17 Oct 2021

Christchurch's Heritage Festival remembers old craft work

From Standing Room Only, 2:25 pm on 17 October 2021

The popularity of the British TV series The Repair Shop - where damaged personal items are repaired by talented craftspeople - is a reminder that some skills must never be allowed to die out.

Christchurch is about to celebrate its Heritage Festival with events including workshops for printmaking, blacksmithing and colonial baking at the Okains Bay Māori and Colonial Museum on Banks Peninsula.

The Craftmasters' Festival of Heritage Crafts hopes to encourage people to give it a go, and along the way to appreciate just what goes into the handmade at a time when most things are mass produced.

Lynn Freeman spoke to blacksmith Les Schenkel  - who you'll usually find at the Blacksmith Shop at Governors Bay.  Les is concerned that his craft is dying in Aotearoa, with few if any apprenticeships offered.

And first, she talked to colonial baker Tanya Markman.  It seems there's a world of difference between modern day ovens and baking with the museum's 1860s colonial oven, made from slabs of volcanic rock.