In our recent report on the launch of the HCA Forum we mentioned an idea on how to tackle the challenges crafts are facing these days and ensure their survival. Our idea was for professional crafters to open up their studios / workshops to amateurs. Both by doing introductory courses and masterclasses but also by enabling hobby crafters to come in their own time and work on their own stuff. The professional crafter could easily charge a small fee for the use of equipment and the hobby crafter would pay for their own material. But apart from the financial gains the professional crafter would be able to help the crafters get better at their craft and encourage those with the skills to take it further and thus secure the survival of endangered crafts.
In the same sort of way Martena Duss and Sissi Holleis opened their Sweat Shop cafe in Paris. Like at an Internet cafe people come there and rent a sewing machine on an hourly basis. Coffee and cake is available together with evening classes that can help you better your technique. The Sweat Shop is described as a "cafe couture" and is a new concept in the creative world. I wish them the best of luck and sincerely hope that others will try the same (maybe in London!)