Crafts Research Centre
Research Centre Leader: Professor Stephen Dixon
The Crafts Research Centre is committed to the creation and dissemination of high quality research in the contemporary crafts at MMU. The centre promotes the development of research activity in the theory and practice of craft, encourages collaboration, and supports a growing practice-as-research culture within the discipline.
As a focus of constructive exchange, critical reflection and creative production, the Crafts Research Centre invites and supports the participation of researchers, makers and theorists across a range of practices. The centre promotes interaction between subject areas (from both inside and outside of recognized craft boundaries) and between academic and practice-led projects. Creative collaboration between institutions and with international project partners is central to the centre's philosophy. Research activity within the centre is focused on an enquiry into the historical, cultural and economic importance of 'the hand-made', and its contemporary relevance within an increasingly digitised visual culture.
The centre comprises designated research staff, research-active teaching staff (drawn primarily, though not exclusively, from the Materials and Manufacture programme cluster within the Department of Design at MMU) and allied research students. Members' research outputs cover a broad spectrum, from the production of artefacts and exhibitions, through documentary film-making and curatorship, to the publication of books and journal articles. These research activities manifest themselves in various ways, from individual stand-alone projects to formal research groups and informal groupings around areas of common interest.
Digital Craft Group exploration of digital processes and technologies, and their significance to contemporary craft practice. Key interests in digital printing for textile and ceramics, digital stitch and embroidery, lazer and water-jet cutting.
Creative Collaborations Group committed to collaborative research and practice. The group has recently instigated the Pairings Project, bringing together makers and thinkers across disciplines and institutions.
Textiles Research Group includes researchers from Embroidery, Fashion, Textiles and the Downing textile study collection. Researchers are currently collaborating on key publications in the field of machine and hand stitch.
Ceramics Research Group key interests include: collections,histories and narratives; ceramics and print; remediating/recycling ceramics; curatorship; documentary film and video.
Artefact a multi-disciplinary makers group dedicated to producing and exhibiting objects of the highest quality.
- Design LAB, Ahmedabad, and ongoing projects in collaboration with A Fine Line and Arts Reverie, Ahmedabad, India.
- Machine Stitch Perspectives and Hand Stitch Perspectives (Publications in progress, A&C Black, London)
- Mary, Mary, Sharon Blakey and Hazel Jones, in collaboration with the Mary Greg Collection at Manchester Art Gallery.
- Victoria & Albert Museum, inaugural ceramic studio residency, Professor Stephen Dixon.
- Allegory, touring exhibition, Alice Kettle with Stephen Dixon.
- The Pairings Project.