The subject matter for which this dissertation has arisen has been from
a passion on my own behalf for the older crafts skills and knowledge which
included the former applied practices that are not widely known or practiced in
their full potential. The second area that has intrigue my interest is the
continuing wide spread publications on the shortage of skilled craftsman with
historic applied expertise and knowledge to engage in the restoration sector.
In order to assess whether the present concerns are justified, it will be necessary to look into the past and to
consider what and how this dilemma has been addresses before and then to modern
times; to what is currently in vog to meet the projected demands with in the
The main body of
research will have its concerns in the crafts knowledge with an in-depth survey
provisioned towards craftsman practices and associated knowledge. It will also
include practical reasons for retaining such techniques, considering benefits
for their preservation as well as the advantages to historic building. This
dissertation aims to consider the value of old-style practice in carpentry with
regard to its relevance in authentic reconstruction of historic or protected
building that are under threat or been destroyed.
This will move
further into the relevance of the journeyman system of Europe and the position
of which Open Air Museums play towards the survival of the crafts and
knowledge. Furthermore an examination of crafts establishments that plays a
vital importance in the future of the crafts.
The practices of
two authentic reconstruction projects will be addressed in detail for the case
studies. Both these case are unique in their own terms, one been in a UNESCO
site which is an Open Air Museum, while the other been a protected historic
monument. Both are using older techniques for the construction.
Literature to be examined will form the core of the dissertation in the
current viewed situation of the deficiency of crafts practices, while the questionnaire
will see in real terms where the crafts knowledge is situated. This will form
an understanding of the whole context in which and where the older carpentry
skills and knowledge are positioned.
My intentions are neither to criticise nor to
recommend solutions, as these responsibilities are and have been carried out by
numerus governmental bodies, professional bodies and consultants to which have
formed solutions to reverse and address the decline and knowledge gaps with in
the older crafts practices.