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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.

Studio pottery

Currently viable crafts

 

Studio pottery

 

The making of items from clay either by hand-building, casting, moulding or throwing and firing at high temperatures.

 

Status Currently viable
Historic area of significance UK
Area currently practised UK
Origin in the UK Prehistoric

 

History

The craft of pottery is one of the earliest human inventions. Since neolithic times until today, it’s been used for a variety of purposes from transport, cooking, decoration to storage. Pottery is generally divided into three main categories – earthenware, stoneware and porcelain.

 

Techniques

Items may be hand-built, cast, moulded or wheel thrown, fired or unfired, and glazed or unglazed.

Pottery is a process of creating shapes and vessels from clay (and sometimes other raw materials) and firing them at high temperatures (600-1600°C) for a durable form. Clay and other materials used for pottery have the elastic, mouldable property and are able to keep shape. The body is then left to dry after which the shaped vessels are matured by firing in a pit, kiln or a fire in which process the raw material becomes hard and strengthened. The article can be decorated before and after the firing. Once the fired form cools down it can be glazed and decorated (often additional firing stages are required at this point).

 

Local forms

Based around different types of clay, materials, shaping and firing methods available but also around the functionality (utilitarian and decorative) and pattern – including decorative ware, tableware, vessels or sculptures.

Sub-crafts

There are wide range of different techniques, such as Raku firing, wood firing etc.

 

Issues affecting the viability of the craft

  • Decline in professional training (currently only three full time courses are offered nationally)
  • Economic viability in competing with industrial-scale manufacture, especially of functional ware
  • Scarcity of good quality clay
  • High prices of materials and electricity for individual makers and small studio potters
  • In a recent resurgence of the practice, people turn to pottery as a hobby but they are not formally trained and don’t rely on traditional methods

 

Support organisations

Regional groups

 

Craftspeople currently known

The Craft Potters Association website features a list of members. The current scene is covered in Ceramic Review and Crafts magazines

 

Other information

 

References

  • Ceramic Review

Adopt a Potter launches Clay College Stoke Crowdfunder

Mugs - photo by Florian Gadsby

Photo by Florian Gadsby

The Adopt a Potter charitable trust has launched a Crowdfunder to raise £20,000 towards the £200,000 total needed to open Clay College Stoke, a not-for-profit, independent training college set up by potters for the new generation of students.

Building on the success of the apprenticeship scheme and developing their remit, Clay College Stoke will be the UK’s first skills-based, independent institution to focus on teaching a new generation of potters the essential skills they require to make a living from their craft. Students will be taught by world renowned potters who share a passion for keeping this tradition alive.

Here’s Lisa Hammond MBE and Chair of Adopt a Potter, who you can also hear speak, along with her apprentice Florian Gadsby, at this years HCA Conference on 6 May 2017 (click here to book).