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Three fashion textile bursary recipients announced

Heritage Crafts and the Costume Society are delighted to announce the three successful training bursary receipients awarded as part of their new partnership.

Many people are dissuaded from training in the hand skills of fashion textiles because of the cost, and therefore the make-up of the sector is not truly representative of the UK as a whole. This bursary has been set up to help cover or subsidise the training of someone who would otherwise be prevented from pursuing this career path as a result of the cost.

    Mia Brennan

  • Mia Brennan – from Kent has attended a number of short millinery courses over the years and gained valuable hands-on experience working freelance one day per week with Vivienne Lake. Her bursary will allow her to attend the BTEC Higher National Certificate in Millinery at Morley College on a part-time basis while continuing her career and earning enough to raise her young daughter.
  • Katie Sawyer – from Cheshire is a disabled freelance historic textile craftsperson who began learning heritage crafts with nalbinding and stinging nettle textiles, Katie Sawyerbefore expanding her skills to a wide variety of textile techniques including historical costume, embroidery, needle felting, spinning, knitting and mending. Her bursary will cover one-to-one training with historical textile expert Sally Pointer, as well as various courses at the Manchester School of Costume. Her long-term goal is to become a historical textile leader of the North West, teaching others historic textile skills through workshops and demonstrations.
    Costumier Maya Howes

  • Maya Howes – from Staffordshire has been creating and selling her work since she was 16, and taking commissions since she was 18. She currently has a small business making historical clothing for re-enactors and theatre, as well as doing local alteration work. Her bursary will allow her to attend the Corsetry Retreat in Lincolnshire to learn 18th century stay making, as well to gain additional one-to-one tuition. Her plan is to focus her business on historical corsetry and stay making, creating comfortable historically accurate garments for museums, re-enactors, and theatre, as well as helping other Autistic and neurodivergent makers into the industry.

The Costume SocietyThe Costume Society is a UK membership organisation formed in 1964 to promote the study and preservation of historic and contemporary dress. As well as training bursaries, its partnership with Heritage Crafts includes a brand-new Fashion Textile Maker of the Year Award launching this summer and an Endangered Fashion Textiles Skills Symposium to take place at the end of the year.

The bursaries funded by the Costume Society and are three of over thirty to be awarded by Heritage Crafts this year. The next round of applications opens on 29 April 2024.

Second Kelmscott Manor Maker in Residence announced

The Society of Antiquaries of London, in partnership with Heritage Crafts, is thrilled to introduce Illuminator Sarah Davis as the Maker in Residence for 2024 at Kelmscott Manor. This historic residence, once the cherished home of acclaimed writer, designer-craftsman, conservationist, and revolutionary socialist William Morris, will be the backdrop for Sarah’s residency from April to October 2024.

Sarah DaviesThis year (2024) sees the second of three residencies at Kelmscott Manor by members of Heritage Crafts, with a particular focus on an ‘endangered’ craft featured in the 2023 edition of the Red List of Endangered Crafts. During her residency Sarah will be focusing on the endangered craft of Illumination.

The project presents an opportunity to showcase endangered crafts in an iconic rural setting visited annually by over 27,000 people.

Memoria Lewis, General Secretary of the Society of Antiquaries, said:

“After a successful first year of our Maker in Residence programme I’m delighted to see our partnership with Heritage Crafts continue. I’m excited that we are championing an endangered craft this year and bringing awareness of these to a wider audience. Sarah’s expertise as an illuminator will no doubt inspire those interested in the craft and those who have never seen the beauty of an illuminated text. I can’t wait to see Sarah’s response to Kelmscott and the work she develops during her time with us.”

Sarah’s appointment as the 2024 Maker in Residence at Kelmscott brings with it the unique opportunity to reflect Morris’s advocacy of heritage and the handmade and contribute to his legacy by playing a distinctive part in the Manor’s programme of public engagement. Visitors will be able to discover the endangered art of illumination through hands-on workshops and demonstrations led by Sarah throughout her residency. Sarah will also share her historic craft with education groups as part of our Learning & Outreach programme.

Sarah Davis, 2024 Maker in Residence, said:

“As this year’s Maker in Residence at Kelmscott Manor, I am thrilled to highlight the endangered craft of illumination. Guided by the manor and its beautiful surroundings, I see this as an opportunity to grow as an illuminator and to deepen my knowledge of this stunning endangered craft. Inspired by the enduring legacy of William Morris, his commitment to craft skills and fellowship, I look forward to sharing what I learn with visitors to the manor and the wider community online.”

