I love beautifully crafted things and also an appreciation and wish to preserve old crafts. In Japan craftsmanship and tradition are celebrated and held in a reverence that preserves and perpetuates these skills, here much much less so and we are barely clinging on to some ancient knowledge. So it was with joy that I met Joanna Spreadbury and saw her degree show for product design. Joanna has been working away at gathering some amazing skills and knowledge by spending time on the Western Isles of Scotland with crofters and learning some of the vital skills involved with working the land and using all of the available resources. Resourcefulness is great motivation for sustainable design and a skill that once learned is not forgotten.
"On an island, when resources are available, you gather them and work them to the best of your ability. Meeting crofters on the Western Isles revealed to me their ingenuity and relationship with the land, pushing me to ask: do we know how our belongings are made, where their materials come from or who made them? Working with Scottish Blackface Sheep, which are prevalent on the islands, I looked at the whole sheep and how each of its parts can be crafted into useful objects. Sadly, many of these skills are fading and so I present artefacts that explain how they are made, inspire engagement with the hands-on process and question the future of traditional making." Joanna Spreadbury