About Craig

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As new family members join our ever growing tree, it is natural to find out a little about the family members. Shoe making and designing seems to be in my blood as my forefathers were all involved in shoemaking. My grandfather  Louis, however, was a superb gardener and although blinded in the first world war, created a wonderful garden at his home in Brighton, Sussex. I was taught by him how to care for plants and he was my inspiration in developing my hobby of Bonsai.  My dad Jack, was an avid cine photographer and loved to talk to me about his techniques for taking shots. I see the world now through a lens sometimes not taking enough time to see what it is that I am photographing.

 

 


I ran a business  which became one of the worlds premier suppliers, designers and manufacturers of Irish and Scottish Dancing Shoes. I have been a dance shoe fitter for 45 years and finally became the chief fitter and designer for Gamba Dance Shoes which was since 1903, one of the worlds largest dance and theatrical shoe makers. I was part of this company  until 1995 and my job was to fit over 160 professional ballet companies and most of the professional theatres around the globe. I retired in 1995 to focus my energies in making shoes for the niche market of Irish and Scottish dance. My mother Sadie Simpson, was a famous dance teacher and she registered the name in 1970 for her own dance shoe line that I designed for her business. I registered the name in all the countries that we operated.

I am now retired


 

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My hobby, apart for the family websites was, for almost 45 years, Bonsai. I have written some books on the subject and  been teaching the art of Bonsai since 1975. I retired from teaching in 2007 and, due to health issues , I rarely venture out  these days. 

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Marriage: I was first married to Griselda and we have two children, Keith and Rebecca. Keith is married to Nina and they have a little boy Max and Rebecca married Chris and they have three beautiful girls, Hannah, Jessica and Sophie. Griselda and I amicably separated and then divorced in the early 90's

I met Svetlana in 1993 in Edinburgh where I was living and we became friends eventually getting married and have been together since Svetlana is from Volgograd in Southern Russia. A former philologist and teacher of Russian Literature, Svetlana now has a new interest in the study of Marine Biology.

My wife is my inspiration to become a writer.

In 1989 I opened a joint venture in Russia to make a new style of Ballet Pointe Shoe for the European and North American Market. Although I was there three years, the events that overtook us during 1990  and 1991 made it impossible for me to continue. Russia was going through a change and internal issues were making it very hard for me to make things work. I made a lot of friends in Moscow as I taught the local Bonsai Club and stayed with family for most of my time when I was there.

Craig outside the Kremlin Walls with a friends Borzoi.

My sports were fencing, Tae Kwon Do 

As a youngster I swam for the Glasgow Macaabi and the Scottish Team. I started Ju-Jitsu when I was 7 and over the years studied Kung Fu and ITF and WTF Tae Kwon Do,  I practised TKD for 12 years. I used this martial arts experience for my later part time work in the theatre.

Fencing became part of my life in 1972 and I eventually qualified as a Fencing Coach teaching around Edinburgh. In 1983 I was asked to coach the Scottish Paraplegic Team as this is their only combat Sport. My success with them lead the British Team organisers to appoint me as the National Coach for Great Britain  a little later.

In 1975 I was asked to teach fight scenes for one of Scottish Operas two opening productions at their newly purchased home, The Theatre Royal in Glasgow. This was Verdi's Otello. The production was made special as my own fencing coach, the wonderful and highly respected Professor Bert Bracewell the National Coach, was assisting me in this huge undertaking, The production was extremely successful and Scottish Opera asked me to do many more productions after this. I also created the notation for fights at Scottish Ballet's mew production of Romeo and Juliet  and other dance companies. I had a musical background and a dance background so this was relatively easy.

I went on to create the fights for  a series of Operas at  English National Opera and Opera North. I worked on over 45 different television and film productions during the following 12 years. Although teaching fencing at nights and at weekends, I managed to juggle my teaching commitments with my theatrical commitments and my business of selling dancewear.

I retired from Fencing in 1987 to concentrate on my work as a fitter and designer of Ballet Shoes which by this time was taking me all over the world.

Music:
Click Picture:

I was taught to play clarinet at a young age and over the years I have learned a number of wood wind and brass instruments

Photography:

Here are some links to my photo pages. http://www.bonsaiinformation.com/landscape1.htm and http://www.bonsaiinformation.com/landscapes1.htm
My father inspired me to take up photography as he was an avid cine photographer and he taught me scene placement and landscape structure in film.
I now take natural and urban landscapes and people on their jobs.
I like the urban landscape as I can  thoroughly  investigate the pubs and eateries wherever a picture takes me.

It is sadly more difficult for me with increasingly bad knees and back problems. I try my best of course,

 



 Kyoto Japan ©

 
Tallinn Estonia  Baltic Sea©


Les Chefs ,Nantes France ©




Clannais (Clannaish) -Isle of Lewis  ©

Les Cafe des Federations, Lyon France ©

Loch Lomond, Scotland ©

 Jenny Lake, Grand Tetons Wyoming USA©

Ketchikan, Alaska USA ©

Sofalia, New South Wales, Australia ©

If you liked these please visit the rest of the pages.
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