Wednesday, 12 October 2011


Welcome to the first ever blog of Craft Aotearoa, designed to stimulate craft debate and conversation, and bring you craft sector news such as upcoming events, learning and training opportunities, and more. The Craft Aotearoa blog will provide a platform for us to explore these and other news in more detail. In the meantime, we welcome your suggestions and of course, your feedback.

Firstly, a brief word about us. Craft Aotearoa is a new national organisation aiming to provide the public of New Zealand with increased opportuniites to view, participate in, read about, and learn about craft in New Zealand. It is being set up by myself (Jenna-Lea Philpott) in consultation with  founding Trustees Penny Eames and Dr. Warren Feeney. Our charitable trust status is pending, and thanks to the pro bono support of Chapman Tripp we hope to be registered with the Charities Commission soon. Through partnership and collaboration, we want to help leverage the excellent work that is going on in the craft sector and help promote public awareness and understanding of craft practice in New Zealand. We'd love to see more craft exhibitions in New Zealand and we would love to see more NZ craft showcased internationally. We want to create and promote opportunities for craft education and professional development and we'd like to see a regular programme of craft sector research established to better understand the sector's contribution to the wider economy.

We also want to be able to respond to any urgent needs and currently, the lack of infrastructure in Christchurch is having a significant impact on craft practitioners in terms of the creation, exhibition and sale of new work. Following the devastating 22 February earthquake, craft studios in the central city and many of those with home based studios were either destroyed or significantly damaged.  Eight months on and the disruption continues and is compounded with many craft practitioners raising concerns about the lack of opportunity to exhibit and showcase new work and subsequent lack of income due to significantly reduced sales.

In our next blog, we will bring you news of how we are supporting the Christchurch craft sector, our submission to the draft Central City Plan, presentation at the Christchurch City Council hearings and resulting media coverage.

Until then, check out Jeremy Leeming's work at

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