Winners of the 2020 Heritage Crafts Awards

Ernest Wright has won the inaugural President’s Award for Endangered Crafts in this year’s Heritage Crafts Awards (HCA). The prestigious award was initiated by Heritage Crafts Association President HRH The Prince of Wales.
THE STORY

PROUD TO BE A WINNER!

The President’s Award was one of five awards presented by Sir John Hayes at the HCA’s Awards Ceremony on Wednesday 7 October. The event was held online in-place of the planned Winners’ Reception at the Houses of Parliament, which was inevitably curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

It is a great gift that the HCA recognises that a disappearing craft like ours can be revived. 

SKILLED CRAFSTPEOPLE

We believe the global appetite for craftsmanship and heritage is increasing. In a world where low-quality, mass-produced products have been everywhere for years, people are awakening to what it means, and how it feels, to use quality, hand-crafted products. The increasing volume of orders we have received in recent months tells us this is the case. 

To create high-quality products, you need skilled craftspeople, who are securely employed in a viable business. While we, the owners, have taken responsibility for making sure the numbers add up, our highly experienced craftsmen have made it their mission to pass on their rare and remarkable skills to the next generation, so those craftspeople and those skills will still exist in the world in years to come. 

For our young trainees and putters (we now have 5!), working under the masters brings the opportunity to learn a craft that’s quite unlike any other. After all, in which other job will you work on an ‘eel end, burret a tail screw, or take on the historic job title of master-putter-togetherer? It is our wish that our younger generation will take pride in their work, earn a good living, and enjoy a fulfilling way of life – all thanks to what they can do with their own two hands. 

Eric just after winning

Eric
Cliff just after winning

BUY LESS, CHOOSE WELL AND MAKE IT LAST

There has always been a widely held belief that you could rely on the quality and craftsmanship of British products – even if they were maybe a little more expensive. In the wise words of Vivienne Westwood, “Buy less, Choose well and make it last.” Our story shows how makers of handcrafted products can harness this global reputation, which was hard-earned through the skill and efforts of countless craftspeople before us. 

Through respect for traditional skills, investment in the next generation, and an obsessive focus on quality, we are crafting a business that does justice to our heritage and puts money in the bank. It is our firm belief that one day, making fine scissors and shears by hand will vanish from the HCA Red List of Endangered Crafts forever – and we mean that in the most positive sense possible. 

Having seen how enchanted our trainees are with the skills they have gained from the masters, and having heard countless tales of how our supporters have fallen in love with our hand-crafted scissors, we are confident that our craft will have the same bright future we are striving to create for it. 

Jan Bart Fanoy & Paul Jacobs

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