Apprentice sailmaker Matt. Photo copyright Ratsey & Lapthorne.
An apprentice sail maker, boot tree maker and folding knife 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 (HCA), which last year published the second edition of its groundbreaking HCA Red List of Endangered Crafts, has awarded a further eight grants from its Endangered Crafts Fund, which was launched in July 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 Allchurches Trust and The Radcliffe Trust. The eight successful recipients are:
- Ratsey & Lapthorne – to train an apprentice sail maker to craftsman level while making sails for a historic yacht (Isle of Wight).
- Horace Batten – to train an apprentice boot tree maker who will go on to work in-house at the boot making firm (Northamptonshire).
- Michael May – to equip his folding knife making apprentice with the tools he needs to learn all aspects of the trade (Sheffield).
- Justine Burgess – to train in Teifi and Tywi coracle making so that she can pass on the skills to others (Carmarthen).
- Eve Eunson – to record the skills of Fair Isle straw back chair making in a film that can be used to train others (Shetland).
- Coates Willow – to forge new tools for an apprentice working with one of the last practicing basketwork furniture makers (Somerset).
- Tom Boulton – to do a feasibility study into creating new wooden type for letterpress printing using CNC machining (West Sussex).
- Lorna Singleton – to buy a boiler and swiller’s mares (a special type of shave horse) to enable her to teach oak swill basket making to small groups (Cumbria).
Oak swill basket. Photo copyright Lorna Singleton.
These eight projects follow five awarded in the previous round, covering the endangered crafts of scissor making, damask weaving, cockle basket making, neon bending and fan making. Again the fund was massively 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:
“When we first published the HCA Red List of Endangered Crafts the task of safeguarding so many at-risk skills seemed overwhelming. Thanks to the support of our donors and funders like Allchurches Trust and The Radcliffe Trust we now have thirteen projects underway, but there is still so much to do to ensure that future generations can continue to benefit from this important part of our culture.”
The Endangered Crafts Fund has been set up thanks to a number of generous donations from organisations including Allchurches Trust and The Radcliffe Trust, as well as individuals, who have donated sums from £5 right up to several thousands of pounds.
Paul Playford, who heads up the heritage grants programme at Allchurches Trust, said:
“It’s fascinating to see the wide range of endangered craftspeople and places that are represented in the latest Endangered Crafts Fund cohort, and we’re proud that our funding will help ensure that these at-risk crafts can be handed down, along with the tools and training needed to enable their protection in the longer term. We’re looking forward to hearing more from these skilled craftspeople as they develop their skills and hope to play our part in telling their story, raising awareness of ancient practices that are so important to preserve for future generations and hopefully inspiring others to follow their lead.”
The HCA has also announced that its President HRH The Prince of Wales has established a new award for endangered crafts. Each year the President’s Award for Endangered Crafts will present £3,000 to a heritage craftsperson who will use the funding to ensure that craft skills are passed on. The Award will be presented at a special reception at Dumfries House, home of The Prince’s Foundation, as well as at a prestigious winners’ reception at the Houses of Parliament. Applications are invited via www.heritagecrafts.org.uk/presidentsaward by Friday 1 May 2020.
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 – for more information visit www.heritagecrafts.org.uk/ecf. Applications for grants are accepted on a rolling basis, with the next deadline for consideration 30 September 2020.
Gerald Monaghan, blacksmith (photo by Philip Utton)
The heritage crafts sector, which is predominantly made up of self-employed craftspeople and micro-businesses, is going to be particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, as retailers experience a drop in footfall and selling events are cancelled all around the country.
The guidance below is provided to let heritage crafts businesses know what help is available, and will be updated as things change. Please let us know if there is any support you are aware of not listed here and we will share the details.
We need to know what you would like us to focus on in our support and advocacy in the coming weeks. Please help us out by answering our short survey (should take no more then ten minutes).
- New on 26 March: Self-employed income support scheme – the Government will provide a taxable grant of 80% of a self-employed person’s earnings up to a maximum of £2,500 month, eligible for those with trading profits of up to £50,000 who make the majority of their income from self-employment. You do not need to prove coronavirus impact and you can keep working and still benefit from the scheme. Earnings are calculated as an average over the past three years and based on net profits, i.e. the amount you declared for tax after you’d taken off expenses but before you were taxed. People can apply directly to HMRC for the grant when the scheme is operational, using an online form, and the grant will be paid directly into their bank account. The scheme will run for three months in the first instance and be available ‘no later than June’, though it will be backdated to March.
