Lovingly crafted

First published in Letters

Sir, Having grown up in the inter-war years when only boys and men were considered capable of using wood and metal for work or leisure handicrafts, I have been amazed by the extremely high standards of design, manufacture, construction and finish of furniture created by 15-year-old pupils of a school, whose end-of-term design and technology exhibition and open evening I was privileged to attend as a grandparent.

Seeing a wide range of beautiful dresses, hand-crafted materials, meticulously kept files detailing how ideas and inspirations had been transformed into reality and the equally high standards set in the wide field of drawing, painting and the arts did not really surprise me because I have always appreciated the artistic talents of the fairer sex from the days when they outshone my own feeble efforts, especially at a new primary school where the head told me I would learn to knit before I left. I did, but badly.

The reason I was amazed by the display in the wood and metal workshop was because items like a large desk of solid walnut with three perfectly fitting drawers with a bit of “bling” provided by the handles, a double bed with a headboard delicately inlaid, a full-length mirror, a clock-case, an outdoor seat of hard wood created, thoughtfully, especially to fit a family of taller people, desks and tables made with intricately crafted and finished legs had been created by girls.

It was the second year I had visited such an exhibition at Oxford High School and the second time I had admired such beautiful work, which would not have been out of place in any top showroom, where every piece would have commanded a premium price from a discerning buyer seeking a unique piece of lovingly crafted furniture.

Congratulations, girls and tutors.

Jack Loftin Charlton Village Road Wantage

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