Home Ground Exhibition

“The ecology of natural materials is a vital part of the exhibitor’s lives and the exhibition celebrates and seeks to endorse this home-grown making”.

An inspired project created by the Devon Guild of Craftsmen linking football clubs and their fans to the local trade or craft from which they take their nickname is touring the country. Fans of Sheffield and Stoke and many others will know their teams by their nicknames; the Blades or the Potters. This exhibition, brilliantly, with the hands–on assistance of local artists brings awareness to the work that has made their town famous.

As a member of the Guild I was given a brief: create something unique with a sense of place and local distinctiveness.

The hand-stitched leather football was the first choice and as for local distinctiveness I couldn’t get much nearer than the skin I had just tanned of the roe deer that was hit by a car in our local village.


From time to time John tans the skins of locally culled deer from the Dartington Estate and nearby Dartmoor. He also occasionally retrieve road kill transforming the skin of their slain carcasses into items of beauty. It is with one of these road kill deer skins he tanned that he made a handmade football for the Homeground project run by the Devon Guild of Craftsmen. This football will be part of the touring exhibition which will visit towns and cities whose football club origins are associated with a different craft industry.

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