Monthly Archives: May 2015

In Touch.

We Trust.  This is what our world is based on

We trust our politicians, we trust the system, we trust each other – if we didnt the system would not function. 


What on earth am I on about?


My first job after school came about after I went into the labour exchange in Exeter and asked for a job – the bloke behind the desk said – what sort of job did I want – I said any job – he pulled a stack of cards out of a drawer and said “do you want to start from the top?”


After I had been to 20 I began to run out of money – I told him so – he said – youud better sign on then?


I had to stand in a queue and fill out a form – as I turned away from the counter I suddenly realized I had no money – so I turned back and mentioned it – the lady replied – ahh you dont get any for 6 weeks.

I replied – well then how am I going to be able to get a job if I cant get to the firms because I have no money for petrol – she just shrugged.  I tore up the form and left.

3 days later I found a job from a shop window – it was the hardest job of my life but boy did I enjoy it – I had to start at 5.30 in the morning for 4 days a week delivering beer – during the day my boss and I had to move about 15 tons by hand – I got so fit – and drank a huge quantity of beer – ooh and by the way – some nights I didnt get home till 9.30 – long days those.


I should say the system failed me utterly – first I could not get a job until I lied because I had a medical record – later written up as a misdiagnosis  ( the system never forgave me for that )– and second because it would not support me in finding a job – but would support me to sit at home taking pills.


Today I have been at an craft fashion and design show with a little group here at Fræna – this is our second show ever – we have huge support from the councils and the banks and now we have the possibility of a permanent home in a museum. 


This article is about taking charge – we know what the system wants from us – its what pays the rent.

But we all have chosen to do something which gives us status – and something we believe is very important –

self determination doing something we love and are good at. 

To be seen by society doing this is even more important, because our mission is not money.


We are all equipped with bullshit sensors – built in programs which tell us if we are doing the right thing – programs that tell us if we are living a lie.  Even if we cant respond to the call we can get some relief from the knowledge that someone somewhere is burning the torch.


We are very few in number but what we do is so important that few can deny it – however the system would like us to go away because we are a reminder of how things were – when our time was not taken up by hand held office machines (smart phones)  or computers(televisions or permanent story telling), when we were in contact with life around us – when nature was part of us and we were part of nature, because what we do is we take from nature and make it into something very personal and useful with our bare hands – the skills which each and every one of us possesses is phenomenal – magical.


I have been making glasses cases in wood, the hinges are made of wood and on some so are the catches – and they work and work well – for me it is pure magic – I dont know how I do it either – I only know I do it and do it well.  I dont understand the process which I go through which allows me to create these things – all I know is I have to – im pretty sure  my colleagues

are the same.

Glasses cases mulberry 1

Glasses cases makr 4


Glasses cases mulb 1


Making for me is a kind of meditation – the day starts in my workshop – after I have had breakfast – and a kind of little meditation – I then start on the processes ive been dreaming about – ohh, not a sleep dream, a kind of daydream – sometimes its not even substantial enough for me to be able to explain what im doing – but in a little while ive made a jig – out of scraps and bits and pieces I have lying around – then I start the making -  then discover why I saved the wires from the display lamps – or rescued the old bicycle –  almost as If I was following a program all along – someone had written down what I need to look out for – sometimes several years before they were needed. 


Glasses cases yew 10


For me this is a kind of magic as it dosent follow logic – you cant suddenly see something abstract and say – excellent ill need those in a few months time – because sometimes the project hasnt been born yet – but believe me there is a program running.

Bicycle spokes for axles



With the glasses cases it was the other way around – the idea was born about 6 years ago and slowly running all that time so I was able to gather the bits without being really aware of what they were for.


It is the same with the time during my working day – more often than not I start work and suddenly find that 6 hours have gone completely – sure I can remember working but the time has collapsed on itself – gone  – through a process ive developed over the years – left hand there, right hand there – saw the wood exactly there so its about 1 mm oversize – cut that with the panel saw because you need so many of them – use the planer for this – draw with the white pencil, not the black – make a line there – use the cutter in that drawer – the dremmel, not the arbotech and so on – all instinctive and automatic – a gift – something that we all desperately need so we can make sense of the world we live in – so we can take control over it – so the lives we live are not built on the products of a sweat shop in china – or the bmw works in Portugal but here, right here in this house, in this land   – NOW:

Glasses cases


With this in mind – we need your support, so we can support you with our making – how do we support you?

Ive just explained – you see us and you know we do something very special – we are in touch.