I wanted to do a quick blog post to publicise what I expect will be an interesting Crafts Council event in London next Tuesday 22nd June. Some may think that Assemble will just be a talking shop but there are many intellectual craftspeople who enjoy a bit of brain work mixed with their hand work. As John Brown said in his lovely book “Welsh Stick Chairs” whilst he was working with hand tools “I have plenty of time to think about things”
From the Assemble website “The conference will feature a context-setting keynote, a post-election provocation, conversations on the economic, therapeutic and regeneration value of contemporary craft, and a final debate on the role of policy in maximising the potential of the sector. Assemble also explores the overlap between craft and other creative industries.” That may not sound desperately exciting but having scanned the list of folk attending there are many interesting thinkers and at only £40 I would certainly have been going if I was not pre-booked elsewhere.
I would particularly have liked to hear Matt Crawford author of the excellent new book “Shop class as soul class” or as it is sold in the UK “The case for working with your hands” Matt is talking more about fixing things and the value of working in the trades than specifically craft but the message about the value of working with your hands obviously has wider appeal. He is a philosopher who gave up a position leading a New York think tank to run a Motorcycle repair shop, my kind of man and a fine excuse to put up a picture of Matt with a most beautiful old bevel drive Ducati on my blog I used to lust after one of these in my youth.
Whilst the Crafts Council are talking and conferencing in London the Heritage Crafts Association will be talking and making in a field at Glastonbury. I shall be demonstrating wooden bowl turning in the green crafts field. Nic and Marie Piper who run the Green Crafts field have been promoting traditional crafts for many years and are keen supporters of the HCA. Friends who work for the National Trust told me the NT are having a big stand at Glastonbury this year which must be a sign that it has become mainstream middle class event. Whilst Assemble is just £40 and tickets are still available Glastonbury was £185 and sold out months ago but if you have a ticket come along and say hello.