Forthcoming: Craft Video Dictionary
Craft in America’s Craft Video Dictionary will be a free resource for researchers, art historians, students, and the public serving as an evergreen and widely accessible tool to demonstrate handmade techniques and production.
Mission: To generate an online video dictionary of process and technique spanning all decorative arts media that will serve as an evergreen, widely accessible, free resource for researchers, art historians, students, and the general public. Each “entry” will consist of a short video of a professional artist-maker demonstrating a specific process or technique. This online video dictionary will serve as a craft process Wikipedia, giving users/viewers the chance to view and to deepen understanding of what each process entails.
By utilizing our organizational expertise in craft, digital media and film and by collaborating with our national network of craft leaders, we will generate a bank of digital resources that the public can reference online, anywhere, at any time.
Words, text and images only go so far for explaining the tools, techniques, and materials used in the decorative arts. Through years of experience as a national voice for educating the public about handmade craft of all kinds, we recognize the need for a resource to exist that clearly gives people an immediate, clear way to understand the definition of complex processes that are hard to define without visual aids. Craft is best learned through a craftsperson. The absolute best way to provide this definition is via video, a tool that we as an organization are specifically attuned to tap into in this day and age. Some resources exist currently that include video of various craft processes, but they have never been centralized and organized as a searchable bank, nor have they been academically verified for accuracy as reliable sources.
This project will enhance appreciation of the breadth, depth and complexities of the decorative arts. By viewing the skilled motions and movements of each filmed artist, people will have a chance to understand the physical mastery, timing, and hand-eye coordination that craft entails.
Outcomes: Existing in perpetuity online, the video dictionary project will increase awareness and appreciation of craft, the decorative arts, design, and the fine arts for museum professionals, curators, conservators, art historians, students, and the general art-interested public.
Videos will be organized as a searchable compendium.
We plan to partner with professional teaching artists who can demonstrate the range of fundamental, important techniques across media, focusing on glass, ceramics, wood, metal, fiber and miscellaneous materials. We will identify and partner with artists and institutions with studios that are best equipped to demonstrate in short format the most significant techniques in use within the decorative arts.
These diverse, contemporary makers will bring the processes alive through demonstration.
The Craft Video Dictionary is supported by the Decorative Arts Trust’s Prize for Excellence and Innovation. Established in 2020, the $100,000 Prize for Excellence and Innovation recognizes scholarly endeavors undertaken by a non-profit organization to advance the public’s appreciation of decorative arts, fine arts, architecture, or landscape design. Craft in America has been named the inaugural recipient.
About The Decorative Arts Trust: Incorporated on May 16, 1977, the Decorative Arts Trust has a long history of promoting and fostering appreciation and study of material culture by exchanging information through domestic and international programming, collaborating and partnering with museums and preservation organizations, and underwriting internships, research grants, and scholarships for graduate students and young professionals. The Decorative Arts Trust is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. To learn more about the Trust or to become a member, please visit decorativeartstrust.org.