Designer crafts practice in context
This research attempts to identify patterns of successful independent practice among contemporary visual arts practitioners for the purpose of increasing understanding of the structures of and activity within the visual arts in England. The intention is to draw conclusions regarding how such practice can be facilitated and supported. It looks at a particular kind of practice in the area of design craft, and at the organisations charged with the responsibility for state provision, setting this critique in a context of a historical and social perspective. Much of recent conventional practice in the visual arts is considered to have a narrow view of what constitutes acceptable practice and is based on the gallery-based fine arts model. This model is a dubious base line from which to encourage a healthy range of independentpractice, and is of little use to the practitioners in this study, and others of similar intent. The practitioners encountered in this research might beconsidered applied artists, as they have a need to engage with a public during the processes of conception, creation and selling of their work. The patterns have been documented with the assistance of concepts regarding small business, particularly a subsector called micro business. Micro business has recently been identified to describe a pattern of activity which is not conducted for profit or with goals of expansion. The motivation behind micro business is to maintain self determination.