Who we are

The Heritage Crafts Association (operating as ‘Heritage Crafts’) is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (not-for-profit) governed by a Board of Trustees and run by a small team of part-time staff.

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His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales



Lord Cormack Kt DL FSA

Baroness Garden of Frognall PC

Richard Hobbs FRMS FIET FRSA


Board of Trustees


Patricia Lovett MBE FRSA – Chair

Patricia Lovett was Vice-Chair of Heritage Crafts from when it was founded to when she took up the role of Chair in 2017. She is a professional scribe and illuminator who has written over a dozen books, her latest being ‘The Art and History of Calligraphy’ published by the British Library. Patricia teaches and lectures all over the world and specialises in traditional manuscript skills.

David Clarke FRSA – Acting Vice Chair

David is Managing Director of DCA, a consultancy company which specialises in the development of projects in the heritage and cultural sectors. David moved into the cultural sector from education management in the mid-1980s and from 1987 to 1995 was Director of Chapter, a major centre for contemporary arts in Cardiff. In 1995 David set up DCA; specialisms include the development of cultural buildings, sustainable business planning and innovation. David is a fellow of the RSA, a member of the Institute of Leadership and Management, an RIBA Client Advisor and a member of the Museums Association and the Theatres Trust.

Alison Robinson Canham – Secretary

Alison has worked in Higher Education, professional bodies and membership organisations for more than 25 years, including executive and board roles. She now provides freelance research and consultancy primarily to the not-for-profit sector. See is a strong advocate for parity of esteem between academic and vocational education and for practical skills-based learning opportunities as a vehicle for (multi)cultural inclusion. In a voluntary capacity Alison coordinates the Arbeau Dancers, a group which supports public engagement with culture through costumed performances of historical dance and enjoys making the costumes.

Sarah Kolkman ACA – Treasurer

Sarah is a chartered accountant and, after qualifying with one of the large audit firms, moved into industry. She has held several roles in London, the Netherlands and Sydney, Australia where she was CFO of a small listed company in the dairy industry. In recent years, with more moves around the globe, she has decided to focus more on contributing back to the not-for-profit sector.

Robin Wood MBE

Robin Wood is an internationally respected wood worker specialising in the use of local timbers and traditional techniques, as well as wood working tool maker. His extensive research into the history of foot-powered pole lathe bowl turning led to publication of the definitive book on the history of the wooden bowl – The Wooden Bowl. The last person to work in this way retired in 1958, and Robin taught himself the necessary techniques as well as making most of the tools for his work.

Dr Chrissie Freeth

Chrissie is a tapestry weaver based in Yorkshire. She has been interested in historical textiles for twenty years and first learned to weave on a warp-weighted loom as an undergraduate. She has been an Artist in Residence for the National Trust and was previously a features writer for UK Handmade magazine, weaving features editor of the Journal for Weavers, Spinners and Dyers and a member of the Society of Designer Craftsmen. She is included in the Crafts Council’s directory of British craftworkers and in 2016 was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travelling Fellowship to study medieval tapestry techniques in Belgium, France, Switzerland and the US.

Helen Nichols

Helen has been working in the not-for-profit sector as a fundraiser in a range of organisations for the last five years. Most recently she worked at the RAF Museum managing membership, events and individual giving. She is currently a corporate fundraiser for Centrepoint, a youth homelessness charity. She is passionate about arts and crafts, regularly attending exhibitions and enjoy photography. She is also a member of the Young People In the Arts organisation.

Ambrita Shahani-Tuckwell FRSA

Ambrita moved to London from Mumbai in 2003 to study at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. In 2008 she joined Alexander McQueen and co-founded the Couture Studio.  After a decade at McQueen, Ambrita currently splits her time between London, Paris and Mumbai, working as a design consultant for Burberry and Hermes Maison. Ambrita is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Trustee of the Alexandra Rose Charity. She was recently invited to sit as a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Craft. She is a visiting lecturer at Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art where she mentors students on BA and MA Fashion Design courses.

Laura Southall

Laura is Head of Learning at the Science Museum, following a decade of working in museums and galleries. When managing the residency programme at the V&A she loved working closely with artists and makers in their studios, in particular the museum’s ceramic studio, and this is where her interest in heritage crafts began. In 2017 she coordinated Heritage Crafts’ Red List of Endangered Crafts launch at the House of Lords and the HCA’s annual conference.

Katy Bevan FRSA

Katy is a curator, writer and educator specialising in craft. She has worked in craft book and magazine publishing for over twenty years including working for Ceramic Review, Selvedge and Rowan. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Katy was previously Learning and Participation Manager at the Crafts Council where she was responsible for the Firing Up and Craft Club initiatives. She believes in the benefits of craft for health and wellbeing and is usually to be found knitting.

