Traditional sign painter Andrew Grundon has won Maker of the Year in the 2023 Heritage Crafts Awards, which was presented at a prestigious Winners’ Reception at the College of St George, Windsor Castle on 15 November 2023, sponsored by The Royal Mint.
The award, supported by the Marsh Charitable Trust, was one of 14 revealed at the ceremony introduced by Heritage Crafts Co-Chair Jay Blades MBE, including the fourth annual President’s Award for Endangered Crafts set up by Heritage Crafts President the former Prince of Wales and won by straw hat maker Lucy Barlow, the inaugural Precious Metalworker of the Year Award sponsored by The Royal Mint and won by watch dial enameller Sally Morrison, and the Woodworker of the Year Award sponsored by Axminster Tools and won by woodcarver Tom Ball.
The Heritage Crafts/Marsh Maker of the Year award was won by traditional sign painter Andrew Grundon. Andrew is a specialist in the rare craft of hand painting, lettering, and carving of pictorial signs. He has established an international reputation at the forefront of the revival of traditional handcrafted work, particularly for his highly-accomplished pictorial pub signs. His clients include Liberty of London, the Tower of London, television chef Rick Stein, BT Sport and ITV. Last year Andrew worked with potter Hannah McAndrew on this Coronation Platter for which he redesigned each element of the Royal Coat of Arms, injecting a distinctive perspective into the familiar heraldic design.
The President’s Award for Endangered Craft was won by straw hat maker Lucy Barlow. Lucy apprenticed with Phillip Somerville of Bond Street in the late 1970s and then went on to Paris to assist master milliner Jean Barthet on the collections of Yves St Laurent, Chanel and others. Recently completing an MA in Menswear Millinery at the Royal College of Art, Lucy’s dissertation ‘The Last Straw?’ looks into strategies for the regeneration of the stitch straw industry in the UK. Read more about Lucy’s award here.
The Precious Metalworker of the Year Award sponsored by The Royal Mint was won by Sally Morrison. Sally is a graduate of the Edinburgh College of Arts and specialises in engraving and enamelling watch dials at the watch company anOrdain. Her interest in champleé enamelling, the art of applying translucent enamel over a textured precious metal background, has made her the best of a very small and elite group of craftspeople working in this field. Read more about Sally’s award here.
The Woodworker of the Year Award sponsored by Axminster Tools was won by Tom Ball. Tom is the de Laszlo Lead Woodcarving Tutor at City & Guilds of London Arts School, and in 2021 was awarded the Master Carver Certificate by the Worshipful Company Of Joiners and Ceilers. Recent projects include restoration of Grinling Gibbons’ carving at Trinity College Chapel, Oxford, and carving the canopy columns for Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee. Read more about Tom’s award here.
The inaugural Environmental Sustainability Award in partnership with the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust was won by Lulu Harrison. Lulu’s journey in glass started during her MA in Materials Futures at Central St Martins, where she was particularly interested in finding environmentally sustainable materials from the fishing industry. Her project ‘Thames Glass’ incorporated the shell powder of invasive quagga mussels into unique glass batches.
The Young Woodworker of the Year Award sponsored by Axminster Tools was won by Harry Morris, who starting woodworking at the age of 13 in his dad’s garage, carving spoons and watching instructional videos on YouTube. He dedicates much of his energy to teaching, believing that communicating in a positive and encouraging way can have a big impact on an individual, and in their craft journey, and has been overwhelmed with feedback from his students.
The Young Upholsterer of the Year Award sponsored by Sonnaz was won by Florence Egan, who attended her first upholstery course at the age of 14 paying for it by working two jobs on the weekend. Through her short courses she managed to develop contacts in the industry, and from that came the opportunity to sign up to a Level 2 Modern Upholstery apprenticeship, which she passed with distinction, and is now working in the bespoke workshop, cutting, sewing, templating and upholstering.
The Young Weaver of the Year Award sponsored by Rose Uniacke was won by Lara Pain. Lara first decided she wanted to pursue a creative path when she was 17. During her four-year BA Textile Design course at Central Saint Martins, she opted to undertake a year-long diploma in professional studies, undertaking training and internships at multiple weaving studios, including with Kirsty McDougall, whose clientele includes Givenchy, Burberry, Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen.
