Contemporary Makers Project

Helen Marton Contemporary Crafts Senior Lecturer Wins CinBA Award

The CinBA project invited expressions of interest from contemporary makers to become part of an international, interdisciplinary research project, offering contemporary makers the means to engage with and reinterpret materials and objects from the very origins of craft production, whilst broadening networks within and beyond the contemporary craft community.

Creativity and Craft Production in the Middle and Late Bronze Age (CinBA) is a major 3 year HERA-funded project led by Dr Jo Sofaer at the University of Southampton. CinBA partners are University of Cambridge, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Trondheim, Norway), The Archaeological Museum – Zagreb (Croatia), National Museum of Denmark (Copenhagen, Denmark), Natural History Museum Vienna (Austria), Lands of Legends Archaeological Park Lejre (Denmark), and the Crafts Council.
The project provides opportunities for makers to explore the role that the contemporary craft maker can play in archaeological enquiry, bringing material expertise and creative skills. The research is structured around four themes – the qualities of materials; motifs and skills; spatial and temporal trends; and the perception of prehistoric craft today.
Within the scope of this final theme, the research will explore the potential impact prehistoric craft objects may have today as a source of inspiration and means of creative engagement for different groups, including contemporary makers.
From 98 applicants, a shortlist of 20 makers were invited to attend an Introduction Day at the Crafts Council in London during the first week in May 2012. At this event, makers met members of the project team, discussed the research project in more detail, and talked briefly about their own practice and interest in the research.
Helen was selected to participate in the research programme over 12 months, culminating in the CinBA conference in 2013. In addition she has been contacted by a member of the selection panel and asked to present at a conference being held in honor of eminent Archaeologist David Peacock. Helen is currently the only contemporary artist working with Gabbroic clay dug directly from the Lizard Peninsula and used by Bronze Age potters. Professor David Peacock wrote extensively about his research into this clay deposit.