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Societies can work symbiotically, which is clearly illustrated by SoB supporting the Heritage Crafts Association, protector of endangered crafts. Last evening I attended the HCA AGM by zoom on behalf of SoB. It was beautifully organized and chaired by Patricia Lovett, a professional scribe.
Do please go to www.heritagecrafts.org.uk to see what they are doing to raise the profile of crafts like ours. Not only that, the HCA gives bursaries for education, helps organize apprenticeships and during Covid, put the food on the table of a number of crafts people who had suddenly no income. The HCA encouraged them to re-group and forge onwards at a very difficult moment.
They support all crafts and especially those that are endangered. (See the Red List of Endangered Crafts on their website.) One of our bookbinders, Gillian Stewart, was recently awarded a grant to progress her bindery.
The main points raised at the AGM are below: * The HCA Red List of Endangered Crafts is being extended internationally based on its UK model. * The HCA are rolling out zoom discussion groups on a regional basis, rather like our regional divisions. Each one is headed by a leader who focuses the group discussion and allows craftspeople from different disciplines to meet, talk about their work, problems encountered, make contact, discuss marketing strategies and find people with whom to share information. * SoB has corporate membership of the HCA and through them a voice. This might be about our suppliers (who could be at risk (eg: vellum makers), or focus on the problems of training and apprenticeships. The exchange of information is invaluable. * Individual membership if you wish to have a voice and become involved is £20 p. a. This allows you to receive news, access a discount to attend the HCA conference and events and meet other craft makers.
A treat followed the AGM in the form of a “conversation” between Kaffe Fassett MBE, well known for his colourful textiles, and Robin Wood MBE founding member of HCA who is a specialist woodworker. We submitted questions and these covered how Kaffe finds inspiration, his use of colour, education in the field of textiles and the therapeutic benefits of using your hands and engaging your mind deeply on your subject. One question focused on the archiving of work for posterity. Kaffe had spent lockdown going through his past knitting samples and organizing them into lovely wall hangings of complimentary colours and he had clearly enjoyed reviewing his life’s work. He is, incidentally, one of the HCA Trustees.
If there is any data you think might be useful to put forward to the HCA on behalf of bookbinding, do contact me and if you have any queries, I would be happy to pursue an answer to them.
Bindy Wollen E: belindawollen@gmail.com
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