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Craig Grant- Company Founder
Craig was born in Plymouth, Devon. He spent the majority of his youth in the woodlands in and around Dartmoor National Park. This is where he began to learn his Bushcraft skills and his passion for Aboriginal cultures began. He now specializes and is an authority in Native American arts and crafts, indigenous skills their culture and primitive technologies. As a young scout his interests moved towards living history (fur trade), where he learned new skills and continued to expand on his knowledge. Eventually he began
to teach these skills and Craig now has over 30 years experience and within this fields. Craig’s interests and passions have taken him around the world. The majority of Craig’s skills are self-taught with his expertise he has used his skills in a number of real life situations.
Craig has now came full cycle and now lives and works from his home in Plymouth
where he teaches and demonstrates these skills to Schools youth groups and all people who share an interest in the outdoors. Craig also sells his artwork and craft work to the general public, internationally.
Craig’s aim is to pass on his knowledge to all generations in order to give them a greater understanding of themselves, the outdoors and the world around them.
Want to know more about Craig? Then read on!
” It was the image below that changed my life. I found this book on the shelf in my first class in primary school when I was 4 years old. I couldn’t read then but I wanted to recreate what I had seen. I did but I used the wrong stones!”
Throughout Craig’s life, Bushcraft skills have been the underlying force of a lifetime of studies, exploration, experiences and a driving passion love for the natural world. With all fields of the vast subject of what is now referred to as “Bushcraft”.
Craig, with his family, would spend the weekends walking and visiting Dartmoor National Park. They would venture out to see old settlements and learn directly from the people he met.
Craig’s passion and interest in Bushcraft began in primary school, when he moved from an urban area to a more rural setting. Craig spent his early years playing in the local woods building shelters, lighting fires, making bows and arrows, learning about the plants and trees he encountered. His interest and passion for indigenous first began at the age of 9 years.
” I was off school one day when I saw a program about Native Americans. They fascinated me, the way they looked, what they were wearing and how they lived. From there, I visited the local library & took out a book written by Michael Johnson. Within the book was a picture of a war shirt & I asked my Mum if I could have a bed sheet to make one. I used tea bags to dye the shirt, and an old rabbit skin coat for the the drops. This was a true turning point in my creative life.”
Craig’s skills are entirely self taught & he would “learn by doing”, something that he encourages with his students to this day. At the age of 10 years old he bought a copy of “The survival handbook” by Ray Mears. The book changed his views and understanding of nature and became his most valued possession.
During his time in the Scouts Craig became troop leader, leading his troop and winning a number of competitions in backwards cooking, and camping. Inspired by artefacts he saw in local museums, he began showing primitive living skills to the members of his troop. During his scouting days Craig taught and organised visits from re-enactment groups.
” I followed my brother into our local Scout group. Our troop was always very active, out on Dartmoor learning survival skills from our leaders. Our leaders were all ex- forces and were a true inspiration to me.”
During the time within the scouts Craig began to become involved in re-enactment (fur trade of North America). At the age of 13 he made his own handstitched canvas Tipi together with making all of his own costume and accoutrements for his camp.
He would spend the school holidays & weekends away living in his Tipi at living history events throughout the UK. Taking part in demonstrations at museums, tourist events, as well as private camps. Craig ran archery axe throwing, knife throwing and other wilderness skills competitions.
With his passion for First Nations Craig then began to attend powwows where he learnt Native American dance.
It was during that period in his informative years where he honed the majority of his Bushcraft skills. Included, brain tanning, quillwork, bow making, birch bark work and pattern making, which are the fundamental outdoor skills associated with the North American fur trade material culture.
“It was in secondary school where my passions were honed. I would spend weekends out camping with friends or on my own. I would spend my lunch times researching primitive skills learning about indigenous cultures making the things I had seen in ceramics or in the metal attempting to make fire steels, fur trade jewellery and arrowheads.”
Craig studied metals & ceramics at college where he learnt forging, ceramics and his trade as a jeweller. During this period he would take friends out to showing them the local areas camping showing them wild foods and spending extended periods in the woods learning new skills and improving/maintaining old ones.
Re-enactment, working in Black Jack Oaks
Craig moved from Plymouth to Southampton to work in a shop that specializes in all things from Native American culture and the fur trade.
” Black Jack Oak’s shop was truly something else, an emporium of all the things I loved and a real eye opener to a wider world. John Goater, owner of the shop, taught me so much about Native culture and encouraged me to learn and explore the world.”
Part of the business were the living history rendezvous’ which were held in a small woods south of Romsey. On the site was an old fur trade fort built on the edge of the woods. Where visitors would camp under canvas and wear period clothing. A part of Craig’s job was to organise and run living history events, together with making handmade historically accurate jewellery and other commissions for costume, museums, and private clients. Craig met Edgar Baptist (Cree Chief) of the Red pheasant reserve Canada.
“Edgar was a great influence to me & I learnt so much about the old ways. We would spend hours talking about life in the Canadian wilderness & reserve life. The skills he showed me were most important. First hand being an culmination of thousands of years of knowledge. Many of which I have never seen in books!”
From Southampton Craig returned to his home territories around Plymouth. He completed a HND at Plymouth University studying metals and glass and he expanded his skills in forging, casting & jewellery making. At the same time Craig continued to improve and advance his Bushcraft skills in the forests in and around Dartmoor National Park. He took his friends outdoors, teaching/ guiding them in wilderness living skills.
During this time Craig enlisted in 131 commando Royal engineers serving for 2 years, leaving the service due to an injury.
Craig’s passion for the natural world has taken him travelling to France for extended periods, living by himself in the forests for 2 ½ months.
Craig has also travelled around Australia where he worked and lived with Aboriginals, as part of the Wilderness Society.
” Working for the Wilderness Society was a eye opener for me. I moved from Perth to Canberra, the HQ. I wanted to give something back to Australia. I worked on “The Gondwana Project” together with working with Aboriginal elders. From there I went into the bush and learnt directly from them.”
Craig has lived for extended periods in woodlands within the UK, from the coast to the Lake District, Scotland, Wales, and his home in the South West. The UK being Craig’s favorite place. From his travel a life study of indigenous cultures. Craig now has a greater understanding of our own indigenous past.
Craig Grant Bushcraft Survival
When Craig returned to Plymouth from Australia in 2006 he began to set up his own practice in teaching wilderness skills. Craig has worked with schools, youth groups, museums, various organisations & private clients, providing training together with promoting conservation, self-awareness, self- reliance and more.
Craig teaches all fundamental bushcraft survival skills, including plant technology together with first Nations crafts, including bow making flint napping, clothing and more.
As an artist Craig produces arts and crafts associated with bushcraft. He sells his work internationally and is recognised as a master craftsman by his peers, and has written a number of articles for “The Bushcraft Magazine”. Craig is currently working on his first book focusing on First Nations Bushcraft skills of the Northern hemisphere.
Craig will be soon visiting the six nations of the Iroquois, where he will be working with First Nations teaching wilderness living skills and traditional crafts.
Craig is committed to conservation, education, encouraging creativity by teaching and passing on skills . He teaches from his local forest in the South West, together with working freelance around the UK and North America.
Craig’s work and message is supported by a number of organisations committed to conservation within th United Kingdom.
“It is my mission to encourage & pass on these human skills to all that are interested. To reinforce the links with the natural world we are part of & to give future generations a greater understanding of our origins. “Bushcraft unites us all as human beings.”