixing traditional and modern designs to produce high-quality one-of-a-kind hand-woven shawls and stoles. He hand-dyes the yarns with the help of his father and brother; his use of natural vegetable and azo free dyes results in the gorgeous bright colors of woven textiles which the Kutch region is known for. He also uses traditional shapes and geometric patterns which are symbolic and significant in the culture of his community.
Rajan’s innovations in traditional weaving techniques include weaving with shibori and clamp dyes, embroidery, and mirror work. He creates the embroidery designs and selects the colors, then the work is completed by his mother and other women in the village. Rajan also provides economic opportunities for the women in his village by giving them the chance to do mirror work, make tassels and pompoms, warping looms, and winding bobbins.
At 20, Rajan has started to build an international reputation as a master weaver. He has participated in many events, including The First International Handicrafters Festival in Uzbekistan and the International Scientific Conference on Crafts in Ukraine. He aims at creating an international market for his work in order to continue to support his family and the members of his community. His motto is “Loom is life for me”.
(Carpet Gallery and Workshop, Milan, Italy /
Centro Specializzato Restauro e Lavaggio, Tappeti, Kilim, Arazzi)
Taher was born in Sarab, Azarbaijan, Iran, in 1977. An expert in restoring antique and modern rugs, carpets, kilims, and tapestries, Taher had long collaborated with several rug and carpet stores in the Iranian and Turkish carpet markets before he moved to Milan in 2003. Since then, he has also worked with galleries, museums and exhibitions in Italy, and in 2019, he opened his own workshop in Milan.
Majid and Masoud Shamaeizadeh were born in 1975 in Isfahan. They got both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Industrial Design.
Majid established Fuffle Office Furniture Company in 2004. They immigrate to china and established Gemini Global Trading Company in 2009. They got their PhD in design strategy from university of Tsinghua.
In 2020, they founded Gemini Cultural and Innovation Company. They have been a board member of the Iranian Chamber of Commerce in Beijing, China since 2020. As importers of Iranian carpets and crafts to China, they have opened four handicraft stores in Beijing and Xi’an, China, and one online store for handicrafts as well as other products imported from Iran to China. They have designed and established the Iranian Cultural Experience Center in Beijing. They have also held several cultural and artistic events and exhibitions in the field of Iranian handicrafts and music in China. Furthermore, they have given dozens of lectures on Iranian art, history, handicrafts, music and culture in Chinese academic and cultural centers.
Mojtaba has a long history of introducing Iranian handicrafts to Parisians. Since 2011, he has been primarily responsible for handicrafts in Paris called La Perse: Arts et Artisanats Persans. Some of his responsibilities at La Perse include ordering and receiving goods, organizing storage and overseeing stores and stocks, and more. Mojtaba is currently teaching at the Sorbonne University