Sunday, April 19, 2020

A "Crafting during Coronavirus" research project—and your chance to participate!

During this 2020 quarantine, anyone with a hobby has likely made [more] time for it—in an effort to preserve mental and emotional well-being. Others have renewed an interest or turned to learning a new craft during this stay-at-home period. During wartimes of the past, people—mostly women—knitted, sewed, and stitched for those on the front lines or for their family's well-being, but their voices, feelings and stories are largely undocumented.

Here's a chance to have our craft-making "war against the coronavirus" stories and experiences gathered and documented for posterity and also help with gathering data for important research.
Sample diary page for "Crafting during Coronavirus"
research project. Photo courtesy of Naomi Clarke.

About the "Crafting during Coronavirus" research project
Naomi Clarke, a PhD student in Social Work at University of Bristol, UK, is conducting a research project called, "Crafting during Coronavirus." I hope you will consider helping this PhD student in her research by participating.

The research has two objectives. One is to explore the role of craft during the Covid-19 pandemic. The other is to have an interactive site for recording and sharing experiences, purposeful activities and creative accomplishments of the crafters and makers.

When I contacted Naomi about her research project, she said, "... so many people are using crafting for well-being (whether consciously or not) during this difficult time." And added, "There's something incredibly powerful about having a tangible item to show for your time, effort, energy, focus... a positive output during a time that is so difficult for so many."

Naomi is interested in our stories! She is gathering and documenting crafting experiences, feelings, achievements, connections and tangible outcomes. She is a quiltmaker herself with an enthusiasm for EPP [English paper piecing]. Naomi will be capturing crafting stories using a diary format that she is providing to participants. There is a short online participation form and information about privacy and security on her website. Any demographic information is used for larger quantitative data analysis and themes. No individuals will be identified. She and her advisor are still working out how her findings and conclusions will be available for access by the public once the work is finished.

Naomi said that a conclusion date of the research has not been determined (as of April 16, the date of our conversation) since there is no clear end-date for the lockdown. She thinks the impact of craft could also extend beyond the quarantine period and into the future (in terms of businesses, guild meetings, well-being, work, etc.). She is interested in including this aspect and data in her thesis as well.
Scrappy heart block. One of my Quarantine 2020 projects.

Details and Links
For details and to access the participation forms, here are links that Naomi provided:

If you are able, please consider helping Naomi by contributing to her "Crafting during Coronavirus" research project. This will be valuable research information and the voices and stories of the makers, sewers, quilters, knitters, needlework artisans and crafters will be documented!

I remember when I did my Masters thesis and had to find willing participants for the experiment portion of my research. It's a time consuming process and I appreciated everyone that took the time to help me out. A project like this takes a village!

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