The life of a craftsman often leaves little distinction between work and play, certainly there are less "days off" than those in full time employment but the work is very rewarding. So this was my weekend.
Saturday was a suit day, a trip to London to chair the Heritage Crafts Association committee meeting. Our committee have been working incredibly hard over the last few weeks as we move toward taking on a part time administrator. In the long term this will help us achieve a lot more and reduce some of the workload on the committee but in the short term it has meant drafting job description, person spec, terms and conditions, equal opportunities policy, and at the same time we have been writing our strategic plan, data protection policy, organisational risk analysis and responding to a major government consultation on skills training. That is a lot of work for a small group of volunteers but we have a great team and have got through it. Then we got on to the fun stuff of planning our next big meeting, we have booked the Sackler centre at the Victoria and Albert Museum and it is going to be a fantastic day.
Our meeting there last year was inspirational but we had limited places and were very quickly fully booked. Sophie Hussain the stained glass mentor from Mastercrafts said afterwards:
"I had a wonderful time, and am still feeling the huge belonging to the right clan, at last...
It was really inspiring, and very different to the gatherings hosted by the creative chique designer groups..
I loved every minute, and the speaker was amazing, gosh if only I could remember what he said..every thing he said.
It all came to place at the right time for me, it actually meant some thing more important."
The next meeting is going to be bigger better with more places available for HCA supporters and some very inspirational speakers, we will be raising the standards and showing traditional crafts off in the brightest possible light. It is too early to publish full details but I can let folk know the date, March 19th and also I am delighted that two keen supporters of traditional crafts have already agreed to speak on the day. Tanya Harrod is one of the most influential writers on the crafts in the UK today, author of the seminal book "Crafts in Britain in the Twentieth Century" and passionately interested in traditional crafts including the industrial crafts. I really look forward to hearing her thoughts. Then HCA patron Alex Langlands will tell us about his experiences filming traditional crafts as part of the BBC Victorian Farm and forthcoming Edwardian Farm programs.
Back home on Sunday was the official opening of my bridge at Bradfield. The Lord Mayor of Sheffield and lady Myoress did the honours. The scissors provided were plastic handled made in Finland jobs but thankfully I had a nice pair of Sheffield made scissors in the van.
You can see the bridge in it's various stages of production here, here and here