Sunday, 16 March 2014

Gee, Barry, who'da thunk it?

So, Gentle Readers, this post comes to you today from the letters "D" for Disappointment, "A" for Anger, and "P" for pride...

As some of the more dedicated amongst you will remember, I've been doing this on & off for a few years now:

Applying fabric to wooden foundations, with intervening layers of foam, elastic or jute webbing, hand-tied springs, flocking flock, lintus, calico, fabric... for which the collective noun is... upholstery.

Last year, our State Government, in its infinite wisdom, decided that the Institution that trains people to do Trades (read:  plumbing, carpentry, motor mechanics, glazing, floor coverings, electrical, cabinet making, french polishing, lead lighting, and yes, even upholstery) did not need about $80 million dollars of its budget, and so it cut that much money.  The end result of this is that my course, which I was aiming to finish this year, no longer offers a night class.  Which means that... unless I can find a day job which is happy for me to work 4 days a week, I can't attend, so I can't finish.  And neither can anybody else who can only go at night.

The other part of the death-knell is that the Institution is not allowed to enrol anybody who isn't doing an apprenticeship, unless you were unfinished at the end of last year.  So, potential new adult learners, even if you could go during the day, you can't go during the day unless you've got an apprenticeship (and see above for why you can't go at night any more, in case you missed it the first time).  Apprentice wages are unchanged since the days you had to provide your own candles and Queen Victoria was on the throne, so an adult person living away from home is unlikely to be able to survive on those!

This also means that about five of the six highly experienced teachers who taught, between them, night classes, day classes, access classes (for people who might be interested in becoming upholsterers without doing an apprenticeship), country block classes (for people who live too far away to attend once per week, and who come down for a week once every month), have all lost their jobs, and only one teacher remains.

And so, the reasons behind the "D" for Disappointment and the "A" for Anger become clear.  

But the "P" for pride?  My slipper chair, which I'm sure I documented here in great detail as it was being constructed, won First Prize and Most Outstanding Exhibit in the Handcrafts - Open class, at a smallish Agricultural show not too far from where I went to school.  I gave the chair to MBF's lovely Ma, Clare as a gift, and she put it into the Show.  So, Barry, in case you were thinking nobody cares about the cuts to Upholstery, think again.  I believe the good people at the Moss Vale & District A H & I Society just gave you the finger.


Photo © Greg Reive 

1 comment:

  1. aside from the well deserved rant, so so so proud of you! Well done!


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