Innovation & Creative Development in Craft

Dr Louise Valentine conceived and led a new and unique partnership with the Scottish Arts Council (now Creative Scotland) investigating innovation and creative development in craft. In total, eight practitioners were offered a craft bursary placement (i.e. a residency) at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (DJCAD) between 2008-2011. The exploratory investigation adopted a two-part methodology (Figure 1). The aim was to develop a model for facilitating change to enhance creative and economic performance in professional craft practice. The wider objectives included devising and testing a new financial infrastructure, a resource infrastructure and a mentoring programme for mid-career Scottish craft professionals as a means of raising the level of innovation in practice.

 Research Design
 Part 1  a)  Literature Review and Contextual Analysis

b)  Focus Group using key informant technique

 Part 2  Case Study

a)  Design an Innovation Development programme
and test it
b)  Interview selected participants
c)  Evaluate Mentoring aspect of programme
d)  Evaluate the model for Innovation

Figure 1: An overview of the 2-part methodology employed in the exploratory investigation for future craft practice.


The residency was a newly designed programme offered support to individuals to create innovative new work through awards of up to £10,000.  During this time the residents included the ceramist Fiona Thompson, textile artists Jeanette Sendler, Gillian Cooper, Lisa Gallacher, jewellers Gilly Langton and Sarah Kettley, (post-) industrial designer Roy Shearer and, printed textile designer Louise Kirby.

Below – to indicate their journey – is a before and after picture of the work created by each practitioner.

In 2010, an exhibition entitled ‘Innovation and Creative Development in Craft’ was created with Sally Reaper of Smart Consultants in Aberdeen to showcase the array of innovative concepts (created between 2008-10) with playful outputs illustrating their processes of conceiving, developing and making and ideas. Visitors were welcomed by sculptural installations that referenced clothing pattern fragments, garments that cut and paste social, cultural and political photo-journalism, an ‘Open Source’ transmitter, textile designs governed by the act of pounding pavements and corridors, and garments with embedded sensors that are steered by interacting with sound, light, shape and movement. Through the exhibition each visitor was invited to delve into each practitioner’s creative journey, revealing their experiences, references and characterization of Craft as a contemporary visual practice and methodology. It formed a background for the ‘Prototype: craft in the future tense’ international symposium and both were part of Craft Festival Scotland 2010.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s