Who we are

The Heritage Crafts Association is a volunteer-led Charitable Incorporated Organisation (not-for-profit) governed by a board of trustees and run with the support of a small team of part-time staff, advisors and volunteers.

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Daniel Carpenter – Operations Manager (part time)


Mary Lewis – Endangered Crafts Officer (part time)


Sally Morgan – Finance Officer (part time)


Charlotte Diamond – Membership and Administration Officer (part time)




His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales



Richard Hobbs FRMS FIET FRSA


Board of trustees


Patricia Lovett MBE FRSA – Chair

Patricia Lovett was Vice-Chair of the Heritage Crafts Association 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.
www.patricialovett.com | patricia-AT-heritagecrafts.org.uk*

Judit Seymour – Vice Chair

Judit trains financial services professionals in risk management globally and lends her professional experience to Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner as a non-executive director and Bedford Girls’ School as well as Heritage Craft Association as a trustee. At the start of her career, Judit was a barrister followed by a move to the City and risk management in various financial services companies, including board roles. She is a serial knitter and relishes long-haul travel to give time to her knitting projects.

Dr Ellie Clewlow – Secretary

Ellie is an arts administrator based in the north east of England. A historian and archivist by training, Ellie previously worked for over 15 years in Higher Education, where she was responsible for developing learning and teaching both in universities and at national policy level. Ellie has a particular interest in community craft and the role it can play in promoting wellbeing and social cohesion. A love of reading and words mean that she is usually to be found experimenting with crafts that involve paper and books.

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.
www.robin-wood.co.uk | robin-AT-heritagecrafts.org.uk

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 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 now Head of Learning & Community at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, following nearly a decade of working in large London museums. 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 the Heritage Crafts Association’s 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.
jenn-AT- heritagecrafts.org.uk*

David Clarke FRSA

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. Recent heritage sector projects include projects at Yr Ysgwrn in Wales (awarded the UK’s only 2019 European Union Heritage Prize), Pitzhanger Manor, Ealing, Compton Verney, Warwickshire and Insole Court, Cardiff.  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.




Lord Cormack – Conservative Peer

Conservative Peer after being an MP for many years, Lord Cormack was made a peer in 2010 and is an active member of the House of Lords. He takes an interest in historical issues, particularly those related to English Heritage. He is also a very knowledgeable parliamentary historian and has written many books on subjects ranging from the history of parliament, British castles, English cathedrals, and a book on William Wilberforce. Patrick Cormack has been a trustee of the Churches Preservation Trust since 1972, and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. He has been a council member of British Archaeology since 1979, and is also a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass. From 1983-93, he was a Trustee on the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. Lord Cormack was chair of the All Party Arts and Heritage Committee, and is a strong supporter of the HCA.

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.

Mark Henderson – Chairman of Gieves and Hawkes, No. 1 Savile Row

Chairman of Gieves and Hawkes, No. 1 Savile Row Mark Henderson is a strong supporter of British craft, and set up ‘Savile Row Bespoke’ in 2004 to protect and promote the art of hand-craft tailoring on Savile Row. In 2012 he also established ‘The New Craftsman’, an initiative of pop-up shops and a website to promote and sell quality British craft. Mark is a Trustee of QEST, the Royal Warrant Holders Association’s charity, which funds scholarships for craftsmanship. He has been a mentor on Walpole’s ‘Crafted’ programme, and is a mentor on the London Business School’s Entrepreneurship Summer School, and also chairs the Walpole/LBS Innovation in Luxury competition.

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

  • 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.

Daniel Carpenter

Daniel is one of the founding Trustees of the Association, serving in that capacity for nine years until 2018.

Greta Bertram

Curator, Crafts Study Centre, University for the Creative Arts. Greta was long-standing Trustee and Secretary of the Association 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