Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Heritage Crafts

I blogged a few weeks ago about how excited I was to see the first episode of "Mastercrafts", a BBC series all about traditional British crafts. I've continued to enjoy this series as it's progressed and I really hope they make a second series!

Have you been watching it? Did you have a favourite episode? I found the episodes on stonemasonry and stained glass particularly fascinating as I used to work in a Cathedral. But as someone who works with textiles my favourite was (predictably) the weaving episode, not least because it's given me so much respect for weavers!

With traditional crafts on the brain, I was delighted to discover the Disappearing Acts series over on The Guardian. It's a series of articles and audio slideshows (slideshows with a voiceover reading the relevant article) featuring traditional trades which are nowadays rarely practised and in some cases are in serious risk of dying out.

The articles themselves are really interesting and some of the images are just wonderful. I'm really looking forward to working through them all during many tea breaks. If you want some serious jaw-dropping crafty eye candy start with this slideshow about stucco.

If you want to read more about British heritage crafts and how to support them, the Heritage Crafts Association is a great place to start.


Islay said...

I've only seen the weaving episode, but I thought it was fascinating! I was worried they were going to make it a bit of a reality TV thing, focusing more on the personalities of the participants, but it was really well balanced and interesting.

I'm sort of expecting it to be my favourite too, once I've seen the others...

fridica said...

I watched the first episode after you wrote about it and then got completely hooked! I was so impatient for every weekend and every new episode! I loved them all... I think my favorite was the first one though, I don't know if it was just me, but as the series progressed I felt like they were paying less and less attention to the actual processes of the craft and showed less of the candidates working. All in all it was a fascinating series and I was so sad when I realized the stonemasonry was the last episode. Thank you so much for drawing my attention to it!

J said...

What a great series - My favourites were the Stained Glass and the Weaving episodes. I was so inspired by the work of Margo Selby's that I was straight on the web trying to find a course I could join - saddly I couldn't seem to find anything in my area :(

Fiona said...

I watched the weaving and blacksmithing. Both were fantastic though it thoroughly put me off weaving. Looked like such hard work.

JO SOWERBY said...

i started with the weaving as my friend's friend tref was the winner!!!! then i watched the stained glass one on iplayer.......they were excellent and i would love to try them both although id like to do bookbinding, thatching, conservation of tapestry, .............the list could go on oh yes and the ancient craft of felt beauties, :))
Jo xxxx

XquisitebyLadyM said...

I wish we could get that series here! There are so many arts that are in danger of being lost and I think that anything that brings attention to them is fantastic!

jombolom said...

I only saw the stained glass and weaving programmes, but I was fascinated by both. It made me want to try weaving, and I've been looking for local classes (unfortunately, they're non-existent). Ah well, I'll keep looking.

You might be interested in this book.

BugsandFishes said...

Yes, there was definitely a lot of focus on the personalities and personal struggles - I think in the best instances this worked well to show how tricky a craft could be but sometimes it felt like the TV producers thought the crafts themselves weren't enough to hold our interest.

I could have happily watched more about the history of the craft and all the different processes involved that must have hit the cutting room floor without any of the drama but I think us crafty types might have different demands of our telly programs than non craft-obsessed people! :)


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