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Title: Transformation and renewal : the crafts in Ireland in the late twentieth century
Author: Flegg, Eleanor
ISNI:       0000 0004 2730 4725
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2012
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This is the story of the formation of a craft world in Ireland and maps the development of an organisational support structure for craft between 1970 and the mid 1990s. The history of craft in late twentieth-century Ireland is virtually unrecorded. Craft was peripheral to the mainstream of economic life and is not considered culturally important. As such, it has largely been ignored by both historians and art historians. But, yet, craft activity took place. A considerable number of people devoted their working lives, often quixotically, to the making and selling of objects. By looking at craft through its supporting organisations, this thesis acknowledges that craft is not just the work of one particular maker but is marked by the contribution of a wider administrative network of organisations, large and small. Structurally, the thesis is divided thematically into three chapters, which consider vernacular craft, craft as small business, and craft as decorative art respectively. It concludes with two case studies: the Kilkenny Design Workshops and the relationship between craft and counterculture in County Cork. Most the source material for this period exists only in people's memories, and in ephemeral and unarchived documents. One of the primary aims of this thesis was simply to create a record of information and events that might otherwise be lost. The core methodology is oral history and the thesis is based on interviews with sixty people who were involved with the craft world in the period in question. These include makers, administrators, architects, retailers, writers, and curators. Because this thesis considers the way in which craftspeople experienced their working lives, as well as the objects that they produced, it can be described as a cultural history of work.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available