Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Victorian Farm, Owen Jones swill basket maker.

We don't have a TV but several folk told me I should watch the BBCs "Victorian Farm" on iplayer.

Most of the presenters are friends, Ruth Goodman a Tudor expert has used my bowls for years, the latest episode featured two other friends Owen Jones my all time craft hero and in my opinion a "living national treasure" this is a short video of him making a swill basket.

I have been doing shows with Owen for 15 years and what makes him unusual amongst craftsmen today is that like me he makes most of his income from making and selling his baskets not from demonstrations, teaching, grants etc. He does do a couple of courses a year and I would highly recommend them. If you do a course at his home you will also get an excellent lunch served from my bowls and plates.

Another presenter Alex Langlands has an interest in traditional crafts and we have been coresponding about our new organisation. Yesterday Alex sent me this email

"The BBC series 'The Victorian Farm' has proved quite a success story so far with the last twp episodes gaining a greater share of viewers than ITV and C4 (surprise, surprise: people are not as interested in celebrity tantrums and car chases as they are in a traditional rural way of life). Most importantly from our perspective is that many people are contacting me wanting to know about how to make baskets, lip salves and hurdles etc. and how, generically, they can employ some of those skills/products in their everyday lives. I'm being asked by the BBC what a follow up series should include and I'm pushing traditional crafts and skills as a core aspect - I'll keep you posted."

Here are the links to the iplayer program if you missed it.

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