Written by: Vivian Orr, SCC Communications and Publications Coordinator
#ABCraft looks at how digital technology is enhancing or impacting fine craft artists in Alberta. Social media, digital imaging and 3-D printing are becoming more common and an increasingly important career opportunity for fine craft artists. The exhibition features new and recent work by artists using digital technology in many ways including communications, marketing, research, image development, prototyping and production.
In April, I had the opportunity to drop into the ACC and see this diverse exhibition. As someone who is exploring digital technology in my own work, I found the comments and descriptions by the artists about their processes both interesting and timely. I approached the #ABCraft artists and asked them to answer a series of questions. We will be featuring their replies on the SCC Blog over the next few weeks. I hope you enjoy the #ABCraft artists thoughtful and insightful answers as much as I did.
Did you have a “fine craft crisis of conscience” moment when you initially contemplated integrating digital technology into your work?
No, no fine craft crisis when initially incorporating digital imagery into work. Complete opposite, excitement felt in the new potentials of what is possible.
Have you found viewers and purchasers of your work puzzled, conflicted, oblivious, or completely comfortable with the digital aspects of your work?
Viewers/purchasers have been completely comfortable, yet quite curious as to how I am achieving imagery on hand crafted ceramics.
How does digital technology enhance your artistic or business practices?
Yes, digital practices enhances my practices by opening new doors in terms of having the work carry new meanings: conceptually rich and layered, social and cultural narratives that activate me.
Where did you acquire the skills, software, and hardware?
I acquired the skills through my education at Red Deer College and Alberta College of Art and Design and through hard work and perseverance. Learning curves are always a given.
How difficult was it to incorporate digital technology into your work flow?
Initially, it was very difficult to incorporate the technology due to the Printmaking process learning curves, the facility and physical space the techniques require and the compositional or design skills incorporating image to form, but like most things in life, one gets better at them, more efficient and confident the more one does it. And, i manage by washing screens out with a garden hose or in a bath tub because I want it bad enough to make it happen by any means possible.
What technological tool would you love to get your hands on in the future?
I would like to at some point take a professional photography course, develop more Photoshop skills; including Adobe Illustrator and learn how to make and print my own decals.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience with fine craft and digital technology?
To the end I am an artist, a maker, and a craftsman and the digital component is a layer within the work that brings another rich layer of an artist trying to express what is in my heart, mind, and cameras eye.