Cræft: An Inquiry Into the Origins and True Meaning of Traditional Crafts
Although I didn't finish it (I did have a look through the last half that I just didn't complete), I don't feel there is much to complain about here. The author discusses the history of craft, the changing meanings of the word and ideas of what qualifies as craft, and of course his history and experiences actually trying to do things the way they were done before our recent modern era.
My only issue came early on, before the r...more
First of all, I much enjoyed this book. Just ask my poor husband, who had to suffer through many descriptions and passages from it! I loved learning about the different crafts presented in it, and am still mulling over various parts of it a week after finishing. I thoroughly agree that we lose something vital when our lives are divorced from all but recreational making, and that making things from and with the world around us is part of wha ...more
This willingness to start from ...more
I hope in the second edition they commission the illustrator to add some visuals to the descri ...more
I was provided a galley copy of this te ...more
Mr. Langlands introduces the reader to all the crafts that make up the foundations of our culture and civilization. These include skills like whipping (tying things together, like an axe blade to a handle), wattle making, basketry, thatching, weaving, pottery, breaking ground by hand, and so on. He writes not only about how the craft is done, but also about the history of the ...more
This is an anthropologist’s book. Some of its data come from archaeological digs at sites of “estate” operations in Britain’s past, but Langlands has spent his life in pursuit of traditional craft practices, craft knowledge accumulation and lifeways on traditional estates going back to Roman days. He has read the available literature, interviewed remnant practitioners of numerous traditional crafts essential to an agricultural way of life, — he has even taken lessons from some of these masters — ...more
The volume opens with exploring the origin and meaning of cræft, ...more
This is the whitest book I've ...more
That said, it's fun to read about skills that I've never heard of, and the rural British (this is totally Anglophile; crafts of other regions don't figure in) atmosphere ...more
Such a beautifully written treatise on the value and place of craeft in our lives (more importantly, MISSING from our lives), and a break-down on how craeft originates in the environment around us, our natural resources determining the kind of crafts our ancestors created from those resources, from willow baskets to hazel woven hurdles, various types of thatching, and the manner in which boats were created.
This book DOES focus almost exclusively on ...more
But this is really Langlands' chance to grandstand about how the old way is better. It's rather pretentious, and assumes an access to local resources, and the time, energy, and physical ability to make as much by hand as possible. While I do think that much of what is mass produce ...more