The Young Basketmaker of the Year Award sponsored by Sims Hilditch was won by Molly Lovekin. Molly started out making basic stake and strand log baskets, using buff and home grown willow, and then has rapidly moved on to accept a large commission which has meant working to specific shapes and sizes for display at SeaSalt Cornwall. She adds artistic flair naturally to all her baskets and works to a high level of craftsmanship.
The Young Metalworker of the Year Award sponsored by Lucy and Lawrence Butcher was won by Megan Rigby. After studying Jewellery Manufacture at the British Academy of Jewellery, Megan secured an apprenticeship with Rebus Signet Rings. Since starting her traineeship with Rebus she has entered the Goldsmiths Craft and Design Council Awards, known in the trade as the ‘jewellery Oscars’ and won awards every year.
The Heritage Crafts/Marsh Lifetime Achievement award went to Alfred Fisher MBE who has been involved in stained glass for 71 years. He began his training at James Powell and Sons, Whitefriars, in 1952, working his way up from trainee to Chief Designer. In 1957 he won a Religious Arts Scholarship to study art in churches in Europe, which helped him develop his own distinctive style of window design. Alf is Vice-President of the British Society of Master Glass Painters and Liveryman and Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Glaziers. For twenty years he was the advisor on stained glass for the National Trust.
The Heritage Crafts/Marsh Trainer of the Year award went to Tom McEwan. Tom graduated from Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Fine Art Sculpture in 1980. He began training as a bookbinder in 2004 at the Glasgow College of Building and Printing, and thereafter enjoyed a string of competition successes including prizes from the National Library of Scotland, Society of Bookbinders, and Designer Bookbinders. In 2013 Tom established a craft bindery in Ayrshire where he continues to work on commissioned design bindings and teaches and mentors art and bookbinding students.
The Heritage Crafts/Marsh Trainee of the Year award went to piano restorer Ellie Wright. Ellie completed a degree in Fine Art in Amsterdam, where she learned woodwork, metalwork and glass skills, before going to the University of Glasgow to do a degree in Physics and Astronomy. Having played classical piano since the age of 7, she found a way to combine her interests, with the opportunity to train as a piano technician at Glasgow Piano City. As her career develops she wants to extend her working radius to the more remote areas of Scotland like the Highlands and Islands, which have very poor access to technicians, tuners and restorers.
The Heritage Crafts/Marsh Volunteer of the Year award was split three ways, with the prize being jointly awarded to Tricia Basham, who held the posts of Treasurer and Membership Secretary of the Knitting and Crochet Guild from 2013 to 2019, Jane Kerr, who has been the secretary of the Wooden Boatbuilders Trade Assocation since it was founded in 1990, and Chris Rowley who founded the Hand Engravers Association of Great Britain and has served as the driving force of the Association ever since.
Emma-Jane Rule, Heritage Crafts / The Royal Mint bursary recipient 2023 – photo by Yatish Chavda Photography
Heritage Crafts and The Royal Mint have launched the inaugural Precious Metalworker of the Year award as part of their ongoing partnership, with a £2,000 prize for the winning entry, as well as a trophy specially designed by Paul Morgan, the Kings Assay Master and Head of Technical Design at The Royal Mint, to be presented at a high-profile reception at the Vicar’s Hall, Windsor Castle, in November.
This award celebrates a heritage craftsperson who has made an outstanding contribution to working with precious metals over the past year. It recognises a contribution that is far beyond the ordinary, based on a proven dedication to a particular metalworking skill.
The award is open to practitioners of any craft that uses precious metals as its primary material. Examples include (but are not limited to) jewellery making, silversmithing, gilding, hand engraving, medal making, silver spinning, metal thread embroidery, engine turning (guilloché), concert flute making, etc. This year Heritage Crafts will also award a Young Metalworker of the Year Award chosen from nominees aged 25 years and under and supported by Heritage Crafts Benefactors Lucy and Lawrence Butcher with a prize of £1,000.
To be eligible, the objects that the nominee makes must be made primarily of precious metals that has been worked using skilled hand techniques. Makers of composite objects are eligible as long as precious metals are used prominently. Anyone, including the maker themselves, can nominate for this award. Nominations close on Friday 15 September 2022 at 5pm.
Judges for the new award will be:
- Paul Morgan – Paul is the King’s Assay Master at The Royal Mint, appointed to serve the reigning monarch and to ensure the integrity of the British coinage. The Assay Master role tests the quality of the coins and precious metals, underpinned by traditional craftsmanship and innovation at The Royal Mint, as well as upholding the integrity of UK Hallmarking standards by annually auditing the four UK Hallmarking offices.
