If street protests are too shouty, craftivism may offer an alternative and still powerful means of political expression
Since the dawn of time, humans have been compelled to make – just think about all the pots and jewellery you see at the British Museum.”
According to the(British) government’s Taking Part survey, all forms of craft – be it pottery, embroidery, lino printing – have been undergoing a revival in the UK at the same time as art and design education has fallen off a cliff; since 2010, the number of people crafting has jumped by 24%, while the number of students taking art, design and tech GCSEs has fallen by 57%.
People are aghast at “the weird dichotomy between the creative industries being the fastest-growing sector in the economy but so undervalued in education”. The broader picture is more encouraging. “What is interesting is the huge rise of people engaging with craft now,” says Melton. “Since 2014 it’s been a 25% jump for white people and a massive 70% for those from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds. Craft is growing at a faster rate than any other creative discipline.”