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President’s Award 2022 finalists announced

The three finalists for the third President’s Award for Endangered Crafts, established by Heritage Crafts President HRH The Prince of Wales, have been announced.

Emily Johnson

Emily Johnson

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 this year for a runner-up bursary provided by former Heritage Crafts Chair Patricia Lovett MBE. The winner will be presented at a special reception at Dumfries House, home of The Prince’s Foundation in September, as well as at a prestigious winners’ reception later in the year.

The three finalists are (in alphabetical order):

These three have now been put forward to HRH The Prince of Wales to select the eventual winner.

They were selected from a twelve-name shortlist by the Awards judges on 14 June 2022. The other nine shortlisted craftspeople were (in alphabetical order):

The Award judges are renowned advocates of craft skills:

  • Jay Blades MBE, BBC The Repair Shop, Jay & Co;
  • Kate Hobhouse, Chair of Fortnum and Mason;
  • Patricia Lovett MBE, former Chair of Heritage Crafts;
  • Simon Sadinsky, Deputy Director of The Prince’s Foundation; and
  • Rebecca Struthers, watchmaker and 2021 President’s Award winner.

Jay BladesKate HobhousePatricia Lovett MBESimon SadinskyRebecca Struthers

President’s Award trophies

President's Award for Endangered CraftsThese awards were presented by HCA President HRH The Prince of Wales on 10 September 2021 at a special presentation at Dumfries House, to 2021 President’s Award for Endangered Crafts winner Rebecca Struthers and 2020 winner Ernest Wright Scissors.

The awards were generously commissioned and sponsored by HCA Vice President Richard Hefford Hobbs and approved by HRH The Prince of Wales. Sculptor Sean Hedges Quinn was commissioned to design and make the exemplar/mould from which the award was cast in bronze. Each part of the award was cast separately and then put together, in such a way that the award can be viewed from all angles, even the back.

The base supporting the feathers is made of oak from the Sandringham estate beautifully crafted by Ipswich woodworker Brendan Worsley, and stone from Balmoral. Hand engraver Ruth Anthony was commissioned to hand-engrave the plaques, working at some speed for the 2021 award as we knew the winner only in the last few weeks.

The workmanship is stunning and it has all been done using skilled heritage craftspeople.

Watchmaker Rebecca wins President’s Award

 

Craig and Rebecca Struthers. Photo by Richard Ivey.

Craig and Rebecca Struthers. Photo by Richard Ivey.

Birmingham-based watchmaker Rebecca Struthers has won the 2021 HCA President’s Award for Endangered Crafts. The prestigious award, and £3,000 bursary, was initiated by Heritage Crafts Association President HRH The Prince of Wales.

The HCA was set up 11 years ago as a national charity to support and safeguard heritage crafts skills, and has become well known for its Red List of Endangered Crafts, the first research of its kind to rank traditional crafts in the UK by the likelihood they would survive the next generation.

The President’s Award trophy was presented to Dr Struthers at a special presentation on Friday 10 September 2021, hosted by The Prince’s Foundation, one of the country’s major providers of training in traditional building skills. The Prince of Wales was in attendance at the presentation, which also saw a trophy awarded to 2020 winners, Paul Jacobs and Jonathan Reid from Ernest Wright Scissors, whose presentation was unable to proceed last year due to COVID restrictions.

HCA President's Award

HCA President’s Award

Between 1630 and 1890, England was the centre of global watchmaking, home to many of the world’s most celebrated watchmakers. By 1793, twenty thousand London watchmakers were part of the city’s population of one million inhabitants, representing around one fiftieth of the population. Today watchmaking is listed as critically endangered on the HCA Red List of Endangered Crafts.

Dr Rebecca Struthers is Director and watchmaker of a traditional watchmaking workshop and studio in Birmingham alongside husband and fellow master watchmaker Craig. They use traditional methods, materials and techniques in the restoration of vintage and antique watches as well as the production of her own timepieces. She is the first, and currently only, watchmaker in the UK to earn a PhD in horology.

Award winners with HRH The Prince of Wales. Photo by Richard Ivey.

Award winners with HRH The Prince of Wales. Photo by Richard Ivey.

