Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A new chapter for Australian Craft and design

Craft Australia is issuing this press release to notify all of our readers and followers that the organisation will be closing from 30 April 2012.

Craft Australia was notified in October 2011 that it would no longer receive funding from the Australia Council for the Arts. With no alternative means of significant support to continue to deliver national advocacy services for the craft and design sector, the Craft Australia Board of Directors agreed to wind up the organisation.

Additional assistance for this purpose was received from the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council for the Arts. The Board and staff at Craft Australia has spent the past 12 weeks ensuring that the organisation is wound up responsibly and that as far as is practical, all assets, historical archives and programs be passed on to new host organisations to be managed.  

Since it was established in 1971, Craft Australia has played a critical role in the development of craft and design in Australia. It staged exhibitions, many of them touring interstate and overseas. The magazine covered developments in Australia as well as from around the world of craft and design, particularly the Asia Pacific region. And it hosted a myriad of workshops and conferences that created a strong sense of community around the pursuit of beauty in crafted objects. While we mourn this loss, we are pleased to say that as we prepare to close the Craft Australia chapter of the Australian craft and design book, we have started a new chapter with Australia’s national collecting organisations and the network of Australian Craft and Design Centres, ACDC.

Craft Australia website
The Craft Australia website, in its entirety, has been archived through Pandora, a web archiving program at the National Library of Australia. This ensures that all the articles and referenced information on the site continues to be accessed and is able to be referenced.

craft + design enquiry journal
The future of the C+DE Journal has been secured with new hosts at the Australian National University School of Art. Transition support to migrate the journal with minimal disruption was made available from the Visual Arts Board. Craft Australia developed the craft + design enquiry journal in 2009 to promote the research capabilities in the craft and design sector. Three volumes of the journal have already been published. Read more.  

The digitised image collection
The National Library of Australia has also been critical in assisting Craft Australia to digitise the national historical collection of slides. Over 4,000 images from this collection, made up mostly from the education slide kits developed by Craft Australia in the 80s and 90s are now accessible online through ehive, an online collection management portal. This is a tremendous resource for the sector that is free to access and will now be managed by the National Gallery of Australia who has included this digital material in their Research Library.

The Historical Collection
We are delighted to have had the support of the National Gallery of Australia, (NGA) to secure the Craft Australia historical collection. The forty-one year archive of the organisation, the Craft Australia Library of monographs, journals and ephemera have all been accepted into the NGA’s Research Library.  In addition, all of the undigitised slides held by Craft Australia and most of the collection will also be housed at the NGA. This initiative from the NGA, Australia’s flagship cultural organisation, is an invaluable support for the future of the craft and design sector. Additional works from the Craft Australia Collection will also be going to the Tasmanian Museum and Gallery and the Art Gallery of South Australia.

The Next Step
The Board of Directors will meet in Canberra on 15 May to hold a Special General Meeting to complete the winding up of Craft Australia. Communication with Craft Australia over this period will be limited. Email contact is the best way to ensure your enquiries are answered.

Other resources
The ACDC network, will continue to provide national craft and design support for the craft and design sector. The network will have a rotating secretariat that will initially be managed by Craft ACT Craft and Design Centre.

On behalf of the Board and staff of Craft Australia I thank you for your support, your letters and your comments in the petition.  It is with a heavy heart that we close this chapter of the Australian craft and design story. However, we feel confident the future directions for Australian craft and design will provide equally engaging and evocative chapters. 

Catrina Vignando
General Manager
April 2012


Monday, April 23, 2012

15 May 2012

This announcement is to inform Craft Australia board members, staff and stakeholders that the final Annual General Meeting for the company will be held on Tuesday 15 May 2012.

The AGM will be held in the board room at Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre starting at 10.00 am.

The SGM will be held from 11 am at Craft ACT Craft and Design Centre, directly after the AGM.

The purpose of the SGM is to pass a resolution by the members of Craft Australia to de register the company with ASIC.

This action follows the notification by the Australia Council for the Arts to cease funding Craft Australia after December 2011.

Craft Australia has been winding up the company’s activities since December 2011 and all operations will cease by 30 April 2012.

The AGM and SGM will be held at Craft ACT Craft and Design Centre on Level 1 in the North Building, London Circuit in Civic, Canberra.

Released by Catrina Vignando
General Administrator Craft Australia

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The craft +design enquiry journal continues

Craft Australia is pleased to announce the ongoing life of one of its projects, the craft + design enquiry research e-journal.

"As part of Craft Australia's winding up process we have endeavoured to find new host organisations for our key activities", said General Manager, Catrina Vignando.

After 41 years of operating as the nation's peak advocacy organisation for contemporary craft and design, Craft Australia will close its doors at the end of April 2012. However, the craft + design enquiry journal, which provides an important publishing platform for the research excellence in craft and design practice, will continue.

