Bringing craft to the table

Crafting Transformation

Through mass- production and consumption old techniques and crafts are fleeting. Anna Wieser is inspired to preserve tradition and craftsmanship. With her project 'Crafting Transformation', she wants to awaken people's curiosity by showing them the beauty that comes from using our bare hands. "We live in a fast-digital world where the physical connection between ourselves and the people around us is threatened by oblivion," Anna says.

I believe creative craft can act as a bridge to re-connect ourselves to the people around us. My mission was to find craftsmen who use their creativity to escape their weekly routine and use crafts to be more in the moment for a little while. Little did I know that I would not only learn something new about different crafts and techniques but also about the many different ways to re-connect.

Erma, the weaver, combines modern technologies with old weaving techniques to teach and preserve the beauty of weaving. She developed an e-book that guides you through the different weaving processes and patterns by the demonstration of videos, images and text.

The Belilla Boys create their family force from their different talents, techniques and creative ideas. They create the most practical, jet beautiful detailed up-cycled products from ‘junk’. They, for example, turned a cargo-bike smoker into a small racing cart for their little nephew. 

Tineke at the pottery wheel

"The moment of making something without knowing what the outcome may be"

Tineke, the potter, enjoys the process, the moment of making something without knowing what the outcome may be. 

This made me wonder what my craft would be, and when I feel the most in the moment. That was definitely cooking. Using my mind, my body and my heart to create with all my senses, something unique every time. It excites me that no matter how often I cook the same dish, it will always taste different. 

In order to honor craftsmanship, I hosted a dinner in an old windmill. All craftspeople, and people with different kinds of mindsets, such as a broker, psychologist and graphic designer, where invited to dine at one table.

Erma, the weaver, with her wool

All craftspeople were invited to one table

A table can act as a platform to be introduced into each other’s worlds and can help to inspire each other.

All the crafts-men and women contributed to the dinner, the weaver made the cushions, the potter made the soup cups, there also was a craftsman who made cheese and sour-dough bread, and another one shared his freshly grown vegetables. The Bellila Boys built a smoker, to prepare the food. For each craftsperson I created a dish that was the translation of the wisdom I had gained whilst the visits and the conversations we had.

By not sitting at the table, and acting only as a mediator and storyteller, I presented a new craftsperson with each dish. This way they received the full attention that they deserved, without letting them feel uncomfortable or like they were ‘on a stage’.

Our senses play an important part in being present in the moment. Therefore, the location of the old windmill, as well as sharing and eating the meal with bear hands increased the awareness and everyone took their time to be in the present.

This text was written by the transformation designer Anna Wieser.
Read more about her on her website or follow her on Facebook.