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HANDMADE is a three-year funding programme run by the Nordic Culture Fund, 2016-2018. Applications are welcome from projects that explore the theme from a variety of angles and as part of which the participants, and the artistic scenes in which they operate, would benefit from working with partners in other Nordic countries. HANDMADE is part of the Fund’s work supporting innovative and dynamic artistic and cultural activity in the Nordic Region that is diverse, accessible and of high quality.

Funding in 2017 and 2018
From 2017, HANDMADE will be part of the Fund’s general programme of project funding. This means that there will be three deadlines for applications each year and that the Fund’s general terms, conditions and assessment criteria will apply.

One of HANDMADE’s objectives is to generate a higher number of applications for general project funding from circles involved in handmade art and crafts.

Also projects that made unsuccessful applications to the special HANDMADE pool in 2016 will be welcome to apply again, but the participants must refine their concept to address the reasons they were rejected the first time and tailor the project to the Fund’s general terms, conditions and assessment criteria.
The maximum grant will be DKK 500,000 and projects must not begin before the receive a response.

Read more about how to apply

First applications in 2016

The Fund set a deadline of 15 August 2016 for applications to a special DKK 3 million pool earmarked for HANDMADE. It received 39 applications – far more than expected – and the quality was extremely high. To accommodate this keen interest, an extra DKK 1 million was added to the pool, bringing it to a total of DKK 4 million. This allowed the Fund to provide grants to eight projects and to approve a OPSTART grant to a project which was interesting, but not quite ready to qualify for project funding.

The eight projects are:

Normally, the Fund caps applications at DKK 500,000 and 50% of total project budget, however, HANDMADE 2016 invited projects to apply for amounts ranging from DKK 500,000 to DKK 1 million and up to 85% of total project costs.

The assessment criteria were: HANDMADE aims to promote and stimulate handicrafts and handmade design by encouraging new Nordic and international partnerships and to help raise the visibility and profile of a wide range of handmade art forms and idioms. The spotlight is on projects that:

  • contribute to the development and visibility of handmade design and that focus on free, experimental and conceptual aspects
  • help challenge and break down traditional boundaries for handmade arts, crafts and design
  • include individuals or organisations from other disciplines and artistic genres.

The Fund’s general criteria about Nordic substance, quality, support and impact also applied.


HANDMADE experts
Christina Zetterlund from Sweden and Mari Savio from Finland acted as expert advisors.

Mari Savio (FI)
Mari Savio studied at Aalto University, and graduated as a clothing designer from TaiK (now Aalto University) in Helsinki. She has published several books on DIY and crafts and is an active practitioner. She is a board member of the Finnish Association of Design Learning and the Finnish Crafts Association/Friends of Finnish Handicraft. Savio has worked as a designer for various companies and as a ‘county artist’ for design.

She is the founder and initiator of MUTKU – Design Education for Primary Schools.

Christina Zetterlund (SE)
Christina Zetterlund is Professor of Arts and Crafts History and Theory at the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm. Most recently, she served as secretary to the national inquiry into Swedish public policy on the designed living environment. In 2003, she published her thesis ‘Design in the Information Age: On the history and practice of strategic design’.

She has worked as a curator at the Röhsska Museum and as an expert advisor to the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation. Between 2006 and 2008, she worked on the Design History research project in Sweden (funded by the Torsten and Ragnar Söderberg Foundations), which analysed how museums describe historical design objects in their exhibition materials.

She also wrote the recently published book Konsthantverk i Sverige (Applied Art in Sweden), volume 1, and is a freelance writer and curator.