The collaborative Crafting Futures programme was run by Arts University Plymouth and the British Council in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan between 2019 and 2022.
Arts University Plymouth and the British Council have released a report titled ‘Craft Research and Education Development Projects in the South Caucasus’, summarising the results of a collaborative Crafting Futures programme that encompassed research into craft and the development of new craft education initiatives in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan between 2019 and 2022.
Bowls and a lidded dish await glazing at Roland Tsartsidze’s pottery workshop in Jalaurta Sachkere, Imereti Region, West Georgia. Photo credit: Makuna Gotsadze
First established in 2019, the Crafting Futures project set out to establish a framework from which an understanding and appreciation of craft and manufacture could be situated within the context of creative education. The new report provides evidence of an invaluable relationship between the British Council and its project partners in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan; and highlights the strength and diversity of the craft sector during a period of enormous changes, and the willingness of educators to embrace new ways of thinking, teaching and learning.
Crafting Futures builds on the work of Arts University Plymouth’s international research platform Making Futures, exploring contemporary craft and maker movements as ‘change agents’ in 21st-century society.
Dr Kim Bagley was appointed Making Futures Fellow and lead researcher on Crafting Futures, with Professor Judith Noble, Head of Academic Research, assumed overall management of the project. Together they compiled the final report, representing the work and outcomes of a wide range of partners across the Caucasus, comprising government departments, education institutions, crafts and arts organisations and companies, and individual practitioners.
Tailored recommendations are made to support the role that traditional craft skills can play culturally and economically in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. The project demonstrates the importance of craft production to national culture, and suggests ways in which the craft and education sectors can develop together.