A dialogue in action: Making, learning and reflecting

No Thumbnail Available
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
Degree programme
Master’s Programme in Contemporary Design
“A Dialogue in Action” explores the meaning of learning through hands in the creative process. This research idea arose from the author’s personal struggles in a career transition, experiencing gaps between professional knowledge in graphic design and learning experiences in the ceramic field. By exploring the process of learning a ceramic technique, this thesis examines the role of hands-on practice and how it contributes to personal growth and creative identity building. In order to achieve this research goal, this thesis incorporates a literature review on key concepts such as craft and creative identity with hands-on experiments in the ceramic making by reflecting over the process. To reframe the craft practice as a platform for learning new skills and shaping one’s creative identity, this thesis utilises two research methods: practice-led research and autoethnographic writing. Both research methods structure the main production part of the research by using visual and textual documentation of the ceramic making processes that gradually integrates the practical knowledge and personal reflection into learning outcomes in the production. Intertwining the two methodological approaches in the research process allows the exploration of the craft practice and self-reflection in the learning narrative. Ultimately, two types of artefacts were emerged from the thesis, Clays on the Canvas and Ceramics on the Wall, which portray the values of handcraft in the creative process. As a result, the final production links to personal development as a mean of establishing a creative identity. The aim of the production is not just to master a ceramic technique, which is the Nerikomi technique in this research case but also to employ the learning experience and process into a way of capturing meanings in an incomplete artistic work. This thesis identifies the significant reflective role in craft practice, making by hands, which stimulates one’s creative process as well as the meaningfulness of the physical space and tools for the craft practitioner. Furthermore, it provides a view to perceive the uncertainty, unpredictability and impreciseness in the learning process as essential values in one’s creative identity development.
Mäkelä, Maarit
Thesis advisor
Aktaş, Bilge
Jokinen, Eeva
craft, making by hands, learning process, reflection in action, creative identity, practice-led research
Other note