To experience how was people engaged into traditional craft, I took part in the woodland festival in Falkland, Scotland. In the festival, it provides free traditional craftsmanship workshops for young people (18-25 years old), and it also offers taster tours and talks about traditional craftsmanship and the stories in local area.
I joined in a two-day leatherworking workshop and the taster tour over weekends. The structure of the building for workshop was quite simple, and the open space allowed people to see what were others doing, which encouraged members to have more communication and share their skills as well as stories.
There were loads of books and literature showing the information about woodwork in Fife and Scotland.
The activity sheets were gathering the feedback from members.
I arrived at Chancefield Woodland Centre in the morning, then we started the leatherworking workshop after a wee introduction.
My leatherwork teacher was an craftsman from Cupar which was a town closed to Falkland. She introduced the material and tools to us. It was good to know the characteristics of each material and tools.
While working on the craft, we shared our background stories to each other, which made us more familiar with each other. And I was surprised everyone has their own talent.
After the leatherwork session in the morning, we went for the taster tour with a group of people who were passionate on nature. We wandered in the forest, being a part of the nature. We appreciated the inspiration given by the nature.
The host of the festival took us to the place where last project happened, and he showed us how they brought children to the nature. In addition, the huts in that area would be next project.
During the tour, people used their own ways to record the essence and the goodness of nature and the wisdom of human. We talked about anything to each other, from one piece of mushroom to the history of Falkland.
Before the dinner, we sit in a circle to chat about the future of this woodwork place. We grabbed the stick to share our ideas. We believed that everybody here had the best experience and they were experts in using this space as users.
After the dinner, people moved to camping field to chill. Sitting on the grass around the fire, we continued making things. Musicians were playing their wonderful never-ending music. Everyone had their own way responding to the nature.
Different workshops started in the morning with amazing sunshine. All the material and tools were showing their personalities in our hands. We touch things and feel things. Making process created a magical relationship between makers and objects.
Because of the epic weather, nobody wanted to stay indoor. We enjoyed every bites while chatting with each other. I felt that nature and human’s connection was giving the real luxury service in this world.
I didn’t know how to describe the moment when I completed my handmade leather bag. I was so moved when I touched my crafted bag.
These two days were one of the best time I have spent in Scotland. You can literally feel how welcoming this place is. When I really enjoyed the company with fantastic people, I forgot the initial purpose why I came here. But the answers were very obvious. I appreciate the gift from the nature, I appreciate the tutorial and company from my teacher and I appreciate the organizers and hosts provided this great opportunity for craft lovers.
I truly wish the traditional craftsmanship could be sustained and passed on, and the activities and groups which support craftsmen to share stories and positive attitudes can be encouraged.
You can find more information on their website. http://woodworks.org.uk/