Marsh Award for Endangered Crafts

This Award recognises  a practitioner of one of the 62 crafts currently listed in the ‘critically endangered’ or ‘endangered’ categories of the Red List (see list of crafts at who is actively promoting their craft and working to secure its survival for the future.

Nominees will be asked to demonstrate how the award will be used to help safeguard their craft. Nominations for the award can come from any practitioner of, or business owner representing, one of the 62 crafts currently listed in the ‘critically endangered’ or ‘endangered’ categories of the Red List

Nominations can be made via the Heritage Crafts  Association website. Entries are judged by a panel of experts in heritage crafts and representatives of the MCT.

Simon Brock 2019

Simon combined his existing experience in woodworking and leathermaking into clog making in early 2017 and conducted an apprenticeship with clog maker Trefor Owen in order to pick up the new skill. He began making clogs full time in April 2018 and has since offered them for sale. Simon now makes bespoke clogs using a combination of traditional and modern methods, the majority of which is done by hand, primarily for clog step and Morris dancers as well as some clients who require them for everyday use. In 2017, he received a £1,000 grant from the Morris Federation towards equipment, in recognition of the importance of assisting younger clog makers to serve the folk-dance market.

Simon would use the Award as an opportunity to learn better use of traditional clog knives and to be able to make the soles entirely by hand to a high enough standard. These skills would leave him well-placed to integrate the crafting of entirely handmade soles into an existing, successful business and keep practising it for many years. He would also like to expand his work to demonstrations and workshops in the future, thus raising awareness of clog-making among the public and perhaps inspiring others to take up the craft.

Previous Winners

Steve Tomlin

Steve’s craft is greenwood working, principally in making and teaching wooden spoon carving which he has been doing professionally for over 15 years. He also teaches other greenwood craft skills and has built up an international reputation for his work. In 2015, he took part in the HCA wooden ladder making project and wrote up the techniques he learnt as an online learning resource which has been used to safeguard the skills and share them with a wider audience. Steve specialises in learning crafts which are under-represented through research, experimentation and collaboration with other crafters, drawing on his existing experience to assess materials, techniques, tools and methods for making before passing them on in his workshops.

Steve would use the Awards to learn to make Devon Stave Baskets (‘Maunds’) which is a critically endangered craft. He would work with an experienced maker to learn the craft so that he can pass it on through workshops, as he has done with so many others. He would use his contacts in the craft world to arrange these workshops and also create an online resource with details of the craft for people wishing to learn on their own which would help to safeguard it for the future.