Craft is an interesting discipline as it spans both artistic and industrial production and can combine creativity, design, science and technology. There is a long history of utilitarian craft production in Nigeria following a traditional small to medium enterprise production model.
Key themes that have emerged from the literature on craft production in Nigeria are:
- Availability of cultural and natural resources for small-scale and industrial craft production - kaolin and glaze minerals for ceramicsand cotton and dye materials for textiles
- Decline of ceramics and textile industries associated with emphasis on oil
- The capacity of small-scale craft enterprise to generate employment and the potential for economic self-reliance through craft production (for women in particular) - government initiatives to alleviate poverty through small scale craft enterprise
- Gender dynamics in craft work - typically female labour associated with utilitarian house-craft, but more men engaging in more contemporary markets for decorative works or using new technologies and materials.
- Education systems – family, apprenticeships, historical government-funded training centres and higher education offering formal training
- The role of arts and crafts tourism in the sustainable development of local markets and small-scale production
- The appropriation of African designs and crafts by non-African companies in international markets (and their export back to Africa)
- Working towards industrialisation and modernizing craft production processes and the potential for national economic growth through industrial manufacturing of ceramics and textiles and competition in global markets
- Domestic challenges to modern industrialisation – expertise, infrastructure, technology, finance and policy
- Global challenges – competition with other countries with strong import markets to Nigeria (i.e. China and textiles) and smugglingwhich hinders local industry development.