"The recent confirmation that the Australian National University, (ANU) School of Art will become the new hosts for this journal is very reassuring", said Ms Vignando.

The journal is a significant innovation for the promotion of the research capabilities in the craft and design sector. Craft Australia developed the craft + design enquiry journal in 2009 and have already published three volumes of the journal. In the short time it has been in circulation it has achieved Excellence in Research for Australia rating and is recognised internationally as a noteworthy journal for practice based research.

"We are excited that as an outcome of the journal being hosted by the ANU School of Art, the future volumes of the craft + design enquiry will be published by ANU E Press", said Ms Deves, the Editorial Manager of the journal.

The move to the ANU School of Art is expected to cause little disruption to the journal's publishing schedule. The next volume, CDE#4, is due to be published July 2012 on the theme of 'Relational Craft and Design'.

New contact and address details for the craft + design enquiry journal will be available shortly. In the interim people can register with the online journal and be on the mailing list for future updates.craft + design enquiry.

Catrina Vignando
Craft Australia
April 2012

Related Links
craft + design enquiry

Monday, March 26, 2012

Launch of the Craft Australia National Historic Collection

Media Release

Craft Australia is pleased to announce the launch of a significant multi-year project. The Craft Australia National Historic Collection (NHC) is a significant slide archive on the development and practice of the Australian Studio Craft Movement from the 1960s to the early 1990s that is now digitised and available online to practitioners, researchers and curators in the field.

The collection includes work by luminaries Peter Tully, Susan Cohn, Robert Baines, Les Blakebrough, Liz Williams, Ragnar Hansen, Robert Baines, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Helmut Lueckenhausen, Greg Daly, Johannes Kuhnen, Helen Aitken-Kuhnen, Marian Hosking, Robert Bell, Gwyn Hanssen Piggott, Jeff Mincham, Shigeo Shiga, Stefan Szonyi, Alan Watt, Scott Chaseling, Tom Moore, Solvig Baas Becking, Margaret Grafton, Klaus Moje, Warren Langley, Nick Mount, Robyn Backen, Sieglinde Karl-Spence, Ray Norman and more.

In over 4000 images the development of the studio craft movement in Australia is charted across the disciplines of gold and silver smithing, textiles, ceramics, glass and wood. This includes extremely rare material from the 1960s and 1970s that predates the establishment of most of Australia's tertiary training programs in craft.

Craft Australia will close on the 30th April 2012 and has negotiated with the National Gallery of Australia 

(NGA) to rehouse our National Historic Collection as part of their library holdings which documents the history and development of Australian art and culture. Whilst the NHC will be managed by the NGA after our closure the location for the collection will remain the same and can now be accessed online through the eHive collection management system at http://ehive.com/account/3653 and is also searchable on Picture Australia http://www.pictureaustralia.org

Researchers have already been active utilising our taster of the collection temporarily housed on our Flickr site. Images by a number of artists are to be included in the forthcoming book Place and Adornment: Contemporary Jewellery in Australia and New Zealand by Dr. Kevin Murray and Dr. Damian Skinner. If you have been to our Flickr site for a preview of the National Historic Collection now is the time to head over to eHive and see the whole collection in all its glory.

Over the period 2011 - 2008 Craft Australia received three grants from the Community Heritage Grant Program funded by the Australian Government through the National Library of Australia, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Office for the Arts. These grants allowed the organisation to analyse its significant slide collection and digitise the most important slides represented in the NHC. The National Historic Collection is part of a wider collection of over 25,000 35mm slides of original artwork for which a home beyond Craft Australia has not yet been found.

Craft Australia would like to thank and acknowledge the support of the Community Heritage Grant Program and the numerous private donors who supported this significant project.
Catrina Vignando
Craft Australia
March 2012 

Related Links

Image credit: Peter Tully, Astral Traveling 1977, Image number 1012035

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Winding Up February Update #1

February Update #1
Image: Andrew Welch 1988, Three Rings, Makers Mark Rings Award

As many of you will now be aware, Craft Australia has been defunded by the Visual Arts Board (VAB) of the Australia Council for the Arts. This decision was an outcome of a minor review of the key organisations supported by the VAB. The reason given for defunding Craft Australia is that it was too reliant on Government support and was not meeting the needs of the sector, both of which Craft Australia has challenged.

With your support Craft Australia has had an extension of funding till the end of April 2012 as opposed to having to close the doors of the organisation by the end of December 2011. This extension will ensure that the programs that have been established by Craft Australia and the historical and visual archives of the Australian studio craft movement that we have collected over the past 40 years are not lost to the sector. Our aim is to pass on this material to cultural institutions that will become the new custodians of this history. This will ensure that the cultural legacy of the Australian craft and design sector from the late 1960s to the present day is not lost.

