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?

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