Article by Kevin Murray, Craft + Design Enquiry (2010)
In this article, Kevin Murray discusses three case studies in which Western designers have worked with traditional artisans in India, Pakistan and Rwanda.
This paper identifies a growing trend in contemporary craft practice which involves outsourcing handmade processes to artisans in poorer countries. To evaluate this process, it reviews three case studies: Sara Thorns Worldwide Weave in India, Polly&Me in Pakistan, and Martina Dempf in Rwanda. Each enables different levels of creative collaboration with traditional artisans. While a critical framework is able to be established, there is still a lack of information that comes directly from the artisans themselves.
The full article is freely available via the Craft + Design Enquiry website
Left: Sarah Thorn for WorldWeave, Acrobat Cushion, 2009, wool felt, hand embroidered. Photograph: James Widdowsen.
Right: Artists of Butare, Rwanda, Untitled jewellery, 2009, natural fibres. Made in cooperation with Martina Dempf, Germany. Photograph: Sebastian Ahlers.