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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

President’s Award 2023 finalists announced

President's Award 2023 finalistsThe three finalists for the fourth President’s Award for Endangered Crafts, established by Heritage Crafts President The Former Prince of Wales, have been announced. 

Each year the President’s Award presents £3,000 to the winning heritage craftsperson who will use the funding to ensure that craft skills are passed on to the future, with an additional £1,000 for runner-up bursaries provided by Patricia Lovett MBE and Kate Hobhouse.

The three finalists for 2023 are (in alphabetical order):

The winner will be announced at a prestigious Winners’ Reception at the Vicar’s Hall, St George’s House, Windsor Castle on 15 November 2023.

The finalists were selected by a panel of judges made up of 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.
Jay BladesKate HobhousePatricia Lovett MBESimon SadinskyJohanna Walsh

 

 

 

Seven more grants to help save endangered crafts

A coppersmith, a Highland thatcher and a trainee sailmaker are among the recipients of a new round of grants to help safeguard some of UK’s most endangered craft skills.

Scot AnSgeulaiche, Samantha Dennis and Nicholas Konradsen Heritage Crafts has awarded the grants through its Endangered Crafts Fund, which was launched in 2019 to increase the likelihood of at-risk craft skills surviving into the next generation. Five of this round’s grants are funded by The Radcliffe Trust and were selected with special consideration of the impact of the energy crisis on our most vulnerable crafts.

In 2021 Heritage Crafts published the third edition of its groundbreaking Red List of Endangered Crafts, the first research of its kind to rank the UK’s traditional crafts by the likelihood that they will survive into the next generation. The report assessed 244 crafts to ascertain those which are at greatest risk of disappearing, of which four were classified as extinct, 74 as ‘endangered’ and a further 56 as ‘critically endangered’. A new edition will be published on 11 May 2023.

The seven successful recipients are:

  • Scot AnSgeulaiche from Perthshire, to train an apprentice in the craft of Highlands and Islands thatching and encourage the use of locally-grown thatching materials.
  • Birgit Frietman and Robyn Smith from London, to set up a hub for horn working in London and reduce their carbon footprint by completing more processes in-house.
  • James Slaven from Glasgow, to train in sailmaking with Mark Shiner and set up a workshop at the GalGael Trust making and repairing sails and repurposing old sailcloth.
  • Steve Hogarth from Derbyshire, to add the skills of leadworking and flint masonry to his steeplejack business, maintaining the usefulness of traditional buildings without the impact of scaffolding.
  • Samantha Dennis from Shetland, to catalogue and replicate historical coiled baskets of Shetland and create a market for small crofters to sell locally-grown oat straw.
  • John Wills from Northamptonshire, to set up a tinsmithing and coppersmithing workshop that will also provide teaching, using renewable charcoal to heat the traditional soldering coppers.
  • Nicholas Konradsen from Lincolnshire, to research and make Lincolnshire bagpipes in a new workshop with more energy-efficient equipment.

These seven projects follow 50 others awarded in previous rounds, covering endangered crafts such as clockmaking, tinsmithing, kiltmaking and many more. Along with The Radcliffe Trust, which has been the major funder in this round, other funders have included The Sussex Heritage Trust, The Pilgrim Trust, The Dulverton Trust, The Swire Charitable Trust and others, as well as individuals who have donated sums from £5 right up to several thousands of pounds.

As usual the fund was oversubscribed, and Heritage Crafts hopes to work with many of the unsuccessful candidates to identify other funding and support opportunities.

Mary Lewis, Heritage Crafts Endangered Crafts Manager, said:

“The current energy crisis means that our craft skills are at more risk than ever before. We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Radcliffe Trust and other funders to address the specific challenges being faced by endangered crafts practitioners at this time.”

View the full list of the 57 grants awarded to date 

Take part in the Pre-apprenticeship Programme in West Cornwall

16 to 25-years olds have until 27 January to apply for one of our three free ‘pre-apprenticeship’ taster courses in the crafts of Cornish hedging, basketry or coppersmithing this Spring. This opportunity is being funded and run in partnership with Penwith Landscape Partnership.

