Steve Tomlin – green woodworker

Winner of the 2018 HCA/Marsh Endangered Crafts Award

This is a new award generously funded by the Marsh Christian Trust to recognise a practitioner of one of the 62 crafts currently listed in the ‘critically endangered’ or ‘endangered’ categories of the HCA Red List of Endangered Crafts and who is actively promoting their craft and working to secure its survival for the future. Nominees are asked to demonstrate how the award will be used to help safeguard their craft.

Steve Tomlin, a spoon carver, ash basketmaker and scything tutor, applied for the award to learn to make Devon stave baskets (maunds), a critically endangered craft currently with no practising craftspeople or trainees. He will spend time working with Mark Snellgrove who is the most experienced maker in the country and has original jigs for making the baskets. During this time, Steve will be able to make his own set of jigs for producing different sizes of stave basket and spend time with Mark learning the skills involved.

After the training, Steve will teach stave basket making through his established network of craft course providers and promote them as the various shows and events where he demonstrates and exhibits. He plans to write articles for craft newsletters and create an online resource for craftspeople wishing to learn on their own and as a focus for collecting further information about the craft to preserve and safeguard it into the future.

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