Spinning, Knitting, Weaving, Lace-Making
There are many reasons why the practice of Traditional Crafts has an important place in contemporary life.
Bungendore Spinners and Grinners commenced in August 2013 in recognition of the desire to explore a craft that employed simple tools to create yarn out of natural materials.
Survival of human populations in the 21st century may depend not just on the creation of new technology to replace the old polluting juggernauts of the industrial era, but on knowledge and tried-and-true skills from past eras when fossil fuels were not available to supply all our energy needs.
At a time when many people don’t know how to cook food let alone grow it or hunt it, knowledge of traditional survival skills is at an all-time low. Most of our consumer goods are imported and local manufacturers have been unable to compete, closing down and relinquishing skilled workers who take their trade secrets with them. Once there was an economic imperative to engage in creative pursuits. Thirty or forty years ago mothers made clothes because we couldn’t afford to buy what was in the shops. Nowadays it is just as cheap to buy new clothes in huge chain stores such as K-mart (made in Bangladesh) as it is to buy them second-hand in Op-shops.
Totally-Locally: Palerang is the home to lots of sheep, alpacas and goats. The wool from these animals is seldom processed locally, or even in Australia. The raw product is sent to the other side of the world and Australia imports the finished product such as blankets (woollen, rapidly being replaced by polyester) and woollen garments which are highly priced compared to artificial fibres.
FuturePLANS is the umbrella organisation under which Bungendore Spinners and Grinners is helping to revive the craft of spinning and associated processes such as dyeing, knitting, crochet and weaving. This is just the start.
The list of important skills that need to be passed on to a younger generation is endless: wood work, leatherwork and tanning, book-binding, basket weaving, sourdough bread making and food fermentation, yoghurt and cheese making, budding, grafting and tree propagation, mud-brick making and pise building, dry stone walling, scything, and blacksmithing.
The urge to make useful things is very strong in the human psyche and participation in arts and crafts can benefit the mind, body and soul. Our era is marked by mental and physical ill-health on a grand scale, at least some of which may be prevented by fostering our creative urges to feed our starving souls.