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The Prince's Master Crafters: The Next Generation

  • Season 1
  • 7 episodes
  • Documentary and factual
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Episode 1: The Prince's Master Crafters: The Next Generation

Summary

Jim Moir, aka Vic Reeves, hosts the programme in which amateur craftspeople explore the history and importance of six key disciplines, with guidance from experts in each field. In the opening edition, Sarah Goss challenges them to create a carving inspired by William Morris and the arts and crafts movement

Review

At first glance this might seem like yet another art contest, but its purpose is a serious one: just last year, four heritage crafts were declared extinct and another 56 critically endangered. “It’s time to take action,” says Jim Moir, hosting this series that promotes Prince Charles’s push to preserve these skills. In essence, six young amateurs in different disciplines take masterclasses from experts — this week wood carver Sarah Goss sets them the task of making a small relief in an Arts and Crafts style.

You sense there’s a smirk in Jim Moir’s voiceovers, as if he wants to break into a Mulligan and O’Hare ballad, but the comedian is also of course a celebrated artist (he finds time to knock off a Thames-side watercolour).

You’ll learn a lot — about the splendidly named Dutch sculptor Grinling Gibbons, for instance, and pargeting (which I thought meant auditioning for The Archers, but no). And it is competitive in the sense that one of their creations will adorn Highgrove House (the participants are genuinely shocked at this revelation). But no evictions, just boundless encouragement.

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