Podcasting and Paper Crowns: Learning The Art of Your Craft.

I began podcasting as a freelance podcast producer three years ago. That was when I began learning the art of a new craft.

The Art of the Podcasting Craft.

My best friend at primary school had a Dad who was a blacksmith.

My friend’s Dad made the arching, colourful sign that still hangs proudly in Beverley town centre today, welcoming people to the snicket (rename as geographically appropriate) called Dyer Lane that runs from Saturday Market to what was the cattle market, but is now Tesco. (It still sells cattle, just some way down the line and pre-packed…)

A lot of furniture in our house growing was made by my Mum’s Dad or Grandad. My sister and I once won fluffy toy bananas with googly eyes at Hull Fair and, for a few days at least, and they lived in a pink dolls wardrobe that my Great-Grandad had crafted for my Mum: ornate little cats painted across the top, droplet handles either side. (But to us, she’s just Mum.)

So with all these elements infusing my child’s brain, the art of the craft became important to me.

(This morning I Googled “Parents’ Union” because it was clear to see on the school run a number of coronation crowns were shop bought, and not finished at midnight by glue-encrusted, staple-riddled hands.)

Previously, I’ve felt that using something that does it for you is cheating my craft.

When I began podcast producing 3 years ago, as well as the radio presenting & producing ability, and the journalistic knowledge I’d gained at the BBC, I wanted to learn the additional craft that melds into the previous skills I had.

There was more to the craft of podcasting than I’d perceived.

In radio, you do all the creative aspects of the audio creation… and then the compression that lives in the ether magically turns it into nectar by the time it arrives into your ears.

In podcasting, you have to manually add compression, or take away plosives (the bits where it sounds like someone’s accidentally beatboxing when they talk).

All this, I learned how-to by asking people in the industry, watching videos, and practising my craft.

It’s how you use them that makes you a craft person.

To be honest, it’s an element I enjoy now. Like finely brushing the paint onto a newly-flamed porcelain doll. (Is that how you make dolls? It’s not my area of expertise…)

AND… over that time I have also learned to take on-board tools of the trade.

Those initial podcasts were edited on a small-screen laptop in my daughter’s nursery. So, I invested in a larger screen, a faster computer, and gutted and renovated my shed to turn it into a Shedio.

And today I invested in a programme to take all the painstaking bits, so I can concentrate on the editing in other areas. The fine crafting.

Previously, I’ve felt that using something that does it for you is cheating my craft.

Yet, as with my friend’s Dad who had a workshop filled with tools, or my Grandpa’s wondrously musty garage with all its spell-binding instruments, you need tools of the trade.

It’s how you use them that makes you a craftsperson.

(OR… It’s okay to buy the tools from a shop… just not the whole entire crown!)

My son's crafted crown. MAde with gold (well, brown) paper, and lots of glue, and some shiny chainmail-effect stuck on, with more glue. A red jewel-effect heart is stuck on, and a green shiny arrow. Podcasting is more my area of craft.
Podcasting is a craft I love. Whereas here is my attempt at a crown: shiny and golden and dripping with glue jewels.

I am available for all your podcasting/writing/crown-making needs here. Only one uses lots of glue.



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