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Heritage Crafts and The Royal Mint launch new precious metal bursaries

The Royal MintThe Royal Mint and Heritage Crafts have announced four new bursaries for precious metal workers to preserve and champion traditional British craftsmanship skills, following the success of last year’s bursaries.

The four successful applicants of the 2024 bursary scheme will benefit from up to £4,000 in funding each, as well as one-to-one support from the staff at Heritage Crafts.

Silver box making by 2023 bursary recipient Iona Hall

Silver box making by 2023 recipient Iona Hall

The new bursaries follow five previous bursaries awarded in 2023 to early-career practitioners of precious metal crafts. In August the successful recipients visited The Royal Mint’s manufacturing base in South Wales for a special tour and to meet key craftspeople. Last year’s bursary recipients included Iona Hall, who has been training in silver box making with renowned silversmith Ray Walton. The others were silver spinners Claire Mooney and Caius Bearder, silversmith Emma-Jane Rule, and jewellery maker Rosie Elwood.

The UK has an incredible range of heritage craft skills, from basketmaking and boatbuilding to musical instrument making and stained glass, along with some of the finest craftspeople in the world. But many of these skills are in the hands of individuals who have been unable to pass them on, often due to limited training opportunities and the increasing burdens put upon small businesses, leaving a number of traditional British crafts under threat.

Silver box making by 2023 bursary recipient Iona Hall

Silver box making by 2023 recipient Iona Hall

The 2023 edition of the Red List of Endangered Crafts produced by Heritage Crafts showed that 62 crafts were classified as critically endangered and a further 84 as endangered. But it’s not all bad news; some crafts, such as gilding, have seen a resurgence thanks to support from Heritage Crafts and a heightened appreciation of the handmade among the general public.

The Royal Mint’s expertise in precious metals spans over a thousand years. Known as the home of precious metals, The Royal Mint offers products including gold, silver and platinum commemorative coins, bars for investment, and a digital gold saving option, backed by metal held in their vault. Last year they announced plans to build a factory to recover precious metals from electronic waste. Recovered precious metal is being used to create beautiful jewellery pieces in their latest business venture, 886 by The Royal Mint.

Anne Jessopp, CEO of The Royal Mint, said:

“The Royal Mint is an exemplar of British craftsmanship, and we believe we have a duty to promote, protect and celebrate British craftsmanship, which is why I am extremely proud to support a second year of precious metal bursaries in partnership with Heritage Crafts. Following the success of the inaugural bursaries, it’s been positive to see the successes of the winners and we’re delighted we could support their careers development both financially but also by learning from our master craftspeople here at The Royal Mint. I look forward to seeing what this year’s applicants plan to do with the new bursaries and what precious metals skills will be utilised.”

Iona Hall, one of the 2023 bursary recipients, said:

“I am so grateful for this bursary, which has helped my practice so much. Having my work seen and appreciated by organisations like Heritage Crafts and the Royal Mint made me feel so much more confident in my work and gave me a new drive. My skills have come leaps and bounds after undertaking my training, and my trainer has said that can see me improving and growing confidence. I have thoroughly enjoyed every part and I am so thankful you believed in my silver boxes!”

Jay Blades, Co-Chair of Heritage Crafts, said:

“We are delighted to launch the second year of bursaries in partnership with The Royal Mint. Their passion for the preservation of British craftsmanship aligns so well with our mission to safeguard these skills for the next generation. Based on the success of last year, we know that these bursaries will provide unique opportunities to precious metals craftspeople that would not previously have been possible.”

This is a part of an ongoing partnership between Heritage Crafts and The Royal Mint that also saw the presentation of the first ever Precious Metalworker of the Year Award in November, to watch dial enameller Sally Morrison from Glasgow, during a special reception at the College of St George, Windsor Castle, and featuring a trophy specially made by The Royal Mint team. In addition, the two organisations hosted a symposium of precious metal practitioners from across the UK at Somerset House in July 2023 to identify the issues facing the sector and what might be done to relieve them.

