THIS is the last issue of Craft Arts International that Jenie Thomas and I will publish. It was a hard decision for us to make and not without considerable reluctance, but under the present circumstances, an essential one. This final edition has been compiled and edited with the care and eye for detail with which our readers are accustomed, and hopefully will be enjoyed as a fitting farewell proclamation after 32 years at the helm. Launched in the pre-digital age of zinc plates, ink and paper, the magazine has straddled a number of new production platforms and print technologies, up to and beyond the “desktop publishing” syndrome that has since morphed into a hybrid of online narrowcasting, blogs and social media. Miraculously, the magazine has kept its original layout format, image/text ratio and physical appearance throughout the transition into the brave new information age. We have always regarded our time in charge of this magazine as a great privilege and also an honour to be entrusted with the documentation of the works of artists and craftspeople in the most sensitive and aesthetic way possible.
Of course, none of this could have been done without the ongoing support and commitment of artists, makers, writers, contributors, curators, public and commercial galleries, schools of art and, above all – you, our loyal readers. We realise this announcement may strike a dispiriting note for many who look forward to receiving the latest edition of this unique publication. But to finish on a brighter note, there is a real chance that this may not spell the end of Craft Arts International. As this issue goes to press we have entered into discussions with other arts organisations who are interested in becoming its new owners with the intention of possibly retaining the magazine’s existing style, design and mode of presentation. Obviously, such a seamless progression would be the best conclusion to our eventful 32-year watch.