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New Patio Completed

We have been waiting a long time to get the work done on our patio and we cant thank Driveways Plymouth UK enough for the extra time they put in to get the project completed before our next showing.

Visitors can now enjoy a latte out on the patio, listen to some tranquil music and reflect on the artifacts they have seen in the museum. It gives us great pride that the investment required for this building work has been raised by you the people of Plymouth.

Thank you all and please come by and join us soon

The History of Our Museum

A guide to the origin of this museum and the art inside.

The building here at Chope Art and Craft Museum is steeped in history. We have been here since 1967 but the building is well over 100 years old.  Before us it was a natural history museum so there was a massive change when we came in.

Our founding principle was to make the arts available to all, to educate the younger generation and really keep the spirit of crafting alive for many years to come.

Back in the late 1960’s there was over 100 different exhibitions and we employed a staff of around 15 people. Unfortunately museums in the modern age are nowhere near as popular, so now to keep that volume of displays and to staff as many people would be virtually impossible.

The building itself is a traditional Victorian build and there are even reports that Queen Victoria visited the site and to lay the foundation stone. However there is no factual evidence to back up the local folklore that is discussed around the town.

The museums glass windows, textiles, ironwork, paintings and woods date back to the 18th century and come from all over the world. Heavily influenced by the British and European skilled crafts but we have influences and pieces from the Middle East, North America and even Africa.

The British collections have always been the highlight of all our displays and the founders of the Museum wanted this to be the case. It enables us to explain the history of the design, the different skills that were utilised and show the processes and techniques that hundreds of thousands of people still enjoy today.

Contemporary Craftsmanship has been updated and modernized as the years have evolved. The museum remains true to its founding mission of promoting exceptionally high quality craft work, art and acquiring the work for the displays has always been one of the most important parts of our process.

The Chope Art and Craft Museum today offers our visitors the chance to explore the history, enjoy the contemporary and have a guided tour around the displays, galleries and building.

We have special events promoting local crafts people and often host craft fairs allowing local producers to display their work.

Visit our HOMEPAGE to find our opening times and location

The Five Most Popular Crafts Enjoyed Today

A craft is usually a pastime, but sometimes a profession, that requires certain special skills or knowledge. In centuries past, the term was used to describe professional people engaged in the production of goods, or their maintenance, and they belonged to a guild system. Young people were often apprenticed to a master craftsman to learn a particular craft, and this could take years.

Nowadays most people treat crafts as hobbies, although there are many people all over the world, especially in developing countries, who engage in crafts with the aim of making a living from selling them.

Hobbies are Fun and Healthy

It is these days regarded as healthy to engage in one of the many crafts available today. In fact, as a hobby, it is encouraged by medical practitioners as an antidote to the stressful life we all lead today. Not only do they help us relax after a busy day or week, but they are fun to do. Sometimes they even become profitable. Every country regularly puts together craft fairs, which allow people to display their works and even sell them, and these craft fairs have become very popular.

Most countries also have opened craft shops, where people can sell their wares. In this time of high unemployment all over the world, it is a good idea to get young people interested in making articles that they can sell to the public. Some schools encourage children to make things with their hands, and certainly children who develop creativity in youth have an advantage in later life. They might then have an interesting and different way of making a living. If they still only treat their craft as a hobby, at least they will have an outlet for any stress the modern world imposes.

Five Different Kinds of Crafts

Crafts are divided into five main groups. There are the crafts involving textiles, like knitting, sewing, crocheting and all similar crafts. There are crafts involving wood, metal or clay. This includes sculpture, pottery or jewellery making. The next category is crafts involving paper or canvas, which includes painting or drawing with any kind of medium, origami and calligraphy. Then you get crafts that you can do with plants, like flower arranging and basket weaving.

1. Knitting

In the United Kingdom, knitting would definitely one of the five most popular crafts enjoyed today, Everyone can knit a little. All children, even some boys, are taught to knit. There are many books available with knitting patterns, even magazines include knitting patterns, and there are many shops that sell wool. The wool that one finds in the shops today is so beautiful that it can inspire even the rank amateur to pick up a pair of needles. A hand knitted jacket of shawl is still today considered the ideal gift for a new baby.

2. Sewing

Sewing and crocheting are two more crafts that must also rank among the favourites in the UK today. There are many people who sew clothes for their families, or who enjoy make quilt making or embroidery.

3. Flower Arranging

Flower arranging is another craft that never loses its popularity. Whether you arrange the flowers in church every Sunday, or just admire the flowers in shows or flower ships, arranging flowers is something every woman has tried.

4. Pottery

Another craft that could definitely be included in the five most popular crafts in the UK today, could be the craft of making pottery or ceramics. This is a very old craft, and is today a highly developed one, and the number of pottery schools is growing every year. There are several ways of doing pottery, but they do involve a kiln, and bags of sludge and mud, so will not appeal to everyone.

5. Painting

Painting or sketching is another craft that thousands of people enjoy. There are painting schools in every town or village, and sketching clubs, and there is nothing like this to take one’s mind off any of the day to day problems. Playing with paints and colours is something enjoyed by most people, a pleasure that begins in the first years of childhood.

There are so many entertaining crafts available today that people can try. Some are expensive, some don’t cost much, and some are even a necessary part of everyday living. It would be unfair to choose any of the hundreds of delightful crafts as the five most popular crafts enjoyed today.

What is The arts and craft movement

What is The arts and craft movement

The Arts and Craft movement started in England in the second half of the 19th Century. It was a design and artistic style that came into play that really challenged the existing Victorian tastes that were prominent during this time.

At a later stage the style was taken up by American designers, producing different results, over in the U.S it was also known as Mission Style.

Pioneers of this movement are thought to have been social reform thinkers Walter Crane, William Morris and John Ruskin. There notion of fantastic creativity were linked to their notions of a good society. This was a vision in which an everyday worker was not subjected to poor conditions and broken by their everyday life working in factories. Instead it was about encouraging pride in craftsmanship, skill and self-design.

The period had seen a rise in of the consumer class and mass produced projects. Often these products were of a poor quality and design. The movement encouraged the craft of homemade products and Ruskin and Morris proposed that produce was better coming from individual craftsmanship.

Workers could then produce unique beautiful designs and products which would give them employment and raise the standard of consumerism, which until that point had consisted of shoddy, poor quality mass production.

It was hoped that the design and creation would enhance the lives and be” for the people” and “by the people”

The style was inspired by the histories of various countries craftwork. Medieval Guilds provided the modelling of a production system to incorporate aesthetic ideas borrowed from Medieval Europe and Islam. Japanese craft were also used in the early years of Arts and Crafts.

  

The art and Craft style was very angular, incorporating rectangles decorated with motifs of Islamic and medieval design. Unfortunately the skill, the craftsmanship and the beautiful quality of products created meant that the normal “worker” could not afford such luxury.

So instead of being for the people it was merely becoming production that was accessible to the rich. This also meant that the volume was not sufficient enough to employ the craftsman for any length of time. The affordable price of mass production meant it was never replaced and the exquisite pieces created became rare pieces only enjoyed by the gentry of the English population