What is the HCA President’s Award for Endangered Crafts?
On the 10 September 2021 we had travelled to Dumfries House in Ayrshire, for a prize ceremony that would see us receive the inaugural President’s Award for Endangered Crafts from the Heritage Crafts Association HCA).
This was the ultimate recognition of everything we’ve been striving to do at Ernest Wright. As some of the makers among you will know, the HCA is the leading advocacy group for traditional crafts in the UK. Since its launch in 2010, the HCA has supported countless craftspeople through initiatives including campaigns, conferences, and competitions.
In 2020, HRH The Prince of Wales, who has been President of the HCA since 2012, initiated a new prize called the President’s Award for Endangered Crafts. The prize would provide the winning company or craftsperson with a grant to help ensure the survival of their craft, as well as representing a priceless mark of approval from HRH and the HCA.
Scissors-making is one of many traditional crafts – along with others ranging from arrowsmithing to wainwrighting – which have been classified as endangered by the HCA. As representatives of a critically endangered craft, we saw the prize as a fantastic opportunity to bolster our reputation within the heritage crafts community. We submitted our application, and to our immense pride, Ernest Wright was chosen as the very first recipient of the President’s Award for Endangered Crafts by an esteemed panel of judges.
Scissors and shears at the heart of heritage crafts in the UK
It’s hard for us to put into words how much it meant to us, to be recognised by the HCA with this award.
Of course, the prize money has gone a long way towards helping us pursue our craft, funding the purchase of several pieces of antique machinery and improvements to our workshop.
But above all, this recognition has helped us to position traditional scissors and shears at the heart of a movement to help heritage crafts flourish anew.
We, at Ernest Wright, are passionate about sustaining the skills, knowledge and principles that converged in Sheffield, long ago, to produce some of the most beautiful handmade scissors and shears ever to make a cut.
Now that the long-standing support of our customers is combined with backing from the highest authorities in the heritage craft world, the old ways of making scissors and shears seem less endangered by the day.