Research

More information about research 

Seija Hahl
curator
tel. +358 050 311 8886
seija.hahl [at] jyvaskyla.fi

Handcrafted objects as well as objects and collections related to hand made things are available in many of our country's museums, but the Craft Museum of Finland is the only one that focuses solely on craft themes and topics.
For example, the museum records the history and themes of craft education and training at various levels, as well as the history of artisans and professionals in the arts and crafts sector and home industry. 

Unlike other museums, the Craft Museum of Finland also records the intangible handicraft culture - the skill of making things by hand - where the maker's perspective and the overall description of the manufacturing process are essential. 

With contemporary documentation, the museum also participates in the modern day discussions about craft and awakens you to consider the limits of handicraft, what craft is or is not, for example, by recording the work of a tattoo artist, barber or neurosurgeon.

The nationwide National Costume Center in Finland is responsible for the national costumes of the Finnish-speaking region, their research, the collection of new costumes and the revision of old designs as well as training in their field. The Center presents and stores Finnish national costumes and other ways of traditional dressing. The National Costume Center organizes exhibitions, work shows, workshops and other events as well as guided tours to the exhibitions. Information on national costumes collected by the National Costume Center is available at www.kansallispuvut.fi. (in Finnish)

What is craft?
Craft is the profession of some 20 000 people and the hobby of approximately 2.5 million Finns. Craft is an "education tool" and a way to survive. It is also a skill handed down from one generation to the next. Craft is associated closely with Finnish traditions but also strongly with the present day. Craft techniques are a tool of self-expression.

Is craft art - or is art craft?
Craft is ecological! Do I use materials that destroy nature, do my working methods pollute nature? What is the product's lifetime? Would it be most ecological of all to leave things undone? The products of craft are part of our built living environment.

Craft is unique.
Is there any point in producing things serially by hand? Does craft have to look like something hand-made? Craft is expensive! What is it that costs in craft? Do we always have to get good things as cheaply as possible? What are we ready to pay for? Do we know what is worth paying for in craft?