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|
|Minimum no. of craftspeople required|
|Current no. of trainees||11-20 (see ‘Other information’ for further details)|
|Current no. of skilled craftspeople||51-100|
|Current total no. of craftspeople||51-100|
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 – employ 1 coppersmith.
Abercrombie Coppersmiths at Alloa – employ 43 coppersmiths. Takes on two apprentice coppersmiths and engineers a year.
Forsyths – employ 15 coppersmiths. Takes 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.