Inaugural awards recognise craftpeople’s talents, skills and experience

Isatu Hyde receiving her awardA boatbuilder, a potter, and a hatmaker were among the people recognised for their contribution to heritage crafts at the Heritage Crafts Association annual conference on 22 March.

This was the first time a suite of awards has been made specifically for heritage crafts. The awards were made by the Heritage Crafts Association in partnership with Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST), Marsh Christian Trust, National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS).

More than 100 people attended the conference, Tool Tales, which focused on the tools used by makers. The day included talks from a range of speakers and a display of tools brought and displayed by makers attending the conference.

Click here to view more photos of the Awards presentation

Isatu Hyde was awarded the HCA/QEST Training Bursary. Isatu plans to study with Andrew Crouch of The Marches Pottery in Ludlow, so she can ‘make things that people can afford to buy and break’.

Brian Boorman, also known as Sixer, was nominated by the Faversham Creek Trust for his voluntary work in restoring the Purifier building and organising fundraising events. He was awarded the Marsh Volunteer of the Year.

Yvette Jelfs received the Marsh Made in Britain award for her contribution to the UK couture industry. Described as ‘an ambassador of hat making’, Yvette uses materials produced in Britain, mainly from Yorkshire and Scotland, and specialises in hand blocking and hat making.

Upholsterer Wendy Shorter was awarded the Marsh Trainer of the Year. Wendy runs the largest independent soft furnishing and upholstery centre in England and almost 400 students have attended accredited and non-accredited courses. With four trainers at the centre, Wendy acts as a mentor to the next generation of trainers, ensuring skills and standards are passed on.

Embroider Kate Barlow received the HCA/NADFAS Heritage Crafts Bursary to enable her to continue her studies at the Royal School of Needlework. Kate was taught hand embroidery by her grandmother and has a background in theatre costume.

Boatbuilder Colin Henwood was awarded the HCA Maker of the Year. Colin has been building traditional boats for over 35 years and set up his own boat building business in Henley in 1982. He has previously received the award of Professional Boat Builder of the Year and is passionate about passing on boat building skills.

Calligrapher Professor Ewan Clayton MBE and swill basket maker Owen Jones MBE were presented with certificates to mark their inclusion in the New Year’s Honours List earlier this year. They are the first heritage makers to be nominated by the HCA to receive this Honour.

Attendees at the conference also heard from a range of entertaining and informative speakers, including:

  • Social anthropologist Prof Trevor Marchand
  • Flint knapper and archaeologist Dr Phil Harding
  • Weaver Daniel Harris, who established London Cloth Company using British wool
  • Knife and corset maker Dr Grace Horne
  • Watchmaker Roger Smith, who makes hand-made watches

The Heritage Crafts Awards celebrate and highlight the traditional living crafts made in the UK that contribute to our national heritage.

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