The Importance of Making

Annual international craft seminar, Gallery F 15, 14 April 2016
Annual international craft seminar, Gallery F 15, 14 April 2016

Gjertrud Steinsvåg (NO)  ∣  Dr. Stephen Knott (UK)   ∣    Alison Britton (UK)   ∣  André Gali (NO) 

Punkt Ø,  The Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts (Norske Kunsthåndverkere) and Norwegian Crafts collaborated on an international crafts seminar 14 April 2016.

The seminar was held at Gallery F 15 at Jeløya, Moss, in the context of the Nordic crafts exhibition Tendencies (Tendenser). 

Gjertrud Steinsvåg
Dr. Stephen Knott
Alison Britton


Welcome to the gallery, Maria Havstam, head of communication/curator Gallery F 15

Moderator’s Introduction, André Gali, Norwegian Crafts

Lecture: To assert Trends, Gjertrud Steinsvåg
Gjertrud Steinsvåg will talk about her recent exhibitions: Pottery is Back! and Grand Old Ladies & New Kids on the Block. Pottery is Back! postulates the return of pottery, but leaves room for contradiction: that it never left. Grand Old Ladies & New Kids on the Block is based on apparent discrepancies between generations and also artistic practices. When faced with these discrepancies, be they constructed or actual, it’s the task of the curator to translate and decipher the nuances, and contribute to new understanding of established notions.

Lecture:The desire to get down and dirty, Dr. Stephen Knott
In recent years practitioners, researchers, curators and critics concerned with the importance of making have naturally welcomed a renewed interest in craft, both from the general public and the nebulous world of fine art. From Assemble’s winning the 2015 Turner Prize, sloppy ceramics at the Venice Biennale and live weaving demonstrations, to education scenarios that place the hand-made centre stage, it looks that making is back in fashion.

While experiencing this vogue there is an opportunity to triumph histories of craft thinking and practice that have long been marginalised, and question the motivation behind the current resurgent need to get our hands dirty. Does it originate from disillusionment with the sensory limitations of digital screen-based media? And if there is a desire to see ‘evidence’ of the processes and plain hard graft that lie behind the production of objects, how is this manifest and managed in contemporary artworks?

Lecture: Playing on the Fence: Making, Writing, and Objects, Alison Britton
The tension between function and formal/fictional concerns has been fundamental to Britton’s ongoing excitement about ceramics. This lecture celebrates the unconfined, instable nature of ‘craft’ in the spectrum of art and design. She will explore threads through her work and other people’s, mostly in the past decade, and the way her thinking evolved through the mingled practices of making pots, writing, teaching and curating.  

Dr. Stephen Knott

Gjertrud Steinsvåg
Alison Britton


ANDRÉ GALI (NO): Editor for Norwegian Crafts Magazine and the book series Documents on Contemporary Crafts.

GJERTRUD STEINSVÅG (NO):  Is a freelance curator and writer, as well as a programme coordinator at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts.

Dr STEPHEN KNOTT (UK): Knott is a Specialist in modern craft theory and history and lecturer at Kingston University and is the Managing Editor for The Journal of Modern Craft (Taylor & Francis).

ALISON BRITTON (UK):  Alison Britton is one of the leading ceramic artists of her generation, with a career spanning more than 40 years. Britton also writes and curates, and is a senior tutor of ceramics and glass at the Royal College of Art.

For more information on the exhibition Tendenser/Tendencies 2016, click here.
All inquiries: please contact project manager Tonje Kjellevold at