Dr Struthers is a Fellow of the British Horological Institute and Royal Society of Arts, a Trustee of the Museum of Timekeeping in Newark, and a Jury Member of the Academy, Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. She has received over a dozen awards over the years for her craft, design, entrepreneurship and research, and her work has appeared in a range of media including the BBC, New York Times and Wall Street Journal. She is currently writing a non-fiction book for Hodder & Stoughton on the history of time, told through watches, and the way in which they have influenced societies and cultures around the world.

Dr Struthers plans to use the prize to create a free-to-use educational website for anyone with an interest in learning the art of watchmaking. It would list training opportunities and facilities, and allow people to share projects they are currently working on and seek advice and feedback from a watchmaking community. It would also share useful technical information and charts, articles, a reference library and short videos on her own techniques for others to learn from.

Winner Dr Rebecca Struthers said:

“As independent makers the high costs of training a full-time apprentice means that even if it were possible, the apprentice’s pay would be so low that it would be prohibitive to people from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. The President’s Award has provided us with the foundation to start something we hope will help to break down these boundaries and allow us to share what we do for free, in a manageable way for us. To have such a prestigious beginning for this project is an invaluable start!”

HCA Chair Patricia Lovett MBE said:

“Many people know HRH The Prince of Wales as being a long-time supporter and champion of traditional craft skills, and his passion is all too evident through initiatives such as the HCA President’s Award and The Prince’s Foundation. Dr Struthers and Ernest Wright Scissors are immensely deserving winners and we know that in their hands the prizes will provide a massive boost to the outlook of these critically endangered crafts.”

Jonathan Reid and Paul Jacobs from Ernest Wright Scissors. Photo by Richard Ivey.

Jonathan Reid and Paul Jacobs from Ernest Wright Scissors. Photo by Richard Ivey.

2020 winner Ernest Wright scissor makers was founded in 1902 and reflects everything Sheffield has become famous for – highly skilled craftspeople making supreme quality products.

Following a tragedy in 2018, the company went into receivership and the critically endangered craft of scissor making was on the verge of disappearing from Sheffield. Paul Jacobs and Jan Bart Fanoy took action and bought the company, re-hired the remaining master putter-togetherers, Cliff Denton and Eric Stones, and took on several ‘putters’ in training. The factory is now back in action, with the prize used to repair machinery so that their putter-in-training can learn the craft from Cliff and Eric.

Click here to see details of this year’s finalists, including hat plaiter Veronica Main and wallpaper maker Hugh Dunford-Wood.

Click here to read more about the President’s Award trophies.

President’s Award 2021 finalists announced

President’s Award 2021 finalists announced

Hugh Dunford-WoodThe three finalists for the second President’s Award for Endangered Crafts, established by Heritage Crafts Association President HRH The Prince of Wales, have been announced.

Each year the President’s Award presents £3,000 to a heritage craftsperson who will use the funding to ensure that craft skills are passed on to the future. The winner will be presented at a special reception at Dumfries House, home of The Prince’s Foundation, in September, as well as at a prestigious winners’ reception at the Houses of Parliament.

Veronica MainThe three finalists are (in alphabetical order):

These three have now been put forward to HRH The Prince of Wales to select the eventual winner.

They were selected from a ten-name shortlist by the Awards judges on 17 June 2021. The other seven shortlisted craftspeople were (in alphabetical order):

The Award judges are renowned advocates of craft skills:

  • Jay Blades MBE, BBC The Repair Shop, Jay & Co;
  • Kate Hobhouse, Chair of Fortnum and Mason;
  • Paul Jacobs, Co-Owner of Ernest Wight scissor makers
  • Patricia Lovett MBE, Chair of the Heritage Crafts Association; and
  • Simon Sadinsky, Deputy Director of The Prince’s Foundation.

Jay BladesKate HobhousePaul JacobsPatricia Lovett MBESimon Sadinsky

Winners of the 2020 Heritage Crafts Awards

Sheffield scissor makers Ernest Wright have won the inaugural President’s Award for Endangered Crafts in this year’s Heritage Crafts Awards. The prestigious award, and £3,000 bursary, was initiated by Heritage Crafts Association (HCA) President HRH The Prince of Wales.