- Universal Credit for the self-employed – the minimum income floor for Universal Credit has been suspended. This means self-employed people out of work as a result of the COVID-19 can now access, in full, Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees (£94.25 per week for up to 28 weeks). The money will be payable from day one instead of day four. In addition, the Universal Credit standard allowance and the Working Tax Credit basic element will both increase by £1,000 a year for the next 12 months.
- Support for self-employed people paying tax – the next round of self-assessment payments on account (originally scheduled for 31 July 2020) have been deferred to January 2021. Additionally, all businesses and self-employed people in financial distress with outstanding tax liabilities may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities. If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.
Small craft businesses
The Chancellor has introduced a package of measures to support businesses including:
- Coronavirus job retention scheme – companies and organisations will be able to apply for a grant from HMRC to cover 80 per cent of the wages of people, up to £2,500 a month, who are not working due to the coronavirus. The grant will be backdated to 1 March and available from April. It will be open initially for three months.
- Statutory sick pay relief package for small and medium sized enterprises – this means that, from the day after new regulations come into force, businesses will be refunded up to two weeks Statutory Sick Pay per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19. Employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a note from their GP.
- VAT deferral – the next quarter of VAT payments due from businesses have been deferred, meaning that no business will pay VAT from now to June, and they’ll have until the end of the financial year to repay those bills.
- Business rates holiday – for small businesses in England that have retail premises, there will be a 12-month business rates holiday for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.
- Grants for rate-paying businesses – Small businesses that have retail premises with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000 should receive grant funding of £25,000 to help meet their ongoing business costs. Small businesses that already receive Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR) or rural rate relief will be eligible for grant funding of £10,000. Enquiries about these grants should be directed to your local authority.
- Business Interruption Loan Scheme – this new scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will launch in late March to support small businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts. The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80 per cent on loans of up to £5 million in value. The first 12 months will be interest free, with payments covered by the government.
- Support for businesses paying tax – all businesses and self-employed people in financial distress with outstanding tax liabilities may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities. If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.
Small craft businesses in Wales
The Welsh Government has published details of its £1.4 billion business support package to help businesses across Wales. In addition, the Development Bank of Wales will be offering all its business customers a three-month capital repayment holiday.
Facebook Small Business Grants Program
Facebook will be offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to help up to 30,000 eligible small businesses. The company will begin taking applications in the coming weeks and you can sign up to receive more information when it becomes available.
HRH The Prince of Wales has established a new award for endangered crafts through his patronage of the Heritage Crafts Association. Each year the President’s Award for Endangered Crafts will present £3,000 to a heritage craftsperson who will use the funding to ensure that craft skills are passed on to the future.
The Heritage Crafts Association (HCA) published the latest edition of its groundbreaking HCA Red List of Endangered Crafts last year, which revealed that there are 107 endangered crafts in the UK. Crafts deemed critically endangered range from bell founding and damask weaving to orrery making and reverse glass sign painting. Other endangered crafts include a number of musical instrument making crafts, including brass, woodwind and percussion instruments, harps and Northumbrian pipes.
Applicants for the President’s Award are invited to submit proposals to help secure the survival of their craft, which must be listed as ‘endangered’ or ‘critically endangered’ on the 2019 edition of the HCA Red List of Endangered Crafts.
The President’s Award will be presented at a special reception at Dumfries House, home of The Prince’s Foundation, as well as at a prestigious winners’ reception at the Houses of Parliament.
The Award judges are renowned advocates of craft skills:
- Patrick Grant, BBC The Great British Sewing Bee, Director of Norton and Sons and Community Clothing;
- Mark Hedges, Editor of Country Life;
- Kate Hobhouse, Chair of Fortnum and Mason;
- Patricia Lovett MBE, Chair of the Heritage Crafts Association; and
- Simon Sadinsky, Deputy Director of The Prince’s Foundation.
HCA Chair Patricia Lovett said:
“The UK has a hugely rich cultural heritage of craft skills which can be regarded as important as our great historical buildings and treasured objects – all the result of great craftsmanship. However we are in danger of losing a number of these crafts where our research has found that in some cases there are only one or two makers left. The Heritage Crafts Association hopes that by focusing on endangered crafts with this wonderful award initiated by our President, The Prince of Wales, the craft skills will be passed on to future generations.”
