Last weekend I attended Art in Action a most wonderful show near Oxford. We were offered a free HCA stand after the organisers attended our spring conference at the V&A, we had the usual range of traditional craft items on display with voluntary staff telling visitors the stories behind how they were made. I also did a talk each day in the lecture rooms on the work of the HCA.
I was demonstrating spooncarving and daughter Jojo made everlasting gypsy flowers from willow.
It is a huge show of primarily skill based arts and crafts, so much to see it takes a whole day. Sadly I was so busy on the stand I had little time to look around or take photos but here are a couple fo snaps taken en route for lunch. Gail McGarva with her wonderful Lyme Lerret.
An incredibly detailed carving of a mallard drake. This one is worth clicking to expand the image.
One of the beauties of Art in Action is that most of the artists and craftspeople are given space to set up a workshop and demonstrate their work. You can see anything from artists painting proper portraits, grinding their own pigments to weaving, glassblowing and blacksmithing, the quality is all excellent.
The ethos of the event is lovely too. It centres around giving and service, the volunteers that run the event are kind and helpful and I know no other event where all the stand holders are continually supplied with tea and biscuits served with a smile. This is the campsite with the poshest portaloos and showers I have seen.
We hope to be invited again next year and will ask for space for more traditional craft demonstrators.