Monday, 18 October 2021

Award for couple who nurture metal craft workers

A SCHOOL of excellence in silversmithing and jewellery manufacture has received an award from Prince Charles.

A SCHOOL of excellence in silversmithing and jewellery manufacture has received an award from Prince Charles.

The Bishopsland Educational Trust in Dunsden was presented with the inaugural Encouraging Craft Skills in Education prize at this year’s Craft Skills Awards, held Glaziers Hall in London and hosted by TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp.

Trust founder Penelope Makower said: “It is a lovely surprise. It is really excellent, not only for the team that work very hard at Bishopsland but also for all the young people who have been through here.” Her husband Oliver described the Prince of Wales as “charming”.

He said: “We were all lined up and he came along the line and talked to us and I thanked him very much for coming and told him how delighted we were with the prize.

“He was very much on top of his brief and spoke very well about the impact of skills on the market place.”

Mr Makower, who won the Henley town medal last year for his work promoting the town’s young people, said Bishopsland was put forward for the award by curator Amanda Game, from the Royal College of Art.

“She is very distinguished in her own field,” he said. “She said that all she did was be asked if she approved. We took the opportunity to invite her to open our retrospective show later this year.”

More than 150 silversmiths and jewellers have passed through the one-year residential postgraduate training programme at Bishopsland since it was founded in 1993.

The alumni include Ndidi Ekubia, Angela Cork, Lin Cheung, Ruth Tomlinson, Theresa Nguyen and Miriam Hanid.

Each year, the programme takes up to 12 young people from metalwork and jewellery courses across the UK. Research this year showed that 63 per cent of all Bishopsland alumni continue to practise their craft.

Lady Frances Sorell, who chaired the judging panel, said: “This award recognises commitment towards excellence in craft skills, success, ambition and exemplary and imaginative approaches in passing on craft skills.”

The award was one of five sponsored by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.

lA free exhibition will be held at the trust’s gallery in Dunsden from August 8 to 10.

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