Winners of the 2018 Heritage Crafts Awards

Alex Langlands and Hilary Burns

Maker of the Year Hilary Burns being presented with her award by HCA Patron Alex Langlands

Basket maker Hilary Burns has been named Maker of the Year in the 2018 Heritage Crafts Awards. Hilary won the award in recognition of her work on numerous projects that have put British basket making and heritage crafts at the centre of public consciousness.

Projects include ‘Baskets of the British Isles’, an installation of 52 styles of traditional British baskets hanging over the lobby bar of the Whitby Hotel in Manhattan, the ‘Our House’ project at Selfridges, and a unique class in pigeon basket making for the University of Hertfordshire’s Basketry ‘Then and Now’ project, which looked at the role of basketry in World War One.

Maker of the Year was one of six awards presented at the Heritage Crafts Association’s (HCA) annual conference, Crafts for the Future, at the Royal Society of Medicine on 24 March.

Green woodworker Steve Tomlin won the HCA/Marsh Endangered Craft Award. This new award, set up with the support of the Marsh Christian Trust, recognises a practitioner of one of the 62 crafts currently listed in the ‘critically endangered’ or ‘endangered’ categories of the HCA Red List of Endangered Crafts. Steve, a spoon carver, ash basket maker and scything tutor will use his award to learn to make Devon stave baskets (maunds), a critically endangered craft with no current practitioners or trainees.

Devon-based Green Shoes was awarded the HCA/Marsh ‘Made in Britain’ Award. Started in 1981 by a group of young women passionate about making strong, beautiful, long-lasting shoes, the business has been listed in the top 15 shoemakers in the world for its ethical standards.

HCA/Marsh Trainer of the Year is bookbinder Kathy Abbott. Kathy currently teaches advanced level Fine-Binding in Vellum at City Lit in London as well as giving one-to-one fine-binding workshops across the UK.

The Marsh Volunteer of the Year Award went to Suzy Bennett for her work creating the Dartmoor Artisan Trail. Suzy set up the trail to provide rural craft businesses with a new income from tourism, spending 18 months working on the project on a voluntary basis. The trail was named by the Daily Telegraph as one of the UK’s best travel experiences of 2017.

Paper maker Zoe Collis won The Arts Society/HCA Heritage Crafts bursary which she will use to continue her training at Two Rivers Paper in Somerset. Zoe, a former participant in the HCA’s pre-apprenticeship project funded by the Ernest Cook Trust, was one of only a few successful applicants on the national paper making Trailblazer apprenticeship scheme. She will use the bursary to help pay for the costs of her qualification, which is only part-funded by the government.

During the conference, vellum maker Wim Visscher MBE, rush worker Felicity Irons BEM and flint knapper John Lord BEM were awarded with certificates to mark their inclusion in The Queen’s Birthday Honours Lists in 2017. All three were nominated for their awards by the Heritage Crafts Association.

Speakers at the conference included ceramics producer Emma Bridgewater, TV presenter Paul Martin, and Sam Walton, creative director of Hole and Corner magazine. The event, which focused this year on the future of heritage crafts, brought together craftspeople and enthusiasts from all over the UK to hear from makers and celebrate the best in the country.

The Heritage Crafts Awards celebrate and highlight the traditional living crafts made in the UK that contribute to our national heritage. Applications for the next round of awards and bursaries open on 1 September. For more details about this year’s awards, visit awards.heritagecrafts.org.uk.

Making It! The HCA and QEST at the Worshipful Company of Carpenters

Making It! The HCA and QEST at the Worshipful Company of Carpenters

The Carpenters’ Company, 1 Throgmorton Avenue, London EC2N 2JJ
Exhibition: 9 May 2018, 11am to 2.30pm – no booking required
Talk: 9 May 2018, 3pm to 4pm – booking necessary via Eventbrite
Drinks reception: 9 May 2018, 5pm to 7pm – booking necessary via events@qest.org.uk

Join craftspeople from the Heritage Crafts Association and QEST demonstrating an array of skills with opportunities for visitors to join in. Demonstrators include 2017 HCA Maker of the Year fore-edge painter Martin Frost and 2017 Cockpit / The Arts Society Award winner paper marbler Lucy McGrath (pictured), both Red List critically endangered crafts.

