Two fortunate trainees, Ellen Wood and Tony Hassett, learned the traditional craft skills of gilding on the Cutty Sark ship in Greenwich on 6th and 7th August.
Master craftswoman Rachael Linton demonstrated the skills and explained the processes and techniques. Tony and Ellen were able to gild individual letters and some of the ‘Gingerbread’ of the Cutty Sark under Rachael’s supervision. The project was very kindly funded by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths.
Rachael was being employed to do the gilding by Campbell Smith & Co., a historic repair and restoration company which is undertaking repairs to the ‘Gingerbread’: repairing and remaking some of the carvings and then finishing them with gold leaf (gilding).
Here Rachael is showing how to gild the letters:
Ellen tries it herself:
And now Tony:
The letters before being cleaned up:
Then on to the ‘Gingerbread’:
Some of the decorative items had been removed for ease of gilding. Here the backing sheet is being removed from the gold leaf:
Ellen applies the adhesive:
Tony helps to finish the gilding:
The completed gilding; note the soft brush to remove the excess gold leaf:
And all this was filmed by Bruno Sorrentino for the Heritage Crafts Association’s DVD on Gilding.
The Heritage Crafts Association is most grateful not only to the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths for their generosity, but also to Rachael Linton for passing on the skills, Campbell Smith & Co, Cutty Sark Museum, Royal Museums Greenwich, Ellie Birkhead the project manager, Bruno Sorrentino the filmer and maker of the DVD and the HCA’s own Laura Southall, Projects Trustee.
Photographs: Ellie Birkhead
Sharon Blakey, Senior Lecturer, BA (Hons) Three Dimensional Design, Manchester School of Art, reports on Endangered Crafts, the collaborative project between the HCA and Manchester School of Art.
Endangered Crafts, which was based on the HCA’s Red List, culminated in a fabulous exhibition of works at Manchester Craft and Design Centre in May. Over 150 students from across the School participated in the project, with selected works exhibited as part of the School of Art’s Unit X Festival.
As expected the range of responses to the theme of ‘endangered crafts’ was wide ranging and design teams responded to the brief in original and unexpected ways. The Tradition Meets Technology team juxtaposed the handcraft skills of knitting, crochet and embroidery with a range of production technologies. Jaimie-Lee Wainman’s ceramic and 3D printed stacking bowls enable the user to hand embroider the outer skin of each vessel, developing knowledge of basic stitch methods whilst facilitating a contemplative act of making. Emma Bradburn wove together delicate strands of glass which were then slumped in the kiln and embellished post firing with hand threaded silk yarn, and the tasselled sculptural wall pieces by Textiles in Practice student Remy Storey were an interpretation of the detail, colour, scale and composition found in traditional passementerie.
Embroidery vessels: Slip cast ceramic, 3D print, embroidery silk
A number of teams relished the opportunity to learn new skills and processes. Neptunian, for example, were motivated by research into ancient coracle making, developing a flat-pack, self-assembly version for use during family holidays and outings. Sasuke embraced the art of blade making, learning how to forge steel to make a Japanese inspired kitchen knife using locally sourced oak and Damascus steel. Charcoal burning was the inspiration for a second year team who designed and built their own charcoal burner and produced a film to document the process. Influenced by charcoal’s properties of neutralising and purifying the air, Interactive Arts student Jourdana Duoba, combined ground charcoal with recycled paper to produce artefacts intended to reduce domestic odours when placed in interior spaces.
Students commented positively upon the value of the experience, with one student noting, “Unit X has helped personal discovery about my professional practice. Having the chance to hone skills and learn new ones made this project the highlight of my first year”.
Greta Bertram, former trustee of the HCA, who attended the final event was delighted with the outcome “…it was really interesting to see which crafts had inspired the students and the wide array of ways in which they had responded to the HCA/Radcliffe Red list. Working with the School of Art has been a really great experience.”
Contemporary passementerie, mixed media
Woven bowls: slumped glass, embroidery silk
All photographs copyright Manchester School of Art
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).
BBC 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 / email@example.com.
Tuesday 20th March was the ‘Big Crit’ day for students involved in the Endangered Crafts Unit X project at Manchester School of Art, which has been inspired by the HCA’s Red List. First and second year students on the Textiles in Practice (TIP) and Three Dimensional Design (3DD) programmes, as well as students joining the project from fine art, film making and interactive arts came together to share their findings so far.
Students have had inspiring input from Steve Dixon, professor of Craft, Alice Kettle, professor of Textiles Arts, Martyn Evans, professor of Design, as well as talks and workshops by designers Silo Studio and artists Hwa Young Jung, Brendan Dawes, Zoe Robertson and Ismini Samanidou. It’s been a fruitful three weeks with much discussion and debate around what and why a craft is on the ‘Red’ list and how the students want to develop their ideas using the research they have generated so far to inform the next stage of the project. The Big Crit saw students proposing ideas and presenting prototypes and test pieces to demonstrate their thinking.
A wide variety of work has been produced so far – from marbled paper to samurai sword making at first year level, and from proposing new applications for endangered practices to inventing new ways of thinking about the production of craft products at second year level. A very positive and interesting day for all, and a great start to the project.
Students are looking forward to the start of the summer term where groups will materialise their thinking through making in preparation for the Unit X Festival and opening night at the Manchester Craft and Design Centre on Wednesday 9 May at 5:30pm.
An amazing opportunity has come up for two people to learn from one of the country’s top traditional craftspeople and carry forward an important traditional craft.
Lawrence Neal has spent his life making rush seated chairs, a trade he learned from his father Neville, who in turn learned from Edward Gardiner. Gardiner had learned from the famous architect and designer Ernest Gimson who had was taught by country chairmaker Philip Clissett. Lawrence is now approaching retirement and is looking to pass on his skills, knowledge and tools many of which were originally owned by Gimson.
Heritage Crafts Association supporter Hugo Burge has taken a personal interest in Lawrence’s chairs and is going to fund the training process for Lawrence to pass his skills on. Not only that but once the successful new chairmakers are trained he can provide a workshop and subsidised accommodation on the Marchmont Estate in Scotland… all-in-all a once in a lifetime opportunity for the right person.
“I fell in love with the Ernest Gimson’s Bedales Library and its chairs over 20 years ago when I bought six Bedales chairs from Lawrence Neal in 1994. Much more recently, I have been working with Lawrence Neal, who continues to make rush seated chairs today in a 100 year tradition from Ernest Gimson, still using Gimson’s tools. We are now looking for two individuals to learn from Lawrence directly (as apprentices), in Stockton, Warwickshire for one to two years, before moving the whole workshop up to Marchmont House stables in Berwickshire to let Lawrence retire and take the business forwards within a charitable structure.
The business will generate a good living and offers the opportunity to grow and evolve, with an incredible lineage, using the actual tools of Ernest Gimson from Daneway – one of Britain’s greatest architect designers and pioneers of The Arts and Crafts Movement. There will be a base salary and the opportunity to grow your income, taking subsidised accommodation on the Marchmont Estate when you establish the workshop. This is a unique opportunity to build and create a new legacy; a new chapter of chairmaking – it will require commitment and long term dedication, so will be highly selective and not for everyone, but for two people with a real passion for taking the legacy of this traditional process into the twenty first century…..it will be ideal”
If you think this may suit you, download the application form here (deadline for applications 31 March 2018).