Crafting Europe is an initiative of nine European craft organisations that strives to build the crafts sector by providing craftspeople with the knowledge and skills to grow and strengthen the industry.
Crafting Europe has identified three main challenges facing the crafts industry, namely;
• attracting and engaging future generations of skilled craft practitioners
• ensuring that key skills are passed down successfully
• implementing new technology into craft practices
To address these challenges, Crafting Europe designed iAtelier, a program of activities that combines new digital fabrication technologies and craft practices. iAtelier connects makers with digital experts. By coming together, the digital experts and craft makers exchange knowledge, offer each other new lenses through which to look at the world, and create a range of products that fuse traditional and digital methodologies.
Practical experimentation is key to the making process, which constantly switches between the hand, the digital and sometimes the virtual. This allows conversations to ignite and new ideas to blossom. It is important to understand that digital fabrication technologies do not replace traditional methods but act as additional tools that elevate them. The encounter between digital and craft technology is not yet obvious, however bridging this unexplored gap offers artistic and technical opportunities that provoke innovative thinking and making.