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Winners of the 2022 Heritage Crafts Awards

Hannah McAndrewSlipware 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.

Line hansenThe 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.

Eden Sorrel RussellThe 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.

Ian PearsonThe 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.

 

Finalists

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.

Glassworking (scientific glassware)

The Radcliffe Red List of Endangered Crafts

 

Glassworking (scientific glassware)

 

The working of glass, including techniques such as glass blowing (heating glass and blowing air into it) specifically to make scientific apparatus (see the separate entries for glassworking and surgical instrument making).

 

Status Endangered
Historic area of significance Sunderland; Stoke on Trent
Area currently practised UK
Origin in the UK 1900-20
Current no. of professionals (main income) 101-200 (see other information)
Current no. of professionals (sideline to main income)
100-300
Current no. of trainees 14
Current total no. serious amateur makers
2
Current total no. of leisure makers

 

History

Modern scientific glassblowing started with the advent of Borosilicate glass. In the twentieth century glass became part of the ‘scientific sector’ creating a shift in the industry from a craft to a ‘precise science’ thereby creating a schism between scientific glassblowing and studio glass.

 

Techniques

The manipulating of glass, usually in tubing or rod form in an open flame to produce apparatus used for scientific purposes. This task may be carried out by hand or machine. In addition cold working of glass for scientific purposes involves the cutting, grinding and drilling of glass using various abrasive tools. Scientific glassblowing shares similar techniques with glass bead making and paperweight producers.

 

Local forms

 

Sub-crafts

  • Optical polishing
  • Instrument manufacturing

 

Issues affecting the viability of the craft

  • Training issues: A fully skilled or competent scientific glassblower is becoming a rare thing these days as there are no longer any schools or colleges teaching scientific glassblowing in the UK. The future of the skill is entirely dependent on university-based glassblowers and a few businesses who are willing to undertake in-house training. The British Society of Scientific Glassblowers has a long established full syllabus for training a scientific glassblower which is respected worldwide by the industry, with student or trainee scientific glassblowers in several countries undertaking its exams. However, there are no government accredited scientific glassblowing qualifications, and the BSSG has not been able to achieve the government accreditation required to move forward in the Modern Apprenticeship programme which simply doesn’t work for this profession. The cost of training is high both in material and time so it’s a very big ask for employers to undertake. There are fewer than ten student scientific glassblowers throughout the country.
  • Dilution of skills: Very few craftspeople have the knowledge to carry out a wide range of scientific glassware techniques and there is a risk of skills being lost or not passed on.

 

Support organisations

 

Craftspeople currently known

  • Terri Adams
  • Robert McLeod
  • Matthew Myles
  • Phil Jones
  • Julia Malle
  • Dan Jackson
  • Paul Le Pinnet
  • Graham Reed – currently offering training

 

Other information

Status: While the numbers of glassblowers actively involved in scientific glassblowing appear healthy (201-500, with 101-200 skilled craftspeople and 14 trainees), these numbers include those employed in industry who may only ever perform one or two operations as part of an assembly line and their training has been limited to these particular operations.

A useful resource for finding out more about scientific glass can be found here http://www.ilpi.com/glassblowing/glassblowing.html 

 

References