We were delighted to have been invited to present our work with the Artichoke School of Furniture to the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Craft on 17th June 2021.
The Artichoke School of Furniture was set up by us to answer a need, both our need and students. Our need is that we must meet our company mission which is to ensure English design and craftsmanship is still thriving in 100 years. The students’ need is that provision for some of the more practical aspects of DT are lacking. By running the school we can hopefully inspire and excite students towards the craft skills we are trying to keep alive. It was an enormous priviledge to be able to show off our work on the school to the APPG.
All Party Parliamentary Groups are informal cross party groups run by members of the House of Commons and House of Lords. The Chair of the APPG for Craft is Sir John Hayes MP, and Vice-Chairs are Sharon Hodgson MP, the Earl of Clancarty, Lord Cormack, and Baroness Garden, all supported by Patricia Lovett and Daniel Carpenter of the Heritage Crafts Association (HCA)
It is immensely encouraging that the topic of crafts and the challenges faced by many crafts based businesses are being listened to by members of parliament. While our craft, furniture design and making, is not on the HCA’s red list of endangered crafts, it is at potential risk, with far fewer GCSEs being taken in Design and Technology (DT) in the first 20 years of this century.
When we create rooms to last forever, we usually don’t do it entirely on our own. We often employ third party craftspeople such as tile makers, glass engravers, leather workers, carvers and the like, so it is also within our interests to support other crafts as well as our own.
We were particularly encouraged to learn the government is in the process of rolling out T Levels, which are alternatives to A Levels and focus more on vocational activities such as Craft and Design (due for launch in 2023).
If you’d like to discuss the work we are doing with the Artichoke School of Furniture, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01934 734270