Forging a future for glassblowing

From Chemistry World, reproduced with permission.

Glass ceilings

Terri Adams

Terri Adams became a glassblower after becoming fascinated by a glassware display

Terri Adams from the University of Oxford, UK, ‘stumbled’ into scientific glassblowing. She was touring the University of Bristol’s chemistry department while waiting to take up a job in forensic science. ‘I had never seen anything like the complexity of the glassware items which were on display, let alone given a thought to how they’d been designed and made or by whom,’ she recalls. ‘I was completely captivated and spent a significant amount of time talking to the glassblower at the display.’ She then saw an advert for a trainee scientific glassblowing technician at Bristol and applied for the role. ‘The rest, as they say, is history.’

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Making is Good for You – The Heritage Crafts Association Conference 2019

Making is Good for You – The Heritage Crafts Association Conference 2019

When: Saturday 9 March 2019, 10am registration to 4.45pm
Where: Cecil Sharp House, London

When the Health Secretary starts to recommend ‘prescriptions’ for art and craft sessions instead of pills, you realise that at last other people are waking up to the value of making. Those of us involved in making know how it can calm the mind, give a focus, and cut out the rest of the world if only for an hour or two.

If you haven’t had that experience then come to our conference to find out exactly how making is good for you. We have a great line-up of speakers, with craftspeople in the afternoon talking about their craft and how it keeps them sane. As well as this we recognise and award excellence in the afternoon with the presentation of the Heritage Craft Awards.

Tickets cost £25 for HCA members and £30 for non-members and include tea and coffee during registration (lunch is not included). A special discounted ‘bring a friend’ rate of £50 is also available to members.

 

Research project aims to shine light on the plight of endangered crafts

Devon stave basket making - photo by Hilary BurnsThe Heritage Crafts Association is pleased to announce a new six-month research project that will provide a major update and expansion of its groundbreaking Red List of Endangered Crafts, first published in 2016.

The first Red List of Endangered Crafts, authored by Greta Bertram, was the first to rank traditional crafts by the likelihood they would survive the next generation. It brought the plight of these skills to national attention, with coverage on the BBC One Show, BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, and across national news and online media. It identified 45 endangered and 17 critically endangered crafts, which, for reasons such as an ageing workforce and a lack of effective training routes, faced an uncertain future.

On secondment from his doctoral research on craft heritage at the University of Exeter, former HCA Trustee Daniel Carpenter will take up the role of Research Manager for the project, supported by the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership. The work will dovetail with that of the HCA’s recently-appointed Endangered Crafts Officer Mary Lewis, whose post, funded by The Dulverton Trust, has been created to identify and develop interventions to improve the prospects of such crafts.

The 2016 version of the Red List is available to view at www.heritagecrafts.org.uk/redlist. If you would like to contribute information for the new version, please email Daniel Carpenter at redlist[AT]heritagecrafts.org.uk. The updated Red List will be published at the HCA Conference on 30 March 2019.

HCA Red List Research Manager Daniel Carpenter said:

“We have always known that heritage crafts evolve over time, adapting to changes in technology and fashion… and some die out altogether. My main hope for this next phase of the Red List is that it will allow us to decide which practices of cultural importance we collectively wish to save while we still can… rather than sleepwalking towards further extinctions without having the opportunity to make those informed choices. Over the next few months I will be developing the research methodology and reaching out to craft practitioners to renew and supplement the existing data, with both accuracy improvements and real world changes. Please feel free to contribute by contacting me at redlist@heritagecrafts.org.uk.”

HCA Chair Patricia Lovett MBE said:

“Traditional crafts are a vital part of the UK’s intangible cultural heritage (ICH)… not our monuments and historical artefacts, which are already well-protected by heritage professionals, but the living knowledge, skills and practices used to create them… along with many of the other things we treasure in this country. While we campaign for the UK to ratify the UNESCO Convention on ICH safeguarding (we are one of only 18 countries in the world that hasn’t), we will continue to catalogue our endangered craft heritage and focus attention on that which we are in danger of losing, so paving the way for the UK to join the rest of the world in protecting this important element of our shared culture.”

Download a copy of the press release

Photo: Devon stave basket making, by Hilary Burns

Freelance project manager sought for Gilding DVD project

Freelance project manager sought for Gilding DVD project

Deadline: Wednesday 20 June 2018, 5pm
Fee:
fixed fee of £2,000
Project start and completion date: June to October 2018

With the generous assistance of The Goldsmiths’ Company, and in association with the National Maritime Museum’s ‘Gilding the Gingerbread’ project, the Heritage Crafts Association wish to contract a freelance project manager to oversee the creation of a documentary film about gilding, a craft categorised as endangered by The Red List of Endangered Crafts.

The film will feature a master gilder training one or more ‘apprentices’, who will ideally have some existing knowledge of the craft, in a practical workshop setting. The second phase of the project will involve delivering a learning programme of courses and/or workshops to further disseminate the skills transmitted in the film.

Click here to download the brief and application instructions

Photo: by Better Letters, reproduced under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic license (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Craftspeople sought for new BBC Two series

Forge and ceramicsBBC Two is making a new history series about British industry and craft, and is looking for skilled craftspeople in the following disciplines to take part:

  • Blacksmithing, metalwork or silversmithing NOW FULL
  • Ceramics NOW FULL
  • Glassblowing NOW FULL
  • Shoemaking or leatherwork
  • Textiles NEW

The series is part documentary and part living-history, telling the story of traditional British industries and crafts and the places that are renowned for them… think Staffordshire pottery, or Sheffield steel.

The programme makers are putting together a group of six skilled artisans, from those at the start of their careers, to those who are highly accomplished.If you are enthusiastic about learning the history of your cra ft, you will get the opportunity to learn from historic experts, and create a number of products, which represent the rich heritage of crafts in Britain.

Filming takes place over the summer and this is a paid opportunity. For more details contact Kate O’Brien on 020 8222 4995 / kate.obrien@dsp.tv.