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.
Hannah 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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Outsider Craft is the new podcast from the Leathersellers Company and Heritage Crafts member Yusuf Osman, which seeks to rediscover the purpose and meaning of craft, as we navigate our internal world as individuals and the complex issues that we are facing as a society today.
I left behind a legal career in search of a more fulfilling life. A chance weekend workshop introduced me to the world of traditional British leather craftsmanship. Now almost eight years later, I am an established leatherworker at a crossroads. Did I leave behind a conventional career only to follow another conventional path? Is this fulfilling and the life I wanted?
Inspired by the concept of outsider art, I approach the subject with the lens of being from the outside. In different ways and at various points in our lives we can all feel like outsiders. Ironically, feeling different is what unites us all.
What started as a quest for perfecting the art of leathercraft has become a journey where the craft process becomes a means of understanding what it means to be human and, in doing so, uncovering the threads that connect us all. Leather and craft have become vehicles to discuss the nuance of the relationships we have with ourselves, with each other, materials, and the natural world. With the help of my guests, I ask what it means to be a craftsperson in the modern day and how we can use craft to help us define and achieve the lives we want to live.
Anyone can end up feeling like they’re on the outside and my conversations position that as a space where we can grow and find the things that matter to us. I invite guests to join me in this process, those who to some extent feel like they’re approaching craft from the outside. Some of my guests are very established business owners, others are just starting out, but we all share the same philosophy – that craft isn’t something we do, it’s something we are.
The best and most worthwhile conversations are had during moments of adversity; those forks in the road when our emotions and feelings are rawest and authentic. This podcast should feel like you’ve just walked into a very personal and intimate conversation, and I hope it leaves you thinking a little bit deeper about your craft.
Following your passion and turning what you love into work is a constant balancing act. After many years of working alone I realised that craft is not something that exists in a vacuum – it’s the culmination of knowledge passed down making it intrinsically community focused. That’s why it has been fantastic to work with the Leathersellers on this project. It is not something I wanted to work on alone. It’s unusual to share personal parallels with an organisation, particularly their ambition to be open, engaged and responsive to the needs of leather craftspeople and other individuals and communities that they provide grant funding to across the UK.
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.
In December 2022 I embarked on a tour of Northumberland first schools, in which I delivered workshops on behalf of Queen’s Hall Arts which celebrated the Lindisfarne Gospels and the type of Anglo Saxon scriptorium in which they were created. 5 days, 10 schools, 20 workshops, 300 children, 348 miles driven.
We handled replica artefacts which I’d made, prepared parchment and spoke Old English. We discussed animal welfare, environmental issues, the nature of death and of God. And whether the monks had to run when they carried St Cuthbert in his coffin from Holy Island to Durham to escape the Vikings (I reckon so, coffin on their shoulders). And this saw me performing most enthusiastically in an early medieval monk’s outfit.
My background is in archaeology and medieval languages, and I’ve been a craftsman working predominantly in leather for almost forty years. I make leathergoods, props for theatre and TV and facsimile artefacts in leather and other materials for museums and universities. I also teach leatherwork, sometimes in its archaeological and historical contexts. And I have a theatre company; that’s another story…
The final activity of the workshop was the joyfully exuberant stamping of a leather bracelet which the children took home as a reminder of their experience. This is an activity which I developed with Heritage Crafts and what is now LEAF Education whereby I hold the stamp on the leather and the children strike it with a rawhide mallet. It is intended to develop assuredness with tools and self confidence and to enhance the child’s sense of self worth by demonstrating trust on the part of the adult. I have remained injury free since I began doing this.
I was humbled and impressed by the qualities of the children I worked with; by their curiosity, their knowledge and their skill. By their receptivity and their openness, their creativity, their energy and their deductive reasoning, which flies so much faster than that of most adults (we solved a couple of problems of experimental archaeology that I had struggled with).
