I know weird people. There’s an outfit formed around Plymouth Massachusetts this year that proves it.
The fledgling non-profit Plymouth CRAFT is getting up and running; the website is being developed now, it will get fleshed-out soon – http://plymouthcraft.org/welcome/
The whole gig will be worth watching, or better yet, worth participating in. The word “craft” in the title stands for Center for Restoration Arts and Forgotten Trades. It is a loosely-knit group of artisans and craftspeople who will be offering workshops, demonstrations, expertise and other whiz-bang crafty know-how to students, amateurs, professionals, and other interested parties.
The other day a few of us assembled at Michael Burrey’s place to shoot some photos and video to be used in our fund-raising and as a general introduction to the question – “what goes on? “
First up, woodworker Michael Burrey, working clay. You’ve seen MIchael on these pages some before; https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/who-you-gonna-call/ and if you read Rick McKee’s blog Blue Oak, http://blueoakblog.wordpress.com/ (you do, don’t you?) then you are familiar with the scope and range of Michael’s work. On this particular day, Michael was molding bricks for a building on Nantucket. These go down low, around the perimeter of the building, with the ogee shape towards the sky to shed water…if I had paid more attention, I would have the name & date of the building, and more detail about the source for this brick shape. Once he has enough made, he’ll fire them in his wood-fired kiln, just beyond the edges of this photo.
Paula Marcoux http://www.themagnificentleaven.com/The_Magnificent_Leaven/Welcome.html was mostly the ring-leader, but she also dove in and was teaching passers-by how to make “shrak” a flat-bread found in her book Cooking with Fire… http://blueoakblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/product-placement/ this stuff was good. Give Paula a 5-gallon bucket, and a few sticks & she’ll whip out her gear and some flour and off you’ll go…
I only know the tip of Pen Austin’s iceberg. Her work is astounding, catch a glimpse of it here http://blueoakblog.wordpress.com/2014/07/27/playing-marbles/
and when I saw this rig on Saturday, I knew I had to hang around to see it happen… it looks like a “sweep” (that’s what Joseph Moxon called it, for making an arch from wood, sans lathe) – a scratch stock on a trammel essentially. Pen has a whole different vocabulary for it, here she was working plaster – gooping it up right quick…then swinging the molding scraper across the mess- out comes architecture. (the first shot is a rope of clay, to bulk up the demo piece – usually it would all be plaster…)
Midway through the process – these folks got to work quickly, before the stuff sets too much.
At this point, there’s a lot of refinement; filling in gaps with wet mixture, then swinging another pass.
she made this archway just for a demonstration – what work! It was a gas to watch that form come together…
Charlotte Russell came by with some drop-spindle stuff, some carded wool and Maureen sat right down for lesson # 1… Charlotte has been a textile artisan for over 50(ish) years -she spins, knits, weaves, has a passion for history and craft, and is a skilled teacher in all things fiber.
I took a quick stab (Oh, poor choice of words for teaching knife-work) at teaching one of the photographers some of the knife moves for working on spoon-carving. I have no idea if it was sinking in, there was lots to keep track of that morning…but his moves were right, and no blood was shed…
When we get further along with this endeavor, I’ll be writing more about it here, Rick will too on Blue Oak – so you’ll hear about it. There’s way more people and crafts involved than what we previewed the other day…that was just what we could round up on short notice. Have a look at the website, and stay tuned. You’ll hear more.
I think of Bill Coperthwaite’s quote – “I want to live in a society where people are intoxicated with the joy of making things.”
If Daniel hadn’t had a baseball game, we woulda stuck around Burrey’s for the rest of it. Just as regular order of business, it was apple-cider-making day…