Monday, June 29, 2009

Lost Crafts FOUND HERE.

I came across this book online last week, Lost Crafts: Rediscovering Traditional Skills by Una McGovern (Chambers, 2008, 376 p.). When scanning the table of contents I was surprised to see FLINTKNAPPING listed so I tracked down the only copy in the city to purchase as a present for Tim. It’s a pretty neat book and thought it would be worth sharing.

Lost Crafts highlights the everyday skills upon which we once heavily relied before the advent of the industrial revolution. What used to be commonplace skills, if not downright “chores”, are now rarely seen in our everyday. This good looking book lists almost 100 traditional and sustainable skills divided into six themes: farming, hunting and gathering, food and drink, home and garden, practical crafts, and decorative crafts. She covers everything from plucking a fowl to weaving to laying a dry-stone wall. McGovern describes each craft/skill with a brief history and explanation of the process, including some illustrations. But note, the entries are meant more as an overview and do not include the complete range of techniques or vernacular for each craft.

Like people the world over, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have witnessed the weakening (because I do not believe they are “lost”) of many of our traditional ways of life as impacted by technology and the world economy. What I like about his book is it doesn’t mourn the loss of any craft rather it encourages the reader to discover one of these crafts themselves, to take a class or join a group sharing in a traditional skill.

What it made me realize is Newfoundland and Labrador is doing a HUGE part in keeping these and other Lost Crafts alive. And, ELFSHOT is doing his part.

1 comment:

  1. Its a very good book - lots of colour pictures - I'm very lucky. I had no idea that classic beehives like the kind you see on honeyjars or on Amy Winehouse's head were grass baskets flipped upside down.


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