The Big Skill brings Communities together, through accessible, hands-on rural skills and contemporary crafts. At community centers, cafes and castles, in Mid Wales, Borders and the Marches.
In February, Ems is organising weekly Craft and Chat sessions over Zoom, alongside your favourite Big Skill Craft Tutors. Details of how to book your place, and the sessions available, can be found on our Creative Crafts page.
Pick up one of our Crafts@Home Kits, which can be securely delivered to your door by post. Or get inspired to Craft on our Big Skill 2020 YouTube Channel, by reusing materials you already make sure toy have at home.
We would love to see photos of what you are crafting on social media. When you share, make sure to tag us with #CraftsAtHome or mention @theBigSkill.
Can you help us to design 2020 Clay Mosaic Memory Tiles?
To be placed in a spiral around the base of the Remember and Rebuild Sculpture in the community gardens at Saxon Hall. Capturing our community's memories of the Covid-19 lockdowns.
Pop over to our Clay Sculpture page to order your FREE Mosaic Memory Tile Kit created by Katey's Crafts. Where you can also watch an Unboxing introduction video, download a Mosiac Memory Tiles worksheet, or Sponsor a Tile.
Plus, catch up with progress on making our Remember and Rebuild Sculpture, from Rebecca Buck at Osprey Studios.
Crafts in the Centre
We are proud to be part of the welcoming community at Saxon Hall with our creative activities. Regular Tuesday workshops at Saxon Hall during the Autumn included; Clay Sculpture workshops with Rebecca Buck; Camera on the Community interviews; plus weekly Accessible Crafts at your Fingertips sessions.
All our sessions had to be stopped in November, due to the second Lockdown. Plus the Hall is now fully occupied by the NHS for a Community Vaccination Clinic.
We look forward to returning to Saxon Hall for the unveiling of the Remember and Rebuild Sculpture and wildlife garden, in Summer 2021.
The Big Skill hopes that by providing these Covid-safe creative sessions, we will help our local community to Remember and Rebuild.
Camera on the Community
Recording your response to the pandemic
This is your chance to participate in a new project. Putting together a journal of what effect COVID-19 has had on our lives and looking towards the future.
We aim to capture this moment in time for our community. Adding to the records of the social history of people and events in our area. Such as the Canary Girls of Rotherwas, The Hereford Bulls, Derek Evans photographic archive of Herefordshire Life and the local memories shared by In Our Age magazine.
We hope to enter the finished community documentary into a Film Festival, publish our Journal online and make it available as a paperback book.
We can help you to record your experiences, your thoughts, your hopes, over Zoom. Or at a covid-safe distance, outside or nearby to your home.
Shy in front of the camera? We can record your voice, or we can send you a flyer or link to our interview questions. Then you can send us your own words, music, drawings, photos, video or artworks to be included in our Journal.
During Lockdown 3.0, please contact Trevor to have your Zoom Interview booked into our diary.
We can also arrange weekend slots, or schedule Community Group Zooms, by request.
With thanks to Hereford Community Foundation and the National Emergencies Trust, for funding this documentary project.
Crafts at Your Fingertips workshops returned to Saxon Hall
on Tuesdays, from 11 am to 2 pm - hosted by our Accessible Crafts Group.
Workshops started on Tuesday 8th September with Annabel of TinKanDesigns, who ran a recycled metal bug workshop, outside in the Community Garden.
On the 29th September, Emma of FfolkyFfelt showed us how to make a cute needle felted mouse from native fleece.
Sarah Adby's willow star workshop in September was very popular! Sarah returned on the 6th October, to show the group how to weave a Bird Feeder from willow.
On Tuesday 13th October, Ginn Downs of Make Do & Mend, shared how to sew Different Seams from her Vintage Collection. Then on 20th October, we made Autumn Wreaths from natural and recycled materials with Katey's Crafts.
The Welsh firebreak prevented Bridget bringing her Scrap Bag to Saxon Hall on the 27th October. So Katey's Crafts helped us to make Bridget's Autumn Lanterns, for brightening up the darker evenings.
