The Guild of Straw Craftsmen
Welcome to the Guild of Straw Craftsmen On-Line.
Thank you for visiting The Guild of Straw Craftsmen Web Site. We hope to provide you with an extensive online collection of information about this traditional craft in its many guises. Much of this material has been collected by the Guild Historian and Archivist as well as individual members. Through the web site we are now able to share this knowledge with you. Straw craft isn't just about Corn Dollies, although many of our members came into the Guild through Corn Dollies. After seeing what can be made out of straw they then branched out into the other facets of this traditional craft. Straw craft includes marquetry, Swiss straw work, models made of straw, lip work, tied straw figures, finials, plaited straw hats and much much more. Straw objects can be made of wheat, barley, oats, rye and even rice straw. Although, in the UK, we do not use corn husks or rice straw we still have information on how you can work them. We aim to have information for both the beginner and the enthusiast covering all aspects of straw work.
Straw craft is one of Britain's traditional crafts; it has been practiced for hundreds of years. Although we do not have examples of very old Corn Dollies there are many examples of straw marquetry (all you need to do is look on Ebay for Napoleonic prisoner of war straw work).
Did you know that Rumpelstiltskin was a straw worker as he spun straw into gold? Actually he didn't "spin" the straw but used a rope making technique to make straw threads that looked like gold. Below is a picture of straw threads made by one of the Guild's members.
This traditional craft uses inexpensive tools (all you need to start is a supply of straw and a pair of scissors) which make it ideal for both children and adults alike. Specialist equipment like that for spinning straw threads can be expensive. The projects on the website tell you what tools and materials you require, usually the scissors, cotton thread, ribbon and sometimes a glue stick or other paper glue.
Through our links we hope to send you off on paths you had never dreamed of, that will (we hope) inspire you. We trust you enjoy your visit.
The Aims of The Guild of Straw Craftsmen
Founded in 1989, the aims of The Guild of Straw Craftsmen are to:
||Promote the craft of straw work
||Raise the standard of straw work produced and taught
||Bring straw enthusiasts together
||Disseminate information about all aspects of straw work
This web site has been designed to provide information and inspiration to further these aims.
What's on The Guild of Straw Craftsmen Web Site?
- What's New - Recent changes to the site.
- Membership Details - Membership of The Guild of Straw Craftsmen is open to anyone interested in any aspect of straw craft. We have members who are interested in straw marquetry, making bee skeps, hat decorations as well as plaiting with straw. Details on how to join The Guild of Straw Craftsmen and a link to a copy of the membership form will be found on this page.
- Resources - The book list and a list of suppliers who can provide materials or tools and equipment. Please note that straw suppliers may not be able to supply to places outside of the United Kingdom due to import restrictions of the receiving country. Some of them may expect you to collect the straw.
- Events, Exhibitions and Courses - Guild members appear at many events and some of them are listed here. The Guild also runs courses for both beginners and experienced straw workers alike and these are also listed. This list is updated at the beginning of the year and frequently throughout the year as new events and courses are scheduled.
- Where to see Straw Work - All over Britain straw work can be found. This page lists (by county) places where you can see examples of straw work. The items on display may or may not be made by our members.
- Links - All sorts of links to other sites related to working with straw.