ART

Traditional crafts that deserve a revival

We all live in the world of screens. Virtual life took over our everyday. But there is still something appealing in creating things with your own hands and using the methods that our ancestors used. Here is a list of a craft for you to try at home or take a course and have a new hobby.

Blacksmithing

If you like mechanics and fixing your car or bike, and you’re not afraid to get dirty or burnt, you will love this one. You won’t be able to try it at home but there are places where you can learn this craft. It requires fire and metals. Blacksmiths heats iron or steel over the open fire and shape it into objects by joining different pieces: from gates, staircases to sculptures and jewellery. You will need a small forge which will hold a piece of metal over the fire and heats it up to 1000 Celsius. Using other various tools for bending and cutting, you will create a desired form and when it is finished, dip it into the water.  Skills take time to be learned and perfected, and so the art might take years to master, but it‘s really worth it.

Calligraphy

Not so long ago everyone who had an education could write nicely, but nowadays people look for a skilled typist not a calligrapher. Still, a handwritten card is worth more than a Word file attachment in the email or a printed version of it. You can learn it as you learnt writing in general, a common practice it to rewrite the same letter over and over again, just more beautifully and in different fonts.

Basketmaking

Baskets made from willow were used for everything from laundry to coal carrying, until plastic arrived in Britain in 1950s. This craft has not changed in thousand years. You only need couple of tools: knives, bodkin, cleave and a beating iron. First you must create a base, it can be round or rectangular shape from sturdy stakes.  After that you have to insert upright stakes to for the side frame and start weaving around. There are different styles to learn like slewing, fitching or randing. Your hands must be strong, and you have to be not afraid of bruising because you will definitely get scratched or cut from tools or stakes. This craft also requires a lot of patience, but it is also very relaxing hobby.  

Dry stone walling

This craft dates back to BC. There are walls left from 1800s. Now it is making a comeback and starts looking like a jigsaw puzzle. First goes the base stone which is heavy and big, laid in a shallow trench. On it is placed a flat one and it is finished by cap stones on top. You only need one tool which is a sharp-edged hammer. If you like, you can cut stones into any shape you want, that requires more tools and practise. It is hard, but satisfying, because you can build something huge and useful, making your surroundings unique and beautiful.