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Cræftiga: The Sutton Hoo Festival of Craftsmanship - now with pictures

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default Cræftiga: The Sutton Hoo Festival of Craftsmanship - now with pictures

Post by Chilli-head on 29th January 2015, 8:55 pm

Cræftiga: The Sutton Hoo Festival of Craftsmanship, will be held at the National Trust's Sutton Hoo site, on 21-22 March 2015.

National Trust wrote:
Explore the legacy of craftsmanship at Sutton Hoo.

Inspired by the Sutton Hoo treasures, our Festival of Craftsmanship celebrates the skills and legacy of the Anglo-Saxon craftsman ' or cræftiga 'from metalwork to weaving, boat building to woodcrafts, and much more. Discover some of the secrets of the Dark Ages and be inspired. Food, drink and children's activities will all be available.

The Wimpole green woodworkers will be there - as well as pole lathes, the plan is to bring a forge too.  We won' t be making an Anglo-Saxon boat, but we might manage a coracle.  I might try to do some seat weaving perhaps too.

I know it is a long way from most of you, but it should be a good weekend.


Last edited by Chilli-head on 23rd March 2015, 10:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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default Re: Cræftiga: The Sutton Hoo Festival of Craftsmanship - now with pictures

Post by freebird on 30th January 2015, 8:31 am

Sutton Hoo is a place I always intend to visit, and never seem to get around to. You've piqued my interest - just put it to the man, and he likes the sound of it too. Maybe we'll make a weekend of it in Rosie Romahome.
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Post by Ploshkin on 30th January 2015, 10:06 am

It's one of the places that I would like to visit too, but we never seem to get that far east. I have friends in Lincolnshire so might make it across one day. Wouldn't be able to make that weekend as that is our official start of lambing date but it sounds really interesting - we can look forward to some pictures I hope.
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Post by Dandelion on 30th January 2015, 10:15 pm

Mr D was looking into visiting Sutton Hoo when we hada couple of days in Essex last year. But when he investigated, he was under the impression that there wasn't a lot to see, as the interesting stuff is all in the Brit Mus

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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default Re: Cræftiga: The Sutton Hoo Festival of Craftsmanship - now with pictures

Post by Chilli-head on 19th March 2015, 11:46 am

Bump.

We are still on for this; the more rugged of the Wimpole woodworkers (and me) are planning to camp out for the weekend, though I'm told that "Simon is bringing fire", which sounds like an excellent idea (it does conjour up images of how the ancient Greeks transported fire by placing embers inside a fennel stalk, but I don't think that's quite the plan).

I'm not sure if there's space in vehicles to bring a forge or not, but we will be doing spindle and bowl turning by pole lathe, woodcarving and and coracle making. I'll be taking the last of my 1999 mead, but fortunately the visitors don't arrive until 10:30 on the Sunday ...
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Post by freebird on 19th March 2015, 8:17 pm

I had really hoped to be able to visit, CH but it's just not going to happen now. Hope the weekend goes well for you.
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default Re: Cræftiga: The Sutton Hoo Festival of Craftsmanship - now with pictures

Post by Chilli-head on 20th March 2015, 7:46 am

That's a pity. I will try to take some photos so you can see what we got up to !
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Post by Chilli-head on 23rd March 2015, 11:16 am

Back home after Cræftiga.  My feet have just about thawed out from Satuday night in the tent !

Quite a good weekend despite a cold and windy start, though I think it kept visitor numbers a bit lower than they might have been.  I really liked their helmet over the museum entrance:



Much of what is inside are, as I had been warned, replicas;  I have already seen the originals in the British Museum, so did not spend long there.

The various crafts were spread around the site, in a way which lent itself to perusing as part of a gentle walk. Amongst many I've forgotten, there was a blacksmith with some really nice pokers, hooks etc for sale, flax workers, weavers, a marquee full of Anglian potters with various types of wares and a demo of firing going on with kilns that looked like they were once metal dustbins. There were beekeepers, a chap hewing beams from logs, outdoor wooden furniture, and a glass worker.  I rather liked the latter, because he worked in old window glass and bottle glass.  I particularly liked a lattice bowl made from fused strips cut from green wine bottles.

