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bring the customer to question why a Sussex Trug is more expensive. They have little idea how labour- intensive a traditionally crafted Sussex trug can be and how much more hard wearing it is. Trug-makers do not want to change or modernize methods of construction and thereby lose the skills which have been handed down through generations. However, taking on an apprentice can be tricky, as teaching a beginner is time consuming and expensive due to wastage of materials and loss of production.


There are many challenges ahead for the future of the Sussex trug industry, the mains ones being lack of skilled labour, loss of well managed coppiced woodland and the sporadic availability of willow and chestnut at an affordable price. There is also a lack of willingness by some trug-makers to price their product according to its worth and risk pricing themselves out of the market. Fortunately there are those who do recognise the importance of


99 | ukhandmade | Autumn 2011


preserving one of our few remaining traditional crafts.


The Sussex trug is probably the strongest and most durable basket made, one that stands up well to the ecological test, being low impact in its production and using renewable and recycled materials. The industry may be small but has weathered many storms and survived several economic downturns. In fact, its longevity may be due to never overreaching itself and consistently producing a basket that is what William Morris might call ‘useful and beautiful’.


For further information visit: www.truggery.co.uk


The Truggery Coopers Croft, Herstmonceux, East Sussex BN27 1QL Tel. 01323 832314, email: info@truggery.co.uk


Images courtesy of Sarah Page of The Truggery


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