Click here for more information on how to apply for the bursaries (deadline 23 February 2024)

Training bursaries for crafts involving precious metals

Deadline: 5pm on Friday 23 February 2024

The Royal MintThis training bursary is targeted at trainees and prospective trainees of crafts involving precious metals who are experiencing financial hardship. It is sponsored by The Royal Mint and is one of a suite of awards and bursaries offered by Heritage Crafts to support and celebrate heritage craftspeople.

Apply for up to £4,000 to start training in a precious metal craft or to further develop your skills.


 

Emma Jane-RuleMany people are dissuaded from training in precious metal heritage crafts because of the cost, and therefore the make-up of the sector is not truly representative of the mix of backgrounds that make up the UK as a whole. This bursary has been set up to help cover or subsidise the cost of training for someone who would otherwise be prevented from pursuing this career path as a result of the cost.

You could be just starting out on your journey in precious metal crafts or at the point where you want to turn a hobby into a career, or you could already be a maker who is looking to further develop your precious metal craft skills.

Precious metals crafts are those which feature precious metal as a primary material. They can include but are not limited to jewellery making, silversmithing, coppersmithing, gilding, hand engraving, medal making, silver spinning, metal thread embroidery, engine turning (guilloché), concert flute making.

If you are new to a craft and are struggling to find the right training for you, after your own research, please get in touch and we may be able to support. Successful applicants will be supported by the Heritage Crafts team to develop an action plan. We will work with you to monitor progress and support you to achieve your aims.

 

What can this grant be used for?

There are a number of routes to learning a craft skill. Applicants can apply for a grant for any amount up to £4,000 which can cover or contribute towards:

  • the costs of training with a craftsperson;
  • the costs of attending a specialist training course;
  • the costs of attending an accredited training course;
  • undertaking a self-directed programme of training with one or more craftspeople;
  • the cost of specialist tools or materials, books or study materials or low cost travel (no more than 25% of total budget).

The bursary cannot be used for general living expenses, research, promotional activities or anything else. Successful applicants will be supported by the Heritage Crafts team. We will work with to you monitor progress and support you to achieve your aims.

 

How to apply

Please apply by filling out the form below. We will also accept a video application of no more than 15 minutes in length in which you address all of the questions in the form below. You can access a list of questions here.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 23 February 2024. If you have any questions or need assistance with the application process, please email Tess Osman at tess@heritagecrafts.org.uk.

Assessment, shortlisting and final selection will be carried out by the Heritage Crafts judging team, and interviews will be carried out by Zoom. If you are new to a craft and you would like assistance with finding a trainer, please get in touch and we will do what we can to help.

Training bursary for musical instrument making

Golsoncott FoundationDeadline: 5pm on Friday 23 February 2024

This training bursary is targeted at trainees and prospective musical instrument making trainees who are experiencing financial hardship. It is sponsored by the Golsoncott Foundation and Jennifer Chen and is one of a suite of awards and bursaries offered by Heritage Crafts to support and celebrate heritage craftspeople.

Apply for up to £4,000 to start training in a musical instrument making craft or to further develop your skills.


 

Musical instrument makingMany people are dissuaded from training in musical instrument making because of the cost, and therefore the make-up of the sector is not truly representative of the mix of backgrounds that make up the UK as a whole. This bursary has been set up to help cover or subsidise the cost of training for someone who would otherwise be prevented from pursuing this career path as a result of the cost.

You could be just starting out on your journey in musical instrument making or at the point where you want to turn a hobby into a career, or you could already be a maker who is looking to further refine your skills.

Musical instrument crafts can include, but are not limited to, the making of complete instruments (such as bagpipes, guitars, steel pans and so on ), or to the specific skills that go into making an instrument (such as strings, valves, keys and so on).

If you are new to a craft and are struggling to find the right training for you, after your own research, please get in touch and we may be able to support. Successful applicants will be supported by the Heritage Crafts team to develop an action plan. We will work with you to monitor progress and support you to achieve your aims.

 

What can this grant be used for?

