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Monday, 10 October 2011

Itchy hats and broaches that nobody wants to buy...

We can all agree that the economic situation in this country is not at its best. We need to pull together to increase our productivity and our exports in order to be a positive influence on the state, rather than a negative drain. What industry needs is engineers, technical wizards, entrepreneurs! This is why it is strange that when a person I know who had been made redundant went on a back-to-work scheme, she ended up doing felting…
“Good idea!” I said, “any skill in the building industry is worth doing – and we all need our roofs maintained.”
“No – felting as in felting wool.”
Now, I would have thought that there are only ten people in the whole of the country who make a living out of felting wool – well, eleven if you include the person round here who is teaching it to unemployed people. This poor lady has been made redundant, has been thrown on the economic scrap-heap, has spent months looking for work and getting knocked back, week after week and then she gets offered felting?
I have nothing against felting per se: my mum used to do it and we all had great pairs of slippers that would send us skidding on any polished floor, feet in the air, cracking the back of our heads on tiles / lino / floor boards. However, I would imagine that selling lethal slippers is not the way that pays for many mortgages.
I feel a stiff letter coming on – Britain does not need more itchy hats or bloody awful broaches that don’t sell at craft fairs. Not everyone can make a living selling home-made things – even the people who are good at making home-made things struggle to make a living from it – which is why they have to wear their own itchy creations rather than normal clothes.
The reason why I know such things? I once made a woollen rug at school. It was awful – itchy, tasteless, pointless. Christmas was coming and times were hard, so I folded it in half, put a zip onto to it and tied a piece of string to each corner, thus making a fashionable bag for my mother.
Did my mother, one of the two people in the world who should be blind to my failings, love it and take it everywhere? Did she bollocks: she carried it with her on a walk through the fields ONCE and then it was never seen again…
People – don’t do craft courses and try to make a living from them – even your mother will think your things are shit.