Hand teaches hand: Craft education in Denmark


27 April 2023

Hanne Brøbech Sønnichsen, from https://dkod.dk/kultur-er-meget-mere-end-besoegstal-og-billetsalg/

We speak with Hanne Brøbech Sønnichsen about the arguments over craft education in Denmark today.

Hanne Brøbech Sønnichsen is the chairperson of Danish Crafts and Design. For the organisation’s Formkraft publication, she recently wrote ⁠Greasy Fingers and Practical Research Help Craft Out of the Display Case ⁠ which reflects on the student revolt against the lack of technical education in their craft program.

In this article, she distinguishes between “practitioners of craft” and “craft artists”.

“That the students see themselves more as practitioners of craft rather than craft artist (kunsthåndværkere) is perfectly fine. We must – and this also applies to us at DKoD (Danish Crafts & Design Association)- clear up the concepts and remember that ‘craft’ gives associations to handwork, whereas ‘kunsthåndværk’ signals that there is also a certain aesthetic ambition involved.”

“Artistic craft is something essential and valuable that we must pass on to the next generation. Otherwise, the basic know-how and foundation for Danish design will lose its shape.”

In this podcast, we learn of the background to this controversy, the specifically Danish understanding of craft, and also her opinions about craft education. Underlying this is her philosophy that “hand teaches hand”.

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