Daniel Carpenter, Heritage Crafts Executive Director, said:

“Morris believed in the enduring relevance of crafts that had been passed down through the generations, as well as the necessity of their continual evolution in order to secure their place within an ever-changing society. We are delighted to be working with the Society of Antiquaries for a second year, focusing on crafts the continuation of which modern society has put obstacles in the way, but that we believe can have a viable future. Sarah’s craft is a wonderful example of this and she is perfectly placed to continue Morris’ legacy of maintaining the contemporary relevance of mediaeval craftsmanship.”

Sarah’s appointment as the Maker in Residence is made possible as part of our NHLF- funded £6 million Kelmscott and Morris: Past, Present and Future project.


Maker bio

Sarah Davis is a multi-media artist exploring themes relating to the cyclical nature of recovery and renewal. The natural world serves as a deep pool of inspiration with the allegory, myth and folklore of animalistic subjects driving her narrative approach. Davis uses traditional making techniques with a deep historical resonance, such as wood carving, gilding and illumination. Since 2020 Sarah has been practicing the art of illumination which is listed on the Heritage Crafts Red List of Endangered Crafts.

In 2012 Davis graduated from Chelsea college of art with a BA in Fine art. She returned to education in 2015 to study woodcarving and gilding at the City & Guilds of London Art School, where she now teaches on the Woodcarving BA & Conservation BA.


Meet the Kelmscott Manor Maker in Residence at London Craft Week

When: 13 May 2024, 10.45am to 12pm
Where: Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD
Cost: £15 to include refreshments

Join a panel discussion with 2023 Maker in Residence ceramicist Alison Proctor and newly-appointed 2024 Maker in Residence ceramicist Sarah Davis, alongside Kelmscott Manor’s Kathy Haslam and Hannah Britton, and Heritage Crafts’ Daniel Carpenter. Hear about how Alison’s residency progressed in response to the site and Morris’ legacy, see her work first-hand, and listen to Sarah’s hopes for the coming year.

Book here:

First round of Heritage Crafts Awards 2024 open

Deadline: 24 May 2024, 5pm

President's Award 2023 made by Eddy BennettThe first round of the Heritage Crafts Awards in 2024 are now open for nominations, with 12 prizes over seven award categories up for grabs. The Awards, which have been running since 2012, celebrate and highlight the traditional living crafts that contribute to British heritage. 

The President’s Award for Endangered Crafts, now in its fifth year, was established by Heritage Crafts President The Former Prince of Wales. Each year the President’s Award presents £3,000 to a heritage craftsperson who will use the funding to ensure that craft skills are passed on to the future.

The second annual Environmental Sustainability Award, in partnership with the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST), will this year award two £1,000 prizes, open to craftspeople working with traditional craft skills or materials who have demonstrated an innovative approach to environmental sustainability or transformed the environmental impact of their craft business through a series of incremental changes and improvements.

Florence EganThe tenth annual Maker of the Year Award will this year award four £1,000 prizes, to heritage craftspeople in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, who have made an outstanding contribution to their specific crafts within the previous 12 months, with support from the Maxwell/Hanrahan Foundation. An overall UK Maker of the Year will be selected from the four national winners, with their prize topped up to £2,000, with support from the Marsh Charitable Trust.

The Marsh Charitable Trust will support four other awards, including Trainer of the Year, Trainee of the Year, the Lifetime Achievement Award, and the new Community Catalyst of the Year Award.

List of awards open until 24 May 2024:

Anyone, including the makers themselves, can nominate for this award. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 24 May 2024 and you can find out more about each award, as well as how to apply, at The award winners will be announced at a high-profile Winners’ Reception in November 2024.

A second round of awards will open for nominations on 17 June, including Woodworker of the Year, Precious Metalworker of the Year, Fashion and Textile Maker of the Year, Leatherworker of the Year and others, as well as range of awards for young makers aged 25 and under.


President’s Award for Endangered Crafts

President’s Award for Endangered Crafts

The President’s Award for Endangered Crafts was established in 2020 by Heritage Crafts President The former Prince of Wales. Each year the President’s Award presents £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 published the latest edition of its groundbreaking Red List of Endangered Crafts in 2023, which revealed that there are 146 endangered crafts in the UK. Crafts deemed critically endangered range from bell founding and damask weaving to orrery making and silver spinning. 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 2023 edition of the Red List of Endangered Crafts. Applicants must explain how they will use the £3,000 award to help secure the survival of their craft.

CLICK HERE TO APPLY (deadline 24 May 2024)

The Award judges are renowned advocates of craft skills:

  • Jay Blades MBE, Co-Chair of Heritage Crafts;
  • Kate Hobhouse, Chair of Fortnum and Mason;
  • Patricia Lovett MBE, former Chair of Heritage Crafts;
  • Simon Sadinsky, Executive Director of The Prince’s Foundation; and
  • Lucy Barlow, straw hat maker and 2023 President’s Award winner.

