Digitally interpreting traditional folk crafts

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T. Vilbrandt, C. Vilbrandt, G. Pasko, C. Stamm, A. Pasko, Digitally interpreting traditional folk crafts, IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 31, No. 4, July/Aug. 2011, pp. 12-18.
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Abstract: The necessity of computer-based preservation and interpretation of traditional folk crafts is validated by the decreasing number of masters, fading technologies, and crafts losing economic ground. We present a long-term applied research project on the development of a mathematical basis, software tools, and technology for application of desktop or personal fabrication using compact, cheap, and environmentally friendly fabrication devices in traditional crafts. We illustrate the properties of this new modeling and fabrication system using several case studies involving the digital capture of traditional objects and craft patterns, which we also reuse in modern designs. The test application areas for the development are traditional crafts from different cultural backgrounds, namely Japanese lacquer ware and Norwegian carvings. Our project includes modeling existing artifacts, Web presentations of the models, automation of the models fabrication, and the experimental manufacturing of new designs and forms.

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