Jennifer Chen

Jennifer works as a creative professional for advertising agencies and brands, and has over a decade’s experience of developing and implementing communications across a variety of channels. She was also a co-founder and COO of a small tech start-up, delivering activities information to families. An appreciator of arts, crafts and design, she frequently visits exhibitions and enjoys learning about making.

Jonathan Reid

Jonathan is Production Manager and a Putter (putter-togetherer) at Ernest Wright, Sheffield’s last remaining handmade scissor workshop. Trained by two of the UK’s remaining master-putters, he is fast learning everything there is to know about making scissors, a craft that is classified as critically endangered by Heritage Crafts. As a Sheffield local, Jonathan is familiar with the decline of the handmade sector in the UK and the effect it has had on his home town. In his free time Jonathan enjoys other crafts such as ceramics and knitting, as well as being a collector of vintage tools and cutlery.

Jo Sealy

Jo started her career as an advertising copywriter, and has worked in various advertising agencies both in the UK and overseas before moving into radio and ending up in television. She set up To Market in 2005 to use her corporate experience to the benefit of growing small and medium-sized enterprises. Jo is also a photographer with a focus on close-up and social documentary works, dealing with culture, heritage and age. Her project the Black Artisans showcases and celebrates UK-based craftspeople through a travelling photography exhibition intended to inspire young people.




Will Kirk – furniture restorer

Will Kirk, star of BBC The Repair Shop and BBC Morning Live, first developed a passionate interest in antique furniture and the craft of restoration at an early age, having watched his grandfather restore pieces of furniture in his workshop. He studied Graphic Design at the University of the Arts, going on to graduate with a BA in Antique Furniture Restoration and Conservation from London Metropolitan University. Since setting up his London based furniture restoration business in 2012, Will and his team of craftsmen have worked on a variety of commissions, from much loved family heirlooms, to larger corporate contracts..

Kaffe Fassett MBE – textile designer

Kaffe Fassett is an American-born artist who has resided in England since 1964 and is best known for his colourful designs in the decorative arts – needlepoint, patchwork, knitting, painting and ceramics. His work was the subject of a 1988 one-man show at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the first time a living textile artist had such a show there, and which then went on to tour nine countries. Author of more than 30 books, he has hosted craft-related television and radio programmes for the BBC and Channel 4, including his own show, Glorious Colour.

Dr Alex Langlands – archaeologist and television presenter

‘The Victorian Farm’, which aired in January 2009, followed Alex and team for a full calendar year exploring rural life in the Victorian era. The follow up ‘Edwardian Farm’ saw Alex rick building, tanning, barrel making, lobster-pot making, hedging and forging a Devon-style bill hook. Most recently Alex has completed the series with ‘Wartime Farm’. Alex has recently completed his PhD on Travel and communication in early medieval Wessex. Alex has worked on archaeological sites throughout Europe, has a keen interest in rural crafts and runs a number of archaeology and local history courses.

Professor May Cassar – Professor of Sustainable Heritage at UCL

Professor May Cassar is the Director of the University College London Institute for Sustainable Heritage, where she has led the resurgence of heritage science research activity in the UK over the last decade, and for which she has been recognised by the Royal Warrant Holders’ Association with the award of the Plowden Gold Medal in 2012.  At an international level, May has worked on projects with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, ICCROM, European Parliament, European Commission and National Governments to develop strategic approaches to the preservation of cultural heritage.

Former Patrons

  • Mark Henderson
  • Lord Cormack
  • Sir Christopher Frayling
  • Emma Bridgewater CBE
  • Paul Martin
  • Sir Mark Jones
  • Professor Ted Collins
  • Dr Roy Brigden


Special advisors


Tanya Harrod

Visiting Professor, Department of Design History at the Royal College of Art. Tanya is the author ‘The Crafts in Britain in the 20th Century’ (Yale University Press, 1999). Trained as an art historian, she is a co-editor of the Journal of Modern Craft.

Harriet Deacon

Visiting Research Fellow at Faculty of Arts, Open University.
Special advisor on intangible cultural heritage.

Michael Osbaldeston

Senior Adviser, City & Guilds.
Special advisor on qualifications.

Greta Bertram

Curator, Crafts Study Centre, University for the Creative Arts. Greta was long-standing Trustee and Secretary of Heritage Crafts for seven years, stepping down in 2018.

Louise Butler

Independent crafts curator with a particular interest in heritage skills. Author of Glorious Obsession (1997), Scottish Arts Council’s first advocacy document for indigenous crafts. Former Board member and Co-Chair of Craft Scotland.
Special advisor for Scotland.

Tracy Hill

SME business advisor for the cultural heritage and art sector and author of Getting Into Heritage Crafts (2017).
Special advisor on training.

Anne Canning

Special advisor on human resources.

Steve Byrne

Co-owner of Lackan Cottage Farm, a low impact, permaculture smallholding in County Down and former web-content professional.
Special advisor on information technology.


Honorary lifetime members


Dr Brian Crossley MBE

Catherine Dyson

Daniel Carpenter

Greta Bertram