Billiard, snooker and pool cue making

Currently viable crafts

 

Billiard, snooker and pool cue making

 

The making of cues for the games of billiards, snooker and pool.

 

Status Currently viable
Historic area of significance
Area currently practised
Origin in the UK
Current no. of professionals (main income) 21-50
Current no. of professionals (sideline to main income)
Current no. of trainees
Current total no. serious amateur makers
Current total no. of leisure makers
Minimum no. of craftspeople required

 

History

The craft developed from France with the original billiards game, carom. It has not changed majorly since the early 20th century when billiards cues became more commercial.

 

Techniques

Being able to understand wood, particularly grain patterning and behaviour, splicing woods together, hand planing and sanding.

 

Local forms

The biggest differences are cues made for specific billiards games. English/Chinese pool and snooker cues do not differ immensely but they do differ from American pool cues which have a totally different making process.

 

Sub-crafts

  • Joint and ferrule making
  • Tip making

Allied crafts:

  • Billiards table making
  • Billiards ball making

 

Issues affecting the viability of the craft

  • The craft is currently viable because there is a great deal of interest in it. However, many cue makers opt for Thai or Chinese manufactured cue blanks because it makes the process cheaper, more efficient, the materials are very good, and the workmanship (much of which is done by machine) is highly acceptable. These cues are considerably cheaper than entirely British-made cues. Companies in Thailand and China may in the next few years opt to produce cues under their own brands and become more sought-after than the current UK market leaders. If this happens then the craft in the UK could die out to be inherited by these overseas manufacturers.
  • Some of the cue making processes are not widely practised here anymore, including by many of the leading brands, so those skills are not going to be passed on.
  • Some wood species are being depleted.

 

Support organisations

 

 

Craftspeople currently known

Individuals:

  • Robert Osborne
  • Keith Hammant
  • Johnny Carr
  • Dave Coutts
  • Mike Wooldridge
  • James Butters
  • Trevor White
  • Tim Curtis
  • Jason Owen

Businesses that employ two or more makers:

  • Will Hunt, London
  • John Parris
  • Stamford Cues
  • Peradon
  • BCE
  • Master Craft
  • Craftsman Cues
  • Cue Craft
  • Riley

 

Other information

 

 

References

 

Batik

Currently viable crafts

 

Batik

 

The making of textiles with surface designs produced by using layers of melted wax and cold dyes to produce wax-resist effects.

 

Status Currently viable
Historic area of significance
Area currently practised UK
Origin in the UK 1960s
Current no. of professionals (main income) 11-20
Current no. of professionals (sideline to main income)
201-500
Current no. of trainees
Current total no. serious amateur makers
101-200
Current total no. of leisure makers
1,000+
Minimum no. of craftspeople required

 

History

Batik goes back centuries, and while textiles often don’t stand test of time, examples have been found in Egyptian tombs.  It is thought that batik spread from China/India to Indonesia. It was also practised in Africa (Nigeria and Ghana) but history there is obscure.

Batik is a fairly modern craft in the UK. It became popular in the 1960s as young people began to travel to Indonesia and the East. Batik became used by artists in Holland around the time of the art nouveau era, so there may have been a few UK artists using it then.

 

Techniques

Batik is wax resist, textile medium (sometimes on paper). It involves heating wax (beeswax and paraffin wax usually) and painting the molten wax onto fabric, then using cold dyes (often Procion fibre reactive dyes) to add colour.  Layers of wax and dye are built up, then the wax is removed, leaving the coloured design behind.

Tools used to apply wax are canting (wax pen), brushes, sponges, metal stamps (caps), kitchen tools, feathers etc. Dyes can be sprayed on, painted on, or traditionally the whole cloth is immersed in dye bath, working through successive waxings and dyeings. Finally the wax is removed by boiling out or ironing out on absorbent paper.

Batik is used jointly with other textile media so may be used by stitchers etc as a base for embellishment.

 

Local forms

 

 

Sub-crafts

 

 

Issues affecting the viability of the craft

Batik in the UK is experiencing a number of challenging issues:

  • The reduction in adult education classes and library services.
  • Other demands on people’s time and disposable income.
  • Reduction in art/craft tuition in schools, and secondary education especially. Perceived health and safety issues, financial pressures and a narrowing curriculum have meant that they rarely invite crafts practitioners into schools to work with children.
  • Equipment – heating the wax safely for batik use is not particularly easy. Wax pots with thermostats are quite expensive (around £80). Also batik is quite messy, putting people off from trying at home or school etc.
  • Batik is a Javanese word and its unfamiliarity might put some people off.

 

Support organisations

  • The Batik Guild – a voluntary organisation with around 160 members, one third of which are overseas members

 

Craftspeople currently known

The Batik Guild has gallery pages which give a good idea of individual makers who are actively making in the UK.

 

Other information

It’s mostly people over 55 who are practising batik and the skills are not being passed on. Colleges, schools etc and younger people may try batik for a time but it will be one of many skills they dabble in.  It is rare that they would choose to take batik further and study it seriously.

 

References

A programmable 8-bit computer created using traditional embroidery techniques

8-bit computer Irene PoschThe Embroidered Computer by Irene Posch and Ebru Kurbak doesn’t look like what you might expect when you think of a computer. Instead, the work looks like an elegantly embroidered textile, complete with glass and magnetic beads and a meandering pattern of copper wire. The materials have conductive properties which are arranged in specific patterns to create electronic functions. Gold pieces on top of the magnetic beads flip depending on the program, switching sides as different signals are channeled through the embroidered work… Read more

See also Irene Posch’s knitted radio

Origami

Currently viable crafts

 

Origami

 

The folding of paper into representational or abstract shapes.

 

Status Currently viable
Historic area of significance
Area currently practised
Origin in the UK
Current no. of professionals (main income)
Current no. of professionals (sideline to main income)
Current no. of trainees
Current total no. serious amateur makers
Current total no. of leisure makers
Minimum no. of craftspeople required

 

History

Origami is the art of paper folding: the name is constructed from the two Japanese words ‘ori’ (meaning fold) and ‘gami’ (meaning paper). Paper folding has been used in both China and Japan for ceremonial and traditional purposes for many hundreds of years. However, there is also a Western tradition that is not as well documented.

A new origami art is emerging where paper can be transformed into many aesthetically beautiful forms. But for most people origami is fun, a way of relaxing and being creative with very simple materials. People have designed action models, such as flapping birds and jumping frogs, and origami based games and puzzles. Origami is no longer an esoteric Eastern art, but a creative pastime that is accessible to everyone.

 

Techniques

Paper can be folded to create almost any shape, from simple representational designs, through detailed animals, to complex insects. New folding techniques have emerged to produce tesselations and more complex designs, such as a plated pangolin.

 

Local forms

 

 

Sub-crafts

 

 

Issues affecting the viability of the craft

 

 

Support organisations

 

 

Craftspeople currently known

 

 

Other information

 

 

References