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Heritage Crafts and Sussex Heritage Trust award two new grants to help save endangered crafts from extinction

By November 30, 2023No Comments
Charlotte is on top of scaffolding at height. She wears a hi-vis jacket and is gilding gold onto a spherical architectural feature. She smiles at the camera.

A reverse glass gilder and a hand hewer have been awarded grants to help safeguard some of Sussex’s most endangered craft skills.

Heritage Crafts and the Sussex Heritage Trust (SHT) have awarded the grants through the Heritage Crafts’ Endangered Crafts Fund, which was launched in 2019 to increase the likelihood of endangered crafts surviving into the next generation.

Charlotte Kenward offers traditional gilding across Sussex in restoration and conservation projects as well as for sculptures and private commissions. Her project focuses on developing her reverse glass gilding skills to be able to offer traditional reverse gilded house numbers and signage to heritage properties, thus supporting the rich architectural heritage Sussex has to offer.

Travis Smith will train in hand hewing of timber, converting tree rounds into structural timbers using only hand tools, applying his skills to the conservation and restoration of historical buildings. In time, he also plans to pass on these skills to others who have a passion in historic timber conservation by running formal courses.

In May Heritage Crafts published the third edition of its groundbreaking Red List of Endangered Crafts, the first research of its kind to rank the UK’s traditional crafts by the likelihood that they will survive into the next generation. The report assessed 258 crafts to ascertain those which are at greatest risk of disappearing, of which four were classified as extinct, 84 as ‘endangered’ and a further 62 as ‘critically endangered’.

The successful project joins nine previous Sussex recipients funded through the partnership between Heritage Crafts and SHT, including a trainee millwright, two flint wallers, a brick maker, a trug maker, a wallpaper maker, a textile block printer, a rake maker and a reverse glass artist. Nationally, 66 projects have been funded through the Endangered Crafts Fund since 2019.

Mary Lewis, Heritage Crafts Endangered Crafts Manager, said:

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Sussex Heritage Trust to address the specific challenges to endangered skills and knowledge in Sussex, a region renowned for its craftsmanship and material heritage.”

David Cowan, Chairman of the Sussex Heritage Trust, said:

“Excellent architecture and design, traditional building skills and craftmanship are an important part of the rich heritage of Sussex. This partnership with Heritage Crafts addresses the particular challenges of these crafts and facilitate the transfer of endangered crafts, building skills and knowledge to the next generation.”

For more information about the Endangered Crafts Fund, email Heritage Crafts Endangered Crafts Manager Mary Lewis at or visit the Sussex Heritage Trust website

Image shows Charlotte Kenward, reverse glass gilder.

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