Arches


Arches’ are typically curved structures spanning an opening and serving as a support for a wall or other weight. Arches generally welcome us to a building or space and form an opening. Chair arches have been used in High Wycombe on special occasions to welcome dignitaries and celebrate the town’s rich furniture making history.

I have a passion for the history and narrative behind traditional craft, industry and cultural heritage which I try to reflect in a contemporary way. Many traditional craft skills are no longer taught in schools, Higher Education or vocationally. In addition to the loss of vital making skills, there can also be a loss of Intangible Cultural Heritage and damage to local communities. In the same way that there is a ‘Red List’ of natural species at risk, there is also a ‘Red List of Endangered Crafts’. Openings and opportunities to both learn and pass on these specialist craft skills are becoming more limited. Barriers include cost of training, ageing practitioners, changes in technology and markets, supply of raw materials and tools, small business challenges and loss of allied industries.

In March 2019 a major update to the Red List of Endangered Crafts list was published. The updates list shows 4 new extinct crafts, 36 critically endangered crafts and 70 crafts listed as endangered. Basketwork furniture making, Chair caning and Chair seating are all on The Red List. Crafts such as Chair and Furniture making are currently considered ‘viable’. However, ‘currently viable’ does not mean that the craft is risk-free or without issues affecting its future sustainability/viability. (Source: www.heritagecrafts.org.uk)

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