Forging iron roses

Helmut Hillenkamp tells us that making a rose from iron was part of a journeyman's test in medieval times.

See more of his work at iron-to-live-with.

Stone Sculptures

If yesterdays video whetted your appetite for a bit of stone sculpting, here are some examples from CLACH 2006- International stone sculpture symposium at Plane Castle to inspire your imagination.

Stone sculpture techniques

Stone sculptor Mark Breithaupt shows the tools and techniques he uses to make organic abstract sculptures. In this video he uses a variety of power tools including a core drill and a diamond toothed chainsaw. Sixty hours of work are compressed into this ten minute video.

You can see more of Mark's work at

Inspiration from digitally altered images

Maggie Ayers talks about how she uses photography and digital manipulation to create images that inspire her works of art.

If you found this video interesting, you may like to watch a previously featured video by Maggie, Texture Without Color

Quilled-paper ornaments

Here is a nice little demonstration of paper quilling. All that is needed are narrow strips of paper, a simple quilling tool, some paper glue, a work surface and a set of circle templates.

Quilling, or paper filigree, is believed to have been practiced in ancient Egypt. In the 16th and 17th centuries European nuns and monks used it to decorate book covers, and Jane Austen mentions it in Sense and Sensibility.

Polymer clay ornament ideas

Tips on creating ornaments with clear glass shapes and examples of the ornaments made with polymer clay.

Tin Punched Christmas Ornaments

This short video shows how simple it is to make tin punched christmas ornaments.

This is just one of many videos on tin punching from Expert Village. Go check them out, then find yourself some tine and some patterns.

Thanksgiving wreath

In today's video, Allen Smith shows how to make a decorative wreath in an autumn theme, in time for harvest and thanksgiving celebrations. He starts with a grapevine wreath as the basic form, and adds sumac, crab apple and dwarf sunflowers for decoration.

Chinese centipede kite

With summer upon us, I thought it would be a good idea to look at arts and crafts with an outdoor theme, so here is one which might inspire you to try your hand at kite making. This is a traditional centipede kite from China.

Kites don't have to be this complex to make, and I will find some simpler examples to share with you soon. Paper and paint kites like this allow one to be very artistic.

Artists Access to Art Colleges

Artists Access to Art Colleges (AA2A) is a scheme run in the UK that allows artists to work in a university or college setting. It gives selected artists the chance to spend up to 100 hours at the institution during the course of the academic year, where they can use the studios, workshops, lending libraries and lecture programs. The scheme provides visual artists and designer makers with the opportunity to undertake a period of research or to realize a project. There are 22 colleges participating in the scheme. Here is Maggies Ayres, (a textile and mixed media artist), talking about her experience at the University of Cumbria.

Have you spotted the newest feature to be added to Craft Videos? Scroll down to the bottom of the page and take a look. I will update it every week.

Simple letterpress card making

Traditional printing techniques use woodblocks, linocuts or moveable type to transfer ink to the paper. This simple technique uses a glue gun to make the master.

Thanks to Laura of Prismera Design for making this video.

Willow hurdles

Here is a short video showing a hurdle being made from willow.

These are made in Somerset, the county of my birth. Willow growing and the associated crafts of hurdle making and basketry are a traditional craft of the area, dating back to at least the Iron Age.

These hurdles are made at English Hurdle, Stoke St. Gregory:

The hurdlers weave up to 10 strands of spraggly withies at one time horizontally on an upright jig, like carpet weavers at a loom. The craftsmen have to grapple with the springy willow to create the tautness necessary for hard-wear and long life. Each hurdle, as well as other withy products, bears the mark of its maker. Visitors may choose their preferred style and their entire order is woven up by the same maker.

Their website shows many different style of hurdle, as well as many other willow products such as arbours and arches.

Building and using a simple letterpress

Here is a nice little video showing the construction and use of a simple letterpress.

Abstract Art: Linde Martin

Linde B. Martin describes herself as an innovative abstract & modern artist. She works in oils on linen. In this video she talks about the philosophy behind her work, while we watch her technique with various large palette knives.

