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The Heritage Foundation x Fortnum & Mason

For centuries, Fortnum & Mason has been the destination for exceptionally crafted, beautifully designed joy-giving things. We always seek to support unique, modern designers and craftspeople to ensure that ancient techniques live on and rare talent is always celebrated.

 

This year to coincide with London Craft Week - a celebration of British and international creativity - we were very proud to partner with the Heritage Craft Association. ​

From blacksmithing and basketry to weaving and woodturning, the UK hosts an incredible range of heritage craft skills and is home to some of the best craftspeople in the world. But many of these skills are in the hands of individuals who have been unable to make provision to pass them on.​

The Red List of Endangered Crafts identifies 130 endangered at-risk craft skills. From 4th – 10th October, the Heritage Craft Association exhibited three crafts: scissor making, bee skep making and basketwork furniture making. ​

Find out more about London Craft Week here. 

Ute Decker

 

Named one of the UK’s top ten jewellers, Ute Decker is exhibited internationally by such renowned art jewellery galleries as Didier and Elisabetta Cipriani. Described as ‘wearable sculptures’, her unique and limited edition creations are minimalist yet confidently sculptural.

Majeda Clarke

 

Celebrating regional weave techniques, Majeda Clarke’s award winning designs explore a lost weaving heritage and were crafted at Silk Mills in Suffolk and the Woolen Mills in Pembrokeshire. Her work celebrates the value of making and is always produced sustainably and locally.

 

Fflur Owen

 

Combining self-created techniques and traditional skills, Fflur Owen’s innovative creatures and forms are created from a combination of carefully selected leathers, combined to create strong and striking colours and textures.

Leah Jensen

 

Each of Leah Jensen’s vessels is carved by hand, using an aesthetic she calls ‘anti-digital’. She has showcased her work at Christie’s and Form Miami with the Crafts Council and had a solo exhibition at The New Craftsmen Gallery in 2017.

 

Eleanor Lakelin

 

Inspired by a passionate interest in the natural properties of wood and their resulting forms, Eleanor Lakelin’s work looks at nature from a new perspective. Her award-winning designs have been exhibited internationally and have been included in prestigious museum and private collections.

Ernest Wright

Founded in 1902, Ernest Wright reflects everything Sheffield has become famous for – highly skilled craftspeople making supreme quality products.  ​
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Following a tragedy in 2018, the company went into receivership and the critically endangered craft of scissor making was on the verge of disappearing from Sheffield. Paul Jacobs and Jan Bart Fanoy took action and bought the company, re-hired the remaining master putter-togetherers, Cliff Denton and Eric Stones, and took on several 'putters' in training. The factory is now back in action with various scissor patterns currently in production.  ​
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In 2020, Ernest Wright won the inaugural Heritage Crafts President’s Award for Endangered Crafts set up by HRH The Prince of Wales.

 

Website
ernestwright.co.uk​

 

Instagram
@ErnestWrightLtd

Paula Carnell

Paula Carnell is a skep maker, bee consultant and honey sommelier. Her experience with bees stems from her personal interest in the health and wellbeing of bees and their connection with human health and wellbeing. She was initially taught skep making by legendary Somerset maker Diana Robertson.

Skep bee keeping waned after the First World War, when skeps began to be used mainly for swarm collection, and skep making was added to the Red List of Endangered Crafts in 2019. Despite skep beekeeping having had a gentle resurgence in the last ten years, skep making is time consuming, and at a UK craftperson’s hourly rate would be too expensive for the current market.

 

Website
paulacarnell.com

 

Instagram
@paula.carnell

Coates English Willow

H. Coate & Son was founded by willow grower and merchant Robert Coate in 1819, and is still run by the Coate family today on the Somerset levels, the heart of the English willow industry, an industry that in many ways has not changed for centuries. ​

Jonathan Coate is the last regularly practising basketwork furniture maker in the UK, having learnt the craft from Albert (Alby) Champion who was born around 1900. Jonathan is passing on his skills to apprentice Jonah, and in 2020 the two were awarded a Heritage Crafts Endangered Crafts Fund grant to work with a local blacksmith to replicate one of the only remaining furniture making tools to help ensure the future of the craft.

 

Website
coatesenglishwillow.co.uk

 

Instagram
@CoatesEnglishWillow​

Matthew Warner

 

Matthew Warner is widely admired for his elegant, functional tableware. He focuses on the perceived cultural value of objects in the home, showing that even a simple teapot or milk jug can tell you a lot about the character and taste of its owner. He recently held a solo exhibition at the Contemporary Applied Arts Gallery in 2018.

 

Jo Hayes Ward

 

Inspired by geology and nature, Jo Hayes Ward's designs are both intricately structured and elegantly made. Each piece shimmers as the light is reflected off its golden surface, while added diamonds and gems enhance the structures further. Jo utilises a digital design environment and rapid prototyping (3D printing) and much of her work is finished by hand using traditional jewellery techniques.