This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
influence, fulfilling the role of mediaeval guilds (protection in numbers, camaraderie, a degree of regulation) but with numerous benefits and far fewer negative features.


Perhaps one of the most challenging things for an artisan to achieve is some form of publicity. Traditional advertising is prohibitively expensive and of dubious value in an era when people spend less time watching television, reading papers or listening to the radio. Therefore, it is almost impossible for an artisan to achieve recognition amongst their peers and potential customers.


However, it is free and virtually painless to set up a website, blog, Facebook page, Twitter feed, or a combination of the above. With that basic infrastructure in place, it is also just a matter of writing, commenting and tweeting to start telling the public who you are and what you do. This means that those practising


traditional or heritage 53 | ukhandmade | Autumn 2011


crafts can spread the word about their craft like never before. There is an unprecedented opportunity to make people aware of the plight of fading heritage crafts and reignite people’s interest in them and in doing so perpetuate their survival. All it takes is a little bit of time and effort; leaving comments on other blogs, participating in online forums, responding to other tweets, and getting involved in Facebook groups.


The ideal outcome is then that other people - peers, benefactors, clients - see a person’s work, understand who they are, understand the importance of keeping the skills involved alive and start to pass on the news. Even a retweet or a ‘Like’ on Facebook is a good start, since one opinion can spread through a global social network in minutes. Moreover, the interconnectedness means that a recommendation is not limited to one person but can spread to their friends and their friends’ friends and so on.


It is certainly similar to garnering positive feedback on sites like eBay but quicker and more pervasive, since it is not restricted to one page or domain. Moreover, many sites, will display which users have given the thumbs up to an artisan’s product or profile, thereby passively compiling a record of recommendations that potential clients can note and follow up.


A vigilant community, such as a Facebook group for artisans, will also provide some of the support and protection that guilds offered in days of yore. Other crafters are acutely aware of the challenges faced by artisans, such as the need for promotion, the need to pass traditional skills on, encouragement, strength against mass-production and mechanisation and even alerting people to possible copyright infringement.


Finally, a key benefit of an online community stems from the fact that it comprises a number and


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120