Friday, 28 November 2014

The stick maker


Apologies, this is a technically hopeless photo (taken quickly in low light. I must learn to be more committed and less embarrassed about photographing people!) but I wanted to include it out of interest. I do like the blur on his hands, actually. I went to an exhibition about sheepdogs, thinking there would be some dogs, lovely border collies ... sadly, there was only one. But there were some interesting traditional crafts on display, including this gentleman making walking stick handles from sheeps' horns. Here he is filing and smoothing the rough horn by hand with a metal file. You can see how the finished handles reflect the shape that the horn had in its natural state.

I'm always glad to see people carrying on the traditional skills. It made me think of a question I saw posed recently: If you were forced to take two years out to learn a new skill, what would it be?

13 comments:

  1. Hi Jenny - I love to see these traditional skills still going - just hope more younger people take them up. I'd have to learn more about food and cooking ... and that could stretch out into gardening/veg and fruit growing and preserving ... sadly I'm not a 'craft' person. Cheers and happy weekend - Hilary

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  2. My uncle learned stick-making after he retired; I still have one of his sticks. He even gave talks about the skill to the local Women's Institute, an occasion that filled my poor aunt with horror as my uncle was a highly unpredictable man who had a store of risque stories! She needn't have worried; once he got talking about sticks he was unfailingly polite and endlessly interesting. I have a number of projects that await my retirement, I shall have trouble choosing.

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  3. Just tell your subjects that you need to practice with the camera settings. They will always understand as chances are that you will never meet again, and I'm sure they want the photos to be as good as possible. I alway offer to send a portrait or two that always helps when photographing strangers.

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  4. I was looking at sticks with polished horn handles at a local farm shop the other week; beautifully made things. I'd like to be better at everything!

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  5. It's a super shot Jenny, I like the blurred hands at work also. I love painting, but I could probably do with learning more about technique :)

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  6. Basket making I've always wanted to learn

    What would you choose? Do tell!

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    1. I'm always learning about photography, but if it had to be something completely different I might try wood-turning, or perhaps upholstery.

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    2. Ooh yes, upholstery. That's four years out then!

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  7. His finished sticks are beautiful!

    I'd love to learn more about photography and gardening!

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  8. I'd like to have more computer skills - Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.

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  9. I really need to learn to use my camera on something other than automatic mode. . . but if I were going for something entirely new, it might be watercolor painting,

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  10. And I like your picture -- I'm awful at taking photos of people because I hate having my picture taken.

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  11. C'mon, jennyfreckles, he looks like a very kind man who would be a most cooperative subject.

    There really isn't anything that I would like to spend two years learning about, if we exclude photography. Maybe watercolor painting? But, I am not sure I could tolerate going through that initial period when my work looked like children's scribblings.

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