About me

Andy BennettI  am an Essex based speaker, artisan blacksmith and beekeeper.

I have always had a strong interest in practical skills, especially when related to what are rapidly becoming lost crafts, such as beekeeping, blacksmithing, stone carving, wood carving and turning, printing, papermaking, and stained leaded glass.

During my career I had the opportunity to give talks locally, nationally and internationally. The experience was invaluable in developing the talks and demonstrations I now give on the crafts and hobbies I enjoy.

I began my working life in 1981 as an instrument and production engineering apprentice. This led on to a variety of engineering roles, including in research and development. I later moved into sales, sales management, distribution management, business management, and then marketing and communications.

Latterly I headed up corporate communications for the same FTSE500 global high-technology manufacturing company. I also chaired the company’s charity committee, managing its charitable foundation. I also sat on the Essex Employment and Skills Board, working with the South East Local Enterprise Partnership in encouraging the direction of education and training to supply the region’s future employment needs.

During my varied career, I enjoyed extensive global business and personal travel, and learning opportunities. I obtained advanced professional management qualifications through the Open University, and spent two years learning Mandarin whilst establishing the business’s first representative office in Beijing.

Having enjoyed a fulfilling and rewarding 33 year career, in April 2015 I had the opportunity to take my long-awaited ‘gap year(s)’.

Andy Bennett fireI am now exploring my artistic side and giving talks and demonstrations to share my enthusiasm for crafts and space exploration. I am also growing more of our food on our ‘micro-holding’ (like a small-holding but with space constraints), getting down to addressing the long list of things that need doing on Mildred, our 1933 Austin 7, and spending more time with my wife.

I am also a local Parish Councillor, trying to put a little back into the community, promoting sustainability and preserving the rural environment in which we live.