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Steve Kenward: Des Pawson – Knotworker

Work / Photography

Steve Kenward show us old men with beards making beautiful things by hand

People that make things by hand are better than you. It’s a fact. A long time ago we could all build houses, maintain a successful farm, make our own clothes and craft objects from metal, then the internet arrived and now most of us can’t even work out how to get to the sim card in our mobile phones without having to Google step-by-step instructions, let alone whittle a longbow from a branch.

But there are still people out there making things with their own bare hands; boat builders, wheelwrights and even a guy that blows his own neon lights (we honestly didn’t know that was how they were made). Photographer Steve Kenward is on the hunt to find all of the UK’s traditional craftspeople and document their practice, amassing a huge body of images that teach us about the heritage of pre-industrial Britain and make us feel hugely inadequate. Visually simple in their approach, they feature a series of antiquated processes that are in danger of dying out with the people in the pictures.

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Steve Kenward: Richard Bingham – Trugs

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Steve Kenward: Charles Hutcheon – Stickmaker

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Steve Kenward: Steve Rook – Blacksmith

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Steve Kenward: Andy Doig – Neon Signs

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Steve Kenward: Jim Steele – Windsor Chairs

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Steve Kenward: Brian Crossley – Chair Caner

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Steve Kenward: Trefor Owen – Clogs

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Steve Kenward: Phil Gregson – Wheelright