Anna Airaksinen

Your host at Blacksmith Shop Crafts

My name is Anna, I spent my earlier years in Finland, and decided to move to England when I was 19, and have been in Yorkshire ever since!

I was brought up in an environment where people had the ability to make life’s essentials, and some of the extras too! Skills like knitting, crocheting, sewing and joinery were common among the people I grew up alongside. Likewise, meals were mostly made with home grown, hunted or foraged ingredients, and baking was done in a rustic wood burning oven!

These days, skills like this are not essential, yet are still very desirable to learn and expand one’s interests, and create something lovingly prepared and unique.
This is why I have created a personalised service in the comfort of my own home, welcoming people for the day to share the skills I have acquired throughout my life.

My working life began at Droopy and Brown’s in York, making specialised wedding dresses, following which I then spent several years working from home, making wedding dresses and ball gowns, while my two daughters were little. After 3 years of studying Furniture design and Management at York St John College, I was awarded a 2:1 degree, which lead me to study for a PGCE. I then taught Design and Technology for 12 years at Selby High School.

Teaching was exciting because of the enormous amount of creativity I saw, and hopefully fostered, in children of different ages and ability. Teaching Design and Technology both familiarised me with IT in schools and also rekindled my love of crafts.

Technology now enables us to use a huge range of different materials and techniques to help us make the traditional crafts more contemporary. I would like to make sure that we do not add to the environmental disaster but reuse materials and only use new materials in our work which will recycle or compost.

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