Make! Craft Britain: BBC4, 9th June at 9pm on BBC4
Britain is a nation of crafters, and now more than ever we are seeing an explosion in the number of evening classes and craft workshops up and down the country. People are discovering the simple pleasure of learning a new skill and the enormous sense of pride and well-being as hidden talent and latent creativity is unleashed.
On a quest to understand the power of craft, presenter Martha Kearney begins by asking why her mother's dexterity with a quilting needle passed her by - 'Your head was always in a book ...' explains Martha's mum, but she reassures her daughter that it's never too late to start making things with your hands.
This film is a tale of two workshops. On the edge of the Yorkshire moors embroiderer Marna Lunt welcomes a mixed group of students to her two-day course making embroidered lampshades. Ex-copper Tony is a complete beginner, while textiles student Catherine has been sewing all her life. Under Marna's instruction, they quickly master the basic stitches and learn how to draw inspiration from the colours and sounds of the moors.
Meanwhile, on a Sunday morning in London, six students take up their scalpels for a crash course in paper-cutting. Teacher/practitioner Christine Green explains the long heritage of this new craft craze, teaches them the basics of designing, cutting and finishing, and gets them going on their 3D cards. They are all complete beginners. Richard and Mark draw inspiration from their local park, Crystal Palace, while newlyweds Eri and Jamie make cards that celebrate their one-year 'paper' anniversary.
In both workshops, the students get completely absorbed by the process and the room falls almost silent in quiet concentration and creative 'flow'. Both teachers give 'how to' demonstrations that are easy to follow so that viewers at home can try their hand at these crafts too.
Harnessing the breadth of the craft community through social media, and especially BBC's Get Creative page, MAKE! also features jaw-dropping images of beautiful handmade crafts sent in by viewers.
Look out for Make! Craft Britain which airs on June 9th, 9 p.m. on BBC4
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