We set up camp just behind the museum.  Simon (carving in the centre) brought two of his excellent rocket logs, and the washing machine drum brazier, and we were able to keep the fire in all weekend.  Here Jim is showing off the large wooden bowl he had just finished turning;  the Anglo-saxons apparently were not gifted potters, but used wooden treen.



Here's some of the things I was making.  A rather smaller bowl from an interesting piece of horse chestnut that David brought, and for something a bit different, a triple helix vase for a single stem; I have a glass tube that was a broken fishtank heater that will fit in it to hold water.  



In the end, it was agreed that we could take Ash, if there was no bark on it, so I did manage to turn the remaining 4 spindles for my second chair too.

David demonstrated coracle building to anyone interested ...



... But any major larking around was restricted by the lack of nearby water !



Last edited by Chilli-head on 24th March 2015, 3:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Ploshkin on 23rd March 2015, 1:04 pm

That sounds like a really interesting weekend Chilli Head.  It's a pity that you didn't have the glorious weather that we had (but sometimes it's our turn Smile )
I love your triple helix vase, very classy.  Presumably David can actually operate a coracle - I've watched coracle fishing on the River Towy before now which is quite entertaining.  I presume the beekeepers were skep making - I'd like to find a skep making workshop one day though to be fair, my poundshop waste paper basket on a pole has stood me in good stead for collecting swarms out of trees.
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Post by Chilli-head on 23rd March 2015, 1:18 pm

Yes, David can operate a coracle. There's some video of how it's done (or not !) taken on the pond at Wimpole here. Apparently he has managed to cover 7 miles on the river Cam, although he did have to put up with people pointing and saying "Look, a nutter !". Mind you, as a Cambridge professor eccentricities are considered an asset.

The beekeepers were actually short notice stand ins, and had been planning to make rolled wax candles, but it was so cold the wax would not cooperate. I quite enjoyed a chat about mead and furniture polish making with them. I picked up some tips on cutting glass bottles (and fishtank heater tubes !) from the glassworker too. We had a good few visitors at our campfire in the evening - Saxon invaders, the potters and an occasional weaver; great opportunity to learn from each other.
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Post by FloBear on 25th March 2015, 6:40 pm

Thanks for the pictures and commentary, Chilli head. It looks just the sort of event I would really enjoy visiting. Will have to see if Dorset or Hampshire can oblige! Agree with Ploshkin that that is a classy vase :-)
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Post by Chilli-head on 27th March 2015, 12:03 pm

Thanks for the nice comments about my vase. I quite like the turned then carved geometric shapes - celtic knots, spirals etc. The artistic side of things is where I normally struggle for inspiration.

The next bash I'm at will be even further from Dorset - the Bodger's ball, this year near Newark and Sherwood forest. This event also includes the APTGW (Association of Pole lathe turners and Green woodworkers) annual craft competition. I've got a couple of 2nd prizes in the past, and hope to have some things to enter this year. The special "themed item" category this year is for an item using a recycled / reclaimed component. This can't really be the wood (because it is a green woodwork competition), but can be a metal or glass component. You might be able to see where I'm heading with the glass fishtank heater tube as a vase component ....
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Post by FloBear on 29th March 2015, 12:24 pm

Chilli-head wrote:
the APTGW (Association of Pole lathe turners and Green woodworkers) annual craft competition.

Skim-reading, I got all excited thinking you said Poole lathe turners!! Oh well.

We do have the Ancient Technology Centre just up the road at Cranborne. That has some nice events but I usually manage to miss them. Used to love taking classes of children there for the day. The forge was my favourite. And I never failed to be thrilled when they made fire.
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