There's very little official support in the UK for our native craft traditions. Government money is available to craftspeople through the Crafts Council but this is aimed almost entirely at practitioners who work in a modern idiom, and is heavily weighted towards conceptual, craft-as-art, type of work. As a result of this neglect many traditional crafts are on the verge of extinction.
Robin wood, who I interviewed a while ago here, recently got in touch to let me know about a new venture. He is exploring the possibility of setting up a charitable trust to champion and support the traditional crafts in Britain.
Below is a picture of Mike Turnock, the last riddle maker in the UK. The business is viable, but without the means to employ an apprentice, the craft will die when Mike retires. This is the sort of situation which Robin hopes the new trust will be able to help with.
Following on from this article I'm pleased to hear that the Heritage Crafts Association has now been formed. You can visit their website here : www.heritagecrafts.org.uk