Jay BladesKate HobhousePatricia Lovett MBESimon SadinskyLucy Barlow





The President’s Award will be presented at a special Winners’ Reception in November 2024.

Heritage Crafts / QEST Environmental Sustainability award

Abigail Booth - sustainable/natural pigmentsDeadline: 24 May 2023, 5pm

Heritage Crafts and the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) are again running an Environmental Sustainability Award in 2024, this year with two £1,000 prizes, open to any craftsperson or micro-business, working with traditional craft skills or materials, who has improved their environmental sustainability within the last 12 months.

This prestigious award is divided into two prizes, each honouring a distinct aspect of environmental stewardship. One of the prizes will be given to a craftsperson or microbusiness demonstrating an innovative approach to environmental sustainability, rarely before seen, that can act as inspiration for others to explore new ways of thinking and working. The recipient of this prize will have pioneered a truly innovative solution, technique, or process that challenges conventional wisdom and inspires others to explore new horizons in sustainable craftsmanship.

The other prize recognises the achievements of a craftsperson or microbusiness that has made substantial and measurable progress in transforming the environmental impact of their craft business through a series of incremental changes and improvements. The recipient of this prize will have demonstrated a steadfast commitment to sustainability by implementing practical initiatives that reduce waste, conserve resources, and mitigate environmental harm over time.

QEST and Heritage Crafts believe we can (and must) all play a role in building a sustainable future – big ideas can have wide reach, and small changes by many can amount to big changes for all. Both prizes aim to celebrate and reward excellence in environmental sustainability within the crafts sector, acknowledging the diverse approaches and contributions of craftspersons and microbusinesses towards a more sustainable future. The winners of this award serve as role models and catalysts for positive change, inspiring others in the crafts community to embrace sustainability as a core value and guiding principle in their practice.

Judges will include renowned environmental craft advocate Katie Treggiden, author of Wasted: When Trash Becomes Treasure (Ludion, 2020) and podcast Circular with Katie Treggiden, as well as Kerryn Harper-Cuss, independent editor, brand consultant and QEST ambassador, with extensive experience in the interior design sector.

Anyone (including the craftsperson or business themselves), can nominate a craftsperson or microbusiness working with traditional craft skills or materials, for the Heritage Crafts/QEST Environmental Sustainability Award. The winners will be invited to attend a high-profile Winners’ Reception in November 2024, where the results will be announced and the two £1,000 prizes awarded.

Deborah Pocock LVO, CEO of QEST said:

“QEST believes in the potential of craft to contribute to a better, more sustainable environmental future, and we know that there are many talented and pioneering makers leading the way. Through this new award, we are looking forward to seeing how their ideas and approaches might impact their craft sector, and inspire others to make a change.”

Daniel Carpenter, Executive Director of Heritage Crafts said:

“In the 259 crafts (and counting) that Heritage Crafts represents, we know that there is a huge body of knowledge that will be vital in helping both current and future generations tackle the environmental challenges ahead. We are delighted to be partnering with QEST to celebrate our shared sustainability pioneers and role models.”

Nominations are now open and close on Friday 24 May 2024 at 5pm. To apply, visit


Heritage Crafts awarded £158k grant by The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Made possible with Heritage FundHeritage Crafts has received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £158k to capitalise on the heightened interest in traditional craftsmanship in the UK. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the two-year project will increase the charity’s capacity to support craft skills as a vital part of the UK’s heritage.

With the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Heritage Crafts will invest in additional staff and freelance consultants to help it achieve long-term sustainability. This will include broadening and diversifying its funding and supporter base, mobilising a network of volunteers all around the country, and ensuring that equity and diversity remain at its core.

Heritage Crafts is the national charity for traditional heritage crafts in the UK. Working in partnership with government and key agencies, it provides a focus for craftspeople, groups, societies and guilds, as well as individuals who care about the loss of traditional crafts skills, and works towards a healthy and sustainable framework for the future.

This news comes on the back of the announcement from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport that the UK is to ratify the 2003 UNESCO Convention on the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), something that – as a UNESCO-accredited NGO for ICH – Heritage Crafts has long advocated for.

The charity has also increased its direct support to practicing and aspiring heritage craftspeople in recent years, with 66 small grants awarded since 2019 through its Endangered Crafts Fund, and 22 training bursaries for new entrants and early-career practitioners distributed since 2021, with a further 24 on offer in 2024.

This project will help ensure that the organisation builds on these successes.

Daniel Carpenter, Executive Director of Heritage Crafts, said:

“We are thrilled to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players, which will allow us to make the most of the opportunities afforded by the UK’s growing appreciation for craft skills, and increase our support for under-represented and marginalised communities in the sector. With UK ratification of the UNESCO Convention, this is a key moment for the promotion of heritage crafts, and we are keen to make the most of it… for everyone.”