I’ve been hugely inspired by the work of American authors on craft – Richard Sennett, Peter Korn, Matthew Crawford, Howard Risatti, to name but a few. I am therefore thrilled to be entering into the debate in the US about the importance and value of craft in everyday life.
Mine is an exploration into the rich time-depth of many of our crafts, charting their origins back through the medieval and ancient past. Woven into these narratives are the stories of my own experiences, those working as an archaeologist, as a small-holder as well as those cherished memories I have of working on a range of BBC history programmes – Victorian Farm, Edwardian Farm and Wartime Farm.
But I like to think that I arrive at some of the same conclusions as the great craft-theorists: Crafting defines us. We are makers. It’s healthy. We are at our best when we are making, from natural materials, to a standard, for use, and with care and compassion.