Kunsthåndværke og Designere

Over the the last month or so, most of the posts here on the site have been about Danish craftsmanship … the Biennial exhibition of Danske Kunsthåndværke og Designere, the cabinetmakers exhibiting their furniture at Øregaard, the work of ceramicistscraft and design at Superobjekt gallery in Copenhagen, Kunstforeningen af 14 August at Paustian and, most recently, a review of the exhibition Mindcraft15 that has just opened at Designmuseum Danmark.

Thinking about the works seen in these exhibitions, there seems to be some confusion about how we use the word craft - particularly in England but also in Scandinavia - or at least some ambiguity in the way we talk about and how we define craft and some uncertainty in the role we see for craftsmanship in modern design and manufacturing.

A month or so ago I was invited to one of the breakfasts that were organised as part of the Hjemlighed exhibition in Copenhagen where craft works were exhibited in a private apartment. It was a good opportunity to talk to some of the artists who produced the pieces and to meet other artists and designers who were also there … an opportunity to talk about crafts and craftsmanship in Denmark now … as well as to have a very good breakfast and to look again at the exhibited works.

For that breakfast, the textile designer Anne Fabricius Møller had set the large table with a plain linen tablecloth. Towards the end of breakfast she produced fabric dye in various colours and a set of stamps with all the letters that spell Hjemlighed. Everyone around the table was encouraged to produce patterns or trace around crockery to create a unique piece to celebrate the event.

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