The Contemporary Maker Engagement Project

The Contemporary Maker Engagement Project provides a unique opportunity for makers to explore the role that the contemporary craft maker can play in archaeological enquiry, beyond the standard models of reconstruction or reproduction of prehistoric craft. The project forms part of CinBA’s diverse knowledge exchange activities and is being led by the University of Southampton and the Crafts Council.

Within the scope of the CinBA theme Perceptions of Prehistoric Craft Today we will explore the potential impact prehistoric craft objects may have today as a source of inspiration and means of creative engagement for contemporary makers. Makers will contribute a practice-based research response to bronze age material and the archaeological process through which the inherent creativity of bronze age craft can be more imaginatively explored.

Following a very popular open call for participants, CinBA held an Introduction Day with 22 makers at the Crafts Council in May 2012. The day was received with great enthusiasm. Energetic discussions between makers and with archaeologists offered fruitful and engaging insights into the potential strength of collaboration between contemporary makers and CinBA.

Six makers were selected to take part in the Contemporary Maker Engagement Project over the next year. The makers selected are: Helen Marton, Dr Julian Stair, Mary Butcher, Susan Kinley, Sheila Teague and Syann van Niftrik.

The programme of the project will include studio visits, one-to-one interviews and group discussions, and participation in the final CinBA project conference in April 2013. Makers will have the opportunity to work alongside leading academics who are experts in their field. Makers will also be able to visit, explore and make use of the internationally significant museum collections, bronze age sites, and knowledge of our partner institutions.

As the project develops CinBA and the makers will update this area with images, biographies and reflections on this practice-based exploration of bronze age creativity and craft production.