Values statement on heritage

Bobbins photo by Nick HandThe Heritage Crafts Association’s mission is to support and promote crafts as a fundamental part of our living heritage. As part of this mission and our continuous aspiration to improve as an organisation, we would like to make an honest and open statement about what heritage means to us. We don’t mean this as a finished statement, but as a starting point for a discussion.

We believe that the value of our craft heritage comes from the diversity of skills and traditions across all of our communities, wherever they originated and whenever they were brought here. We want everyone to feel included in the HCA and our work, no matter how long they have called this country home or what their background may be.

Our heritage is what we choose to take with us, from our complex (and at times difficult) past, into a future that we wish to realise. Through dialogue about craft we can learn from many traditions, acknowledge past and present injustice, and strive to create a future that is fairer and more equal. We don’t believe we can do that until we have come to terms with our past, and fully acknowledged the ways in which it continues to affect us today.

We recognise that throughout history British society has been full of inequalities, many of which continue to this day. Sometimes these are expressed as explicit prejudices, but often they are implicit, embedded in the structures of our institutions and public discourses in ways that disadvantage, disenfranchise and alienate people. We applaud efforts to bring to light discrimination and injustices, including those of the past that have implications today, and believe that more needs to be done to reveal and tackle them.

We don’t own the debate about how heritage is defined and we recognise that many people have been (and continue to be) excluded from the debate. Where we can, we want to use our position to give them a voice. We are not afraid to question the society within which we operate, or in turn be questioned and challenged by others, and be prepared to change.

HCA members sought to become mentors

Deadline: Friday 14 May 2021

The Resilience Programme is a new mentoring initiative run by Applied Arts Scotland and Craft Scotland to help and support makers to navigate these particularly challenging times. There is an enormous amount of collective knowledge and experience in the craft community and the pandemic has forced makers to be even more innovative, to reinvent their ways of working and rapidly learn new skills. The Resilience Programme will help makers tap into this collective wisdom to gain new perspectives, take valuable and supported time to reflect and develop the resilience required to re-energise and revitalise their practice.

The HCA has been asked to recruit Mentors for the Resilience Programme from across the UK. We are looking for makers with at least five years experience of running their own practice and keen to support others. You will not need to have had any previous mentoring experience as training will be provided in a half day workshop on Thursday 3 June.

“Mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be.”
Eric Parsloe, The Oxford School of Coaching and Mentoring

 

What we are looking for

As the definition above explains, effective mentoring offers structured time for discussion, with the mentor listening and questioning the mentee to help them form their own plan. Mentors will not be asked to teach or share making skills but rather offer mentees support to develop their own action plans. So we are looking for individuals who already have reflective skills or are keen to develop them.

We want to create a pool of approximately 20 potential mentors from which we can make mentoring matches for the Resilience Programme participants. Those who are matched will be contracted to undertake 6 x 1.5 hour mentoring meetings from July to December 2021 with a fee payable.

We are aware that not all potential mentors will be matched in this phase of the Resilience Programme, but we hope that in providing training in mentoring best practice all those selected will develop useful transferrable knowledge and skills, and the opportunity to be considered for other mentoring programmes.

 

What we are offering

  • A free half day Mentor Training workshop delivered by Zoom on Thursday 3 June, 2pm to 5pm
  • For those who are successfully matched, payment of £100 per 1.5 hour mentoring session (six sessions in total) = £600

 

How to apply

Please send a copy of your CV, up to 3 thumbnail images of your work, and a personal statement of no more than 500 words detailing your reasons for wanting to become a mentor, any previous relevant experience and any longer term professional benefits you anticipate in undertaking the training.

Please send this to hello@appliedartsscotland.org.uk with the heading ‘Mentor Application’ by 14 May 2021.

Nine new grants awarded to help save endangered crafts from extinction

Monica Cass. Photo copyright Katherine Mager.

Monica Cass weaving a ‘tau tray’ using skeined willow in Norfolk. Photo copyright Katherine Mager.

A chair seater, a concertina maker and a brick and tile maker are among the recipients of the latest round of grants awarded to help safeguard some of the UK’s most endangered craft skills.

The Heritage Crafts Association, which is due to publish the third edition of its groundbreaking HCA Red List of Endangered Crafts in May, has awarded a further nine grants from its Endangered Crafts Fund, which was launched in 2019 to increase the likelihood of endangered crafts surviving into the next generation.

This round of the HCA Endangered Crafts Fund has been offered with support from the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Dulverton Trust, the Sussex Heritage Trust, Allchurches Trust, the Radcliffe Trust and the Swire Charitable Trust. The nine successful recipients are:

  • Duncan Berry, from West Sussex, to buy tools to enable him to pass on his skills as a flint waller.
  • Ben Bosence, from East Sussex, to develop and make bricks and tiles from waste clay that has been excavated locally.
  • Monica Cass, from Norwich, to train a chair seat weaver in skeined willow techniques, and document the process.
  • Collette Davies, from Monmouth, to help revive the craft of lipwork straw basketry.
  • Tom Frith-Powell, from Cumbria, to develop a gelatine sized paper as part of his commercial handmade papermaking charity.
  • Bob Green, from Brighton, to buy tools to enable him to develop and pass on his skills as a flint waller.
  • Jake Middleton-Metcalf, from Buckinghamshire, to be trained in making the critical working components of the English system concertina.
  • Tony Millyard, from Northamptonshire, to pass on flute making skills and to develop a new model of flute.
  • Dominic Parrette, from East Sussex, to build shave horses to allow him to teach trainees how to make Sussex trug and Devon stave baskets.
A hand made Anglo-German Concertina by Jake Middleton-Metcalfe. Photo copyright Jake Middleton-Metcalfe.

