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Automata: Serious craft genre or frivolous amusement

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I am engaged in an ongoing investigation of traditional industrial metalworking processes and their application within a contemporary crafts context. I am engaged in using craft to play the role of industrial archaeologist. My investigations have resulted in two strands of work. First, ‘Vintage Tin’ is a range of printed tin automata inspired by Victorian 1940s, 1950s and 1960s tin toys. For this range I utilize a hybrid print and pressing process that I have developed through research into industrial tin toy and box manufacturing. The second body of work, ‘Faux Georgian’, is a set of interactive enamel boxes inspired by the aesthetic, making process and historic context of Georgian enamel objects. Both sets of work are made in response to contemporary happenings and events. They are concerned with exploring and developing process relevant to the craft arena, as well as documenting and celebrating dying and defunct manufacturing processes.
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Keywords: automata; digital manipulation; enamel; manufacturing; printing; tin

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Plymouth College of Art, UK

Publication date: 01 February 2013

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  • The aim of Craft Research is to advocate and promote current and emerging craft research, including research into materials, processes, methods, concepts, aesthetic and style. This may be in any discipline area of the applied arts and crafts, including craft education.

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