Applications are invited from those practising a craft listed as ‘endangered’ or ‘critically endangered’ on the 2019 edition of the HCA Red List of Endangered Crafts. Applicants must explain how they will use the £3,000 award to help secure the survival of their craft.
The closing date for applications is Friday 17 April 2020 at 5pm. Shortlisted applicants will be expected to attend the Awards Ceremony at the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday 17 November 2020, 4pm to 6pm, so please ensure that you can attend before submitting an application. The winner will also be expected to attend the presentation at Dumfries House, Ayrshire, Scotland, in September 2020 (date to be confirmed).
Click here to download the application form including further instructions
The Heritage Crafts Association is delighted to announce a partnership with the Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship to bring the HCA Red List of Endangered Crafts to a European level.
The new partnership launched with a presentation at Somerset House on 28 February 2020. Alberto Cavalli (Co-Executive Director of the Michelangelo Foundation) and Patricia Lovett MBE (Chair of Heritage Crafts Association) introduced the partnership, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Oliver Stratford (Editor-in-chief of Designo) exploring different perspectives regarding endangered crafts and their place in contemporary craftsmanship. The panel is composed of Daniel Carpenter (Red List Research Manager at the Heritage Crafts Association), Rosy Greenlees (Executive Director of the Crafts Council), Kate Hetherington (collar and harness maker) and Mark Webb (Fundraising and Development Manager at The Prince’s Foundation).
The partnership between the two organisations aims to build collective awareness of the threats facing traditional heritage craftsmanship and to seek new and innovative ways to usher endangered crafts safely into the future, ensuring the continuity of practices and the adaptation of crafts to meet contemporary demands.
To celebrate the partnership the Michelangelo Foundation commissioned three short films by Swiss film maker Thibault Vallotton that highlight three British singular talents who are pursuing crafts in the UK that are classified as endangered. The films give an intimate insight into the worlds of these treasured British artisanal talents who are striving to uphold their cherished skills.
The featured craftspeople were:
- Kate Hetherington, collar and harness maker
- Derek and Timothy Staines, orrery maker
- David Adrian Smith MBE, reverse glass sign maker
One of the films is part of a new series, featuring 12 exceptional craftspeople from across all of Europe which will be unveiled in an exhibition entitled Singular Talents – The Red List at the second edition of Homo Faber, the crafts biennalé being held in Venice this autumn. The specially commissioned films draw back the curtain on these master artisans and their unique or rare professions.
The HCA Red List of Endangered Crafts provides a vital research methodology, identifying and classifying endangered crafts in the United Kingdom. It assesses the viability of such crafts and categorises those most at risk of disappearing. The Michelangelo Foundation, inspired by the grassroots-led bottom-up research methodology of the Heritage Crafts Association will enlist its wide network of European members to extend the HCA Red List of Endangered Crafts to a European level.
By drawing on the expertise of organisations involved in their specific local communities, the Foundation hopes the initiative has a far-reaching impact, successfully identifying and classifying endangered crafts across Europe. In turn, this facilitates the mapping of European crafts considered to be at risk of disappearing.
The Sound of Craft postponement notice
Due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, we are sorry to announce the postponement of the HCA event ‘The Sound of Craft’, due to take place on Thursday 30 April 2020 as part of London Craft Week. We will announce the new date for this event in due course.
We very much regret having to postpone the event, and for the undoubted inconvenience this will cause to our guests and demonstrators, but we hope very much to see you at the rescheduled event.
If you have any further queries please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sound of Craft at London Craft Week 2020
When: Postponed until further notice
Where: St Anne and St Agnes Church, Gresham St, London EC2V 7BX
Hosted in the stunning Wren church of St Anne and St Agnes, this event, by the Heritage Crafts Association as part of London Craft Week, will be a celebration of the craft behind some of the most beautiful sounds.
Most handmade musical instrument crafts are now classified as endangered on the Heritage Crafts Association Red List of Endangered Crafts, including flute making, piano making, brass instrument making, percussion instrument making, Northumbrian pipe making, woodwind instrument making and harp making.
This free drop-in event will include both demonstrations of the knowledge and skills behind these heritage crafts, and the music and performance itself.
