10 Churchill Fellowships awarded to craftspeople and makers

Published: 1 Apr 2016

10 Churchill Fellowships awarded to craftspeople and makers

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, in partnership with the Heritage Crafts Association and the Carpenters' Company, has awarded 10 Travelling Fellowships to people working in the traditional crafts, including the woodworking crafts such as joinery, cabinet and furniture making.

The crafts industries contribute significantly to the British economy. There are an estimated 11,620 businesses involved in the craft industries, with 88% of craft businesses being sole traders*.

The Churchill Fellows will investigate new ideas and examples of best practice in various heritage crafts techniques, working towards preserving a healthy and sustainable framework for the future of the industry. 

This is the second year of a partnership with the Heritage Crafts Association and the Carpenters' Company. During this time 20 Fellowships have been awarded, an investment of over £115,000 in British citizens. Past projects include research into cabinetry, ceramics and shoe making. 

This year’s Fellows are:

Edmund Jacobs, a furniture designer and maker from London, whose Fellowship is supported by the Carpenters’ Company. He will be travelling across Europe to explore sustainable manufacturing and design techniques for bespoke furniture.

Dr Christine Freeth, a tapestry weaver from Saltaire, who will be going to Belgium, France, Switzerland and the USA to find out about early European tapestries and their relevance to contemporary practice.

Peter Howlett, a ukulele maker from Talysarn, who will be travelling to the USA to study best practice teaching in ukulele building schools.

Lucille Junkere, a textile artist and natural dyer from London, who will be going to Nigeria to investigate Adire Eleko, a specialised indigo dyeing technique unique to the Yoruba people.

David Wilson, an artist and designer from Perth, will be travelling to Canada and the USA to explore stonework practice and techniques.

Adam Keeling, a Director of Whichford Pottery in Shipston-on-Stour. He will be travelling to Japan to investigate apprenticeships in Eastern and Western world ceramics.

Abigail Burt, a medal maker from Chapel Brampton, Daventry, will be travelling to India and Nepal to investigate the practice of lost-wax casting as a method of casting bronze.

James Handyside, a hand engraver from London, who will be travelling to Japan to study techniques in craftsmanship of metal and stone.

Anna Starkey, a trainee archive conservator from Preston, will be going to France, Italy and Netherlands to research traditional papermaking techniques.

Jonathan Hill, an instrument maker and teacher from Redhill. He will be travelling to Turkey to explore historical techniques for the construction of ouds.

Julia Weston, Chief Executive of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust said:

“Churchill Fellows travel globally and return with innovative ideas and a commitment to sharing their findings to help others in the UK. Our hope is that these Fellowships will strengthen the heritage crafts industry so that sole practitioners and the traditional crafts can continue to thrive”.

Notes to Editors:

Heritage Crafts Association (HCA)

The Heritage Crafts Association (HCA) is the advocacy body for traditional heritage crafts.

Working in partnership with Government and key agencies, it provides a focus for craftspeople, groups, societies and guilds, as well as individuals who care about the loss of traditional crafts skills, and works towards a healthy and sustainable framework for the future. Their aim is to support and promote heritage crafts as a fundamental part of our living heritage. The HCA will help promote the Churchill Fellowships to the Craft sector and provide a platform from which Fellows' findings can be disseminated.

The Worshipful Company of Carpenters

The Carpenters' Company is one of the livery companies of the City of London. 

Dating back to the thirteenth century, the Company was established as a medieval trade guild to look after the welfare and interests of carpenters living and working in London. The Company today continues its centuries' long tradition of charitable and educational activities and maintains close links with the carpentry and woodworking professions.

*The Crafts Council, 'Measuring the Craft Economy' (2015 report)