HCA welcomes new Chair

Ian KeysWe are delighted to announce that Ian Keys has agreed to take up the role of HCA Chair.

Passionate about our heritage, Ian is also Honorary Secretary of the Historic Houses Association (Wessex) and actively involved in local campaigns around his Somerset home.

Until recently he was a director of a contemporary arts and crafts gallery, chaired a number of boards in the charitable, public and commercial sectors, was a company director, and, prior to that, was a senior local government officer.


“Heritage crafts and our cultural heritage are a vital part of our being – the very oxygen that surrounds us – and we need to ensure they continue to enrich and inform both our lives and the lives of future generations.”

Adopt a Potter launches Clay College Stoke Crowdfunder

Mugs - photo by Florian Gadsby

Photo by Florian Gadsby

The Adopt a Potter charitable trust has launched a Crowdfunder to raise £20,000 towards the £200,000 total needed to open Clay College Stoke, a not-for-profit, independent training college set up by potters for the new generation of students.

Building on the success of the apprenticeship scheme and developing their remit, Clay College Stoke will be the UK’s first skills-based, independent institution to focus on teaching a new generation of potters the essential skills they require to make a living from their craft. Students will be taught by world renowned potters who share a passion for keeping this tradition alive.

Here’s Lisa Hammond MBE and Chair of Adopt a Potter, who you can also hear speak, along with her apprentice Florian Gadsby, at this years HCA Conference on 6 May 2017 (click here to book).



HCA welcomes new Trustee

c44a7071-f680-426b-a8ab-7788f1e622f5The HCA is thrilled to welcome onto the board a new Trustee, Richard Hefford-Hobbs.

Richard is a member of the Worshipful Company of Gunmakers and has a particular interest in intangible heritage skills, and is very keen to raise their profile and preserve them for future generations. Although Richard actively researches the area, by day he runs an engineering firm in Cambridge.

New Ernest Cook funded project

New Ernest Cook funded project

The HCA has been awarded a grant from the Ernest Cook Trust to pilot a new programme of pre-apprenticeships in countryside crafts in West Somerset.

Three craftspeople will be selected to each take on three young people over the course of six weeks to get a taste of what it would be like to have a career in heritage crafts. This project will compensate the craftspeople fairly for their time, as well as providing the students with a transferable basic-level NVQ qualification in employability skills.

The programme will provide a framework for more accredited pre-apprenticeships and full apprenticeships in heritage crafts in the South West and the rest of the UK.

January 2017 update:

Three crafts practitioners have been selected to host the nine pre-apprentices. They are:

  • Jim Patterson – papermaker
  • Sarah Webb – basketmaker
  • Marc Cox – green woodworker and charcoal maker

SEPE accreditation training, provided by Superact CIC, is taking place on 15 February 2017, with pre-apprenticeships commencing shortly thereafter. There are still training places available for young people between 16 and 21 – click here for more details.

Two new craftspeople honoured

531b41a9-469c-4f51-90aa-f52e96c33b16We are delighted that two members nominated by the HCA have been recognised in the New Years honours list. Brighton-based Jane Short is an enameller, specialising in individual pieces of enamelled silverware and jewellery. Jane has been awarded an MBE.

Also awarded an MBE is Roger Bucknall, for services to guitar making, music and heritage crafts. Roger handcrafts instruments in his Cumbrian workshop, Fylde Guitars. He has made instruments for Bob Dylan, Keith Richards and Sting, amongst others. Congratulations, both!

European Folk Art and Craft Federation

021ed4e7-6548-4b95-af5a-6a573ad3258bLast month, HCA trustees met with Solveig Torgersen Grinder (Norwegian Folk Art and Craft Association) and Liina Veskimägi (Estonian Folk Art and Craft Union) from the European Folk Art and Craft Federation, a European network of non-profit associations with the aim of protecting and supporting traditional and contemporary crafts. The HCA will join the EFACF has an observer member next year.