And by their willingness to speak from their hearts. At one point a young lad, who has apparently always been a bit more ‘boisterous’ than the others in his class, came over after the session and very quietly told me something about how he’d not really liked things like this previously but that this had really touched him and had allowed him to say what he really thought and to be acknowledged. Then we spoke briefly about matters of the spirit (my phrases to describe what he said).
After he’d left, his teacher found me wiping a tear. Maybe two. She said she’d never known him as considered and thoughtful and sensitive.
And this is the value of craft, of work like this. And it’s not me, not from me. I feel that I just create a space, a safe one, within which vulnerabilities and uncertainties and curiosities can unfold into confidence and assuredness and finally into a willingness in the children to be who they might be at their best and can be and are.
And that’s a great gift given to me. There is none of more value.
(And I’m also officially a Jedi, Obi Wan Kenobi to be specific, and that’s a title I will gratefully accept from 9 year olds, who perceive the truth.)
The last remaining professional fore-edge painter Martin Frost has been awarded Maker of the Year by the Heritage Crafts Association at its Textures of Craft conference on 6 May 2017. Fore-edge painting is one of the seventeen critically endangered crafts identified by the HCA.
Martin took up the craft of vanishing fore-edge painting in 1970, continuing an English tradition that dates back to the 17th Century. Since then he has produced over 3,300 edge-paintings, many on carefully restored antique books. His commitment to the craft as an artist and untiring efforts to raise its profile have won him respect from fellow craftspeople and collectors alike.
Maker of the Year is one of six awards with a total value of up to £27,000 presented this year by the HCA. The other awards were made in partnership with Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST), Marsh Christian Trust and the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS).
Leather worker Candice Lau was awarded the HCA/QEST training scholarship. Largely self-taught, Candice designs bespoke leatherwork from her design workshop/studio. The award will enable Candice to attend an intensive 3-month course at the renowned Italian school of leatherwork in Florence, the Scuola di Cuoio, to enhance her technical skills.
Shoemaker Frances Pinnock was awarded the HCA/NADFAS training bursary to study with cordwainers Carréducker and pattern cutter Fiona Campbell, and to buy the tools and equipment needed to further her career.
Pamela Emerson was awarded HCA/Marsh Volunteer of the Year for her work with NI Big Sock, a community project involving the creation of a world record breaking patchwork Christmas stocking. Pamela devised the project as a way of highlighting sewing as a valuable skill, celebrating Northern Irish traditions of linen production and shirt making, and bringing communities together in the process.
Alistair McCallum was awarded the HCA/Marsh Trainer of the Year award. A silversmith who exhibits nationally and internationally and one of the leading practitioners of the Japanese metalworking technique of Mokume Gane, he has been tireless in his efforts to pass on his skills to the next generation of makers.
Deborah Carré and James Ducker won the HCA/Marsh Made in Britain award. Their company, Carréducker makes bespoke shoes using the best materials sourced from British suppliers: lasts from Northampton, oak bark soling leather from Devon, exotics from Walsall, and patterns made and shoes stitched by specialists in Wales, Bristol and London. Their vision is to reignite the British shoe industry.
During the conference, studio potter Lisa Hammond MBE was presented with a certificate to mark her inclusion in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Lisa was also one of the speakers at the conference, as was Kaffe Fassett, worldwide authority on textiles and colour and Dr Alex Langlands BBC TV presenter of historical programmes.
The event, held at The Royal Society of Medicine, brought together craftspeople and enthusiasts from all over the UK to hear from makers, celebrate the best in the country and hear about the HCA’s research into endangered crafts, the Radcliffe Red List of Endangered Crafts.
The Heritage Crafts Awards celebrate and highlight the traditional living crafts made in the UK that contribute to our national heritage. Applications for an HCA/QEST apprenticeship open on 6 June 2017. Applications for the other awards open on 1 September 2017. For more details about this year’s awards, visit awards.heritagecrafts.org.uk.