A Bridport CRAFTSMAN has received a coveted award in Parliament.
Bridport designer artist Hugh Dunford Wood, who specializes in hand-printed wallpaper, received the President’s Award for Endangered Craftsmanship as he attended the Heritage Crafts Awards at a reception in the House of Lords.
As part of the award, Mr Wood received a medal and £3,000 from the Chairman of the Heritage Crafts Association, HRH The Prince of Wales, with the money being used to ensure the survival of a dying craft such than hand printing.
Mr Wood, 72, said: “I have been making hand painted wallpaper since 1974 but it is a dying art.
“I have been hand-printing wallpaper designs for over 45 years, connected to the practice of a fine artist.
“I trained as a figurative painter at the Ruskin School of Art at Oxford University.
“My paintings influence my designs and vice versa. Designs are developed from sketchbook studies of leaf and branch shapes – so nature is the original pattern maker.
“Every six months I offer a workshop, training students to design and print their own papers with lino blocks.”
Mr Wood has raised concerns about his dying craft.
He said: “Traditional craftsmanship in the UK is neither recognized as art nor heritage – so it falls outside the remit of all the current support and promotion bodies.
“Heritage Crafts is doing what it can to remedy this situation and to safeguard craft skills and knowledge for the future.”
Heritage Crafts is the organization for the defense of traditional heritage crafts. Working in partnership with government and key agencies, it provides guidance to artisans, groups, societies and guilds, and individuals who care about the loss of traditional craft skills, and works towards a sustainable framework for the future. .
It encompasses all craftsmen and all women, including hedge trimmers and thatchers, furniture makers, potters, scissor makers, hatters, watchmakers, potters, pargetters, blockmakers and others. It offers scholarships for individual projects, for apprentices, and the President’s Award for Endangered Crafts, the President of Heritage Crafts being the Prince of Wales.