Sadly, all of our November Craft sessions at Saxon Hall were postponed due to Lockdown. As a consolation, we posted our regular participants Bridget's brand new Christmas Bells Crafts at Home Kit.
Workshop places are limited due to social distancing and the Rule of 6, so must be booked in advance on Eventbrite.
Please read our COVID-Safe Workshop Guide before booking. Thank You.
In March 2020 we launched our 'Standing up for Peace Sculpture Project' at Saxon Hall, Hereford. Followed by our 'Remember and Rebuild' monument during lockdown and beyond.
Each Tuesday from 8th September, sculptor Rebecca Buck of Osprey Studios ran sessions on How to Use Clay Modelling, Doodling and Notes to Work out Ideas at Saxon Hall.
There were 2 sessions every Tuesday, one in the morning at 10 am and one in the afternoon at 1.30 pm. Each session was 2.5 hours long.
Participants thoughts on our themes of 'Peace' and 'Remember and Rebuild' are being communicated through representative and abstract forms of special relevance to this local community and its social heritage.
Clay sculptures made during these community Workshops have inspired and shaped the final architectural ceramic forms, garden landscaping and seating which will be placed at Saxon Hall on completion in Summer 2021.
Using clay is direct and easy - everyone can join in.
We would like to thank Bulmer Gilmour Fund via Hereford Community Foundation for their support for our project launch.
With thanks to Herefordshire's a Great Place for funding the online design phase of the sculptures during Covid-19 lockdown.
'Remember and Rebuild' is funded by the National Lotteries Covid-19 Community Response Fund.
Herefordshire City Council has kindly funded the clay and materials to create the final sculptures. Due to be unveiled in Summer 2021.
Funding applications to further develop this project during 2020-2021 are in hand. Please contact Trevor for Mosiac Memory Tile Sponsorship opportunities, or with offers of substantial individual Gifts.
In February 2020 we launched our 'Coffee, Crafts and Chat' sessions.
These tasters introduce various craft practitioners to a new audience. Giving an opportunity for people to share their skills, or just to chill with a cup of coffee in good company.
Hosted at local community centres and cafes in Hereford and the Welsh Borders. With the aim of setting up community craft hubs, where individuals have the opportunity to develop their creative skills.
Recycle Repair Redesign: We recently provided craft workshops to support Hereford Green Network's 'Make do and Mend' Cafes and the Repair Cafe in Abergavenny.
If your group are based in the Hereford area or the Welsh Borders and would like a taster session at your venue, school or village hall, then we may be able to offer you a discounted rate per session.
We are able to take bookings for Autumn 2020, in line with Coronavirus social distancing rules.
'Coffee, Crafts and Chat' is supported by The National Lottery Community Fund.
Visit The Big Skill Virtual Craft Tent at
The Greatest Online Agricultural Show
on Saturday 2nd May 2020
During social distancing, our Big Skill Accessible Craft Group took the lead in creating new, online 'Craft, Community and Chat' videos of rural skills and crafts.
We launched in early May 2020, presenting craft and rural skills demonstrations in The Big Skill Craft Tent at The Greatest Online Agricultural Show, on The Internet Showground.
This virtual project bloomed from our Accessible Craft Group, who usually met every Tuesday at Saxon Hall, Hereford between 12-3 pm. Inspired by British farmer David Hill's idea to beat the lockdown.
As a Team, we plan to expand our virtual demonstrations to provide accredited training in contemporary crafts, textiles and clay sculpture, leading to employment for our practitioners and participants.
Sessions were free, friendly and open to all to join in the Fun! #GreatestAgShow
CRAFTS IN THE COMMUNITY
Advertise your workshop or course here
Local crafts for local people; workshops to inspire the next generation; centres for hands on rural crafts & skills training. With our Artisan & Craft Guide we aim to highlight crafts that are the heart of the community, with information of programmes & centres where craft workshops & training are being held. To have your centre, training or workshop included email us at the Big Skill, or send a message from our Facebook page.