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The Book of Forgotten Crafts by Paul Felix, Sian Ellis and Tom Quinn

Anyone who cares about the survival of Britain’s craft heritage needs to read this book. From bodger to brickmaker, potter to pub sign designer, tanner to thatcher and cooper to clog maker, many crafts survive in the hands of just a few individuals. The Book of Forgotten Crafts tells their stories, and is illustrated with beautiful photographs of the crafters at work.

Traditional British crafts are currently enjoying an extraordinary resurgence of interest, as people turn away from a throw-away culture and start to appreciate again the dedication, skill and passion of craftspeople and the beauty and intrinsic value of an object made by hand.  Publication of The Book of Forgotten Crafts, a celebration of traditional craftsmanship, is therefore very timely.

It is impossible not to be inspired by the life stories of the nearly 50 British craftsmen and women interviewed for the book, which brings to life a history of craftsmanship that in some cases stretches back as far as 1,000 years.

From bodger to brickmaker, potter to pub sign designer, tanner to thatcher and cooper to clog maker, these talented people all make a hugely important contribution to Britain’s heritage.  The book is illustrated with inspirational photographs by Paul Felix which show the craftspeople in their workshops and display the beauty of the objects they make.

Included among the forty-nine craftsmen and women featured are:

Neil Hopkins of Two Rivers Paper Company on Exmoor, a commercial hand mill that has been restored to use waterpower to make paper from old rags in the traditional manner

Robin Wood, bowl maker, who uses timber local to his studio in the Peak District to create traditional, functional wooden bowls.  Robin is also Chair of the Heritage Crafts Association and has written the foreword to this book

Rhiannon Evans, goldsmith, an award-winning jewellery designer who works in pure and mixed Welsh gold

Adam King, broomsquire, based in Buckinghamshire, who has been making besom brooms since he was eighteen and was nearly swept away by Harry Pottermania

Christine Springett, a bobbin lace maker for over 30 years, who specialises in Bedfordshire lace and enthuses about the weaving, plaiting and looping involved in her craft

Lesley Pyke, glass engraver from Suffolk, who is passionate about crystal and works in many layers of colour

Guitar Maker

Dyer and Felt Maker

Lobster pot maker









Full list of craftspeople featured in The Book of Forgotten Crafts:

Village Workshop Crafts:
The Wheelwright
The Cooper
The Tanner
The Leather Bottle Maker
The Papermaker
The Millwright
The Potter
The Rhubarb Forcer Maker
The Blacksmith
The Rope Maker
Decorative Crafts
The Woodcarvers
The Glass Blower
The Goldsmith
The Stained Glass Artist
The Pub Sign Designer
The Glass Engraver
The Serpentine Rock Carver
The Silversmith
Basketry Crafts
The Basket Maker
The Oak Swill Basket Maker
The Bee Skep Maker
The Lobster Pot Maker
The Rush Seat Maker
The Trug Maker
Textile Crafts
The Tapestry Weaver
The Dyer & Felt Maker
The Spinning Wheel Maker
The Lace Maker
The Fabric Weaver
Woodland Crafts
The Bowl Maker
The Broomsquire
The Hurdle Maker
The Bodger
The Stick and Crooks Maker
The Hedgelayer
The Clog Maker
The Rake Maker
Building Crafts
The Brick Maker
The Dry Stone Wallers
The Flint Knapper
The Stone Mason
The Thatchers
Crafts for Sport and Recreation
The Bowyer/Fletcher
The Bagpipe maker
The Cricket Bat maker
The Guitar Maker
The Gunsmith
The Whip Maker
The Gig Boat Maker

The authors:

Paul Felix has been taking photographs of traditional craftsmen for over forty years.  His work has been published in newspapers and magazines around the world.  He lives between Gloucestershire and Cornwall.

Tom Quinn is a writer, editor and a social historian. He is the author of the book Mastercrafts, also published by David & Charles, and several other books with a rural theme.

Siân Ellis is a travel/heritage writer, who specialises in rural subjects, and is a former editor of Heritage magazine.

The Book of Forgotten Crafts by Paul Felix, Siân Ellis and Tom Quinn is published by David & Charles on 14 April 2011 in hardback at £20.


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