Acclaim his handmade bicycle frames are receiving my

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acclaim his handmade bicycle frames are receiving. "My grandfather, a cabinet-maker, was the only person in my family to make things. When he died, I wanted to use the money he left me to learn to make something beautiful and tangible." Unable to find anybody to teach him frame-building, Warmerdam, a mechanical engineering graduate, took a course in metalwork offered by an engineering training association in Southampton. "It took me two years to get to the point where my frames were good enough, which was a couple of years ago."
- Now, Demon Frameworks has a full order book and a waiting list of six months, with each frame Warmerdam welds taking at least a week, usually two, to make. "I spend a lot of time on my frames to get the satisfaction of looking at something and not seeing a flaw. Working with your hands and making something is real. It's not something I'll get rich doing, but richness comes in many forms." - Like Ross, Warmerdam is working on a more affordable range: "I'd like to make handcrafted bikes more accessible to people without a large wad of cash and I'd like to train three or four people to build them." Despite his success in a financial climate that hardly encourages spending on hand-built bicycles, Warmerdam believes Britain is lagging behind the US in its appreciation of local, handmade products: "Americans seem to be more proud to ride something made in America than we are to ride something British." - Timothy Everest has similar sentiments about Japan, where he has just opened his 21st shop: "The Japanese k have a much stronger appreciation of handmade and I've tried to work out why. Schooling is very rigorous in Japan, so studying something deeply comes easily. Also, there's an appreciation of heritage." Yet, in both Japan and America, there is enduring respect for Britain's handmade culture. - Crafts depend on skills being passed from person to person. As Greenlees of the Crafts Council points out, if primary and secondary schoolchildren are not introduced to craft, they won't be aware they can do those jobs, leading higher-education courses to close. In tailoring, though, there appears to be less shortage of interest than opportunity. "The tailoring course at Newham College is oversubscribed three or four times but there are only five or six job vacancies in London each year," says Everest. "It takes time to train good people. But lots of young people are interested and they're looking for a craft, an apprenticeship and a lifestyle, not just a job."
Greenlees observes that because so many young people haven't had the opportunity of making something, because it is so different from the virtual worlds of computer games and Facebook, craft and DIY are now seen as cool. - The passing on of traditional skills also preoccupies Douglas Cordeaux, managing director of Fox Brothers, a Somerset-based supplier of flannel to Timothy Everest. Cordeaux invested in the business, with neighbour Deborah Meaden (of Dragons' Den fame), two years ago. "When I walked through the door, I was taken aback by the sound of looms running in this country. It's not something you

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