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Material inspiration: From practice-led research to craft art education

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Craft art discourse has centred on the use of physical materials. In Finland, craft art students are trained to understand various techniques and the materiality of their chosen medium. However, the materiality is often taught in terms of physical properties (e.g. tensile, elasticity, etc.). Conceptual or expressive properties (e.g. feel, impression, etc.) are hardly discussed and it is left to students to experiment with these properties in their studio practice. The conceptual issues of craft art practice concerning the use of materials thus remain personal and implicit. This article illuminates how the conception of materialness generated from within practice-led research in textile art can stimulate students' creativity in relation to physical materials and enable them to design the meaning and aesthetic of their work more intentionally. The consideration of materialness can thus serve as a useful means for textile artists and other craft artists in creating meaningful artworks with any chosen materials.
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Keywords: expressivity; materiality; practice-led research; reflective practice; textile art

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Aalto University School of Art and Design, Finland.

Publication date: 2010-09-01

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