The Loss of Craftsmanship by Saskia van Nieuwenhuyse

Above is a piece I’m currently working on for my thesis collection. It is made out of newspaper which has been cut and stitched by hand on to a felt base and will later be constructed out of canvas. This piece follows the approach of ‘Design to Minimise Waste’ as it is entirely made out of old and discarded newspaper.

The issue I wish to explore during my MA in Textile Design is the loss of craftsmanship and age-old techniques within the design industry. I want to design and create a collection of jewellery or ‘Body objects’ that is somewhere between costume jewellery and fashion, design and craftsmanship. The strategies I relate to the most and believe I can use in my practice from TED’s Ten are: ‘Design that looks at Models from Nature & History,’ ‘Design to Replace the Need to Consume,’ and ‘Design to Minimise Waste.’ There is a symbolic and emotional impact that is imparted through making which is what makes handcrafted pieces so unique. For my thesis I have chosen to research the Mayans who were skilled in many areas of the arts including metalwork, embroidery, weaving, etc. We can learn so much from different cultures and I believe it is essential that these cultural histories survive. When emotional attachment, pleasure and fashion is linked with awareness and responsibility, a relationship can then be established between object and user.


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