At 3pm furniture maker and designer John Makepeace OBE will give a talk on how he made the Master’s Chair for the Worshipful Company of Carpenters, followed by a champagne reception providing a further opportunity to interact with these exceptionally talented makers.

www.londoncraftweek.com/events/making-it-qest-and-hca-worshipful-company-carpenters

Endangered Crafts project with Manchester School of Art

MSA Image 2

BA (Hons) Textile in Practice students documenting drawings and textile samples

The Heritage Crafts Association is delighted to be working with Manchester School of Art on its forthcoming project, Endangered Crafts. Over the next nine weeks, students from across the Faculty of Art and Design are being challenged to respond to the HCA Red List of Endangered Crafts. The list will be used by students as the starting point for creative response. Students will be tasked with developing contemporary objects, artefacts and artworks in response to the heritage craft skills, materials and processes identified in the Red List. It is also anticipated that students will draw out some of the rich heritage craft stories and narratives, as well as highlighting some of the pressing issues that place traditional skills under such threat.

MSA Image 1

Material investigations, BA (Hons) Three Dimensional Design

Manchester School of Art’s Unit X is an award-winning unit of study that brings together students from across the Faculty of Art and Design in collaborative activity. Working with external partners, Unit X provides an opportunity for students to experience real world scenarios through collaboration with external agencies. This year, the Endangered Crafts project brings together students from Three Dimensional Design, Textiles in Practice, Fine Art, Interactive Arts, Filmmaking, Interior Design and Fashion. Throughout the project, students will work in design teams, utilising skills already gained in ceramics, glass, metalwork, product design and digital design, as well as weave, print, embroidery, painting, sculpture and film making, to develop their projects. Outcomes are expected to be varied, vibrant and innovative; challenging creative norms and establishing new approaches to contemporary object making that is part of Manchester School of Art’s own rich heritage.

The project will be launched on Monday 5 March 2018 with a keynote lecture delivered by HCA Trustee Greta Bertram, who will return in May to see the exhibition of final outcomes.

Unit X website | Unit X blog | Unit X Twitter | BA (Hons) Three Dimensional Design blog

Crafts for the Future – HCA Conference 2018

Crafts for the Future – HCA Conference 2018

HCA Patron and ceramics producer Emma Bridgewater was amongst our keynote speakers at our 2018 conference Crafts for the Future, held on 24 March 2018 at the Royal Society of Medicine in London. After lunch celebrated the winners and runners up of the Heritage Crafts Awards sponsored and funded by QEST, The Arts Society and the Marsh Christian Trust. In the afternoon session we heard from selected makers on the HCA/Radcliffe Red List of Endangered Crafts.

Keynote speakers

  • Emma Bridgewater, ceramics producer and HCA Patron
  • Sam Walton, Hole & Corner magazine
  • Paul Martin, TV presenter and HCA Patron

Afternoon speakers from the HCA Radcliffe Red List critically endangered category:

  • Martin Frost, fore-edge painter
  • Skelton Saws. saw makers
  • Wim Visscher, parchmenter
  • Jojo Wood, apprentice clog maker and wood worker
  • Jacob Moss, curator of the Fan Museum

Download the full programme here

Getting into heritage crafts – advisory document

Getting into heritage craftsPre-apprenticeship first contact opportunities for young people and heritage craft businesses


A theory of change advisory document from an Ernest Cook funded pilot project in South West England

Written and compiled by Tracy Hill, The Creativity Chamber, for the Heritage Crafts Association – November 2017

This document provides guidance to any organisation or agency considering setting up ‘first contact’ opportunities for young people who wish to embark upon apprenticeship-style training and employment with heritage craft businesses. It explores the challenges to small heritage craft businesses in delivering these types of training and career opportunities, interrogates the pros and cons of accreditation, and advises on best practice in relation to stakeholder engagement – specifically how businesses, education providers and young people can work together to ensure succession and sustainability for the heritage craft business.

Ernest Cook TrustThe education system (from primary through to Higher Education), economic development agencies and cultural identity initiatives all have a role in addressing the complicated issues surrounding apprenticeship-style training in heritage crafts.

This document collates learning from the Ernest Cook Trust funded pilot pre-apprenticeship project delivered by the Heritage Crafts Association (HCA) in West Somerset, alongside interview and survey data gathered from businesses, young people and education providers. It reviews current delivery of apprenticeship-style training and includes proposals for a Theory of Change model.

Download Getting Into Heritage Crafts (PDF, 2.1MB)