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
Are you a stone mason, letter cutter, wood carver etc?
Would you like to be taught how to gild using gold leaf by a master craftsperson?
The Heritage Crafts Association has an opportunity for two people to learn the endangered craft for free in Greenwich, south London, on August 6th and 7th.
You need to be able to get into London on these days, travel costs covered but not accommodation.
Please say how this would be used in your craft and reply with contact details and phone number by Friday 27th July to email@example.com if you’d like to be considered for this unique opportunity.
Opportunity now closed.
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Professor May Cassar has recently accepted The Heritage Crafts Association’s invitation to become a Patron. Professor Cassar joins an existing group of Patrons who support the HCA and its fundraising and campaigning work through their individual public profile.
Professor May Cassar is the Director of the UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage. May currently directs the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology, a multi-million pound UK Government investment to educate to doctoral level the next generation of heritage scientists. As the Director of the Arts and Humanities Research Council/Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s Science and Heritage Programme (2007-2014) and as Special Adviser to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee Inquiry on Science and Heritage (2005-2006), May has led the resurgence of heritage science research activity in the UK over the last decade for which she has been recognised by the Royal Warrant Holders’ Association with the award of the Plowden Gold Medal in 2012. May was until December 2015, founding Chairman of the UK National Heritage Science Forum and is currently a member of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Science Advisory Council. At an international level, May has worked on projects with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, ICCROM, European Parliament, European Commission and National Governments to develop strategic approaches to the preservation of cultural heritage. May’s long-standing area of research interest is preventive conservation with a particular focus on the impact of climate change on cultural heritage.
Professor Cassar joins existing Patrons Lord Cormack, Sir Christopher Frayling, Kaffe Fassett, Emma Bridgewater, Mark Henderson, Dr. Alex Langlands and Paul Martin. The Patrons of the HCA are the public figureheads of the charity and play an important part in helping the Association support and promote heritage crafts as a fundamental part of our living heritage. The HCA looks forward to continuing to work with its new and existing Patrons and is profoundly grateful for all they do to help heritage crafts.