A dip into wicker work at the OpenAir museum Bokrijk

'Working wicker digitally' is one of the pilot cases of the Tracks4Crafts project, coordinated by the OpenAir Museum Bokrijk in Belgium and their centre of expertise VAKlab.

For the project, VAKlab and the Craftsmanship and Heritage Platform will do a 'wicker work' experiment for using new technologies to transmit the Traditional Crafts Knowledge.

Supported by a videographer and with expertise from experts of the department of Product Development of the University of Antwerp, the experiment will explore AR/VR/AI in transmitting TCK and to explore the added value of these new technologies in the transfer from generation to generation.

 At the end of January, Julie went to VAKlab in Bokrijk to have a focus group meeting with two very passionate wicker workers, in order to reconstruct the crafts ecosystem.

It was a very interesting talk about learning, involving new generations, using new materials and tools, but also working together with nature. Both wicker workers were eager to transmit their knowledge and expertise to new generations, but also encountered some difficulties in doing so.

Julie learned that wicker work is also a very contemporary thing, with an increasing interest from larger companies, the funeral sector and (interior) architects.

The crafts is very alive, so it is important that the TCK is safeguarded.

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Tracks for Crafts promotes the timeless tapestry of European goldsmithing and jewelry artistry