It's catch-up time...
As we all get used to spending more time at home, Crafts magazine has put together its top craft TV picks to keep you inspired, informed and entertained.
Netflix recently entered the craft field with Blown Away: a high-energy, 10-episode series in which contestants compete against one another to be titled ‘Best in Blow’. As Crafts’ critic Teleri Lloyd-Jones put it: ‘Blown Away’s production values are high: think Peaky Blinders meets craft. There’s a plethora of slow-motion dolly shots of furnaces, sweating brows, molten glass twisting on blowpipes and steam billowing from water-soaked pads.’
This CBBC show is one for all the parents wishing to keep children creative and entertained at home. Each episode centres on a fun theme, such as ‘Slime Party’ or ‘Unicorn Party’, offering easy-to-follow ideas explained by kids, for kids. Expect playful projects ranging from making pirate ships from old juice cartons to crafting animal costumes from cardboard.
Fans of slow TV can’t get much better than BBC Four’s mesmerising Handmade series. Three episodes each show a master craftsman at work: Michael Ruh blows a glass jug, Owen Bush forges a knife, and Jim Steele makes a Windsor chair. Without either voiceover or music, the focus of each half-hour episode is entirely on the craft process.
The Victorian House of Arts and Crafts
How hard is it to hand-craft home furnishings while clad in a corset? In this four-part BBC Two programme, a crew of craftspeople discover what it was like to live and work in a late 1800's Arts and Crafts house in rural Wales. As the group re-create its glories from scratch – from hand-printing wallpaper to making Sussex chairs – they also experience the highs and lows of communal living.
Secrets of the Museum
Missing your favourite museum? This six-part BBC series set at London’s V&A might be the next best thing. For the first time, cameras captured the behind-the-scenes action at one of the world’s best-loved museums. ‘Whether the jovial demeanour of all the curators, technicians and conservators filmed was for the camera or representative of everyday working-life at the V&A, what comes through is the attitude of care and love for what they do,’ says Crafts’ critic Jareh Das.
The Great Pottery Throw Down
With new host ceramic designer Sue Pryke joining potter Keith Brymer-Jones, this ever-popular Channel 4 programme is back for its third series. Set in Stoke-on-Trent’s Middleport Pottery, twelve hopeful home potters complete tasks ranging from throwing teasets to making a fully-functional toilet. Expect tears (mostly Brymer-Jones’s), tricky tasks, and a feelgood mood akin to that of Bake Off.
Kirstie's Celebrity Craft Masters
If you’ve ever fancied seeing comedian Jenny Eclair attempt to craft a footstool, this one's for you. For this Channel 4 programme, presenter Kirstie Allsop pits famous figures against one another as they take on challenges ranging from weaving cat baskets to lino-cutting card designs.
The Wonderful World of Crafting
How do you turn a hobby into a business? It’s the question at the heart of this Channel 5 reality TV series, which sees self-taught craftspeople seek to turn a private passion into a profession with the help of established makers. As Crafts’ critic Will Wiles puts it: ‘The Wonderful World of Crafting has some valuable nuggets of advice buried in its comforting fluff.’
Craft It Yourself
In this design-focused Channel 4 show, three amateur crafters go head-to-head as they makeover rooms in line with home interiors trends. As the team try their hand at a host of techniques, they visit master craftspeople to try out new skills, such as beading, blowing glass ornaments, weaving baskets and painting tiles.
Crafts magazine and the Crafts Council are trying their best to support you through this difficult time. Over the next few weeks we will be publishing content online to keep you inspired and entertained, as well as advice on how to continue your craft business during this period of isolation. In the meantime, browse our list of craft books to read and to learn from, plus podcasts and online courses to help you beat isolation boredom. You can also browse five decades worth of Crafts magazine back issues for free online