University Of Tasmania

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Hold everything: central theme of 'the vessel' provides a trans-disciplinary conceptual context and an interdisciplinary approach across contemporary craft studios

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-23, 15:29 authored by Eriksmoen, AJ, Niklavs RubenisNiklavs Rubenis

In this paper, we describe the pilot version of Hold Everything, a new course utilising a transdisciplinary framework of a single theme to deliver layers of value from a packed, multidisciplinary studio experience to a seemingly bottomless well of metaphorical and conceptual territory. Students eager to "make something" as a break in routine received more than they bargained for as they expanded their awareness of objects, production, and definitions of "vessel".

While handmade objects are generally valued in contemporary society, there remains a lack of awareness around materials and processes. In the first instance, this course aimed to increase exposure to ANU School of Art & Design (ANU SOA&D) craft workshops. The value of making by hand has been recognised not only as the means to the end product, but for the multiple benefits to the maker ranging from achieving a state of flow, to personal fulfilment and development of self-identity, to expanding neural networks and capacity for lateral thinking. For casual students, increased awareness of the personal value of making objects by hand was a key outcome of the course.

Students also gained an expanded notion of 'the vessel' and its omnipresence. They interrogated metaphors and concepts of the vessel through tangible encounters with clay, timber, and fabric, taking into consideration the formal, the functional, and the personal. Through this lens, objects as mundane as a wooden spoon, a ceramic cube, and a printed tshirt provided students valuable new perspectives of themselves and the world around them.


Publication title

Proceedings of the 2017 ACUADS Conference






School of Creative Arts and Media


The Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools

Place of publication


Event title

ACUADS Conference

Event Venue

Australian National University

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


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Copyright unknown

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Design; The creative arts; Pedagogy