Forging Ahead!

Vounous Symposium

Last September I had the honour to be invited to cast bronze in North Cyprus as part of the Vounous Symposium. It was an amazing experience, working in the place that saw the dawn of ancient metallurgy. Our word copper is derived from the name of Cyprus. As part of the symposium, we visited a historical copper mine (I only brought back a few samples!), ancient sites, and museums. However the focus of the symposium is the recreation of ancient technology, not only to understand techniques used in the Bronze Age in Cyprus, but also to restore its lost heritage and to educate others about the island’s rich history.

I wrote a short article for EXARC about the Vounous Symposium. You can read it here.

New Book!

Crafting in the World is a new work that combines the world of archaeology, craft, and anthropology. It explores crafts in ancient and modern contexts and discuses the relevancy of understanding crafts to other disciplines.

I had the privilege of writing one of the chapters for this book. In it I discuss how metal objects can be read in a way that the actions of the smith can be visualised.

"This volume expands understandings of crafting practices, which in the past was the major relational interaction between the social agency of materials, technology, and people, in co-creating an emergent ever-changing world. The chapters discuss different ways that crafting in the present is useful in understanding crafting experiences and methods in the past, including experiments to reproduce ancient excavated objects, historical accounts of crafting methods and experiences, craft revivals, and teaching historical crafts at museums and schools.  

Crafting in the World is unique in the diversity of its theoretical and multidisciplinary approaches to researching crafting, not just as a set of techniques for producing functional objects, but as social practices and technical choices embodying cultural ideas, knowledge, and multiple interwoven social networks. Crafting expresses and constitutes mental schemas, identities, ideologies, and cultures. The multiple meanings and significances of crafting are explored from a great variety of disciplinary perspectives, including anthropology, archaeology, sociology, education, psychology, women’s studies, and ethnic studies.

This book provides a deep temporal range and a global geographical scope, with case studies ranging from Europe, Africa, and Asia to the Americas and a global internet website for selling home crafted items."

The link to the publisher is here. It is an academic publisher, and so it is rather expensive. However some university libraries already have copies, so I would recommend seeing if your local library can get a copy, or borrow it on Inter-Library Loan.

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