The eCrafts Collective is an initiative by Kati Hyyppä and I, often working in collaboration with different crafters, makers and experts of various fields. Kati and I started working together in the quest for fascinating, unexpected and delightful combinations of traditional crafts and electronics. Craft knowledge is versatile and has adapted with time to the availability of resources and materials. In todays world, it is possible to think of electronics as another, additional material for crafts. Taking this idea to practice, we explore traditional textiles, patterns and crafting techniques in the spirit of open design, and organize also workshops that bring different communities together. An important aspect of the e-crafts adventures is to meet people face to face and to gain insights into local cultures, traditions and folklores. In the course of the explorations electronics become another ingredient in the mix, and the traditional artefacts get a new twist, remaining still connected to the stories of the past.
Since early 2012, as ‘eCrafts Collective’; Kati and I have organized several e-crafts related workshops in Helsinki, Riga, Aizpute and Berlin. The last two years, we have worked closely with SERDE, a multidisciplinary Arts Centre in a little historical town called Aizpute, Latvia and have completed two artists in residency projects there, namely “Single Women’s eCrowns” and “eWeaving Belts” which were developed in confluence with our conversations and learning from craft experts about the culture, stories, skills and techniques. Read more about our work and activities on our project blog: www.ecraftscollective.wordpress.com