Dr Stephen Knott


I am a writer, researcher and lecturer in contemporary craft, craft theory and histories of everyday life.

I joined Kingston in December 2015 after lecturing posts at Liverpool Hope University, Camberwell College of Arts (University of the Arts, London), the Royal College of Art, the University of Creative Arts, and Buckingham University. I have a range of teaching experience on both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

I am the author of Amateur Craft: History and Theory (Bloomsbury, 2015), a book derived from my AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA) PhD at the Royal College of Art/Victoria and Albert Museum. 

Additionally, I am one of the editors of The Journal of Modern Craft and have written articles for a range of publications, both academic, such as Design and Culture, West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History and Material Culture; and non-academic, including Crafts, Ceramic Review, Art Jewelry Forum. In 2018 Stephen curated Tendenser at Galleri F15 in Moss, Norway, a showcase of contemporary craft and edited the accompanying catalogue, and is co-curator for Presence and Absence at the Crafts Study Centre (2021-22), an exhibition which responds to the lack of diversity within the Centre's collections.

Academic responsibilities

Senior Lecturer in Critical and Historical Studies


  • PhD History of Design/Jewellery & Metal, Royal College of Art/V&A Museum
  • MA European History, University College London
  • BA (Hons) History, University College London
  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy

Teaching and learning


My research covers the broad terrain of modern craft history and theory, with a particular focus on everyday making. The renewal of interest in a range of craft practices today foregrounds the ambiguous role of amateur making in modernity and its relationship with art and design practice in contemporary and historical contexts. I explored these themes and the historical antecedents to the contemporary revivals of craft in Amateur Craft: History and Theory, published by Bloomsbury in 2015. In this book I covered a range of much-maligned practices, and I investigated the relevance of amateur making to contemporary art and design practice.

Other areas of research include the turn to the decorative and applied arts in France and Britain in the late nineteenth century, modern histories of tooling and craft instruction (kits and manuals), histories of the Art & Crafts and Studio Craft Movements and inter-disciplinary pedagogy in art and design.

My current work develops these themes by exploring the quality and durations of free time in which making takes place.

Research student supervision

Main supervision

Other supervision


Number of items: 45.


Knott, Stephen [Reviewer] (2023) Book Review of: 'The pursuit of pleasurable work : craftwork in twenty-first century England' by Trevor H. J. Marchand. Craft Research, 14(1), pp. 163-167. ISSN (print) 2040-4689

Knott, Stephen (2020) Fancy dress as an amateur craft. Performance Research, 25(1), pp. 10-17. ISSN (print) 1352-8165

Knott, Stephen [Reviewer] (2018) Book Review of "Documents on contemporary craft : material perceptions" by Knut Astrup Bull and Andre Gali (eds.). Kunst og Kultur, 101(4), pp. 264-267. ISSN (print) 0023-5415

Knott, Stephen (2018) Time after time. Crafts, 273, pp. 46-49. ISSN (print) 0306-610X

Knott, Stephen [Reviewer] (2018) The power of cræft : Book Review of "Cræft : how traditional crafts are about more than just making" by Alexander Langlands. Crafts(270), pp. 66-67. ISSN (print) 0306-610X

Knott, Stephen (2017) Book review of: 'Arts and Crafts Stained Glass' by Peter Cormack. The Journal of Modern Craft, 10(1), pp. 111-115. ISSN (print) 1749-6772

Knott, Stephen (2017) The full picture of 3D printing. Exhibition review of 3D Printing: The Good, The Bad and The Beautiful, National Centre for Craft and Design, Sleaford. Crafts, 265, pp. 77-78. ISSN (print) 0306-610X

Chandler, Kimberley [Interviewee] and Knott, Stephen [Interviewer] (2017) Statement of practice : a conversation with Laura Ellen Bacon. Journal of Modern Craft, 10(3), pp. 293-308. ISSN (print) 1749-6772

Knott, Stephen (2016) Money, number, matter. Art Jewelry Forum,

Knott, Stephen (2016) It’s time to get serious about sloppy. Book review of: 'Sloppy Craft: Postdisciplinarity and the Crafts' edited by Elaine Cheasley Paterson and Susan Surette. Crafts, 258, pp. 61-62. ISSN (print) 0306-610X

Knott, Stephen (2016) A sense of an overview, yes; a sense of dynamism, less so. Art Jewelry Forum,

Knott, Stephen (2016) The peculiar problems of process. Book review of 'Craftwork as Problem Solving: Ethnographic Studies of Design and Making' edited by Trevor H. J. Marchand. Crafts, 259, p. 77. ISSN (print) 0306-610X

Knott, Stephen [Reviewer] (2015) Book review of : 'Hooked rugs : encounters in American modern art, craft and design' by Cynthia Fowler. Textile History, 46(1), pp. 135-137. ISSN (print) 0040-4969

Knott, Stephen (2015) Dinner in motion. Ceramics : Art & Perception, 101, pp. 36-39. ISSN (print) 1035-1841

Knott, Stephen (2015) Labour of love. Crafts, 255, pp. 48-51. ISSN (print) 0306-610X

Knott, Stephen (2014) Concours des vitraux de Jeanne d'Arc : the multiple ways of materializing the past in late nineteenth-century French stained glass. West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture, 21(2), pp. 192-215. ISSN (print) 2153-5531

