For many years I have felt we need an organisation to support traditional crafts in the UK. I have lobbied and campaigned in the hopes of getting a government organisation but finally realised that it will be better if it comes from the craftspeople ourselves.
The last few weeks I have been in correspondence with many folk in the traditional craft world and we hope to create an organisation that can help preserve and promote some of our wonderful heritage of craft skills.
Today I met with Brian Crossly of the Basketmakers Association to discuss the way forward and together we visited the last sieve or riddle maker hand weaving garden riddles.
Here is Brian on the right and Mike Turnock the sieve maker on the left. Mike buys in 4″ slabs of beech and saws them into thin strips that are steam bent to make the sieve rims.
Mike is 63. He works very hard and can make a living at his trade. He can not afford to work part time because of the workshop overheads and he can’t afford to take anyone on. He says he will work past 65 but how long this trade will carry on for is uncertain.