Please see heritagecrafts.org.uk/research/ for a listing of published research.
We are also developing a research agenda for the safeguarding of heritage crafts, including their use in various settings, and would be very happy to speak to anyone working in these areas.
Research questions (order not prioritised, but the first three are sequential)
- Which crafts are at risk? How urgent is the risk? (The HCA is currently bidding to undertake this as a strategic research project in 2015).
- What is the value of crafts? To whom? Why? (i.e. research into significance)
- Which preservation routes (e.g. Apprenticeship, ACST, amateurs, video) are, or could be, available to ensure the continuation of particular crafts? Are the routes to sustainability well enough understood, or is further research needed? Which are the best routes for the crafts at most risk, or most significant? NB the knowledge of those who revived crafts post WW2 needs to be recorded before it is lost
- What are the best ways to improve the financial sustainability of craft businesses?
- How do crafts contribute to tourism? How can this contribution be enhanced, for the benefit of makers, tourists and the tourism industry?
- Who is participating in therapeutic crafts in the UK (quantative research)? A definition of therapeutic crafts could include craft therapy in psychology, craft in occupational health and physiotherapy, craft in Dementia intervention. Activities undertaken as therapeutic crafts shades into recreational craft which has known wellbeing benefits, but are distinguished in that they are delivered as part of a programme with anticipated therapeutic outcomes, rather than undertaken outside a therapeutic setting, by an individual – perhaps with the support of family or friends. What are those engaged in therapeutic crafts doing? Does it work? If it does work, how can it be made more effective? What are the barriers to provision/participation, and how can these be removed?
- How does making contribute to social sustainability / community cohesion? How can this be valued/measured? How can this be enhanced and encouraged? Do different crafts and/or different kinds of engagement with crafts have different social impacts?