Technological advancements have impacted craft so profoundly that the time has come when people are re-defining craft that has become more sophisticated and professional. The field of arts and crafts is undergoing a complete makeover as technology has taken a firm grip on it. The old notions of skills that added value to crafts and even made it priceless are now undergoing a siege, as technology is set to impact skills too. The winds of industrialisation and mass production are evident in arts and crafts too as new equipment based on digital technology like Cricut Explore Air 2 is creating waves among designers and craftsmen.
Manually generated designs are now appearing in a new form powered by technology. Craft has moved from the handmade designs to machine-made designs that are more precise, accurate and can be reproduced as many times you want by maintaining the same degree of perfection.
Challenging old concepts
The debate about how much good technology can do for the craft is already doing the rounds. Most people look upon technology as a threat to craft as it disrupts the age-old familial concepts that were cozy, too. However, the concerns arise from the inherent human characteristics of being reluctant to change. We do not accept anything new too quickly and in the initial stages of acceptance do not hesitate to express scepticism about it. The same has happened in this case even though our understanding of craft in the present context is beginning to change. People realise that in practice, technology aligns itself more closely with traditional concepts of craft and skill than we could envisage.
The values of craft are changing
Handmade craft always occupied a special place in the hearts of people and attracted good premium as a mark of acknowledgement of the talent, skills and intense labour involved in creating it. It can take months for building a small piece of craft like what you see in the miniature ivory carved items that are a treat for the eyes. Handmade art has always been an item of luxury that has maintained a humane touch.
As technology infiltrates the world of craft, the traditional human-centric values of craft are now set to change. Craft is now more aligned to progress and future that is gradually replacing the humane touch that made craft so much priceless. However, many people feel that the old values do not hold good any more because even if any garment is machine made, it might take many long hours to produce the design and create the finesse that underlines its superior class. Therefore, the argument that the time spent in creating design contributes to its value does not hold much water.
Machine made designs are gaining popularity.The mark of technology is now evident in craft designs that use state of the art digitally powered cutting equipment that delivers designs rapidly. The equipment is highly user-friendly and encourages DIY enthusiasts who want to vent their creative abilities by creating complex designs spontaneously.