WORLD CRAFTS COUNCIL
Of Excellence for Handicrafts
About the Award
The WCC “Award of Excellence for Handicrafts” aims to encourage artisans to produce handicrafts using traditional skills, patterns and themes in an innovative way, in order to ensure the continuity and sustainability of these traditions and skills. It is WCC’s flagship programme for supporting craft producers.
The Award will be granted only to handicrafts produced from one or a combination of natural materials. Following is a list of some of the natural materials from which products can be made. This list is provided as a guide for producers and is by no means exhaustive:
- Textiles (e.g. cotton, silk, linen)
- Natural fibers (e.g. bamboo, vetiver, grass, rattan
- Ceramics (e.g. clay, earthenware, pottery, stoneware, porcelain)
- Wood (including paper and lacquer ware)
- Metal (e.g. silver, gold, bronze, iron, pewter)
- Stone (e.g. precious, semi-precious, jades)
- Others; materials not included in the above. There are two sub-categories:
- Other Natural resources (e.g. animal hide, shell, horn, bone, etc)
- Composite Materials (e.g. Acrylic Glass, Polycarbonate, etc)
The WCC “Award of Excellence for Handicrafts” in Asia Pacific Region
The Award of Excellence for Handicrafts, was established by UNESCO in 2001. Owing to its success, the programme was expanded worldwide until 2012. WCC since 2014 is continuing the programme under patronage of UNESCO within Asia Pacific Region. The Award is coordinated by the following sub-regional partner organizations:
South-East Asia: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Phillippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Timor Leste
Sub-Regional Partner: National Crafts association on a rotational basis.
South Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
Sub-Regional Partner: Craft Council of India (CCI)
Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan
East Asia: China, Hong Kong, Japan, Mangolia, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan
West Asia: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Bahrain, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, UAE, Yemen
South Pacific: American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, FSM (Pohnpei), Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Nauru, New Caledonia, Northern Miriana Islands, Norfolk Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Wallis & Futuna, Vanuatu.
Sub-Regional Partner: National Crafts association on a rotational basis
The producers of awarded products benefit in the following ways:
Certificate of excellence
Each product recognized with the WCC Award is given a certificate. The certificate can be used as a promotional tool (for a specific product or a product line) to attest the quality and authenticity of a product.
Training and capacity-building
WCC assists national and sub-regional partners in organizing workshops on product assessment, design and promotion for the producers of awarded products and programme applicants.
Producers of handicraft products and product lines from participating countries are invited and encouraged to submit their highest quality items for consideration. Please refer to the attached calendar for relevant dates in your region.
The evaluation generally takes place in August. Products that meet the programme standards receive the “Award of Excellence for Handicrafts.”
Products that have obtained the “Award of Excellence” will be announced in October. The form and number of certificates awarded is at the discretion of the evaluation panel designated by WCC, which asses each submission, and may vary from year to year.
Evaluation Criteria and Pre-conditions
A product that is granted the “Award of Excellence” meets the highest level of craft excellence and is distinguished as a benchmark for craft production. An international panel of experts, nominated by WCC evaluates submissions based on meeting ALL of the following four criteria:
Demonstrated excellence and standard–setting quality in craftsmanship: determined by the use of high quality materials, a high standard of technique and the special attention to manufacturing and finishing details.
Expression of cultural identity and traditional aesthetic values: demonstrated by a well-achieved application of aesthetic and cultural expression or traditional crafting techniques.
Innovation in design and production: demonstrated by an effective and successful blend of traditional and contemporary, or inventive and creative use of material, design, and production processes.
Marketability of the craft products with potential for the regional and/or international market: related to the functionality of the product, the safe use by potential buyers, a balanced price-quality relationship or the sustainability of production.
To be eligible and enter the evaluation, all submissions must first fulfill two pre-conditions. Products and processes must be:
Respect for the environment in materials and production techniques: Exemplified through the sustainable use of natural dyes, natural fibers, recycled materials and the use of materials and production processes that are environmentally friendly
Social responsibility: The producer must affirm that no labour law or copyrights was violated and no individual or group exploited unfairly at any stage in the production of a handicraft submitted for the Award programme.
Programme Regulations and Eligibility
1. The Awards is granted every two years by the World Craft Council (WCC), in collaboration with regional partners.
2. The Award is open to: individual craft producers, community groups, cooperatives, designers and other craft organizations that produce commercial handmade product lines, and are capable of maintaining adequate stock levels to fulfill orders.
3. The applicant must reside permanently (for individuals) or be registered (for organizations) in one of the participating countries.
4. Only finished “handicraft” products will be accepted. Please refer to the definition of handicrafts below:
- Products of a purely artistic nature are not eligible.
- Sections of large products (i.e. carpet sample) or semi-finished products (i.e. roll of textiles) are not eligible
5. Products submitted without a complete and signed application form will not be considered for the award.
6. The Award is only valid for one product or one product line and the certificate or name cannot be used for the promotion of other products manufactured by the same producer if these products have not been submitted to and awarded by the programme.
7. The certificate can be reproduced in unlimited number for promotional purposes. Applicants who are not direct producers are responsible for sharing the certificate and programme information with the artisan.
8. (a) Awarded products will be retained for educational and promotional purposes by WCC and/or its partners and cannot be sold.
(b) Products not selected can be returned to the producer at their own cost upon written request, through the national or sub-regional partners or national commissions, depending on the local organizational structure.
9. All patent, copyright and other reproduction rights are retained by the producer.
All of the application requirements must be adhered to for an application to be successful.
Please read carefully. Send your complete application to the national or regional partner listed.
Completed and signed application forms: Please provide all the requested information about the product, otherwise the product cannot enter the evaluation process and will be excluded.
Any details provided will be treated with confidentiality and will not be made public.
1) 12x17cm (5x7 inches) photo of the sample handicraft product photos of the major production steps
2) The photograph of the product will be used for the certificate and website. Therefore, it is important that a high quality picture is submitted (either in photo, slide or digital format).
Craft product sample(s): One sample of the craft product must be sent to WCC partners (national partner organization or sub-regional secretariat). The product will be used for the evaluation and for exhibitions.
Entry processing fee is the amount of US $20 (twenty dollars US): The collected fee will serve to cover entry processing and administrative costs and part of communication and exhibition expenses. It is up to the Region to decide what to do with this.
Dispatch cost: The cost of dispatching the application form and craft product samples to the project partner is to be borne by the applicant. Clearly indicate on the package: “Samples for submission to WCC Award of Excellence – no commercial value,” in order to avoid unnecessary custom fees. If there is any customs fee incurred it has to be borne by the applicant.
Good quality packing: Items that are broken or damaged during transportation will not be evaluated. Packaging of the products should ensure that during transit no damage occurs as damaged products cannot be considered for the Award.
For additional information, please consult the enclosed application form guidelines or contact us.
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