Author Archives: Angie Boyer

Craftspeople urged to apply for awards and bursaries recognising traditional skills

The Heritage Crafts Association (HCA) is pleased to announce a call for applications for a suite of awards and bursaries recognising people working in traditional skills.

The deadline for applications is 30th November 2017. 

Craftspeople can be nominated for Heritage Crafts Maker of the Year, HCA/Marsh Trainer of the Year, and HCA/Marsh Volunteer of the Year. Nominations can also be made for the HCA/Marsh Heritage Crafts ‘Made in Britain’ Award.  Each award is worth £1,000.

One bursary offered with the support of The Arts Society and worth up to £1,500 is also available, aimed at assisting the training of apprentices or those training to become craftspeople in heritage crafts. The HCA/Arts Society bursary can contribute, amongst other things, towards buying of tools or materials, the costs of attending specialist training, buying books or payment for training with a craftsperson.

There is also one Heritage Crafts Scholarship bursary offered of up to £18,000 with the support of The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST). The HCA/QEST Scholarship is for those who have completed an apprenticeship or equivalent and are of a reasonable standard in their craft and wish to take their training further in order to enhance their craft career.

Heritage crafts make up the largest part of the craft sector, yet many heritage crafts are endangered – please refer to The Radcliffe Red List of Endangered Crafts for more information. By funding these bursaries and awards the Heritage Craft Association and our partners, The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, The Arts Society and the Marsh Christian Trust, are helping people learn and preserve these heritage craft skills and heritage crafts.

The awards and bursaries make it possible to give recognition to the amazing work being done by skilled craftspeople and volunteers, and the contribution of heritage crafts to the UK economy. They also make it possible for people to develop their knowledge and passion for heritage crafts, and help ensure these crafts may continue to be enjoyed and practiced by future generations.

The deadline for applications is 30th November 2017.

The awards will be presented at the Heritage Crafts Association’s Annual Conference in March 2018.

The awards and bursaries have been made possible through the generous support of the Heritage Crafts Association’s funding partners, The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) the Marsh Christian Trust and The Arts Society.

Patricia Lovett MBE, Vice-Chair of the Heritage Crafts Association, said: ‘The heritage crafts sector in England alone contributes £4.4 billion GVA to the UK economy each year, as much as the petrochemical industry. But for many years it has been completely ignored and is still not supported by the government. However, these bursaries and awards are a real boost for heritage crafts and craftspeople and mean it is a great time to be working in heritage crafts.’

For more information about the Heritage Crafts Association awards and bursaries, please visit

Bruntnell-Astley ‘Pop Up’ Contemporary Glass Exhibition

24th August 1pm until 9th September 3pm 
The Whitehouse Cone Museum of Glass, Vine Street, Stourbridge, DY8 4AA 
Citrine detail by Keith Cummings 2017 Photo by Simon Bruntnell

Citrine detail by Keith Cummings 2017 Photo by Simon Bruntnell


Since its launch in Bruntnell-Astley has established itself as a major promoter of, and dealer in, the work of artists who use glass as an expressive medium. Its base in the Stourbridge was, for centuries, a traditional glassmaking area, but, since the demise of the factories has seen a regeneration in glass making through a network of small studios within which predominantly unique pieces are produced. In addition the area is also home to a world renowned collection of glass (currently being rehoused), and educational establishments with a long history of specialisation in glass. While Bruntnell-Astley has naturally reflected the richness of this area in its stable of artists it has always sought to develop a wider, more international profile. The selection criteria adopted by B-A cuts across boundaries to reach only work of great originality and quality. Following its successful presence at Collect 2017, the show planned for August will run as part of the 2017 Glass Biennale programme, and will help to showcase the new White House Cone Museum building before Stourbridge`s  historical collection moves in.

The artists in this important show are, true to B-A`s ethos, from disparate backgrounds, and present a variety of approaches to their choice of material. Contributors vary in age and experience, from veteran Keith Cummings, with new works that reflect over half a century of involvement with glass in the Stourbridge area, and his life-time interest in glass casting, to newer artists like Simone Crestani who works in Venice and who presents ground-breaking, large scale  lamp-worked sculptural pieces. Techniques used by the exhibitors vary from those, like glass blowing, which have been used for millennia, to 21st century processes like water-jet cutting, and the resulting variety of form, colour and texture present an overall view of the material, used by a diverse body of artists in artefacts, that represent the very best of contemporary studio glass.


Dialogues – Linda Bloomfield | Sarah Spackman

Linda Bloomfield

Linda Bloomfield

9th – 30th September
Sarah Wiseman Gallery
40-41 South Parade, Oxford OX2 7JL

Artists rarely work in complete isolation. Over generations, collaborations are an exciting part of creativity, and vital to artists who want to spark something new.
In their forthcoming exhibition ‘Dialogues’ at Sarah Wiseman Gallery, ceramicist Linda Bloomfield and painter Sarah Spackman explore their mutual appreciation for form and colour, and their shared artistic influences. Visitors can expect to see not only a show of beautiful ceramics and paintings, but get a sense of the chemistry between two makers as they explore a mutual language.

Sarah Spackman

Sarah Spackman - Pears & Cup (Oil on linen)

Sarah and Linda met on the exhibition circuit a number of years ago. They have remained close colleagues and friends ever since, Linda’s ceramics appearing regularly in Sarah’s paintings. The two often exchange ideas – each artist looks to the other, but without dictating to one another. They are both drawn to the same organic shapes, and smooth surfaces such as eggs or shells. A key artistic influence is the Italian painter Giorgio Morandi, whose pared-back still life paintings are renowned for their tonal subtlety.
Ceramicist Linda Bloomfield will show her recent works, assortments of bottles and vessels housed in specially made shelves. These small-scale installations are inspired by still life painting, the differing heights and shapes of each piece of ceramic placed in playful arrangement. Her choice of glazes reflects her interest in the light and texture of paint, choosing creams or greys that gleam softly.

'Morandi Bottles' by Linda Bloomfield

'Morandi Bottles' by Linda Bloomfield

This sense of play is a vital part of Sarah Spackman’s painting process. On one wall of her light-filled Oxford studio, she has erected a shelf at eye level on which to arrange her still life. Selecting from a vast collection of neatly stored objects, she’ll spend hours arranging and rearranging, setting the stage from which she will begin her painting. Working in a quiet, considered way, Sarah’s paintings are well known for their soft, clear light and well-formed pallet that contrasts vibrant colour with muted tones.

Dialogues‘ is set to be a stunning exhibition that will explore how two different makers communicate and exchange ideas and make discoveries in their own creative media.