- Dr Rebecca Struthers – Rebecca is watchmaker and founder of Struthers Watchmakers, a traditional workshop and studio in Leek, Staffordshire, set up with husband and partner Craig. Rebecca is the first, and currently only, watchmaker to have earned a PhD in horology, and in 2021 won the Heritage Crafts President’s Award for Endangered Crafts, set up by The Prince Charles, The Former Prince of Wales.
- Leighton John – Leighton is Director of Operations at the Royal Mint, joining the company in 1991 as an Engineering Apprentice. With a BEng in Integrated Engineering from Cardiff School of Engineering, Leighton held all the major production and engineering management roles in the business before becoming Head of Production and Operational Excellence in 2010.
To nominate yourself or someone else, complete the nomination form before the deadline of 5pm on Friday 15 September 2023.
The Royal Mint and Heritage Crafts launched their partnership earlier this year, announcing four bursaries at an event held at the House of Lords. Since then, five bursaries have been awarded to those wanting to train or further develop skills in precious metals, along with expert support from the team at The Royal Mint. As an exemplar of British craftsmanship, The Royal Mint is committed to protecting and celebrating craftspeople and developing skills wherever possible.
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.
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
- Johanna Welsh, pargeter and 2022 President’s Award winner.
The President’s Award will be presented at a special Winners’ Reception at the Vicar’s Hall, Windsor Castle, on 15 November 2023.
Slipware potter Hannah McAndrew has won Maker of the Year in the 2022 Heritage Crafts Awards supported by the Marsh Charitable Trust, which was presented at a prestigious Winners’ Reception at the House of Lords on 30 January 2023, sponsored by The Royal Mint.
The result was one of six revealed at the ceremony introduced by Heritage Crafts Co-Chair Jay Blades MBE and hosted by Heritage Crafts Vice Presidents Baroness Garden of Frognal and Lord Cormack. Other recent successes were also celebrated, including the awarding of the third annual President’s Award for Endangered Crafts, set up by Heritage Crafts President the former Prince of Wales and won by pargeter Johanna Welsh, and the inaugural Woodworker of the Year Award sponsored by Axminster Tools and won by luthier Jonathan Hill.
The Heritage Crafts/Marsh Maker of the Year award was won by slipware potter Hannah McAndrew. After serving an apprenticeship with Dumfrieshire slipware potter Jason Shackleton, Hannah has been running her own workshop since 2003. She draws influence from the ancient British folk heritage of country pottery, whose makers demonstrated extraordinary, intuitive skill, a high benchmark to which she aspires. Her ‘This is England’ charger was accepted into the permanent collection of Centre of Ceramic Art, York Art Gallery in 2021. This piece, made as a response to the racist abuse during the Euro2020 football tournament raised £9,000 for FareShare UK and was featured on the national news.
The Heritage Crafts/Marsh Trainer of the Year award went to Line Hansen, a saddler who teaches on the City & Guilds courses on saddle making, harness making and bridle making, and shoemaking at Capel Manor College. Line started as an equestrian, beginning her career as a rider then becoming a riding instructor, which led to her appreciation for saddlery. She has won numerous awards in saddlery and harness making and has educated and trained a large number of students of the craft, who have themselves gone on to become skilled craftspeople and trainers.
The Heritage Crafts/Marsh Trainee of the Year award went to saddler Eden Sorrel Russell. Age 16, Eden began her formal training in traditional English saddlery. Over the last seven years she has completed all of the qualifications available under the training schemes provided by City & Guilds in conjunction with the Worshipful Company of Saddlers, qualifying as a harness maker, bridle maker and saddle maker. Under The Society of Master Saddlers and the tuition of Trainer of the Year finalist Mark Romain, Eden has also taken qualifications and courses in harness fitting, introductory saddle fitting, and bridle fitting.
The Heritage Crafts/Marsh Volunteer of the Year award went to scientific glassblower Ian Pearson, who has served as editor of the British Society of Scientific Glassblowers (BSSG) journal for 38 years, as well as being Chair of the Society from 2002 to 2009. As well as editing the journal, Ian deals with the companies that advertise in it, carries out scientific glassblowing demos on behalf of the BSSG as well as attending BSSG council meetings. All this work carried out voluntarily. Ian was trained as a scientific glassblower in Surrey before he started at Dounreay, taking charge of its scientific glass department in 1981.
