What goes around comes around? Craft revival, the 1970s and today | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2040-4689
  • E-ISSN: 2040-4697



This article critically reviews the concept of ‘revival’ in relation to making in contemporary culture. The 1970s are a period, which craft historians and theorists generally acknowledge as one of revival and reinvention of craft practice across Britain. Today, we find ourselves in the midst of what has also been described as a ‘craft renaissance’. This article will explore some of the causal factors that led to the craft revival of the 1970s to examine whether parallels can be drawn with today’s developments. The purpose of the article is to determine whether craft revivals share any common identifying characteristics, or whether each is unique to its particular period in time. Three key factors which contributed to the revival of the craft in the 1970s will be examined: the role of the state, the ideological relationship of craft to contemporary fine art, and the socio-economic climate of the time. The comparison demonstrates that although today’s craft revival shares many points of commonality with the 1970s, revivals are not simply a repetition of the past. Because craft is in a constant process of reinvention and reinvigoration, so-called ‘revivals’ are instead uniquely complex and historically changing, reflecting more about the present and the future than the past.


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