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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

Cornish hedging

The Radcliffe Red List of Endangered Crafts

 

Cornish hedging

 

Synopsys.

 

Status Critically endangered
Historic area of significance Cornwall
Area currently practised Cornwall
Origin in the UK Bronze Age
Current no. of professionals (main income) 11-20 (estimate)

The Guild of Cornish Hedgers has 13 full-time members.

See ‘other information’

Current no. of professionals (sideline to main income)
21-50

The Guild of Cornish Hedgers has 7 part-time members

See ‘other information’

Current no. of trainees 6 (4 with the Guild, 2 with Kerdroya)
Current total no. serious amateur makers
Not known
Current total no. of leisure makers
21-50 – mainly volunteers working with Cornwall Wildlife Trust and the Penwith Landscape Partnership

 

History

Cornish hedging is a practice that goes back around 4000 years and is typical to Cornwall.

Cornish hedges create the distinctive character and framework of the Cornish landscape. Placed end to end, they would stretch for about 30,000 miles, and they preserve field patterns that in some places are thousands of years old. They were first used to enclose land for cereal crops and over time informed Cornwall’s traditional and distinctive landscape. They provide vital habitats, wildlife corridors, shelter, shade and sustenance and can help alleviate water and soil run-off.

It is said that a good hedge can last for a hundred years without the need for any repairs. New developments are encouraged to retain existing hedges and create new ones. New road schemes are almost always accompanied by a new Cornish Hedge. Cornish planning authorities have frequently made it a condition of approval of new developments that the site is bounded by newly made Cornish hedges. This positive promotion of these vital landscape, ecological and historical assets requires a workforce that can deliver on the construction and repair of hedges. Cornish Hedging is recognised as a traditional skill that takes time and dedication to learn.

For an extensive archive of resources please visit Cornish Hedges.

 

Techniques

Please refer to the Guild’s Code of Good Practice.

 

Local forms

There are slight area variations to hedges across Cornwall which often relate to the purpose of the hedge as either a retaining or free-standing hedge.

 

Sub-crafts

  • Killas (slate) hedges
  • Granite hedges

 

Issues affecting the viability of the craft

  • Training and recruitment issues: The Guild currently only has 2 trainers and assessors able to deliver the Lantra accredited training courses. One of these trainers is a highly skilled hedger but now in his late seventies. The cost of the 10-day Lantra Intermediate training course which forms the beginning of the craftsperson’s route equates at £1048.  This is prohibitive to many young people.  There is a lack of training sites across Cornwall for people to train in hedging.
  • Market issues: The demand for hedging work is high. The new roadworks projects on the A30 and the link road in St Austell total 25km of hedging alone. Supply of raw materials, allied materials and tools: There is often a lack of local stone, particular to each area, to ensure new build and hedge repairs are kept in keeping with the local character of the landscape.
  • Small business issues: There is a lack of awareness in the quality and skill involved in the craft of a Cornish Hedger.  A traditionally built hedge takes time, knowledge and money to construct, something developers are often not prepared to add to the cost of construction. This can result in poorly built hedges that do not reflect local character and sometimes last as little as days before they collapse. The Guild has only recently created a directory of working craftsmen/women enabling craftsmen to link together for work, knowing that a common high-quality standard is adhered to. Volunteer time to support the Guild had waned in recent years, but is now supported by a new team of craftsmen/women working together. The data base of Cornish hedgers in the community requires updating and there is a lack of funding to cover this important outreach work.
  • Ageing workforce: There is a small collective of young new-comer Guild Craftsmen/women but the historic tradition of handing the skill down through the generations has waned.
  • Legislative issues: The Hedgerow Regulations Act 1997 does not protect Cornish Hedges as they are not classed as hedgerows.

 

Support organisations

  • Guild of Cornish Hedgers: This was established in 2002 in response to critical decline in the ancient craft of Cornish hedging. Most of the remaining traditional hedgers were coming toward the end of their active life and were deeply concerned about the poor standard of workmanship in hedging today. The frequent collapse of recently-built hedges, sometimes within weeks of completion, was giving Cornish hedges a bad name and leading to hedge removal and lack of demand for new hedges.
  • CREST (Cornwall Rural Education and Skills Trust) is an independent sister organisation working in partnership with the Guild of Cornish Hedgers to deliver Guild Lantra training courses, a Cornish Hedging education programme and conduct Cornish Hedging development work in partnership with other organisations.
  • Cornwall Council Hedge Group: The Hedge Group are a group of key personnel from Cornwall Council, AONB, CREST and The National Trust who meet regularly to coordinate supportive work to promote the recognition of hedges in their historic, functional and environmental context.

 

Craftspeople currently known

Training providers

The Guild of Cornish Hedgers are working towards developing a NVQ Lantra Level 2 in Cornish Hedging Certificate, recognised by CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) and leading to a CSCS card to work on construction sites and for insurance purposes.

 

Other information

Surveys of Cornish Hedgers

A 2009 survey of hedgers identified 134 people working in Cornish Hedging. It is unclear how many of these are still practising and how many are full/part-time. CREST are hoping to carry out more work to follow up these respondents to update these figures.

A survey carried out in 2023 by Cornwall Council had 51 respondents. 15% said that they were working as full-time hedgers, 33% were doing it as part of a wider role and 25% doing it as a hobby or in their own time.

Estimating numbers of makers:

Using the data collected in 2013 we have made some assumptions about the numbers of practitioners hedging today. N.B. These are estimates and further work to update the Guild directory of hedgers is due to be carried out by the Guild of Cornish Hedgers. Of 134 Hedgers identified in 2009, 20% are now likely to be retired or deceased. Of the remaining 108:

  • 15% are estimated to be full time (approx. 16)
  • 33% are estimated to be hedging as part of a wider role (approx. 35)
  • 25% are estimated to be doing it as a hobby or in their spare time (approx. 27)

 

References

  • https://www.cornishhedgers.org.uk/cornish-hedging/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornish_hedge
  • http://www.cornishhedges.co.uk/
  • AONB Cornish Hedges Education Pack http://www.cornishhedges.co.uk/aonb.htm

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.