The finalists were as follows:
Heritage Crafts/Marsh Maker of the Year
- Rachel Frost – felt hat maker
- Hannah McAndrew – slipware potter
- Fergus Wessel – lettercutter in stone
Heritage Crafts/Marsh Trainer of the Year
- Line Hansen – saddler
- Frances Roche – saddler
- Mark Romain – saddler
Heritage Crafts/Marsh Trainee of the Year
- Megan Rigby – hand engraver
- Sarah Ready – withy pot maker
- Eden Sorrel Russell – saddler
Heritage Crafts/Marsh Volunteer of the Year
- Patricia Basham – Knitting and Crochet Guild
- Kezia Hoffman – Granary Creative Arts Centre
- Ian Pearson – British Society of Scientific Glassblowers
The next round of nominations open on 1 March 2023.
Glass engraver Tracey Sheppard has won Maker of the Year in the 2021 Heritage Crafts Awards supported by the Marsh Charitable Trust, which was presented at a prestigious Winners’ Reception at the House of Lords on 2 February 2022, sponsored by Swaine Adeney Brigg.
The result was one of four revealed at the COVID-delayed ceremony hosted by Heritage Crafts Vice Presidents Baroness Garden of Frognal and Lord Cormack. Other recent successes were also celebrated, including seven national honours and the awarding of the second annual President’s Award for Endangered Crafts, set up by Heritage Crafts President HRH The Prince of Wales and won in 2021 by watchmaker Rebecca Struthers.
The Heritage Crafts/Marsh Maker of the Year award was won by glass engraver Tracey Sheppard, who took up glass engraving at evening classes in the 1980s and soon reached the pinnacle of her craft, receiving commissions from Historic Royal Palaces to present to Her Majesty the Queen, and to be part of the Downing Street Collection of engraved glass. She has worked tirelessly on behalf of the Guild of Glass Engravers and is now their President, alongside being Master of the Art Workers Guild.
The Heritage Crafts/Marsh Trainer of the Year award went to Greg Rowland who runs a wheelwrighting workshop in Devon with his father and fellow master-wheelwright Mike. Greg was nominated by his current trainee Sam Phillips who is being trained through the Livery Companies Apprenticeship Scheme as well as a Bench Joinery apprenticeship with Exeter College. As well as training apprentices of his own, Greg was also instrumental in the development of the apprenticeship standard in collaboration with the Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights.
The Heritage Crafts/Marsh Trainee of the Year award went to violin maker Niam Chauhan. Niam is studying at the Newark School of Violin Making, but began learning violin maintenance from the age of 13, before starting an informal apprenticeship with the late luthier and clock-maker John Bedingfield at the age of 16. Violin maker Melvin Goldsmith said: “[During my 30 years as a professional violin maker,] I have had some excellent students of the craft visit my workshop but of them all Niam is the outstanding example.”
The Heritage Crafts/Marsh Volunteer of the Year award
went to violin maker Colin Garrett, who has been a member of the British Violin Making Association for over 20 years and in that time has served many roles including Chairman and BVMA Enterprises Secretary. For the last 18 years he has also been Treasurer of the Rowan Armour Brown Trust, a charity that helps supports student luthiers with financial grants, wood distribution and work experience placements. He is also Treasurer of Luthiers Sans Frontiers, a charity that offers free training to some of the poorest countries in the world.
The finalists were as follows:
Heritage Crafts/Marsh Maker of the Year
- Fabian Bush – boat builder
- Rachel Frost – hat maker
- Tracey Sheppard – glass engraver
Heritage Crafts/Marsh Trainer of the Year
- Deborah Carré – shoemaker
- Delyth Done – blacksmith
- Kevin Millward – potter
- Greg Rowland – wheelwright
Heritage Crafts/Marsh Trainee of the Year
- Kieren Berry – papermaker
- Niam Chauhan – violin maker
- Francis Lloyd-Jones – potter
- Anna Olafsson – hand engraver
Heritage Crafts/Marsh Volunteer of the Year
- Colin Garrett – British Violin Making Association
- Jane Kerr – Wooden Boatbuilders Trade Association
- Debbie Richardson – Braid Society
The next round of nominations open on 1 March 2022.