Craft Victoria

Making It Symposium Sunday 21 February - Wednesday 24 February 2021


Craft’s Making It symposium is being launched on Sunday February 21 and is offering ticket holders the opportunity to watch any of the sessions at any time and in any order for three days!

Making It represents the diversity of professional craft practice today and includes inspiring keynote speakers, conversations with an impressive line-up of guests and wonderful videos on craft makers and their practices. Keynote speakers include Leah Heiss, award-winning designer and craft practitioner working across human-centred interdisciplinary projects; Yu Fang Chi, artist and curator working across textile, silversmithing, sculpture and spatial installation; Bruce Rowe, artist, designer and architect working across disciplines to create sculpture, painting, imaginative objects and design products and Damien Wright, an award-winning Australian craftsman working in wood. Hear designer, illustrator and maker Beci Orpin chat about art, craft and commerce, and fashion design team VERMIN discuss their experiences of working with First Nations communities and sustainability.

The stories and insights of the presenters will be of interest to craft practitioners at all career stages, raising issues facing the creative sector today and reflecting on what it means to be a part of our craft and design community.

This not-to-be-missed event will be presented online and available to ticket holders for 72 hours

Date: Launches Sunday 21 February 2021, available for 72 hours 
Where: Online 


Craft Victoria Member: $60
Non-member: $75

Introducing the Making It Symposium's keynote speakers:

Yu Fang Chi: Weaving, Connecting, Belonging

Yu Fang Chi is a Taiwan-born Melbourne-based artist and curator working across textile, silversmithing, sculpture and spatial installation. In her presentation Weaving, Connecting, Belonging Yu Fang will share her research investigating the role of materials, bodily gestures and the intimate experience of making. Aiming to make forgotten stories visible, Yu Fang will share how her practice has transformed through the process of weaving and making, and how it has allowed her to reconnect with a sense of belonging.

Dr Leah Heiss : Crafting collaborations and wearables

Dr Leah Heiss is an award-winning designer and craft practitioner working across human-centred interdisciplinary projects.  Over the last 15 years Leah has headed the design of wearable technology projects that include jewellery to administer insulin, cardiac monitoring necklaces, a jewel-like hearing aid and a lapel pin to monitor loneliness. Leah is now working to integrate stretchable sensors into wearables for pre-diabetes and COVID monitoring in aged care.

In Crafting collaborations and wearables Leah will share tangible approaches for operating as a craft practitioner in complex interdisciplinary projects, discuss the benefits of collaboration in creating social impact and will pose questions about the role of craft in future practices of care.

Bruce Rowe: Reflections on Creative Practice

Bruce Rowe is an Australian artist, designer and architect working across disciplines to create sculpture, painting, imaginative objects and design products. A dynamic creative practitioner, Rowe established Anchor Ceramics in 2012 to experiment with the materiality of clay and apply design thinking to conventional studio processes.  His practice researches and explores the creative possibilities of light, form and material.

Bruce will discuss the philosophy driving the interdisciplinary approach behind his practice through a series of process insights and key project examples, offering personal reflections on the generative power of a creative partnership and insights on navigating the pathway to independent, creative practice. Bruce will discuss the nature of creative practice at Anchor Ceramics, sharing how a multidisciplinary team can cohere by exploring the intersections between creative practices and encouraging what are traditionally defined boundaries to be blurred and crossed.

Damien Wright: What is a craft ‘business’?

Damien Wright is an award-winning Australian craftsman working in wood. His practice involves a unique blend of Australian timbers, traditional joinery techniques, organic finishes and contemporary design.

In his working life, 'craft' has gone from a dirty word to a symbol of sustainability, connectedness and authenticity. It will move again—but where? Outlining his career to date, Damien will talk about significant moments, both big and small, that have shaped his practice and reflect on the structural nature of the craft industry. What does it mean to be ‘established’? What does it take to ‘survive’? What other choices are there?

Damien’s presentation will reflect upon the many and varied trajectories of a career in craft and his definition of a craft ‘business’, hypothesizing what that may truly mean. Damien will discuss the often competing ‘markets’ and business models that both offer opportunity for craftspeople and can delay craft practitioners' capacity to create and thrive.

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