There are a number of routes to learning a craft skill. Applicants can apply for a grant for any amount up to £4,000 which can cover or contribute towards:

  • the costs of training with a craftsperson;
  • the costs of attending a specialist training course;
  • the costs of attending an accredited training course;
  • undertaking a self-directed programme of training with one or more craftspeople;
  • the cost of specialist tools or materials, books or study materials or low cost travel (no more than 25% of total budget).

The bursary cannot be used for general living expenses, research, promotional activities or anything else. Successful applicants will be supported by the Heritage Crafts team. We will work with to you monitor progress and support you to achieve your aims.

 

How to apply

Please apply by filling out the form below. We will also accept a video application of no more than 15 minutes in length in which you address all of the questions in the form below. You can access a list of questions here.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 23 February 2024. If you have any questions or need assistance with the application process, please email Tess Osman at tess@heritagecrafts.org.uk.

Assessment, shortlisting and final selection will be carried out by the Heritage Crafts judging team, and interviews will be carried out by Zoom. If you are new to a craft and you would like assistance with finding a trainer, please get in touch and we will do what we can to help.

Training bursaries for fashion textile crafts

Deadline: 5pm on Friday 23 February 2024

The Costume SocietyThis training bursary is targeted at trainees and prospective trainees of fashion textile crafts who are experiencing financial hardship. It is sponsored by The Costume Society and is one of a suite of awards and bursaries offered by Heritage Crafts to support and celebrate heritage craftspeople.

Apply for up to £4,000 to start training in a fashion textile craft or to further develop your skills.


 

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

You could be just starting out on your journey in fashion textile crafts or at the point where you want to turn a hobby into a career, or you could already be a maker who is looking to further refine your skills.

Fashion textile crafts can include, but are not limited to, dressmaking, tailoring, pattern cutting, hat making, millinery, glovemaking, fabric pleating, corset making, and so on. Applications for training that prioritises the acquisition of practical hand skills will be favoured over training that is predominantly theoretical or design-oriented.

If you are new to a craft and are struggling to find the right training for you, after your own research, please get in touch and we may be able to support. Successful applicants will be supported by the Heritage Crafts team to develop an action plan. We will work with you to monitor progress and support you to achieve your aims.

 

What can this grant be used for?

There are a number of routes to learning a craft skill. Applicants can apply for a grant for any amount up to £4,000 which can cover or contribute towards:

  • the costs of training with a craftsperson;
  • the costs of attending a specialist training course;
  • the costs of attending an accredited training course;
  • undertaking a self-directed programme of training with one or more craftspeople;
  • the cost of specialist tools or materials, books or study materials or low cost travel (no more than 25% of total budget).

The bursary cannot be used for general living expenses, research, promotional activities or anything else. Successful applicants will be supported by the Heritage Crafts team. We will work with to you monitor progress and support you to achieve your aims.

  • Bursaries will be only awarded to crafts used in the creation of garments and accessories that include a substantial element of textiles.
  • Fabric textile production is eligible if it is intended for garment and accessory making, but not for things like upholstery or tapestry.
  • Footwear production that involves stitching is eligible.
  • Hat making and millinery are eligible.
  • Wig making is eligible, but only if it for costume.
  • Button and fastening making and ribbon weaving are eligible, but only if they are for garments or accessories.
  • Jewellery making is only eligible if it is of a type that is ineligible for our precious metal bursaries.
  • Watchmaking is not eligible.

 

How to apply

Please apply by filling out the form below. We will also accept a video application of no more than 15 minutes in length in which you address all of the questions in the form below. You can access a list of questions here.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 23 February 2024. If you have any questions or need assistance with the application process, please email Tess Osman at tess@heritagecrafts.org.uk.

Assessment, shortlisting and final selection will be carried out by the Heritage Crafts judging team, and interviews will be carried out by Zoom. If you are new to a craft and you would like assistance with finding a trainer, please get in touch and we will do what we can to help.

11 new training bursaries awarded

Heritage Crafts is delighted to award 11 new bursaries for trainees from across the UK to learn heritage craft skills, supported by the City & Guilds Foundation, the Army Benevolent Fund, the Ashley Family Foundation, the Principality Building Society’s Future Generations Fund, the Arts Society, DCA Consulting and Kendrick Hobbs.

