There are almost 210,000 of us working in heritage crafts but we have been very poorly represented in the National Honours which come out twice a year on the Queen’s birthday and at New Year. However, the Heritage Crafts Association has been taking action, and we have now been recognised by the Honours Team as an organisation they contact officially requesting suggestions for suitable nominations. It is very time consuming, as we know from the nominations we have made, but it is well worth it to ensure that heritage crafts and craftspeople are nationally recognised.
The Heritage Crafts Association is delighted to have successfully nominated a number of world-class craftspeople. So far these are our successes:
- Ewan Clayton MBE, calligrapher, 2013
- Owen Jones MBE, oak swill basketmaker, 2013
- Malcolm Appleby MBE, hand engraver, 2014
- Gail McGarva BEM, boat builder, 2014
- Lida Kindersley MBE, letter cutter, 2015
- Robin Wood MBE, green woodworker, 2015
- Ray Key BEM, woodturner, 2015
- Jane Short MBE, enameller, 2015
- Roger Bucknall MBE, guitar maker, 2015
- Hector Cole MBE, arrowsmith, 2016
- Lisa Hammond MBE, potter, 2016
- Wim Visscher MBE, vellum maker, 2017
- Felicity Irons BEM, worker in rush, 2017
- John Lord BEM, flintknapper, 2017
- Kaffe Fassett MBE, textile designer and maker, 2018
- Martin Frost MBE, disappearing fore-edge painter, 2019
We do not know all those who should be recognised, and appreciate advice in identifying exceptional makers. Individuals, craft guilds and membership organisations can all nominate suitable makers through the HCA.
If you are thinking of nominating someone, please read through the guidelines and ensure that the person nominated is of the appropriate excellent standard in their craft and has the additional experience as now required for the process to be successful.
Send us the name of the craftsperson, their website link, and a paragraph about them – include the level of their craftsmanship, any teaching, volunteering or advocacy work they have undertaken for their craft, and any other work they do for public benefit outside of their craft work (see below). Also include if their work is in public collections (such as the V&A or Craft Study Centre), whether they have had any national or international exhibitions, are recognised nationally or internationally for their craft, whether they have been in the local or national media (and with a link to the articles) and any other information which will give an indication of the standard of their craft.
The committee considers the names at the meetings in January/February and September, and will only take on those where the HCA feels that they have a good chance of success.
Please do not do anything more than send in the details as above, bearing in mind the criteria below, until you have heard back from the HCA whether they will take the nomination further.
The criteria for nominating a craftsperson for a National Honour through the HCA are that they:
- are nationally and probably internationally recognised for their excellence of craft skills (the HCA nominates heritage/traditional makers only; if your craft is design-led, contemporary craft, then the Crafts Council is the organisation to contact);
- have craft work in recognised national collections such as the V&A or the Craft Study Centre;
- have been doing their craft for a minimum of ten years;
- stand head and shoulders above the rest;
- have passed on their skills;
- go the extra mile and give beyond the call of duty;
- have also probably contributed to the local or regional or national community, such as being on the parish council, or a committee for local activities, taken on a role in a national organisation or charity etc; and
- have probably held a position of responsibility for a craft guild or association.
Please think about who would be suitable to nominate in your craft, send us their name and a paragraph about them – include the level of their craftsmanship, any training, volunteering or advocacy work they have undertaken for their craft, and any other work they do for public benefit outside of their craft work (e.g. fundraising or volunteering for a local charity). The committee considers the names at the meetings in February and September.