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Cool stuff from Guardian trend spotters

Is it ironic take on modern living? An early sign of spring’s nest-building urge? A showcase for the most bizarre ideas to have crossed the features desk? Or the shortlist for the winner of an office competition to come up with nuttiest idea? Whatever. The Guardian Guide to Craft is the funniest thing to drop out of the Saturday plastic bag of mags and leaflets for a very long time. A must read.

It offers readers the chance to find out how to make cool stuff at a fraction of what it would cost in the shops.

Where are these shops? I want to find the ones that sell:

  1. Coat hanger wine racks made from a pole and the wire hangers that come from dry cleaners,
  2. Cut-out cardboard coffee tables,
  3. Mittens made from old sweaters,
  4. Faux fur rugs created from old T-shirts,
  5. High rise bird boxes for sparrows and
  6. Clothes peg doormats.

There are more DIY ideas in the guide.

Craft is apparently the second in a new monthly series of guides to modern living. I can wait to find out what else is on trend in Clerkenwell before it reaches us here in Suffolk.

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  1. Steve says

    Does the best craftsmanship come always as a “result of a long gestation of study and practice”? I’m not so sure. There will always be genuinely talented individuals who can skip the study and move straight to the practical. And, likewise many products of classical training with little or no real talent or flair. Craftsmanship is about the outcome, not the training. So, reserving the word “Craft” for elitist individuals who consider they have received the proper education and practiced accordingly is as nonsensical as calling anything anyone makes with their hands “Craft”.

  2. Francesca says

    While visiting my parents last week I was handed a copy of the Guardian Guide to Craft. Oooooh…..it made me wince!

    While it is a great idea to offer the general public an attainable result from simple hand-making, these are nevertheless pipe cleaner and string solutions which, forgive me for saying, would be better labelled as “homecraft” or “occupational therapy”.

    There has been an ongoing and long debate about the definition of the word “craft” amongst those who make their living from hand-making. The craft fairs that sprung up all over the country during the 1970’s, where you could buy corn dollies, bobble hats and jars with shells stuck on them, did a lot to damage the perception of fine and contemporary craft in the eyes of the public. The Guardian publication – as lively, encouraging and daft as it is – unfortunately feeds this confusion. Please refer to The Crafts Council’s Photostore Selected Register or take a trip to Collect at the V&A (currently on) to see contemporary craftsmanship at its very best.

    Perhaps it is time to find a new word for hand-making that is the result of a long gestation of study and practice. Judging by the Guardian’s guide “Craft” just doesn’t do it!