 

Cornish hedging

  • Cornish hedging with the Guild of Cornish HedgersCourse description: During this five-day course, participants will have a good taster of working in Cornish hedging, which will include learning about the materials used, selecting the right materials, how to work tools correctly, techniques used, preparing and setting up a work area, good code of practice, and how to work safely.
  • Location: The Guild of Cornish Hedgers, Sancreed.
  • Start date: To be arranged depending on participants and trainers availability. They plan for it to begin in the middle of March.
  • Duration: 5 days, once a week. This will be weather dependent.
  • What next?: Aside from this being a great opportunity to have a taster of what Cornish hedging is like, after the free 5 day taster training course, there is the option to attend a further paid for 10-day training course with the Guild.

 

Basketry

  • Basketry with Geraldine JonesCourse description: During this course, participants will learn a bit about working with living willow, which will include some planting and possibly creating willow arches at a recently discovered ancient willow garden. There will be the opportunity to try out various basketry techniques, talk to other crafts people and also learn a bit about selling work in galleries and outlets.
  • Location: Various, which include Rosudgeon and Porthleven with basket maker Geraldine Jones.
  • Start date: To be arranged depending on participants and trainers availability. They plan for it to begin in the middle of March.
  • Duration: 9 days, which are planned to be run in blocks.
  • What next?: This course is aimed to give you an insight into learning more about basketry and also how to set up a small business. Participants could become a self employed crafts person and map out any further training they may want to attend to develop their practise.

 

Coppersmithing

  • Coppersmithing with Newlyn CopperworksCourse description: During this course, participants will have the opportunity to learn some coppersmithing techniques in a well established workshop with experienced trainers. They will also see examples of past and present commission/project work.
  • Location: The Copper Works in Newlyn.
  • Start date: To be arranged depending on participants and trainers availability. They plan for it to begin towards the end of February / beginning of March
  • Duration: To be confirmed as this depends on commissions/projects they have in place at the time and availability of participants/trainers. They would prefer training to run in blocks, which will last for no more than 18 days.
  • What next?: This training will give participants a great opportunity to try out Coppersmithing and to see how a successful business in the industry works. There will also be opportunities to discuss further skills development outside of this project and how to work in the industry.

 

If you would like to apply for any of these opportunities, please fill out the application form here.

For more details, please contact Project Manager Anna Pope at anna@heritagecrafts.org.uk.

Five new grants awarded to help save endangered crafts from extinction

Gillian Stewart

Gillian Stewart, bookbinder and fore-edge painter

A coppersmith, a withy pot maker and a disappearing fore-edge painter 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 has begun work on the third edition of its groundbreaking HCA Red List of Endangered Crafts, has awarded a further five grants from its Endangered Crafts Fund, which was launched in 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 Swire Charitable Trust. The five successful recipients are:

  • Lizzy Hughes, from London, to develop her coppersmithing skills to include joinery, so that she’s able to make objects constructed from multiple parts such as buckets, watering cans and funnels, and to teach the craft.
  • Sarah Ready, from Devon, to develop her practice as a withy pot maker, producing pots for her son to fish with off the Devon coast, and to document the craft.
  • Gillian Stewart, from Glasgow, to expand her bookbinding practice by training as a disappearing fore-edge painter, and to teach the craft.
  • Alex Ward, from Shetland, to develop his furniture making business to incorporate the production of moulding planes for fine furniture making, and to teach the craft of plane making.
  • Lois Walpole, from Shetland, to publish a book on the critically endangered craft of kishie basket making.
Alex Ward's moulding plane

Alex Ward’s moulding plane

These five projects follow 13 awarded in previous rounds, covering endangered crafts such as scissor making, sail making, damask weaving, boot tree making, cockle basket making, folding knife making, neon bending, coracle making, fan making and swill basket making.

As usual the fund was oversubscribed, and this was only compounded by the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sole traders and micro-businesses that make up the heritage crafts sector. 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:

“No-one could have anticipated the impact of COVID-19 at the beginning of this year, not only on craft businesses, whose selling, teaching and supply chains have been curtailed, but on the craft skills themselves, many of which were on the brink even before the pandemic hit. We passionately believe that these skills have lots to offer a post-COVID future, as productive and fulfilling tools with which to rebuild a sustainable economy.”

The Endangered Crafts Fund has been funded through generous donations from organisations including Allchurches Trust, The Swire Charitable 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:

“We hope that our funding will help enable these talented craftspeople to further develop their skills, as well as to hand them down to future generations and share their craft with new audiences; potentially opening doors to new funding opportunities in these challenging times. We feel privileged 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 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.

Read the full press release