CraftNet (Part 1)

>>> Yesterday I spent the afternoon attending CraftNet at the Apex in Bury St Edmunds. It was an event hosted by The Crafts Council and Smiths Row Gallery with guest speakers – Sally Black (Professor of Fashion and Textile Design and Technlogy at London College of Fashion) Freddie Robins (Artist and Senior Tutor Mixed Media Textiles at Royal College of Art, London) and Richard Humphries ( Humphries Weaving Co Ltd, Sudbury). There was also a discussion panel and opportunities to meet other designer/makers, craft professionals, students and education based people who share real enthusiasm for UK Crafts.

>>> I thought it would be nice to share with you some of what happened at CraftNet and if you like what you see and read I’ll post up some links at the end of these pieces for more info.

>>> Sandy Black – her talk focussed mostly on fashion and what her PHD students at the LCF are looking at for their research and design. More and more it seems in todays world we are becoming interested and aware of the processes behind fashion/garments – focus on patterns/making. Students and designers are interdisciplanary and have a design and art approach. Sustainability is very important, public awareness & transparency of the fashion business makes this increasingly important. Particularly with globalisation, fast fashion and cheap fashion means a very short lifespan for clothes.

>>> ‘Design as a catalyst for Change’ – this was the ethos Sandy was championing, where old disciplines are redefined, new collaborations made, technology used for sustainable and eco design, new dialogues, reinventing and new paradigms. Re-use and re-design which eliminates waste. Digital fashion – body scanning/3D printing/ digital printing. Health and wellbeing, creating better lives.

>>> Sandy talked about some collaborative projects and showed us some examples of fashion and textile design work which encompasses these ideas and addresses them.

>>> Shared Talent Africa and Shared Talent India – a unique initiative from the Centre for Sustainable Fashion (LCF), encourages fashion designers to exchange expertise with other protagonists across the supply chain, transcending traditional divisions, be they linguistic, geographic, or discipline based. The initiative aims to innovate towards improved ecological, ethical and cultural criteria in selecting and creating collections and to connect designers and buyers to more sustainable textiles in India and Africa.

>>> Fashioning the Future Competition – Fashioning the Future Awards is the leading international cross-disciplinary platform for celebrating innovative initiatives towards fashion design for sustainability, its development and communication. By engaging the participation of students and graduates from across the world from a variety of disciplines relating to the design, development and communication of fashion, we increase the possibilities of finding innovation that can benefit us all. There is no limit to human ingenuity and creative thought.

>>> The photo above shows one of 2011’s award winners Sara Emilie Terp Hansen with her garments made from cork.


>>> Digital Fashion? From Craft to Mass ProductionSandy Black researches into innovative fashion products (including clothing and accessories), materials, and manufacturing processes, and interfaces between traditional craftsmanship and emerging technologies, 3D design for fashion, and haptic technologies research . The design process is a key focus: Can the human/computer interface provide a new design environment which will create and develop a new aesthetic and design culture which respects and embraces craftsmanship, authorship and location? Can the design process and production processes develop a common communication language, to enable designers to access underlying technologies?

>>> Photo image is the cover of Crafts magazine featuring Dai Rees leather marketry.

>>> SizeUK – Between July 2001 and February 2002 over 1.5 million measurements were taken from more than 11,000 people across the UK using [TC]2 bodyscanners, a revolutionary 3D body scanning system. The survey has since been used as a basis for other sizing surveys, including SizeUSA.

>>> Selfridges store in London has a body scanner to fit jeans in store.

>>> 3D PrintingFreedom of Creation (FOC) rapid manufacturing using 3D printing technology.

 >>> Fashion and Science CollaborationWonderland – a collaboration between Prof. Helen Storey (artist, designer and scientist) and Prof. Tony Ryan (Sheffield University) exploring how new materials can make consumer products less damaging to the planet.

>>> The disappearing dress – made from dissolvable polymers which degrade in water over a period of time. Addresses the issues surrounding plastics and disposable fashion.

>>> The Helen Storey Foundation (HSF) is a not-for-profit arts organization promoting creativity and innovation. It intentionally spreads a global net to collaborate with diverse practitioners – both new and established. The team, led by Helen Storey and Caroline Coates, is agile and open, able to bring together ideas and minds to create truly innovative artworks and more recently, new ways of learning.

 >>> Catalytic Clothing – This is a recent collaboration of Helen Storey and Prof. Tony Ryan. Clothes that purify the air whilst you wear them. Jeans coated with nano particles which use sunlight to purify the air. Catalytic Clothing seeks to explore how clothing and textiles can be used as a catalytic surface to purify air, employing existing technology in a new way.


One thought on “CraftNet (Part 1)

  1. Dai Rees actually isn’t a bad milliner, but his hanging leather skins suck, big time, and he is also prone (amongst other things) to stealing ideas from unknowns, and is extraordinarily adept at amassing pots of vast funds, the objective of which seems to be to further an output with the consistency of old rope. I’d stick to millinery if I were you, Dai!!

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