Made in Cape Breton: Examining the Relationship Between Craft Practice and Place
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In this thesis, I examine the relationship between craft practice and place, situating my case study on Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island. I consider the dynamics of how craft is made, marketed, and distributed in relation to the elements of a specific location, including the regional political economy, physical geography, embodied perceptions, and history. Supplemented by academic and grey literature, the thesis draws on data collected via ethnographic fieldwork involving semi-structured interviews with craftspeople and regional craft representatives. I argue that the experiences of craft producers and organizations on Cape Breton are influenced by place in many ways, with five key themes structuring the thesis: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and support within the craft sector; the impact of geography; the power of community relations; the role of marketing and tourism; and the effect of evolving Internet accessibility. Place, then, shapes craft practices, and a consideration of place enriches craft studies.