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Crafts issue 286: January/February 2021

Speaking across divides

For many of the makers in this issue, craft is a language – a way to communicate across cultural and social divides without words. In South Africa, we visit ceramic artist Andile Dyalvane, who has developed a unique vocabulary of symbols drawn from the Xhosa culture of the Eastern Cape that he uses to heal rifts. We speak to a group of contemporary artists in the Arctic Circle, for whom the craft and material culture of the Sámi people is a unifying force against threats to their traditions and communities. And in the UK we meet emerging talent Anya Paintsil, whose sculptural textiles are threaded with humour and a sharp critique about racism.

Elsewhere, a group of designers, artists and makers channel their problem-solving skills into practical solutions for the common good, an urbanist explores how craft could save our cities post-COVID-19, and actor Jeremy Irons offers an ode to the skilled boat-builders near his home in Ireland.

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