A new awareness needed?

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Mark Baker

Monday, May 13, 2019

I often hear people say: ‘I’m bored.’ I smile and then try to work out if they are bored because they don’t know what to do, cannot do what they want, or can’t be bothered to get off their backsides and do something.

I talk to a lot of people and many seem afraid of trying something new or, worse yet, don’t want to do something if it isn’t ready for them to do NOW, with minimal effort. I know that is a sweeping statement, but we all know people for who that statement may well be a good fit.

I talk to many craft and hobby groups and associations and all comment that people don’t want to travel to do something, are wary of spending money on something (I understand this bit), haven’t a clue what they want to do but are resistant to trying something, or give up if they have to devote too much time and do not get instant results.

I know I have commented on this before, but as people struggle to find or lock
into something they might enjoy, one of the most common hurdles is that they do not know what is available or what they think they might like. If there was an app for crafts I can image how quickly people might swipe left or right for like or dislike without them knowing anything about the subject. If you have not grabbed their attention with a quick visual image within about three seconds, you have lots your chance with such an app.

That comment about grabbing someone’s attention or imagination is one that intrigues me. Let’s look at woodturning. Would an image of a chair with turned parts, a vase, bowl, decorated sculptural piece or even a craggy bowl with natural features make someone stop and think? Show people a hundred images and you’re likely to get a hundred answers as to likes and dislikes.

It is no easy task, but one thing that is vital is that we do not give up trying to show people what it is we do and encouraging them to give something a go or visit something that they might not have seen or heard about before. What I do know is that we have to try to show people what is available and hopefully they will be intrigued and inspired enough to want to explore further
and try something for themselves.

Celebrating British Craft

We are trying something new and that is an event called Celebrating British Craft.

This is being held at the Oxo Gallery in London from Wednesday 8 May to Sunday 19 May 2019. The event is designed to highlight, promote and showcase quality, finely-crafted woodwork of various kinds and to provide an interactive experience with demonstrations of traditional woodworking skills. For further information go to: www.woodworkersinstitute.com

Let me know what you are making and organising to raise awareness of the fun that can be had working with and shaping wood. Have fun, Mark

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