We're thrilled to have joined forces with Heritage Crafts to offer exciting training opportunities in traditional crafts found in Penwith, aimed at young adults aged 16 – 25 years old. The training opportunities include Cornish hedging, basket weaving and copper working, with the sessions led by master craftspeople in each of these fields.
We're very lucky to have been able to train our volunteers in a number of skills over the years, but it was always an ambition to widen this into more structured training opportunities in traditional crafts found in Penwith, that might otherwise be in danger of being lost with the passing years. This ambition to support traditional crafts has been made possible by working with Heritage Crafts, an organisation that works to support and promote heritage crafts as a fundamental part of our living heritage.
There will be places available to trainees in each of the three crafts available, allowing a number of young adults to learn these skills in a structured way; with an ambition that these training opportunities provide a pathway to further training or even new career opportunities. Trainees will be able to learn coppersmithing at the Copper Works, Newlyn; which is recognised as the finest industrial arts coppersmiths in the UK and following a tradition of copper work taking place in Newlyn as far-back as 1890. For those preferring to work with plant-based materials Geraldine Jones will be providing guidance and support in the art of basket weaving, a skill she learnt from local basket makers, including Richard Moon of Moon’s Basket Manufactory previously based in Long Rock. And finally, there will be an opportunity for trainees to learn the skills of Cornish hedging over several sessions, a vital skill for repairing the many Cornish hedges found in Penwith, and for creating new hedges that will hopefully stand for years to come.
Helen Bowkett of the Guild of Cornish Hedgers said regarding the project, “As Craftsmen and Craftswomen of the Guild of Cornish Hedgers, we are delighted to be involved in this project, encouraging and supporting young people in their exploration of the craft of Cornish Hedging. We hope that these first steps on the craftsperson’s path will ignite a spark that inspires some of these young trainees to deepen their knowledge through further Guild training. This exciting project shines a light on this ancient craft and opens the door to the community of Guild Craftsmen and Craftswomen, so helping to keep the skill and tradition of Cornish Hedging alive.”
Chandelle Randall, Volunteer Coordinator for the PLP, also said, “We are delighted to be involved in this project, bringing together young people and some of Cornwall’s incredibly talented master craftsmen and women. The opportunities for young people to access free training of this sort are very limited. The skills that will be taught have been handed down through generations and are part of Penwith’s heritage. Being able to offer opportunities like this, rooted in the landscape and helping to pass traditional skills to the next generation is important and we’re proud to take part.”
These new training opportunities were celebrated at a launch event held at the Copper Works Newlyn on Friday 2nd December, where those involved could look forward to being able to share these valuable traditional crafts with a new generation in Penwith.