‘Performing arts’ and ‘traditional craftsmanship’ are two of the five domains recognised by the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Intangible heritage includes the forms of culture that can be recorded but can’t be touched or stored in physical form, including song, music and skills, and can only be experienced through someone giving expression to them.
We still have some places available for demonstrators at this event. If you are interested please email Mary.
Craft Uprising conference postponement notice
Due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, we are sorry to announce that we have made the difficult decision to postpone the HCA Conference ‘Craft Uprising’, due to take place on Saturday 4 April in Oxford. The new provisional date for the conference is Sunday 11 October 2020 at the same venue of Oxford Town Hall.
This was not an easy decision to make, but in light of recent developments and the need to avoid unnecessarily risking the health and wellbeing of delegates, we believe it to be the most sensible course of action.
We will be contacting all delegates this week. We hope that delegates will want to join us in October and will agree that their booking should carry over to the new date of Sunday 11 October 2020. We will work hard to ensure the same speakers are in attendance on this date, but this cannot be guaranteed at this stage. For those who can’t make this date, or prefer not to carry their booking over, we will arrange for a refund of their conference ticket. We hope that delegates will understand that we are unable to contribute to other costs delegates might have incurred.
We will also be contacting HCA members about provisions for our Annual General Meeting which was due to take place at the conference.
We very much regret having to postpone the conference at this stage, and for the undoubted inconvenience this will cause to our delegates, speakers, and exhibition contributors, but we hope delegates and members will support us in this decision and we hope very much to see you in the autumn.
If you have any further queries please email email@example.com.
The Heritage Crafts Association Conference 2020
When: Sunday 11 October 2020, 10am registration to 4.30pm
Where: Oxford Town Hall, St Aldate’s, Oxford OX1 1BX
At a time when populism has pushed mainstream politics to the extremes and climate change has reached a critical tipping point, craft is occupying an increasingly crucial role – to engage with those we disagree with or to take refuge within our communities of interest, to reflect the counter-cultures happening around us or to become that vital act of rebellion.
The theme of the 2020 Heritage Crafts Association Conference is Craft Uprising. The keynote speakers will be Patrick Grant (Great British Sewing Bee) talking about disrupting the fast-fashion industry with his social enterprise Community Clothing and Sarah Corbett from the Craftivist Collective talking about the role of craft in change-making.
As well as the main programme of speakers you will also have the opportunity to print your own rebellious messages with Nick Hand‘s letterpress bicycle, bring your craft items for a pop-up gallery on the theme of ‘Powerful Objects’, and network with other makers from around the UK.
Please note: We will work hard to ensure the same speakers are in attendance for the postponed (due to coronavirus) date of 11 October, but this cannot be guaranteed at this stage.
- Patrick Grant, Community Clothing and BBC1 The Great British Sewing Bee – Living Localism: how bringing fashion and clothing back to the local community level is key to a sustainable and happy future
- Sarah Corbett, The Craftivist Collective – How to be a craftivist in the art of gentle protest
- Q&A session – featuring Patrick Grant, Sarah Corbett, Carry Somers (Fashion Revolution) and Dr Rachel Dickinson (Ruskin’s Guild of St George)
- Exclusive screening of three short films featuring endangered crafts practitioners
- Celebration of Excellence – National Honours and Heritage Crafts Awards
- Heritage Crafts Association Annual General Meeting
- Supporting Endangered Crafts
Tickets cost £28 for HCA members and £38 for non-members, with discounts if you become a member at the time of purchase, bring a friend or are a student. In addition, 20 bursary places have been made available to those who would otherwise struggle to attend – for availability please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pop-up exhibition – Powerful Objects
We will be holding a pop-up exhibition of members and attendees work entitled ‘Powerful Objects’. This theme can be interpreted in many ways, from craft objects that have an overtly powerful message to those whose meaning resonates on a much more personal level (not forgetting that the personal is invariably political in its own way). They can be powerful purely as a result of the journey you have been on to learn the skills and put them into practice. Meanings can be made explicit or remain the maker’s own, open to interpretation.
If you wish to submit an object that you have made, please email email@example.com with a title and 200 word description, and, if selected, we’ll get back to you with the practicalities of how the exhibition will be run.
We have a sign language interpreter at this year’s conference. There is also step-free access from street level (click here for more details). If you have any other access needs please let us know.