These follow previous bursaries supported by The Royal Mint and other partners, and are intended to support heritage crafts trainees who are unable to meet the cost of their training, as the UK continues to deal with the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

Bursaries 2023Hannah Girvan is a Devon-based early-career furniture maker and architectural joiner who works for Woodlab, making furniture from local wood that they kiln-dry on site. Their bursary will allow them to undertake a one-to-one apprenticeship there, alongside spending up to a week per month at fine furniture school Williams & Cleal. Their goal is to develop a skillset based on eco-forestry principles. They plan to teach and speak in support of an inclusive culture in heritage crafts, helping craftspeople of the future.

Leena Patel is an Edinburgh-based early-career jewellery maker. For the last two years she has attended weekly community-based jewellery-making sessions. Her bursary will allow her to complete a one-year foundation course to continue on her jewellery-making journey. The course would provide an in-depth knowledge into the skills required to become a jewellery maker and designer. Ultimately, she hopes to start a business, and to encourage a diverse range of people with different backgrounds and cultures to feel comfortable and able to consider jewellery making or other crafts as part of their future.

Roy Evans trained as a metalsmith in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. After leaving the Army he got a job in IT but always wanted to return to his passion, and started making metal sculptures in his spare time before giving up the day job in June this year. His bursary will allow him to train with Michael Johnson at Newlyn Copperworks in Cornwall, a workshop with an international reputation in a number of coppersmithing techniques. He plans to go on to teach the craft to others.

Andy Fisher is an early-career leatherworker who served in the Army and Reserves for 22 years in the Royal Corps of Transport, Royal Logistic Corps and 21 SAS. He currently works part time as a training provider in construction skills but his passion lies in leatherworking, especially for vintage vehicle interiors. His bursary will allow him to attend three courses on leather restoration and repair, seat upholstery, and industrial sewing machine repair. As well as restoring vehicles and making leather products, he also intends to run short courses for veterans.

Gareth Roberts was introduced to the craft of bookbinding by Bound by Veterans (BBV), after serving in the British Army. BBV is a charity which supports wounded, injured and sick ex-service personnel using the restorative powers of manual bookbinding to assist rehabilitation and develop employment skills. His bursary will allow him to continue to train with BBV and at Cit Lit College, London, under experts Kate Rochester, Sue Doggett, Ina Baumeister and 2018 Heritage Crafts Trainer of the Year Kathy Abbott. He plans to pass on his craft, believing that every sector of society has the right to learn this age-old skill.

Ieuan Williamson is a Gwynedd-based slate roofer whose great, great grandfather was a ferryman bringing slate down the river Dwyryd from the Ffestiniog slate quarries. He wishes to expand his skills into timber framing in order to incorporate whole building construction into his projects and make his business more viable to support his young family. His bursary will allow him, and his apprentice Dwyryd to attend an intensive two-week residential timber framing course. In the future he would like to pass on his skills to other young people in this area through the Welsh language.

Barney Murray is a Denbighshire-based early-career drystone waller who took up the craft after deciding that he preferred being outdoors than studying at college. His bursary will allow him to undertake the extremely rigorous and notoriously challenging Drystone Walling Association’s Master Craftsman certification scheme, under the mentorship of master waller Andy Loudon. In the future he intends to take on an apprentice of his own, replicating his own training path.

Bodhi King, based in Pembrokeshire, took up blacksmithing after attending a private week-long course last year in mid Wales. After experiencing homelessness he has spent the last few years building a more financially stable life for him and his son. His bursary will allow him to undertake a number of specialised courses focusing on traditional and heritage blacksmithing. He intends to operate as an independent blacksmith, doing smaller local jobs whilst developing his skillset and portfolio to do larger heritage and architectural work.

