An investigation of anodised aluminium decorative application as a technique for Malay contemporary craft practice

Saidin, Jeffry Azha (2004) An investigation of anodised aluminium decorative application as a technique for Malay contemporary craft practice. Doctoral thesis, University of Northumbria at Newcastle.


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The Malaysian aluminium industry has been of considerable economic importance to the country yet its craft potential for surface decoration has never been explored. Aluminium can absorb and hold dyes by anodising it, thereby colouring the surface of the metal. Batik is a popular craft on the Malaysian east coast and makes a major contribution to the Malaysian craft economy. It has long been established as an accepted means of creating decorative cloth for traditional and official costume using particular dyes and a traditional textile printing process. There are similarities to the natures of both these processes in terms of their use of dyes for decorative application. Thus,
the purpose of this research was to establish the appropriateness and applicability of developing an integrated process of batik and anodised aluminium, with the anticipation that it can offer decorative opportunities to Malay contemporary craft practice.
To fulfil this purpose, this research utilised an experimental practice-led methodology based on a combination of Action research and case study methods as a mode of inquiry. The research began with a review of the historical and contemporary practices of the decorative applications of batik and anodised aluminium and their geographic distribution, the industrial and socio-economic
context of aluminium resources and their usage. A survey of contemporary Malaysian craft practice compared data from the Malaysian Handicraft Development Corporation (MHDC) with
evidence from showrooms concerning the range of contemporary craft artefacts. Qualitative research involved semi-structured interviews with people connected with craft practice, which provided data on types of batik decoration. This identified areas of craft practice that lend themselves to experimentation with surface decoration and the potential range of collaborators for the experimental case studies. Experiments were conducted on the application of batik reactive dyes as the colourant for anodising aluminium and in relation to possible methods of creating surface patterns. Evidence from the experiments were used to create reference materials for case studies of craft practice on the application of the integrated process. The case studies then involved; presentation of the integrated process to a selected range of craft practitioners, a
questionnaire to determine their attitude and understanding to the process, their perception of its cultural value and market potential, hands-on experience of the integrated process guided by the reference materials derived from the earlier experiments, and semi-structured interviews to reveal the general appreciation and reconnneodations of craft practitioners to the process.
The findings from the research process demonstrate that batik dyes can be integrated with anodised aluminium as a new decorative process in Malaysian craft practice. Interviews with craft practitioners revealed that aluminium has not been previously utilized as a material for the crafts and the engagement of selected practitioners in the action research case studies showed that there is value in exploring this integrated process to create new opportunities for Malaysian crafts practice. The peer review from organisations represmting stakeholders from the Malaysian community correlated and validated these conclusions in terms of artistic, professional, educational and commercial standpoints. The findings indicate that the research constitutes a process for the introduction of other new materials and techniques to the Malaysian craft making community.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Thesis digitised by the British Library e-thesis online service, EThOS.
Subjects: W200 Design studies
W700 Crafts
Department: University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: Ellen Cole
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2019 15:35
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2023 15:06

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