Craft in America launches Craft Video Directory

Craft in America has launched the first-ever Craft Video Dictionary (CVD). The CVD is an online resource that gives the public a direct, close-up view of craft processes and techniques. Instead of words and images, CVD definitions are conveyed via video. Clear and concise, these videos are edited to focus on the artists’ movements and the transformation of materials. The project was initiated with support from The Decorative Arts Trust through their Prize for Excellence and Innovation in late 2020.

The first rollout of this new reference tool includes an initial batch of one hundred video definitions. This initial collection of videos begins to flesh out the ins and outs of art and craft making across a range of materials and media. Two hundred videos will be posted in total later this year.

The CVD includes techniques as demonstrated by artists with expertise in ceramics, metal, wood, fiber, glass, and more. Each video captures an artist manipulating material with their hands and tools through methods that are traditional, historic, and also very much still alive. “The CVD videos are intended to clearly define a craft technique, rather than demonstrate a how-to process. We hope this project will be useful to educators, museums, and everyone interested in craft,” says CVD project producer Denise Kang.

Thus far, 14 artists have been filmed across Southern California, and many of them are teaching artists at colleges in the region. The CVD includes definitions of terms ranging from sgraffito, which is a ceramics process, to glass blowing, and from cabinet making and joinery, to spindle turning, and blacksmithing.

By providing an intimate lens into the artist’s studio, CVD video definitions provide a sense of how the objects in our world come to be and what their craft entails. On creating the videos, CVD Project Director Emily Zaiden noted, “each artist during filming was able to take a step back from their second nature process and think about what someone unfamiliar with their craft might need to see and understand their work.”

The Craft Video Directory can be found at this link



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Dakota Smith | Editorial Intern

Dakota Smith is an undergraduate student at New Jersey City University studying English and Creative Writing. He is a writer at heart, and a cook by trade. His career goal is to become an author. At Woodworking Network, Dakota is an editorial intern, ready to dive into the world of woods and words.