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Eight new grants awarded to help save endangered crafts from extinction

Catherine Ade, lithographer. Photo copyright Jo Hounsome.

Catherine Ade, lithographer. Photo copyright Jo Hounsome.

A lithographer, a wallpaper maker and an oak bark tanner are among the recipients of the latest round of grants awarded to help safeguard some of the UK’s most endangered craft skills.

The Heritage Crafts Association (HCA), which published the third edition of its groundbreaking HCA Red List of Endangered Crafts in May, has awarded a further eight grants from its Endangered Crafts Fund, which was launched in 2019 to increase the likelihood of endangered crafts surviving into the next generation.

This round of the HCA Endangered Crafts Fund has been offered with support from the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Dulverton Trust, the Sussex Heritage Trust, Allchurches Trust and the Swire Charitable Trust. The eight successful recipients are:

  • Catherine Ade, from Bristol, to run a series of workshops on different lithography techniques and continue to supply lithography plate graining services.
  • Peter Ananin, from Fife, to train an apprentice in the skills and knowledge of traditional Scottish bark tanning.
  • Deborah Bowness, from East Sussex, to learn traditional wallpaper making techniques through one-to-one training with a wallpaper conservationist.
  • Rachel Evans, from Stoke-on-Trent, to learn the techniques of hazel basketmaking, specifically the Gower cockle basket and the whisket.
  • Nikki Laird, from Edinburgh, to print a book on how to make a traditional hand sewn kilt.
  • Kate Longley, from Cornwall, to maintain the skills and knowledge of withy crab and lobster pot making in the community of Gorran Haven.
  • Steven Lowe, from East Sussex, to provide shoe last making courses covering heel making.
  • Edie Obilaso, from London, to make hats from straw plait produced on an antique machine, and to document the craft.
Peter Ananin, oak bark tanner. Photo copyright Woodland Tannery.

Peter Ananin, oak bark tanner. Photo copyright Woodland Tannery.

These eight projects follow 27 awarded in previous rounds, covering endangered crafts such as scissor making, sail making, damask weaving, boot tree making, cockle basket making, folding knife making, neon bending, coracle making, fan making and swill basket making, coppersmithing, withy pot making, disappearing fore-edge painting, plane making, kishie basket making, flint walling, brick making, chair seating, lipwork basketry, paper making, concertina making and flute making.

As usual the fund was oversubscribed, and the HCA hopes to work with many of the unsuccessful candidates to identify other funding and support opportunities.

HCA Endangered Crafts Manager Mary Lewis said:

“For all the progress we’ve made, it will take more than just the Heritage Crafts Association to save craft skills; it will be the people who make a positive choice to learn, make and teach an endangered craft who will do that. These projects will provide future generations with opportunities that they might not otherwise have, to become productive and healthy members of our shared craft community.”

The Endangered Crafts Fund has been funded through generous donations from organisations including Garfield Weston Foundation, the Dulverton Trust, the Sussex Heritage Trust, as well as individuals who have donated sums from £5 right up to several thousands of pounds.

The HCA continues to seek further donations to save even more of Britain’s most endangered crafts from oblivion. Donations are welcome at any time – for more information visit www.heritagecrafts.org.uk/ecf.

See the projects that were successfully funded in the previous application rounds