Six more grants to help save endangered crafts


Six more grants to help save endangered crafts

A marionette maker, a silver spinner and an encaustic tile maker are among the recipients of a new round of grants to help safeguard some of the UK’s most endangered craft skills.

Heritage Crafts has awarded the grants through its Endangered Crafts Fund, which was launched in 2019 to increase the likelihood of at-risk craft skills surviving into the next generation. This round’s grants are funded by the Radcliffe Trust, the Pilgrim Trust, The Royal Mint and the William Grant Foundation.

In May last year Heritage Crafts published the fourth edition of its groundbreaking Red List of Endangered Crafts, the first research of its kind to rank the UK’s traditional crafts by the likelihood that they will survive into the next generation. The report assessed 259 crafts to ascertain those which are at greatest risk of disappearing, of which 84 were classified as ‘endangered’ and a further 62 as ‘critically endangered’.

The six successful recipients are:

  • James Ashwell, from Bristol, to 3D print new pipe moulds from scans of historical clay pipes and take up residency at Broseley Pipeworks to test the moulds using a real gin press.
  • Poppy Bastin, from Hampshire, to re-establish commercial textile block printing at Yateley Industries for the Disabled by training staff and running community classes.
  • Oliver Hymans, from London, to run marionette making courses for puppetry professionals and practitioners at the Little Angel Theatre.
  • Warren Martin, from Sheffield, to train with Christopher Perry on hammering techniques to form pouring lips on his spun silver vessels.
  • Craig Peebles, from Edinburgh, to develop a reliable clay slip to reduce failure rates for encaustic tile making in a small studio setting.
  • Dave Purvis, from North Yorkshire, to recreate six extinct coracle types and work with the UK Men’s Sheds Association to popularise the craft.

These nine projects follow 66 others awarded in previous rounds, covering endangered crafts such as thatching spar making, arrowsmithing, pigment making and many more. Previous funders have included the Sussex Heritage Trust, the Dulverton Trust, the Swire Charitable Trust, the Ashley Family Foundation, and the Essex Community Foundation and others, as well as individuals who have donated sums from £5 right up to several thousands of pounds.

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

Mary Lewis, Heritage Crafts Head of Craft Sustainability, said:

“The survival of endangered craft skills relies on the people who make a positive choice to learn, make and teach these crafts. 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 and to safeguard this important part of our national heritage.”

View the full list of the 72 grants awarded to date