Friday 28 September 2012

The end of the Summer Season

Where did the Summer go? We seem to have had wet, wild weather for months now and it's been punctuated by far too few days of sunshine and warmth. What's the betting we'll have beautiful bright clear skies right through the Winter when it's too cold to go outside and enjoy it.

The bad weather has made a lot of jobs more difficult. We've been trying to "get our house in order" for months, (if not years) now. Clearing out the detritus that seems to accumulate and multiply over time. We are getting there, spaces are beginning to appear and rooms are beginning to look tidier, but oooh it's hard work and the bad weather isn't helping!

There's always another weaving or restoration job in the workshop waiting to be done, which is wonderful, but also means that we are usually under pressure and get very little time off. We keep our diary of work over on Facebook these days, mainly because it is quicker and easier to update. We will still be blogging regularly, but I'll try and choose the subjects or jobs that deserve to be described in more depth than can be done on Facebook.

So....the last few weeks - what's been happening? Well we've had loads of Bauhaus Cesca chair panels to replace, (the 60's are definitely back in vogue). The second of four very large African chieftains chairs needed a new seagrass seat, a couple of sets of Moller Danish chairs needed re-cording and a surprising amount of pots arrrived for cane wrapping of the handles. We also did our last show of the year at Frome. For once, it was a gloriously sunny day! I'll leave you with some pics.....

 The early morning mist
 After the mist burned away it was a glorious day
Quite busy too.

Sunday 9 September 2012

An update on the embargo

I'm sorry, I didn't realise how long it had been since we last blogged. We have been busy on a lot of fronts.

In the last month, we have done our last two weaving demonstrations of the year. It was a strange feeling, demonstrating the craft that we have practised for so long, meeting new people wanting to have a go, their fresh faced enthusiasm, whilst at the same time knowing that the rattan embargo problem hangs over all of us involved in this specialist trade. Should we really be encouraging new blood into the craft when there is the possibility that the necessary materials may become totally unavailable? A difficult dichotomy.

We decided that we couldn't just sit by, watch and wait. So I e-mailed and tweeted a few people with a link to our blog post about the embargo. It took a while, but thankfully people are rallying. Robin Wood of the Heritage Crafts Association has told me that he is "on the case" bringing the Basketmakers Association and other individuals together to see what can be done. One of our customers, a full time professional weaver is so concerned that he has bravely set up an e-petition, thank you. Here is the link:

As I write, almost a hundred people have already signed and commented in the first two days. Now other organisations and individuals are adding their weight to the cause by blogging, tweeting or commenting on Facebook. Thank you all, please spread the word!

Whether all of this wonderful support will have any effect goodness knows - but doing nothing isn't an option, hope you agree.

On a purely selish level I want to be able to continue to restore things, bring stuff back from the brink. It hit me hard when I realised that without rattan peel, splint and reed, this crib would be have been landfill. Is it wrong to feel that way?