Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design


In what way can making things by hand help people today
Project overview
Student name
Sarolt Sógor
Degree level
Year of project
My final project, following up on my thesis, is about exploring manuality and tacit experience.
Based on material pairings I consciously follow the production process and observe the change between my implicit knowledge and explicit attention. As a form of realisation for these material pairings I chose vessels and bowls, as they are closely connected to the human hand in function, appearance and in etymology. I used metal raising and hand forming as techniques; I consider these techniques essential. They are appropriately demanding from a physical and emotional point of view to capture my attention, and they serve as tools of meditation and therapy. From the semantical collection of the words bowl, vessel, palm, hand, retaining, grasping, generosity and offering, I arrived to two conclusions, involving two series of objects and one stand-alone item. They are unique, one-of-a-kind collectors’ items. One series of objects investigates the connection of metal and glass, while the other explore the relation of the stand-alone object, hand and shell.
In my thesis I explore ways in which the performance of manual activities can help people today. First I discuss the different meanings of the concepts of craft and craftsmanship. Then I line up examples for different types of object making with the intention of drawing up a wide spectrum. I briefly cover the possible conflicts and difficulties in communication in between the different fields. Through two chapters - about the development of abilities, and the relation between human, the human hand and machines - I argue that manual work is inherently a human activity and aids our psychological wellbeing. As a conclusion I offer solutions to the problems in today’s Hungarian education system. I outline the difficulties stemming from excessively theoretical teaching and what can change if practical training is given more ground. I reflect on the previous chapters and draw the conclusion that manual activities can contribute to the creation of a more liveable society.
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