The Plymouth Center for Restoration Arts and Forgotten Trades is a collective of artisans banded together to share handwork — and our love for it — with anyone who wants to learn. CRAFT artisans are known for their technical and aesthetic excellence, as well as for a commitment to ensuring that traditional knowledge and skill endure through creative education. Our core group excels in green woodworking, textile and fiber arts, traditional blacksmithing, and culinary arts, including food history and wood-fired cooking and baking.
Plymouth CRAFT’s mission is to provide unique learning experiences in a wide variety of traditional crafts and trades. Our classes, workshops and presentations are held at a variety of inspiring locations around southeastern Massachusetts, and occasionally beyond.
CRAFT participants tell us that they value the opportunity to directly connect with top-notch traditional practitioners and to immerse themselves in a vibrant educational community.
Our 501(c)3 organization— officially, The Plymouth Center for Restoration Arts and Forgotten Trades—was founded in late 2014.
The CRAFT approach is exploratory and inclusive; we have worked together and independently on myriad projects and programs around the world and here at home. Some of us learned as apprentices, but most of us by the seat of our pants — by finding great craftspeople who were willing to share knowledge, by reading history, by studying archaeology, and by experimenting.
The work of Plymouth CRAFT artisans can be seen at the Tower of London, in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Winterthur Museum, and many other institutions, as well as in private collections. We have been invited to lead workshops and lecture in many settings, including the Heartwood School, The Kneading Conference, Historic Jamestowne, The Harvest Heritage Festival at Monticello, the Brooklyn Brainery, and SlowFood and Culinary History groups. We have consulted on programs for PBS and The History Channel, and been featured on The Woodwright’s Shop, Man Fire Food, and many more such venues.
Why CRAFT’s work is important —
Restoring literacy in the traditional arts and trades not only improves our built environment — making it far more durable and beautiful — but also enhances the health and happiness of the lives lived in those settings.
⋅ carve a spoon ⋅ build a wood-fired oven ⋅ split a log into boards ⋅ hew a timber ⋅ bake with natural leavening ⋅ make traditional lace ⋅ build a fire pit ⋅ roast with live fire ⋅ up your knitting game ⋅ restore lath and plaster ⋅ do scribe-rule timber layout ⋅carve a bowl ⋅ weld at a forge ⋅ make a plaster bas-relief ⋅ embroider a carpet ⋅ make a basket from a tree ⋅ make a carved box ⋅ bake in a wood-fired oven ⋅