Frances Liardet, who holds degrees from Oxford and Bristol Universities, began her exploration of craft practices by examining skill traditions in ancient boatbuilding.
She describes her work as “an experimental project involving the reproduction of Mediterranean Group I core-formed alabastra. It consists of an apprenticeship in the making of these vessels, during which I will carry out a series of carefully constructed experiments. . . . This project forms part of a systematic enquiry into the typology which, although it can be categorized by form and style, can fruitfully be reassessed as the product of a number of hand work traditions developed and sustained by individual groups of artisans.”
“Artifacts which form coherent typologies such as Mediterranean Group I stem necessarily from durable craft traditions, which themselves arise from the repeated transmission of craft skills,” she said. “However, there is relatively little archaeological literature which considers the specific processes by which craft skills are transmitted—that is to say, taught and learned. Consequently the explanatory potential of studies on teaching and learning for archaeological typologies has not been addressed.”