A hand made Anglo-German Concertina by Jake Middleton-Metcalfe. Photo copyright Jake Middleton-Metcalfe.

These nine projects follow 18 awarded in previous rounds, covering endangered crafts such as scissor making, sail making, damask weaving, boot tree making, cockle basket making, folding knife making, neon bending, coracle making, fan making and swill basket making, coppersmithing, withy pot making, disappearing fore-edge painting, plane making and kishie basket making.

As usual the fund was oversubscribed, and the HCA hopes to work with many of the unsuccessful candidates to identify other funding and support opportunities.

HCA Endangered Crafts Officer Mary Lewis said:

“The impact of COVID-19 in the last twelve months has only compounded the pressures on those at-risk craft skills that were already on the verge of being lost, but have so much to offer a post-COVID future, as productive and fulfilling ways to rebuild a sustainable economy. These projects will realise some of that potential.”

The Endangered Crafts Fund has been funded through generous donations from organisations including Garfield Weston Foundation, the Dulverton Trust, the Sussex Heritage Trust, Allchurches Trust, the Radcliffe Trust, as well as individuals who have donated sums from £5 right up to several thousands of pounds. The forthcoming 2021 edition of the HCA Red List of Endangered Crafts is funded by the Pilgrim Trust.

The HCA continues to seek further donations to save even more of Britain’s most endangered crafts from oblivion. Donations are welcome at any time.

Forthcoming online events

Throughout the COVID-19 lockdown we have been running a series of free online events on Zoom. Here you can find out what event we have coming up. Click here to re-watch the recordings for some of the previous events.

 

Coming up

 

HCA South West of England members Zoom meeting – 11 May 2021, 7.30pm

Peer support and networking meeting facilitated by Daniel Carpenter exclusively for HCA members. If you’re a current member in the South West of England and wish to attend, email us for the joining instructions. If you’re not yet a member, please consider joining.

 

HCA Scotland members Zoom meeting – 13 May 2021, 7pm

Peer support and networking meeting facilitated by Daniel Carpenter, Mary Lewis, Louise Butler and Helen Voce exclusively for HCA members. If you’re a current member in Scotland and wish to attend, email us for the joining instructions. If you’re not yet a member, please consider joining.

 

HCA North of England members Zoom meeting – 25 May 2021, 7pm

Peer support and networking meeting facilitated by Daniel Carpenter and Chrissie Freeth exclusively for HCA members. If you’re a current member in the North of England and wish to attend, email us for the joining instructions. If you’re not yet a member, please consider joining.

 

Katharina Pieper in ConversationKatharina Pieper in Conversation – 27 May 2021, 7pm

Katharina Pieper is an inspiring calligrapher who takes texts and runs with them! Based on an intense knowledge and understanding of traditional scripts, her artworks breathe new life into familiar and not so familiar texts with her vivid and colourful interpretations. In 2016 she set up the Foundation for the Culture of Calligraphy (Stiftung Schriftkultur) based at the historic Königsbruch estate near Homburg, Germany, which has a gallery, workshops, a library and museum. Find out more about Katharina and her work, and this new calligraphy venture.

 

HCA Northern Ireland members Zoom meeting – date to be confirmed

Peer support and networking meeting facilitated by Daniel Carpenter and Emma Whitehead exclusively for HCA members. If you’re a current member in Northern Ireland and wish to attend, email us for the joining instructions. If you’re not yet a member, please consider joining.

 

HCA Wales members Zoom meeting – date to be confirmed

Peer support and networking meeting facilitated by Daniel Carpenter, Mary Lewis and Clare Revera exclusively for HCA members. If you’re a current member in Wales and wish to attend, email us for the joining instructions. If you’re not yet a member, please consider joining.

 

Rezia Wahid in ConversationRezia Wahid in Conversation – 17 June 2021, 7pm

Join us in conversation with Rezia Wahid MBE, artist weaver and craft educator. Rezia is a Bangladeshi-born British craftswoman who for over 20 years has been combining hand weaving with delivering workshops in museums, galleries, festivals and schools all over Britain, where participants not only learn the tradition and craft of hand weaving but explore the different cultural contents and materials which are Islamic, Eastern and Western. She was awarded the MBE in the 2005 New Year Honours for her contribution to arts in London.

 

HCA East Midlands members Zoom meeting – date to be confirmed

Peer support and networking meeting facilitated by Daniel Carpenter and Sally Morgan exclusively for HCA members. If you’re a current member in the East Midlands and wish to attend, email us for the joining instructions. If you’re not yet a member, please consider joining.

 

HCA West Midlands & Marches members Zoom meeting – date to be confirmed

Peer support and networking meeting facilitated by Mary Lewis and Mike Taylor exclusively for HCA members. If you’re a current member in the West Midlands & Marches and wish to attend, email us for the joining instructions. If you’re not yet a member, please consider joining.

 

Click here to watch the recordings of previous online events

Report on endangered basketmaking skills

Endangered Baskets in the UKThis report arises from the first UK-wide survey of the endangered basketry skills we carried out in partnership with the Basketmakers’ Association, the Worshipful Company of Basketmakers and the Museum of English Rural Life.

Its aims were to raise awareness, to create a list of endangered skills, and to consult with the basketmaking community to develop an action plan to safeguard these skills as part of our intangible cultural heritage.

Findings from the report, authored by Mary Lewis and Selena Chandler, will inform the 2021 edition of the HCA Red List of Endangered Crafts due to be published in May.

View the report