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Article

Crafting the local: the lived experience of craft production in the Northern Isles of Scotland

Citation
McHattie L, Champion K & Johnson M (2019) Crafting the local: the lived experience of craft production in the Northern Isles of Scotland. Cultural Trends, 28 (4), pp. 305-316. https://doi.org/10.1080/09548963.2019.1644791

Abstract
National creative and cultural industries policy agendas tend to focus on the economic impact of the sector often favouring scalable digital activities based in global clusters, which underpin notions of growth. There has, however, been a re-emergence of craft, which may not be scalable in the same way, into public debate, with benefits linked to educational, cultural and economic policy agendas. Accordingly, policymakers have begun to view craft as a stimulus to develop local and regional economies, skills and materials in relation to wider networks. Within this push towards craft-driven creative place making and economic growth, it has been argued that more sophisticated understandings of the “local” are needed that go beyond those which are inward and parochial. Based on AHRC-funded empirical research undertaken in the Northern Isles of Scotland with craft practitioners, this article attempts to provide evidence of the place-based nature of craft work highlighting both opportunities as well as constraints linked to contexts that are often referred to as remote and peripheral when contrasted with urban locations. We argue for future investigation into, what we term, fractal growth – growth and development that considers multiple dimensions – as being a valid and valuable outcome of creative practice, and which cannot be easily scaled.

Keywords
Craft; local; lived experience; cultural assets; innovation; fractal growth

Notes
Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online

Journal
Cultural Trends: Volume 28, Issue 4

StatusPublished
Author(s)McHattie, Lynn-Sayers; Champion, Katherine; Johnson, Michael
FundersAHRC Arts and Humanities Research Council
Publication date31/12/2019
Publication date online30/07/2019
Date accepted by journal16/07/2019
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/30058
ISSN0954-8963
eISSN1469-3690
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