Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 6°C

Search

Essex: Crafts guild keen to shrug its its ‘fuddy-duddy’ reputation

15:00 30 September 2013

The Guild of Essex Craftsmen autumn fair at Grange Barn in Coggeshall. Don Woods (knot work) and Sue Wheeler (beadwork jewellery).

The Guild of Essex Craftsmen autumn fair at Grange Barn in Coggeshall. Don Woods (knot work) and Sue Wheeler (beadwork jewellery).

Archant

The times they are a’changing at the Guild of Essex Craftsman.

The Guild of Essex Craftsmen autumn fair at Grange Barn in Coggeshall. Ceramic artist Sandra Hall at work.The Guild of Essex Craftsmen autumn fair at Grange Barn in Coggeshall. Ceramic artist Sandra Hall at work.

The not-for profit organisation, set up 30 years ago to promote handmade crafts in the county, is keen to shrug off its “fuddy-duddy” reputation and is modernising in a bid to attract new members.

As well as showcasing traditional skills, such as woodturning and basket weaving, exponents of more contemporary pursuits, like photography and modern art, are being encouraged to get involved.

So says Malcom Brown, co-organiser of the Guild’s first craft fair of the autumn, which was held at Grange Barn in Coggeshall at the weekend.

He said: “A lot of people think we are old-fashioned and a bit fuddy-duddy but we are not. Our raison d’etre will always be to promote good quality craftmanship but we have had to modernise and there are a number of people who practise modern crafts among our membership.

The Guild of Essex Craftsmen autumn fair at Grange Barn in Coggeshall. Artist Julia Tanner at work.The Guild of Essex Craftsmen autumn fair at Grange Barn in Coggeshall. Artist Julia Tanner at work.

“There are photographers, artists who produce modern works and jewellers and potters who put a new twist on traditional skills. We also now have a Facebook page which tells people more about what we do.”

Around 35 of the Guild’s 150 members were displaying the fruits of their labour at the weekend with some giving demonstrations of their craft. Crafts on display included products made from bees wax, calligraphy and book-binding.

Retired teacher, Mr Brown, who specialises in producing cards and framed photography, is also at pains to emphasise the uniqueness and high quality of the products.

He added: “Members pride themselves on the quality of their work because we don’t just take anybody into the Guild. To join a person has to present a selection of their work to other members who are competent in that particular craft. And even after they are accepted, their work is looked at from time to time to ensure they are keeping the quality up.

“The Guild is about bringing together like-minded people to share ideas and work together to present their work to the public. People who buy from our craft fairs are, in most cases, getting a one-off, original piece of work that they won’t find anywhere else.”

0 comments

Headteachers in Essex are warning government under-funding is putting teachers’ jobs at risk and could lead to bigger class sizes.

A blaze in the early hours in Claydon has damaged a children’s activity resource centre.

Youngsters from Ormiston Endeavour Academy in Ipswich joined up with their peers from Ormiston Victory Academy in Norwich last week for a combined skiing trip to Tonale, Italy – marking the start of what could be a more common tie-up between the two.

More than 60 people who previously never took part in any physical activity gathered at Gainsborough Sports Centre in Ipswich on Friday for the ActivIpswich new age kurling competition.

Police are searching for a man in a car who approached a nine-year-old girl in Stowmarket.

The Buttermarket Shopping Centre first opened on October 1, 1992 - a modern, glass fronted shopping centre with a green-theme.

More details have been unveiled for this year’s Raising the Bar Awards – with people across Suffolk being urged to get involved to celebrate those striving for excellence in education.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24