Paper presented at All Makers Now? – a two-day conference exploring craft values in 21st century production at Falmouth University’s Penryn Campus, Cornwall, on 10-11th July 2014. The conference presented a critical debate about a radically transformed vision of 21st century production and was aimed at makers, researchers, hackers, crafters, inventors, designers, economists, curators and critical theorists to explore craft values, traditional making processes and novel forms of engagement, participation, and interaction in digital and material cultures.
My paper explored the opportunities presented by using digital tools in the context of the Leach Pottery: a difficult prospect for some potters whose perception of ‘digital’ is associated with a lack of humanity, authenticity, and creativity. However, the paper begins with Bernard Leach’s writing which reveals a positive attitude to the relationship between technology and making: ‘The next step is to get rid of the idea of the machine as an enemy. The machine is an extension of the tool; the tool of the hand; the hand of the brain; and it is only the unfaithful use of machinery which we can attack’ (Leach 1928).