18 JULY 1931, Page 14

Country Life


In several parts of Britain is to be found just one man who is the repository of a traditional art ; and there is a danger that the art may die with him. I came upon two last week, and happily in each case there are welcome signs that the reviving popularity of rural crafts in general, as in particular, will save such traditional skill from extinction. It is a near thing, nevertheless. One of these artists is Mr. W. Rees, of Henilan, Cardiganshire ; and his art is the turning of spoons, butter patterns, wooden bowls and such like out of sycamore. The advance of science has put an end to the old industry of making both the butter containers once fixed to farm carts and wagons, and the wooden plaques for impressing butter. Mr. Rees, who knows the annals of his art supremely well, could give many other examples. But the use and popularity of his craft have still many lines of activity. Even collectors have an eye to his wooden spoons ; and he could have sold something like a gross more than he possessed at the Royal Show, where he demonstrated the manufacture ; and his wooden bowls should be at least as popular.

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