Digital craft : handmade craft meets digital design

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Miller, Rebecca Leah

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Digital Craft is a project that explores the interface between three-dimensional (3-D) computer technology and costume technology. I combine seasoned millinery techniques with modern methods of object construction and design to diversify the costume artisan’s toolbox and encourage practical and useful ways of moving between the virtual and physical world. Through a series of theoretical projects the dichotomy of modern artistic process is explored. The task of this thesis project is to explore the impact of 3-D imaging software on design and construction methods by applying them to the sculptural process of hat making. I collaborate with designers and technicians to develop methods of hat making for performance culminating in an exhibition presented at the University Co-op Cohen New Works Festival, April 2011. This research is applied to cultivate new methods of hat making, by exploring new media and expanding creative possibilities. Craft objects are created directly through the hand of the maker; it is thorough technique that the hand informs the craft object (Risatti, 108). Furthermore, the traditional notion of tools and craft objects is that they are conditioned, controlled and limited by the hands. In order to update and improve methods of object construction, this project will expand the traditional concept of craft, combining hands-on methods with machining. I hope to improve efficiency and decrease the cost of realizing authentic and original hat designs by exploring alternative digital spaces that can be used to communicate, develop and actualize ideas.



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