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traditional crafts in the V&A and the Guardian today.

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Post by Robin Wood on 23rd March 2010, 11:55 pm

I am just back from the official press launch of the Heritage Crafts Association at the V&A. It was a great day and wonderful to see some of the country's top craftspeople. Most of the mastercrafts mentors and production team were there, Phil Harding from Time Team gave a speech and to coincide there was a really nice article on traditional crafts in the Guardian here.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/mar/22/heritage-crafts-at-risk

Will post some pics tomorrow.
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Post by MrsC on 24th March 2010, 7:53 am

Super - looking forward to seeing the pictures Robin.

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Post by chickenofthewoods on 24th March 2010, 7:59 am

It's been too long since I was last up at the V&A, one of my absolute favourite museums. I wanted to get up to Town for the Ife exhibiton too - shame they're not just a little bit closer together.

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Post by Guest on 26th March 2010, 10:51 am

I hope there is a way forward to start the apprenticeships but also the promotion of the skills and products available. After seeing the green wood workers master craft programme, Wood Troll said people won't pay 600pounds for a chair. I disagree. When I had money I definately would have bought one or two of these chairs as they are beautiful in themselves and useful and can be passed down the generations. I have furniture that is old and would like to think I could add to the stock! But when I was buying only the classic names were promoted.

So I think setting up guilds or so where customers can go to to find the products is as important as the training. And not just sold as art work (with the added mark up!)
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Post by Robin Wood on 26th March 2010, 11:03 am

That's a good point Zoe marketing is important though I think the way forward is helping folk with direct marketing via websites etc. The story of how a thing was made, who made it and where the raw materials came from are important, the food industry have done this very well with locally sourced specialty foods becoming much easier to source and people willing to pay.
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Post by Guest on 26th March 2010, 11:30 am

Yes I suppose that most people walk into a department store (or worse) to buy a chair. Dear John Lewis would want a mark up of in the least 100%....direct is the only way!

Saying that knowing the cutlery makers were in Sheffield also helped. This could be done vitually now I suppose. The bowl makers corner..The green chair grove...
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Post by Adrian on 26th March 2010, 11:39 am

Vastly important, I think, to differentiate craft from art.

One thing that turned me off from weaving was the Guildswomans sniffy dismissal for a beautiful practical piece as "oh we've seen this kind of thing before" and only seeming to value Trefs work as art and as an example of skill that would appeal to other weavers, rather than as a practical piece of craft.

Similarly I know people who will buy a beautiful handcrafted work and treat it like art rather than use it, because it costs so much, they are worried about damaging what should be a practical item.

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Post by Guest on 26th March 2010, 3:53 pm

Well put Badger. I love owning and using things that people have made...individuals that I know. Luckily I've had a cabinet maker and joiner in the family and now Wood Troll but that's the main route, family. I would buy hand made shawles and socks and hats and wear them with pride if I could get them from friends/community.

Also we have seen some pretty bad workmanship passed off as art...a crafts person would not have let it out of his workshop!
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