Mõnda valdkonna teadusajakirjadest / On scholarly journals in craft research

  • Kadri Tüür


This article offers a brief survey of international scholarly journals on craft research and related fields (heritage protection and management, vernacular architecture, textile heritage, etc.).

In Estonian language, studies of material culture are chiefly published in the yearbooks of memory institutions, such as museums. Internationally, special publications focused on craft research were only established in the 21st century. In the Scandinavian countries, the notion of ‘sloyd’ is central to this type of research. In the European context, craft research is often categorised under ‘design history’, whereas in America it can be found under the label ‘material culture’. If one wishes to find studies on traditional wooden architecture, the keyword ‘vernacular’ comes in handy. One important search term is ‘practice-led’ research, as it is the closest one to the approach employed in the teaching and research activities of the Native craft department in University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy. What can be learnt from international publications is their skill in placing case studies within a wider global cultural, historical and economic background.

Heritage studies are relevant to craft research as craft and its outcomes are often connected with material and immaterial cultural heritage. Interest in sustainable materials and resource use has risen notably during recent decades, and this is also reflected in scholarly publications.

Some journals stand out with their experimental approach to contributions. For example, video publications could be very useful not only for lab practitioners, but also for craft researchers. The array of publications on craft research is relatively wide, and we should not hesitate to make good use of all the wonderful resources available.


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