The making, installation, maintenance and replacement of pot stills, condensers and spirit safes for the distillery industry. See the separate entry for coppersmithing (objects).
|Historic area of significance|
|Area currently practised|
|Origin in the UK|
|Current no. of professionals (main income)||51-100|
|Current no. of professionals (sideline to main income)
|Current no. of trainees||11-20 (see ‘Other information’ for further details)|
|Current total no. serious amateur makers
|Current total no. of leisure makers
|Minimum no. of craftspeople required|
Skills include hammering and shaping the copper, welding, and cutting using a water jet cutting machine.
Issues affecting the viability of the craft
Skills issues: Still making is a specialised craft and requires training from scratch.
Market issues: The global rise in the popularity of whisky means there is increased demand for coppersmiths to make, repair and replace stills.
Craftspeople currently known
The Balvenie (1 coppersmith)
Abercrombie Coppersmiths at Alloa (43 coppersmiths) – take on two apprentice coppersmiths and engineers a year.
Forsyths (15 coppersmiths) – take on three trainees per year for a five-year apprenticeship.
Number of trainees: Abercrombie Coppersmiths take on on two apprentice coppersmiths and engineers a year, and Forsyths take on three trainees per year for a five-year apprenticeship. An apprenticeship includes an engineering course at a Further Education College, followed by four years in the workshop working alongside trained coppersmiths. After completing the apprenticeship it takes another five years or so to fully master the craft.