Pushing the Limits of Craft

Cindy KohtalaMagnus WinkSara Rylander

Sara Rylander, 2023

‘Pushing the limits of craft’ explores the possibilities and challenges that exist between the intersection of traditional sloyd/craft and digital design, between hi-tech and low-tech making. By combining traditional and cultural woodcraft with digital laser cutting tools for design, the project aims to expand and explore the possibilities of expressing oneself through craft.

Sloyd can be considered a system of craft education and is taught as a compulsory subject in Finnish, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian schools. In this regard, Nordic sloyd traditions embody a form of cultural heritage encompassing specific materials and techniques. The research addresses the potential loss of this cultural identity which is both imminent and preventable.

The tradition of sloyd emerges from intuitive work between the creator and the material, as form of tacit knowledge, which evolves with new tools overtime whilst maintaining cultural traditions. Rylander is interested in the potential role and significance of digital tools in craft practice, both in terms of new aesthetic possibilities and how the creative use of these tools challenges the concept of the ‘handmade’.

The project will be presented at the Relate North Conference at Umeå University 2023.