|Marion Kane Highly Commended in The Balvenie Artisan Awards 2007|
|Tuesday 12th of June 2007 15:18|
|Silversmith Marion E Kane, Studio 24 Ritchie Street, has once again achieved national recognition for her creative excellence and her determination to keep the old skills of her trade alive.
Country Living's The Balvenie Artisan Awards were launched to recognise those with a traditional skill at the heart of their business and, crucially, to reward those passing on these skills to a new generation. The Balvenie Artisan Awards 2007 are supported by Country Living and The Crafts Council.
The results were completely overwhelming, with a huge number of entries covering a multitude of crafts - from thatchers and blacksmiths to glass blowers and weavers
The awards recognise the top entrants in three categories, plus an overall winner: Country Living Magazine's The Balvenie Artisan of the Year 2007. This was awarded to the most outstanding entry overall (from any of the three awards categories).
Prize - £4,000 plus a bottle of The Balvenie Thirty single malt - a sought-after vintage whisky worth £250 a bottle - and a specially commissioned trophy.
The three categories
Outstanding Support of a Traditional Craft or Skill
Open to businesses that are passing on a traditional skill to others, through formal or informal apprentice ships. Entries included information on both the business and trainee, and the benefit that each is gaining.
Prize - £2,000 plus a selection of single-malt whiskies from The Balvenie and a specially commissioned trophy.
Best Use of a Traditional Craft or Skill
For businesses that are more than two years old and have a traditional craft or skill at the heart of the company.
Prize - £1,000 plus a selection of single-malt whiskies from The Balvenie and a specially commissioned trophy.
Best Start-Up Business based on a Traditional Craft or Skill
Open to businesses less than two years old. Prize - £1,000 plus a selection of single-malt whiskies from The Balvenie and a specially commissioned trophy.
In addition, up to two Highly Commended entries were selected from each category, each receiving a bottle of The Balvenie Double Wood 12 Year Old whisky and a certificate.
Initially, a shortlist was compiled. The judges looked for individuals or businesses committed to the advancement of traditional crafts and skills, and which reflected them by providing services or products of the highest quality.
Artisan of the Year
Winner: Steven Laing of Laing Traditional Masonry
Stonemason Steven Laing runs an impressive apprenticeship programme at his company Laing Traditional Masonry, inspired by his own experience of training with master masons. 13 apprentices have already completed his programme, and 5 more are currently training with him.
Highly commended: Tim Donaghy of Dry Stone Walls Ltd
Originally a graphic designer, Tim Donaghy began a career as a dry-stone waller after tiring of life behind a desk. He quickly became hooked, forming his own business in 1998. Dry-stone walling has historically been a man's profession, but Tim broke the mould by training a female apprentice, Kay Lane, who now works with him full time.
BEST START-UP BUSINESS BASED ON A TRADITIONAL CRAFT OR SKILL
Winner: Aiveen Daly
Upholsterer Aiveen Daly creates glamorous and contemporary chairs using traditional methods and tools, including foot-long needles. Aiveen originally worked in marketing and started upholstery at an evening class, but now has a thriving business reinvigorating antique and vintage furniture.
Highly commended: Helen Rogers and Barbara Massey of Massey & Rogers
Helen Rogers and Barbara Massey studied textile design together with a view to setting up their own business. They both became fascinated with traditional techniques and now weave innovative and contemporary designs with old-fashioned looms, and hand screen-print their textiles.
BEST USE OF A TRADITIONAL CRAFT OR SKILL
Winner: Paul Jewby
The judges selected Paul Jewby, Woodcarver, for his carvings and antique furniture restorations using predominately Victorian tools. Paul has been carving for over 20 years and has restored many important pieces of furniture, including a pair of tables that were badly burnt in the fire at Windsor Castle.
Highly commended: Marion Kane
Determined to keep the old skills of her trade alive, silversmith Marion Kane produces contemporary silver tableware using a technique called 'hand raising', using just a hammer and a metal former. Since it opened, her business has flourished and Marion has even created a coffee pot, mug and cream jug for Ewan McGregor