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  • Artisanal craft pottery in South Asia (and Ethiopia) and the potential for expanding markets locally and globally

Anjum, Maham, 2013, Thesis, Artisanal craft pottery in South Asia (and Ethiopia) and the potential for expanding markets locally and globally MPhil thesis, Royal College of Art.

Abstract or Description:

Artisanal “craft” pottery in South Asia (and Ethiopia) and the potential for expanding markets locally and globally
It is now a well-known fact that much artisanal craft pottery has been in decline over many years in the world and local markets. It is
argued that this is because of the growth of industrial and manufacturing sectors that produce more quantity in less time, with fewer
employees and minimal skills.
While this may be true, there has been an emerging demand in the past decade for artisanal craft involving local techniques and
knowledge in markets worldwide. This can be attributed to the shifting attitudes of a higher number of consumers for local, handmade and
quality craft products with increased social and environmental awareness, as well as changing economic markets demanding better
quality goods that larger conventional pottery manufacturers simply cannot produce. The vast amount of undiscovered craft tradition in the
Indian-sub continent offers insights into re-launching the declining artisanal craft form into these markets through careful research and
evaluation. The potential benefits for this to the local and global economies and societies as a whole could by far exceed the challenges.
To that end, the aims of this research study are twofold. One, it aims to investigate, and intends to understand, present attitudes towards
artisanal craft pottery from the perspective of the craft potters’ communities. It draws from technical and field experience in Sri Lanka
(2003 – 2013) and Ethiopia (2010 – 2013) and special focus is given to project experience in Kutch, India (2009 – 2013). And two, it
investigates the scope for re-designing traditional craft pottery through creating new opportunities globally as well as within the emerging
markets in the host countries.
To carry out this research I have drawn upon the richness of my own professional work in India, Sri Lanka and Ethiopia over the last 10
years, using them as case studies. In each case, I propose to analyse the local modes of production and suggest improvements in
production processes to reinvigorate the products for world markets. Various research methods were used including surveys, fieldwork,
analysis, and personal exploration, among others.

Qualification Name: MPhil
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W700 Crafts > W750 Clay and Stone Crafts
School or Centre: School of Material
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2014 14:34
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2014 14:34
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1640

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