With three weeks to go before “Traditional Skills in Action – Crafts that Built the Abbey” we are down to the last details. We started planning this event immediately after the conclusion of our first “Traditional Skills” in 2008 (all these photos are from 2008 event), which attracted 3000 visitors over the weekend and resulted in many requests from both participants and visitors to “please do another one”. Several of this year’s craftsmen were with us in 2008 but we also have people joining us for the first time and new crafts and skills on display.
How do the skills of today’s craftsmen compare with those of the medieval craftsmen who built Dorchester Abbey? Have the tools, the techniques, the materials changed much in the intervening 900 years? Come and meet the contemporary craftspeople and ask them.
As well as having the opportunity to be close-up to highly-skilled, modern-day master craftsmen and women, try your hand at many of the skills for yourself – possibly the best way of discovering that the experts make it look much easier than it really is, or perhaps of realising a talent you didn’t know you had!
Entry to “Traditional Skills” is FREE and the event is open from 12 noon to 6pm on 28 and 29 August and from 10am to 4pm on Bank Holiday Monday 30 August – whatever the weather.
The sculptors, the blacksmith, the builder and the man who does wattle and daub will certainly be hoping that there will be no rain in Dorchester-on-Thames over the August Bank Holiday weekend.They will be demonstrating their skills under the cover of a marquee in the Cloister garden whilst the woodworkers, the calligraphers, the bookbinder, the stained-glass artist and the embroiderer will be demonstrating their crafts inside the Abbey. We don’t have room for the butcher and the baker this year - and the candlestick-maker (i.e. the silversmith!) finds himself working in Scotland – maybe we'll see him next time!
(Blogged by Sue Dixon, organiser behind the Traditional Skills Weekend 2008 and 2010)