The President’s Award was one of five awards presented by Sir John Hayes at the HCA’s Awards Ceremony held on Wednesday 7 October. The event was held online instead of the planned Winners’ Reception due to take place at the Houses of Parliament, which was inevitably curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Paul Jacobs with master putter-togetherers Cliff Denton and Eric Stones of Ernest Wright scissor makers. Photo by Carl Whitham.

Paul Jacobs with master putter-togetherers Cliff Denton and Eric Stones of Ernest Wright scissor makers. Photo by Carl Whitham.

Ernest Wright was founded in 1902 and reflects everything Sheffield has become famous for – highly skilled craftspeople making supreme quality products. Following a tragedy in 2018, the company went into receivership and the critically endangered craft of scissor making was on the verge of disappearing from Sheffield. Paul Jacobs and Jan Bart Fanoy took action and bought the company, re-hired the remaining master putter-togetherers, Cliff Denton and Eric Stones, and took on several putters in training. The factory is now back in action with 12 scissor patterns currently in production. They plan to use the prize to repair machinery so that putter-in-training can have more productive time learning the craft from Cliff and Eric.

The four other awards were presented with the generous support of the Marsh Christian Trust, who have supported these awards since 2012.

The HCA/Marsh Trainer of the Year award went to Achilles Khorassandjian, shoe making tutor at Capel Manor College in Enfield, Middlesex. Achilles, known as Ash, has worked in the shoemaking industry for 57 years, and still designs and makes shoes from his home studio as well as supporting the next generation of UK shoemakers with his knowledge and skills.

The inaugural HCA/Marsh Trainee of the Year award went jointly to Richard Platt and Sam Cooper, chairmaking apprentices to Lawrence Neal at Marchmont House in Berwickshire. Richard and Sam are currently in the process of opening a rush seated chair workshop, the first of its kind since 1958. They use skills and techniques passed down from Phillip Clissett, Ernest Gimson, Edward Gardiner and Neville Neal. Without them taking up the craft, with support from Hugo Burge at Marchmont, one of Britain’s proudest craft traditions would have been lost.

The HCA/Marsh Volunteer of the Year award went to John Savings, from Appleton in Oxfordshire, hedgelayer and volunteer at the National Hedgelaying Society. John excels at promoting and encouraging others to take part in the traditional craft of hedgelaying. John lays in the South of England style but can put his hand to any style, showing young and old how to make a perfect hedge.

The HCA/Marsh ‘Made in Britain’ Award went to Two Rivers Paper. Established at Pitt Mill on Exmoor in 1987, Two Rivers is now the only manufacturer of traditional handmade, artists’ quality rag paper in the UK and one of only a handful of similar businesses in Europe. Their watercolour paper has an international reputation for excellence. Owner Jim Patterson has recently trained apprentice Zoe and plans to relocate the company to the historic papermaking town of Watchet.

 

Watch the ceremony

Watch the recording of the Awards ceremony on YouTube

 

Finalists

The finalists were as follows:

President’s Award for Endangered Crafts (£3,000): (more details)

  • Paul Jacobs – Ernest Wright scissor makers, Sheffield
  • Jim Patterson – Two Rivers Paper, Somerset
  • Helen Johannessen – industrial ceramics practitioner, London

HCA Marsh Trainer of the Year (£1,000)

  • Achilles Khorassandjian – shoe maker, Middlesex
  • Jim Patterson – paper maker, Somerset
  • Nigel Turton – thatcher, Dorset

HCA Marsh Trainee of the Year (£1,000)

  • Manuel Aragon Gimeno – guitar maker, Nottinghamshire
  • Richard Platt and Sam Cooper – chair makers, Berwickshire
  • Yasmin St Pierre – lapidarist, London

HCA Marsh Volunteer of the Year (£1,000)

  • Ann Day – The Lace Guild, Surrey
  • John Savings – The National Hedgelaying Society, Oxfordshire
  • Young Quilters Fundraising Team – The Quilters’ Guild of Great Britain

HCA Marsh Made in Britain Award (£1,000)

  • Jacqueline Cullen – Whitby jet worker, London
  • Method Studio – furniture makers, West Lothian
  • Two Rivers Paper – paper makers, Somerset