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Common Ground Between Crafts Collectives and Conservation (Paperback)
Crafts collectives form as a survival strategy for artisans in remote areas of the U.S. and abroad. Often artisans are influenced by their rural environment, using images of and resources from nature in their work. Some coops are situated near protected areas with local residents as members; others draw members from a large regional area with no tie to a protected area. Yet in some crafts coops in developing countries, members have incorporated a formal environmental agenda into the coop's by-laws. This research explored two crafts collectives in the U.S. to learn how craftsartists understand conservation in this country. My inquiry focused on the artisans' perceptions of their work, the collective and their community in regard to conservation. The results showed that individual artisans highly value, and are knowledgeable about, their local ecology but do not take formal environmental action as a collective. I propose a model for integrating the ecological, economic and sociopolitical actions of artisan members. The implications of this research for those concerned about crafts and ecology are significant; there is potential for collaboration between artisans and conservationists.