Craft Materials

Materials are essential in the creation of craft and design. An idea can be shaped through different mediums but the selection of the right materials is very important. This section focuses on the properties of the core materials used in craft and design: metal, clay, glass, textiles and wood. It describes where they are sourced and how they are used.


Glass can be textured by casting it into a textured mould, etched with acid, sand- blasted and cut with diamond tools. Depending on what is added to the glass it can become transparent or opaque, clear or coloured. Some colouring materials for glass are widely known. Perhaps the best example of this is cobalt blue, produced by adding cobalt oxide to the glass melt…

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Ceramics are typically very strong and can be found in watch parts, car spark plugs, electrical conductors, phone lines, appliance coatings, space shuttle & aeroplane nose cones. By artists they are used as their medium for their visual metaphor…

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Textiles are made from a variety of materials – they can be broken down into animal (Alpaca, cashmere, mohair, wool, silk), vegetable (cotton, hemp, linen, sisal), plant (paper, rayon, modal), mineral (glass fibre, metal) and synthetic (lurex, acrylic, polypropylene, lycra, nylon, polyester)…

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Sheet, wire, tube, bars and nuggets are some of the forms that metal can be bought in today. Jewellers, blacksmiths and other metalworkers apply a variety of skills, techniques and tools to manipulate and shape the metal into a particular design. Some of these techniques include…

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To make furniture successfully it is important to know two simple facts, wood moves meaning that it takes in and releases moisture in its cells and swells or shrinks accordingly; this depends on the type of wood and amount of moisture in the air, it can be barely noticed or have a devastating effect on a piece of furniture. The second fact is that nothing can stop this movement; wood swells and shrinks across its width but not in length…

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New Materials

This refers to both synthetic raw materials and new technologies like laser cutting, water jet cutting, rapid prototyping, motion capturing, interactive magnetic wall coverings and site-specific textiles for walls and windows. Today’s makers are challenging our perceptions and expanding the potential of craft.

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