On Crafting – discussion cards
On Crafting discussion cards are intended for groups that are interested in crafting, and their purpose is to encourage discussions about the meaning of crafting.
On Crafting meetings held by Taito Group Finland and its local associations made the initiative for this card series. These crafting meetings have been held across Finland since 2016. On Crafting meetings were born from crafters’ need and desire to share their experiences and thoughts about crafting. In these meetings, hobbyists and professional crafters come together to craft and to talk about crafting, the significance of handicrafts and crafting culture.
The meetings have made it apparent that in addition to the actual making process, crafters also want to and need to share their thoughts and experiences about the significance of crafting. These On Crafting discussion cards have been developed for these situations: they enable comprehensive consideration and verbalising of the significance of handicrafts and crafting culture.
Taito Group Finland published the On Crafting discussion cards in early 2018. The discussion cards are available in Finnish and Swedish. The On Crafting discussion cards are part of Taito Group Finland’s On Crafting concept.
Above: Ideas for discussion card themes, and an example of the contents of a thematic card and a research and experiment card. Visual appearance and layout of cards © Elina Ahonen.
The purpose of these cards is to inspire and encourage enthusiastic crafters to verbalise and share their experiences and views about the significance of handicrafts and crafting culture.
The discussion cards open up new perspectives to crafting. The themes of the cards bring up views to both the traditions of handicraft and the future of crafting, as well as create depth to the art of making today.
The discussion cards give crafters the opportunity to determine the cultural heritage of crafting. Discussions based on these cards guide people to think about what they want from crafting and to look after the handicraft culture that is important to them.
The idea behind the On Crafting cards is that there are many paths to crafting and many ways to craft. The objective of the cards is to help one recognise, with other crafters, the meaning of handicrafts to oneself, communities and society.
How it was done
The card series has specifically been designed for situations where a group of people come together to craft, for example for handicraft clubs or crafting evenings, or for when inspiration is needed for craft studies.
The cards feature five themes: handicraft traditions, handicraft skills, communal crafting, wellbeing crafting and advocacy through crafting. These card themes are perspectives to the crafting culture. Each theme has 16 cards, and each card has a thought or a statement related to the theme as well as questions about it. The pack of cards contains ten Explore and Test cards, two for each theme. The contents of these cards inspire to explore and test things, come up with new ideas and implement the themes in practice. The pack of cards features 90 cards in total: 80 theme cards and 10 Explore and Test cards. The package also contains an instructional leaflet that explains the themes of the cards and their backgrounds as well as gives tips for using the cards.
Discussions and thoughts can be built around the themes of the cards, or you can pick and choose the most important themes or expand the discussion based on the ideas and questions that are brought up. The participants’ experiences of crafting and their craft products are easy to link to the card themes. It is important that the method of using the cards will be adapted to the group and that the themes are handled on the group’s own terms. The discussion cards can also be used alone, as inspiration for thoughts, experiments and making.
Inspires and encourages crafters to verbalise the significance of crafts and discuss about it with other crafters.
Reflecting on the themes of the cards helps one become aware of the significance and meaning of crafts
The cards inspire one to plan new handicrafts and crafting actions and help understand one’s own crafting