The West

Concern for craft industry

Claire Townsend is pushing back against the tide of cheap, mass- produced objects threatening to swamp handmade craftworks.

The Osborne Park jeweller has echoed a new report which has urged better training for jewellers, ceramicists, textile artists and other craft workers and more public education to shift demand towards handcrafted products.

She joked that the craft sector needed a reality TV show to widen the public appreciation of handmade objects.

"The only way is education for people to know that it is worth spending an extra couple of hundred dollars on something that will last longer and that no one else has got," she said.

Ms Townsend and fellow jeweller Phil Noakes run classes in their Osborne Park studio-gallery Contemporary Metal in response to what she said was the declining standard in tertiary craft courses.

The report on the state of craft in WA shows a sector stifled by declining tertiary training, fewer exhibition opportunities and inadequate business and networking skills.

The Chamber of Arts and Culture, which commissioned the study, said the findings confirmed worrying signs about the sector's health and sustainability.

The West Australian

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