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On Craftsmanship

On Craftsmanship

Towards a New Bauhaus

Christopher Frayling

Oberon Books

“Each essay is itself a beautifully constructed blend of storytelling and argument, as well as truly offering a goldmine of quotations and citations to pursue in further reading.”New Design Magazine


“On Craftsmanship covers impressive ground over its short 144 pages. Christopher Frayling’s inherent knowledge of art and design makes this book a joy to read.”Manufacture and Industry


“Covers the concept of craftsmanship, which has never been more relevant and timely as today. In this series of linked essays transcribed from his lectures and talks [Frayling] explores multifaceted themes; through education, history and literature. Written within the contemporary landscape and spoken in the dialect of the digital age he takes an unsentimental look at craft today.” –FAD Magazine


‘Craftsmanship has again become fashionable in high places, just as it did in the last few recessions.’


The concept of craftsmanship has never been as relevant and timely as it is today. Assailed on all sides by – among many other tendencies - flexible working, short-termism, portfolio careers, quick-fix training and the cult of celebrity, it has recently re-entered public debate with a new sense of urgency. Why?

A bestseller in hardback, this series of linked essays by the man who ran the Royal College of Art for many years is now available in paperback, and explores the crafts in education, in history and literature, in the contemporary arts landscape, in the language, in the digital age, taking an unsentimental, hard-headed look at craftsmanship today. Only when the romantic cobwebs have been blown away, it argues, can the key importance of the crafts be fully understood.

Sir Christopher Frayling was until recently Rector at the Royal College of Art and Chairman of Arts Council England and of the Design Council. An historian, writer and award winning broadcaster on radio and television, he has published eighteen books on the arts, design and film. He was once described as ‘the Kenneth Clark of popular culture’. In the year 2001, Christopher was knighted for ‘services to art and design education’.


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