Craftsmanship is a podcast discussing technical skill in the contemporary artworld told through the oral history of fabricators. 

Who are fabricators? A fabricator is someone hired to assist in the production of an artwork. Unlike the traditional artist/apprentice relationship that could contain an element of mentorship, a fabricator provides a technical skill to an artist as a paid service. 

Fabricators can be found in foundries, darkrooms, woodshops and laboratories in roles ranging from master printmaker to studio assistant. They are part of the unseen mechanism of the contemporary artworld and their skills produce objects essential to a global art economy, a market currently estimated to generate over $60 billion dollars in annual sales. With scholars and institutions meticulously documenting the intentions of artists, who is recording the stories of these craftspeople? 

This podcast will document fabricator’s experiences to shine a light on the amazing breadth of talent in the field and to capture this particular moment in the artworld. I’m interested in conversations about hierarchies within craft vs. concept, questions of intellectual property, trends of de-skilling in art, wealth disparity, and the conflict felt by many fabricators between working in art production and being artists in their own right.

Hosted by Harriet Salmon