Knott, Stephen (2014) Amateur work: Reader participation and dialogism in late-nineteenth-century domestic design advice. Interiors: Design/Architecture/Culture, 5(2), pp. 161-177. ISSN (print) 2041-9112

Knott, Stephen (2014) Insight into beauty. Ceramics : Art & Perception, 98, pp. 108-110. ISSN (print) 1035-1841

Knott, Stephen (2014) This is one I made earlier : Bernhard Schobinger’s faux slapdashes at Manchester Art Gallery. Art Jewelry Forum,

Knott, Stephen (2014) Working class, middle class, upper class, evening class : supplementary education and craft instruction, 1889–1939. The Journal of Modern Craft, 7(1), pp. 7-32. ISSN (print) 1749-6772

Knott, Stephen (2013) 3-D printing : hot air? Art Jewelry Forum,

Knott, Stephen (2013) Everyday repair. Fixperts,

Knott, Stephen (2013) The Amateur State. Either/And online project conceived by National Media Museum,

Knott, Stephen (2013) Design in the age of prosumption: The craft of design after the object. Design and Culture, 5(1), pp. 45-67. ISSN (print) 1754-7075

Knott, Stephen (2013) Editorial introduction. Journal of Modern Craft, 5(3), pp. 255-257. ISSN (print) 1749-6772

Knott, Stephen (2013) Life and Still Life. Ceramic Review, 260, pp. 26-27. ISSN (print) 0144-1825

Knott, Stephen (2012) Keen House: Scale and the architectures of enthusiasts. Design and Culture, 4(1), pp. 75-78. ISSN (print) 1754-7075

Knott, Stephen (2011) Where the artful meets the amateur. Crafts, 231, pp. 60-62. ISSN (print) 0306-610X

Knott, Stephen (2010) Hans Stofer : Walk the Line. Art Jewelry Forum,


Sparke, Penelope , Kirkham, Patricia , Scholze, Jana , Knott, Stephen and Ioannidou, Ersi, eds. (2023) Interiors in the era of Covid-19 : interior design between the public and private realms. London, U.K. : Bloomsbury. 312p. ISBN 9781350294219 (In Press)

Knott, Stephen, ed. (2018) Watching making. Moss, Norway : Galleri F15/Punkt O. 100p. ISBN 9788278480731

Knott, Stephen (2015) Amateur craft : history and theory. London, U.K. : Bloomsbury. 160p. ISBN 9781472577344

Book Section

Knott, Stephen (2018) Give it Time/Watching Making = Gi Det Tid/Se Ting Bli Til. In: Knott, Stephen, (ed.) Watching Making. Moss, Norway : Galleri F15/Punkt O. ISBN 9788278480731

Knott, Stephen (2018) The division of tooling. In: Edwards, Joann and Price, Perry A., (eds.) Tom Loeser : Please Please Please. San Francisco, U.S. : Museum of Craft and Design.

Knott, Stephen (2017) Translating making. In: Bates, Anna, (ed.) Perspectives on making : the journey of the Maker Library Network. London, U.K. : British Council. pp. 16-20. ISBN 9781527205703

Knott, Stephen (2017) Amateurism. In: Studievic, Hélène and Vaissière, Maryse, (eds.) Medusa : jewellry & taboos. Paris, France : Des musées de la Ville de Paris. pp. 70. ISBN 9782759603473

Knott, Stephen (2017) Virtuosity. In: Studievic, Hélène and Vaissière, Maryse, (eds.) Medusa : jewellry & taboos. Paris, France : Des musées de la Ville de Paris. pp. 64. ISBN 9782759603473

Knott, Stephen (2016) Nils Hint: Shadow. In: Lignel, Benjamin, (ed.) On and Off. Art Jewelry Forum. ISBN 9780986422911

Knott, Stephen (2016) A critique of specialism. In: Blamey, David, (ed.) Specialism. London, U.K. : Open Editions. ISBN 9780949004017

Chandler, Kimberley and Knott, Stephen (2016) A show of hands : the spectacle of apprenticeship. In: Brown, Christie , Stair, Julian and Twomey, Clare, (eds.) Contemporary clay and museum culture: ceramics in the expanded field. Abingdon, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 105-114. ISBN 9781472470379

Knott, Stephen (2014) It's not perfect, but very good: technology and craft. In: Borda-Pedreira, Joakim and Steinsvag, Gjertrud, (eds.) Materiality matters. Oslo, Norway : Norwegian Crafts. (Documents on contemporary crafts, (2)) ISBN 9788299933513

Knott, Stephen (2013) Department 21 : the craft of discomfort. In: Ravetz, Amanda , Kettle, Alice and Felcey, Helen, (eds.) Collaboration in craft. London, U.K. : Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 130-141. ISBN 9781472520104

Knott, Stephen (2013) A theory of the paint-by-number surface. In: Kelley, Victoria and Adamson, Glenn, (eds.) Surface Tensions. Manchester, U.K. : Manchester University Press. ISBN 9780719087516


Figueiredo, Deirdre [Curator] and Knott, Stephen [Curator] (2021) Presence and Absence. .

Knott, Stephen [Curator] (2018) Tendenser 2018: Give it time. Tendenser 2018: Give it time. .

This list was generated on Fri Sep 22 07:22:25 2023 BST.