Abby Gray, originally from rural Galloway and now based in Glasgow, participated in a trainee programme in the costume department of an independent feature film in 2021. She had no prior professional experience, but as a result realised that university wasn’t the right path for her and that she wanted to pursue a career in bespoke tailoring. Her bursary will allow her to undertake an apprenticeship with renowned tailor and dressmaker Alis Le May. In the future she would like to run her own business focusing on creating bespoke clothing for people who feel that they aren’t catered for.

Logan Beckford-China, aged 16, is based in Cornwall and passionate about supporting the critically endangered craft of Cornish hedging, having been introduced to the craft through Heritage Crafts’ Pre-apprenticeship Project earlier this year. Logan intends to undertake 40 days training under the auspices of the newly-formed Cornwall Rural Education and Skills Trust (CREST) while studying in the evenings for his GCSE in Environmental Management. He intends to work as a freelance Cornish hedger, the first of a new generation that will ensure the future of this centuries-old craft.

Cameron Wallace is a Clackmannanshire-based monumental mason in his first year of self-employment with a young family. Not content with computer-controlled sandblasting to inscribe memorials, Cameron wishes to join the small number of Scottish hand lettercutters. His bursary will allow him to learn with master lettercutter Gillian Forbes, and eventually set up his own workshop making beautiful hand-crafted memorials.

Heritage Crafts Endangered Director Daniel Carpenter said:

“Building on the five bursaries awarded earlier this year in partnership with The Royal Mint, we are immensely grateful to be working with so many wonderful partners to increase that number to sixteen in 2023. These bursaries will not only change the course of their recipients lives for the better, but will help ensure the future of so many skills that are rooted deep within the UK’s intangible cultural heritage.”

 

Click here to see the 22 bursaries awarded since 2021

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About Heritage Crafts

Founded in 2009, the Heritage Crafts is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) registered as the ‘Heritage Crafts Association’. 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. Its aim is to support and promote heritage crafts as a fundamental part of our living heritage.

www.heritagecrafts.org.uk

 

About the City & Guilds Foundation

The City & Guilds Foundation is part of the City & Guilds Group charity, and has a specific focus on high impact social investment, recognition and advocacy programmes. Each of the programmes it runs act as a catalyst to make a difference to people, organisations and society, through investing part of its surplus and resources into helping everyone, no matter who they are or where they come from, get opportunities to succeed.

cityandguildsfoundation.org

 

About the Army Benevolent Fund The Soldiers’ Charity

The Army Benevolent Fund is the Army’s national charity. It stands at the forefront of support for the Army family, last year supporting 70,000 people in 45 countries around the world. As one of the largest funders in the sector, it awards grants to individuals and families, and fund leading organisations that support soldiers, former soldiers, and their families.

soldierscharity.org

 

About the Ashley Family Foundation

The Ashley Family Foundation (formerly The Laura Ashley Foundation) is a registered charity founded by Sir Bernard and Laura Ashley following the success of the Laura Ashley fashion and interiors business. It uses its funding to develop strong communities, social welfare and creative arts in England and Wales, with a particular emphasis on supporting rural communities.

www.ashleyfamilyfoundation.org.uk

 

About the Principality Building Society’s Future Generations Fund

The Principality Building Society’s Future Generations Fund is a Wales-wide fund set up in partnership with Principality Building Society with the aim of having a positive impact on society and the lives of young people in Wales.

communityfoundationwales.org.uk/grants/the-principality-building-societys-future-generations-fund

 

About the Arts Society

The Arts Society is a leading arts education charity with a global network of local societies which bring people together through a shared curiosity for the arts. Its belief that the arts have the potential to enrich peoples’ lives is at the heart of everything it does.

theartssociety.org

 

About DCA Consulting

DCA is a Birmingham based culture, creativity and regeneration consultancy and project development company working on arts, creative industries, media, heritage, regeneration and broader economic development projects.

www.dca-consultants.com

 

About Kendrick Hobbs

Kendrick Hobbs delivers relevant, sympathetic and financially sustainable catering solutions, and is uniquely placed to advise how best to plan, setup, design, organise and manage catering operations in theatres, visitor attractions, historic houses, music halls, museums and galleries.

kendrickhobbs.co.uk