The Present
Craft Australia is officially operating in winding-up mode. As a result of this we will not be sending out any more CA enews. The last issue of CA enews was published in December 2011 and it contains all the details about the closure of the organisation. 

Craft Australia will however continue to keep you informed about our progress with regular online updates. We will send these to you in the same way you received the ca enews.  The updates will let you know what we are up to and how we are progressing with passing on Craft Australia’s holdings.

The Future
As part of the winding up process, Craft Australia is ensuring that as many of its activities and programs remain accessible for future use by passing them over to new host organisations. Some of the programs we are in the process of future proofing include the historical archives of the organisation. These have been deemed to be of national historical significance and was the basis for Craft Australia receiving a Community Heritage Grant from the National Library of Australia to preserve these records.

Other assets we are passing on are the online programs and activities developed by Craft Australia over the past 8 years. These include the Craft Australia website, the craft+design enquiry journal, the Selling Yarns website and the rightway online hub will also be passed on to appropriate organisations to ensure continued access to this material. We will let you know how this transfer of assets progresses.

What you can do
We have had enormous support from our readers and subscribers including many from overseas through our online petition. Many of these responses are on the Craft Australia website. We thank you for your feedback.  Over1800 people have signed the petition. This support has been a valuable indicator proving that in fact Craft Australia is relevant to the sector and people are concerned about this decision by the Australia Council.
The petition is still live on the Craft Australia home page and we welcome your feedback.

Catrina Vignando
Craft Australia
February 2012
Related Links

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Direct Digital Print: Musing on a sustainable practice

Direct Digital Print has been exploring the advantages, both design and environmental, of digital printing on fabric since 1999. We were originally attracted to the process in order to offer our fashion clients the opportunity to do quick turn-around sampling. 

However, the more we used the process, the more we realised its possibilities. We now know that digital printing is an excellent way to reduce water, ink and material waste in the textile printing industry, as well as reduce product wastage for our clients. From a creative viewpoint, it also offers greater design and creative flexibility.

Image: Julie Ryder, Transmorphing 1 (detail) 2011, Reprinted with permission of the artist. Image copyright Julie Ryder, registered with Viscopy.

Digital printing allows our clients and our textile design studio the possibility to do sampling, small run productions, and one-off textile pieces in a print-to-order capacity. This minimises wastage and eliminates the need to store unnecessary stock.

We specialise in direct printing onto natural fibre fabrics using inkjet technology, and also sublimate onto polyester. With either option, we print only what is needed by ourselves or our clients. This allows clients to print as little as one metre of fabric to trial their product before ordering exactly how much they need for their season, production run or individual project.

The flexibility of the process, and the very low minimum waste, means we can cater to a  large variety of creatives - designers, artists, illustrators, photographers, students and crafts people, and indeed anyone interested in printing their own images.

The process also allows us to assist businesses starting out, offering them the opportunity to start small and grow as their customer base grows, reordering their product at anytime. We keep all files and information in our library ready to recall when needed, completely removing the need for businesses to keep excess stock.

We have been working with textile artist Julie Ryder for a number of years on specialised projects. Ryder's design work is often complicated digital imagery (see top image), that can really only be reproduced using digital printing. Each piece is individual, with a rare few being reprinted. For each design, Julie normally requires only a few metres - not achievable with traditional printing methods due to the excessive volume of  minimum print runs. The flexibility of  "print-to-order" allows Julie to do one-off pieces or reprint should she need to.

We are continually inspired by this technology and it’s possibilities, and are committed to promoting the sustainable nature of not only the process, but the business model it supports.

In each of these case studies, the client ordered (and continues to order) only what is needed.

Image above: Lisa Haymes, homewares - Lisa is a photographer and was interested in using different media and context for her images. Her original order was a pair of each image  to make up her samples, and on her next order she was able to double her numbers. 

Image above: Katelyn Aslett Couture: Katelyn is well-known for hand-crafted felted garments. She came to us wanting to translate her work onto silk. Her work was ideal for digital printing, as the digital process retains fine detail of the original image. You can see the texture of her felting clearly in the textile print. Her original order was a few metres to make up her sampling, and since then she has regularly re-ordered various quantities depending on customer requests. 

Image above: Sara Philips, fashion label: Sara started her fashion label about 3 years ago, originally ordering only a few metres of two prints to inject colour into her range. Now we do her sampling for each season, and then go to production once orders from her buyers are finalised. Each season has grown well - from 20m in her first year, to 400m in her last spring collection, which was majority print. 

Digital Direct Printing website 
Sustainability Stories link