Date of Award

2020

Abstract

The Arts and Crafts movement formed the basis for our current relationship to craftsmanship, and influenced many subsequent design trends. It marked a major turning point in how we think about craft and in the way things look. Since the movement's inception in the 1880s, many craftspeople have embraced the founders’ love of simple, sturdy design and their moral philosophies which relate craft and socialism. By embracing the global shift toward individualism, craftspeople have been able to step up and occupy a similar social standing as “fine” artists. In spite of this, craft has retained its special capacity to foster connection, both between groups of people, as well as in a more internal, spiritual sense. This type of connection was largely lost during the industrial revolution, and many people have sought to restore it through craft and community building, influenced by the ideals of Morris, Ruskin, and Marx. This thesis explores the history, philosophies, and aesthetics of the Arts and Crafts and relates them to our modern experience of craft and craftsmanship through an examination of intentional communities, as well as the author's personal experience as a maker.

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