This morning I was sent a new report on Heritage Crafts Training in Australia, it is a PDF which I can forward to anyone who is interested. I learned quite a bit from it amongst other things I did not know that there was a UNESCO convention on “intangible cultural heritage” It is inspiring here is a brief excerpt of what it has to say on crafts.
“Traditional craftsmanship” seems in many ways to be the most tangible of domains in which intangible heritage is expressed, but the focus of the Convention is not on craft products as such, but rather on the skills and knowledge crucial for their ongoing production. Any efforts to safeguard traditional craftsmanship must focus not on preserving craft objects—no matter how beautiful, precious, rare or important they might be—but on creating conditions that will encourage artisans to continue to produce crafts of all kinds, and to transmit their skills and knowledge to others, especially younger members of their own communities.”
and a link for more http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/index.php?pg=57
This was created in 2003 and 107 countries have signed up to the convention but not the UK, these are the states that have http://portal.unesco.org/la/convention.asp?KO=17116&language=E&order=alpha.
I have just written to my MP to ask why we are not signed up to such an excellent convention. If we were it would help traditional crafts in the UK enormously.