Craft Innovation Jumpstarter

Craft Innovation Jumpstarter

Craft Innovation Jumpstarter

For Artists

Introducing the Craft Innovation Jumpstarter

In 2022, the Society will award two (2) grants of $2,000 each to individual craft artists who advance their craft field or their personal career through innovation.

The Society’s Craft Innovation Jumpstarter is a new artist support program that focuses on craft artists who take chances, learn through experimentation, and want to connect with others working on similar creative problems. In its pilot phase, the Society’s program will provide grants to artists needing financial resources to pursue new directions or to advance new ideas in their work. 

Please see eligibility requirements below. Applications due by October 10, 2022.

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The pursuit of craft necessitates a problem-solving mindset: Craft makers are ingenuitive explorers, material risk takers, and small business owners. They pursue new ideas and solutions for their work with empathy and deep understanding of their materials and processes. Their imagination and lifelong learning offer exciting opportunities for discovery and interdisciplinary innovation. But when craft artists are ready to bring their solutions and innovations to the next stage, they often lack the necessary finances and other support to be able to make investments toward their new direction. The Society of Arts + Crafts seeks to address this gap by providing a new platform of resources—financial, informational, and experiential through the Craft Innovation Jumpstarter.

Over time, the Craft Innovation Jumpstarter seeks to develop a rich community of problem solvers and risk takers, whether they are working in longstanding craft traditions or aiming to pioneer new kinds of processes, materials, and forms of expression. The Society will use the program to foster connections between the craft field and other domains that draw upon the know-how of craft practitioners.

The pursuit of greater equity, inclusion, and diversity in the craft field will be an important focus of the program.

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Craft Innovators in Our Community

Craft + Eco-Activism

Michelle Lougee, Artist-in-Residence 2019

Lougee brought together over 100 people of all ages to transform thousands of single-use plastic bags into a crocheted sculpture of sea creatures, and helped illustrate the impact discarded plastics have on the environment.

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Craft + Machining

Chris Bathgate, Mentor Program Speaker

Bathgate is a self-taught machinist and metalworker who combined media in a new way to create an entirely new craft, and then created a successful career by using an on-demand business model.

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Craft + Meteorology

Nathalie Miebach, CraftBoston Exhibitor

Miebach translates scientific data related to  meteorology, ecology and oceanography into woven sculptures and musical scores — exploring how visual and musical aesthetics can be used to translate scientific systems. 

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Craft Innovators Around the World

Glass + Healthcare

Matt Durran, a glass artist, never thought his skills would be applicable in the healthcare industry but his insight into the material possibilities of glass, alongside his ability to make creative leaps made him the obvious choice for a team of doctors at the Royal Free Hospital who needed custom-built, highly accurate noses. 

Knitting + Music

Irmandy Wicaksono created a knitted keyboard which can be folded, rolled up, and packed in luggage like a pair of socks. The prototype, which is also wearable, uses digital knitting techniques, intarsia, and interlock patterning, functional (electrically-conductive and thermoplastic) and non-functional fibers (polyester) to produce a seamless, 5-octave piano-patterned textile.

Embroidery + Prosthetics

Karina Thompson developed a form of electronic embroidery that can detect muscular activity and works with a business using her embroidery to direct prosthetic hands of amputees. Previously, at a residency in a school for children with visual impairments, she had students create woven panels based on patterns in numbers to form tactile “landmark” panels that help student navigation.

Embroidery + Braille

Balini Naidoo Engelbrecht invented clothes incorporating Braille recognition. Moved by a family member’s frustrations, Balini ignored the naysayers and pursued her vision to put Braille on fashion. Her range of outfits for men and women features neutral tones with screen-printed Braille gently incorporated into the overall look and feel of the entire outfit. 

Eligibility Requirements for Craft Innovation Jumpstarter

RESIDENCY:  Applicants must reside in New England (defined as Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont).

PURSUING INNOVATION: The goal of the Society’s Craft Innovation Jumpstarter Program is to financially support craft artists who are pursuing innovation in at least one of the following areas:

– A craft medium
– Craft tool development
– Craft education
– Writing and publication efforts
– An area not listed here (artist will be asked to specify)

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS:  Applicants must submit a completed application by Oct. 10, 2022. Required files include up to 10 images of current work (72 dpi minimum, JPG or PNG file types) and PDFs of the applicant’s response to the following prompts (300 words maximum):

– Your bio and/or craft background
– How you plan to innovate in craft
– Describe past and/or current projects
– Describe what you have learned and/or how your innovations may be applicable to other industries
– Describe how the SA+C’s grant would help you in reaching your next goal(s)
– If relevant to your goals, describe how your work/planned project could impact your craft community or other individuals/groups/communities/businesses

AWARDEE REQUIREMENTS:  If selected, awardees are responsible for the following:

Availability at Nov. 12, 2022 Award Ceremony in Boston, MA. $300 travel stipend available.
– Inclusion of the Society’s logo on artist’s website and/or social media with link to the Society’s website.
– Attend a virtual meeting with Society Executive Director Brigitte Martin to discuss artist’s work.
– Participate in a virtual Mentor Program event to discuss project.
– Submit a 1-page written report of results after one year.

Thank you to our partners and sponsors:

Fidelity Investments
Mass Cultural Council
Womens Jewelry Association
Society of North American Goldsmiths