I guess I should have introduced myself first, but better late than never! I am involved in this project because I am a designer and researcher ... and married to a green woodworker, but more about that later.
My involvement with Kesurokai is primarily as media recorder. I shall be photographing and videoing and, technology permitting, blogging live from Japan during the main event in August. On my return I plan to make a short documentary film about the project.
Now a bit more about my background; I am primarily what is known as a multimedia designer which, roughly speaking, is designing things that appear on a computer, but I also work a great deal with video too. My main area of interest is craft skills; how they are learned, how they are taught and how multimedia can be used to record them and help them pass from one person to another.
Whilst much of my work has been based in the world of academia (I have gained an MA and PhD whilst doing it), it is also immensely practical. I have spent many hours hanging out in craftsmen's workshops observing with my video camera and notebook. I have spent many hours with learners, making and testing learning materials, sketching and annotating to understand what is needed to pass on complex skills.
The origin of all this is my partner, Robin Wood, who is well known both for his traditional turning / green woodworking and his campaigning for Heritage Crafts ... but more of that in another post! Working alongside Robin has both given me a unique insight into craft practices and given me the opportunity to develop my own skills in Scandinavian-style spoon carving with knives and axes.
Bringing all my interests together, we have developed a very successful programme to teach spoon carving as a short course and have been delighted by how many students carry on carving after learning with us. The learning materials I have developed during these courses are available on the internet for those attending courses and will hopefully be made into a book before the end of the year.
There is more about me on my web site, including links to things I have designed, my video on youTube ... and even academic papers!