Falkland Craft Symposium 2017
Programme announced for the second annual festival of built heritage craft skills in Fife
Welcome to the 2nd Falkland Craft Symposium
This event builds on the success of the first Craft Symposium in August 2016. Friendships were formed and networks established which are even now bringing benefits to individuals, the locality and nationally.
There are many talented people working in Fife, Scotland and the UK although, at the same time, there is a distinct shortage of skills in some areas. Real efforts are being made to grow those skills so that the crafts can continue to bring joy into our lives while providing a livelihood for those who have dedicated their lives to particular crafts.
Without the traditional building crafts and a renaissance in understanding of the particular needs of old buildings, it will become increasingly difficult to look after the nation’s built heritage adequately. Fife and Falkland have their own particular parts to play in the encouragement of craft and conservation skills.
Each day of the Symposium has been arranged to have a distinctive flavour with two or more fields of craftsmanship being explored. This year there is an over-riding theme which is the craft skills represented by the built fabric and richly crafted interiors of the House of Falkland, which will play an important part in the event. The interiors have a double-layer characteristic which is fairly rare: the house was built 1839-44 for discerning patrons, Margaret and Onesipherous Tyndall Bruce; half a century later the estate was acquired by John Patrick Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute, one of the greatest architectural and craft patrons of his age (1847-1900). Working through his architects, first William Frame (1848-1906)and then Robert Weir Schultz (1860-1951), the 3rd Marquess added a layer of Arts & Crafts richness during the 1890s while respecting to a remarkable degree the then unfashionable layer of the 1840s. How to preserve the special qualities of the interiors is one our current challenges.
In addition to the crafts skills represented by the House of Falkland we also pay attention to those traditional to a well-run Estate in Fife and in particular to thatch; other roofing materials such as pantiles and slates; stone masonry and carving; and the appropriate use of lime-based mortars.
The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings – a cause dear to John Ruskin’s heart – will be strongly represented both through the lecture programme and through the demonstrations of craftsmanship which will complement the lectures.
The William Morris Craft Fellowship represents, through the commitment and exceptional qualities of the craftspeople concerned, some of the best of the craft renaissance in Britain today. They are celebrating their thirtieth anniversary this year.
Members of Open Studios North Fife will be present to bear testimony to the rich cornucopia of craft-based activities, both professional and amateur, in our part of Fife.
We look forward to welcoming you all to the Craft Symposium.
Dr Peter Burman MBE FSA, Arts & Heritage Consultant
Craft Symposium Co-ordinator
Chairman of Falkland Stewardship Trust
Chairman of Falkland & Newton-on-Falkland Community Council