The project “Design, craft and culture” had the purpose of co-production of knowledge between the University of Borås and the small-scale enterprise Vävkompaniet (The weaving company). The practitioners’ wanted to get insights into competences previously “hidden” in their knowledge in action; competences that could be the base for development of products and ways to reach customers. From academic point of view the main goal was to produce films aimed shedding light on knowledge in action. The result is four educational films aimed at students.
This article is based on interpretations of films and interviews from places where the handweavers produce their products. A researcher and a weaving teacher studied their work, while the photographer filmed the artisans’ body movements. Questions and words, in a language which fits the events of the practice, can make practitioners sharpen their attention and direct it at critical points in the practice that they accomplish. By interviews done in a conversation-like way during observations, a space for such reflections was created.
The weavers shared meanings on their position in the field of craft and detailed descriptions of crafting practices with the research team. Regarding the design process, because of their material rather than conceptual approach to craftwork, the weavers brought up the importance of sample weaving. While work with dressing the looms and weaving then continued many empirical examples of aspects of knowledge in action could be observed. The importance of routine, rhythm, bodily skills, senses, judgement and experience are brought up in the text.
Key words: textile craft, weaving, tacit knowledge, knowledge in action, senses, visual ethnography
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