As part of Stylist’s Kindfulness Project, we are encouraging our readers to be more compassionate – both to themselves and others. Here we look at how starting a new hobby and taking time to be creative could also help save a dying craft.
As self-care becomes a bigger, more natural part of our lexicon and lives, the trend for taking up classes and hobbies that allow us to express our creativity, put down our phones and have some me-time, is growing.
According to research by the Heritage Crafts Association 37% of traditional crafts are in danger of dying out completely. They have announced that currently a whopping 17 crafts, including clog making, paper marbling and piano making, are on the list as ‘critically endangered,’ with a further 45 more swinging in the balance to join them.
After so successfully launching the Experiences facet to their platform, Airbnb has jumped to lend a helping hand, hosting classes in these unique crafts on their site so that users have the opportunity to try them out, and bring them back to life.
Create a pewter Manchester bee keyring in Manchester
Ella has been a full-time Pewtersmith in Manchester for six years and is enthusiastic about sharing her love of metalwork and traditional heritage skills to all those who join her class, teaching them how to master cuttlefish casting to create your own Manchester bee keyring using molten pewter.
Classes are two and a half hours and cost £50, there will also be time to stop for tea and cake (yay) and as Ella’s studio is in the Manchester Craft and Design Centre, you’ll be in the right place to explore the workshops and stores of many other makers.
Make a traditional cart wheel in Colyton, Devon
Join Greg, a Master wheelwright who’s family has been making cartwheels since 1331, and are known all over the world for not only their expertise, but for being the only father and son team in this business that there is.
Over the course of six hours Greg will take you through how to make a 35 inch diameter wheel using spoke shaves to finish spokes, a hand wound machine from 1840 and much, much more.
The class runs from 10am until 4pm and costs £75 per person.
Learn the art of paper marbling in London
Lucy is one of the last professional paper marblers left in the UK and is on a mission to breathe new life into this critically endangered craft. She uses fresh, contemporary colours and techniques to create beautiful effects and gives all of her students an overview of the history of marbling illustrated with genuine vintage marbled books, before moving onto trying it yourself.
At the end of the three and a half hour class you’ll end up with 10-16 of your own colourful papers, one of which you can choose to be made into a hardback notebook or sketchbook as part of the ticket price, which is £70.
Visit a passementerie studio in East Bilney, Norfolk
Passementerie, if you don’t know, is the art of tassel making on an old fashioned loom, something Clare has been doing since she was a child. Clare’s skills are used primarily to make interior design pieces for heritage projects and her work can be seen in National Trust properties around the country.
Visit her studio and learn the tools and techniques involved in making tassels, eventually making your own unique key tassel in the colour of your choice in the beautiful farmhouse garden. Each class is two hours long and costs £45.
An introduction to clog making in Birmingham
JoJo is a second generation woodoworker with a huge international following. One of the best spooncarvers in the world, JoJo is also one of the country’s only clogmakers, and therefore the perfect person to learn this skill from.
After an introduction on the history of wood working, guests will be shown how to master the knife techniques vital to know when becoming a woodoworker, and of course, get to have a go. The class lasts three hours and is £45.