Category Archives: Skilled hands project

Skilled hands project – Bates Tongues

For sometime now I have been told that I needed a photography project. I wracked my brain to come up with something. I received some suggestions that were mainly political in nature, but that isn’t really me. Yes, they may have been interesting, but I needed something I could feel passionate about.

Finally after a few ideas such as ‘Nightmares’ and’ 100 ‘strangers’ I settled on ‘Skilled Hands’. The aim of the project is to capture Artists and craftsmen at work.

I have a little history in Saxon re-enactment and an interest in the medieval period of history. I also have a fascination with fire and all things molten so it makes sense for me to start my project with blacksmiths.

The first shoot in this series is with Jez Bates of Bates Tongues.


I got up relatively early for a Saturday and headed of towards Stafford to find Amerton Farm. It took me just over 50 minutes on the A50. When I arrived the ground was still frosty so I couldn’t resist the chance of a quick landscape shot before finding the forge.

The workshop itself was a wonderfully atmospheric building off to the left of the main building on the opposite side of the courtyard.

Jez and I seamed to got on pretty well and I spent a good few hours snapping away whilst he worked. I did find the process very interesting and fascinating to watch. I may return at some point to get some more shots

My plan for now is to shoot a few more blacksmiths and then to shoot some sand casting and glass blowing. After that who knows. Most likely I’ll have a look at wood turning and potters.

Watch this space :-)