What are the British good at? What are the first 3 things that spring to mind?:
1) Waiting in a queue
2) Dry sense of humour
3) Binge drinking.
All agree? – OK!
Think of another….craftsmanship? YES! I shout!
The Brits have been doing this for years, centuries even. The heritage we have huge when it comes to pottery, ceramics, leather-ware, even fabric manufacturing but what with the desire for the Swedish blue and yellow giants of this world, the local and unique arts and crafts communities have been disappearing for years. Quite simply there is no mainstream demand for it anymore and there is a real lack of appreciation when it comes to locally crafted pieces; unique pieces that are collectible.
But I’m not ruling myself out in this demographic. I’m completely guilty of buying cheap-er rather than getting bespoke because my financial situation is pitched at this level but it doesn’t stop me from buying the occasional collectible from a small artist to support their business and the country’s legacy.
So reading in the Guardian yesterday filled me with a sense of pride and hope for an industry that shouldn’t be allowed to die out.
Crafted is an organisation set up to mentor new craftsmen and women in their chosen area.
Through business workshops and mentoring (a word I love at the moment) 12 artists a year are selected (by a panel of industry craftsmen) for this development program and are given advise on business and networking to help them propel their business from a fledgling one to a fledgling few in the space of a year.
With so many heritage craft industries waiting for a helping hand and with a demand out their for the product a concept like this is not rocket science, it’s logical and it’s brilliant.