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A Master Craftsman: Andrew Crawford

For many years, people have asked Andrew Crawford if he offered courses on box making. Andrew reports his constant reply was, "No!" Fortunately, for the literate among us, Andrew has published several books on box making. These books are well respected by the woodworking community at large for their quality content. Andrew's latest venture, Celebrating Boxes, has him teamed up with Peter Lloyd.

United in this project, they have developed a mutually strong belief that boxes are undervalued in the 'Art' world. This project, conceived in 1994, had become a reality in February 2000, with the selection of around 80 craftsmen for the Celebrating Boxes exhibition, which opens in Tullie House, Carlisle, September 22, 2001. The exhibition is to tour nationally, then internationally. A companion book includes a foreword by David Linley and includes work by most of the artisans selected for the Celebrating Boxes tour. The international cast hail from Britain, USA, Europe Australia, Russia, Denmark, Canada, Israel and New Zealand. The book's release should coincide with the opening of the show. Visit the Andrew Crawford - fine decorative boxes site to secure your copy.

In my chats with Andrew, I have always enjoyed his enthusiasm and fervor for time spent in the shop. Andrew believes, "There is no substitute for real, hands-on, sawdust-all-over-the-floor experience." This passion, combined with his craftsmanship, is one reason he is in such demand both for his work and as a perspective mentor. I asked Andrew about teaching his technique and he informed me that, "following an unusually high number of such requests, and since I now also have more space than before, I have decided that it is time to reconsider." This is great news for those interested in pursuing the art of fine decorative box making under the guidance of a Master. Rates for this private instruction are £185 for one day, £295 for 2 days.

Be sure to check currency exchange rates. "These days should really be very much by arrangement - bespoke training days tailored to offer exactly what you need." Andrew believes these should be limited to one or two aspects of this art. Polishing, inlaying, construction, finishing, making decorative lines and bandings, design, fitting hardware and so on could be covered, or none of the above! It is also preferred that the student have some knowledge of the craft. Andrew recommends that you have reviewed his texts well, at least one of them, before you attend. Click here to order a copy. It is also important to set realistic goals for your day with the master. Andrew would like you to be aware that, "You are unlikely to go away with a veneered, inlaid and magnificently decorated box after a day's tuition - but hopefully you will leave armed with some ideas and techniques that will help you to develop your own style of boxes, or anything else for that matter." If this sounds like your dream trip to Britain, plan ahead as no drop-ins are accepted due to Andrew's grueling schedule. Contact Andrew several weeks to months in advance, as times are limited. Andrew is located in West London and accommodations are available at hotels/guesthouses. E-mail Andrew for details This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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