Beethoven's Fifth

And Now for Something Completely Different.

I was searching for information about Beethoven's Fifth Symphony when I found this delightful little animation and decided I wanted to share it with you. It's not quite in keeping with the topic of this blog, but I do think it is quite creative and worthy of a mention.

Flexible, folded-paper surface

Here is a video showing a piece of paper being folded into an interesting textured surface that is quite flexible. It looks interesting to play with, and I wonder how big a surface one could make. I'm also asking myself if several of these surfaces could be used to make a large abstract sculpture of some sort. Maybe some sort of kinetic art? What if the paper was reflective? Or coloured using the polymorph technique used in Rainbow Rhythm? Lots of possibilities, so take a look and let me know what ideas you have!

Rainbow Rythm

Rainbow Rythm is a Polymorph by Yaacov Agam. In this technique an image is presented in triangular relief, and depending on the relative position of the viewer, different images are presented. The viewer has to move position to see the whole artwork.

Hewing logs; east or west?

Robin Wood, who we saw carving spoons a while ago, compares two methods for hewing logs into square beams.

The German way:

The Japanese way:

I would definitely be wearing safety shoes for that job.

Pool dyed batik

Batik Artist Jane Downer demonstrates the Batik technique of isolating "pools" of fabric with wax and applying colour directly within those pools.

Polymer clay inspiration

Laura Curran, polymer clay artist, shares her inspiring jewelry, dolls, and books.

Forging Blacksmith Tongs

Blacksmith David Robertson demonstrates how to make bolt head tongs. The curved jaws of these tongs are handy for holding curved shapes that can stick out the side of the jaws. He uses a variety of tools and techniques, including bending forks, swage block, riveting and twisting.

Blackboards, chalk, pins and paper tags

Blackboards, chalk, pins and paper tags sound like an unlikely combination for making art, but here is Leslie Atik talking about her 2007 show, Marking Language. She says it is about the deeper meaning of language. Grammatical elements are physically marked on handwritten text, revealing patterns evocative of sheet music, and establishing a visual vocabulary.

Stone Balancing

I'm not sure if this is craft, meditation, performance or art. Either way, this interview with Adrian Gray, stone balancer and photographer, is well worth a look. It was filmed at the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts 2007, with Billy Bragg performing in the background.

Another rock balancer, Bill Dan, maintains a blog "The Rocker : World wide phenomenon" featuring photos of balanced stones from around the world.

Not to be outdone, nature has already provided us with examples of balanced or rocking stones, such as the Logan Stones of Dartmoor, Balance Rock at Lanesborough and Balanced Rock in Arches National Park.

Glass blown lighting fixtures

Glass blowing is believed to have been invented by the Phoenicians over 2000 years ago. A ball of molten glass is inflated by blowing air into it. While still hot, it is shaped, either free-form or by molding.

Three kilns are used, one for the molten glass, one to reheat the glass while it is being worked, and one to slowly cool and anneal the glass when it is finished. A number of hand tools are used, including the blowpipe, the punty (a metal rod used to pick up and carry molten glass), marver (a flat metal plate for cooling and shaping glass), tweezers, and shears.

This video shows glass artist Sharon Gilbert of Talisman Glass making two items using some of these tools.

Making a split oak basket

This video shows white oak being split and weaved into a basket:

For more information on split oak basketry, see "Oakwood Baskets".

Texture Without Colour

In this video, Maggie Ayers explains how shape and form can be created by both colour and texture. When the colour is removed the focus is then entirely on the texture created and the light falling on it.

Art from junk

Artists in Residence program at the dump in San Francisco.

Carve a wooden spoon

Today I have a set of three videos showing Robin Wood carving a wooden spoon.

This first clip shows Robin using an axe to split a log and rough out the spoon. When I first saw this I thought he must be live in a bachelor pad, but apparently not.

Now he starts refining the shape with a knife.

Robin ends his work with a curved knife to hollow out the spoon.

In this final video, Robin's wife Nicola shows how she finishes the spoon without using abrasives.

Robin and Nicola run spoon carving courses from their home in Edale in the beautiful Peak District of England.