Hand Made in Britain: The Visitors Guide|
by Victoria Pybus
Vacation Work Publications, 2002
Paperback, 270 pages, £10.99
ISBN 1 85458 265 8
Pybus' guide is not something for bedtime reading unless you have an interest in the crafts, possibly as a buyer for a shop or high street chain, or as a craft devotee looking for inspiration or access to craftsmen's workshops. Instead, the pages are a directory of one thousand plus crafts sources around the country with short desciptions of each specialist company or craftsman.
To make the content of this first edition manageable the country is split into fourteen regions, although there seems to be a favouritism towards the south west, with Devon and Cornwall each getting separate sections. Other parts of the country, like Wales or The North, are bundled together. However, much of the data, as the Preface notes, has been collected from forms and telephone calls, and it could just be that the craftspeople of the south west were simply making the most of an opportunity at one of the most difficult trading times in the recent past.
Each regional section has a nice clear map at its start, with individually numbered icons relevant to the type of craft business relating directly to the listings that follow. It couldn't be simpler.
The listings themselves include start up date of businesses, contact details, on-site amenities and credit card facilities alongside a brief text description, directions and opening times.
The overall craft areas covered are ceramics, silver, glass, textiles, leatherwork, jewellery, pottery, sculpture, woodworking, clocks, toys, musical instruments, fine food and wine, crafts centres and a short gallery guide. It is not exactly leading edge publishing but will certainly be very useful for seeking out new sources of crafts products or that special gift. There's also a handy Glossary at the back, just in case you do not know what decoupage or diamante items are.