HES Craft Fellow Away Day to the Scottish Crannog Centre

HES Craft Fellows Rob, Lucy and Euan meet up with Cameron and Iain at the Crannog Centre!

On Tuesday 15th February we had Historic Environment Scotland’s Amy Styles on site with three of their current craft fellows, Rob and Lucy from the Glencoe Visitor Centre and Euan from the Highland Folk Museum. It was Lucy’s birthday – so there was also cake and lots of tea!!

They met with our HES Craft Fellow Cameron who has just started a year learning coppicing and woodland management with Coppice and coppice-craft worker mentor Iain Paterson. Cam and Iain are working with a couple of Scottish woodlands as well as our local Drummond Hill to manage the woodland and to create many of the resources needed to build and maintain our Iron Age structures.

The fellows had a tour of the 2500 year-old objects in the museum with curator Fran, exploring the tool marks, the crafts and skills of our prehistoric ancestors. They tried drop-spinning with Isobelle, tasted ancient grain flatbreads made by Daisy, and had a trip in a log-boat when the wind died down.

Looking to the future, they spent time in the afternoon with Rich looking at the plans for the new development, and then went to the new site at Dalerb to visualise how this will be within the landscape, and how the site will use local resources to create new Iron Age buildings, alongside being a training centre for traditional skills and skill sharing, hoping to host more Craft Fellows in the future.

HES Technical Conservation Skills Officer Amy Styles (and Craft Fellows):

“It was really great to visit the site for the new center and visualize the space having seen the plans and drawings. You really do get a feel for what it will look like and hearing about it through the enthusiasm of the staff
The scope of the project is ambitious, with many aspects and it was amazing to hear about all the different projects that the crannog team would like to include in the new center.
It’s exciting to see how many potential opportunities there will be out there. Opportunities to pass on traditional skills, work with different groups and people and learn together as the site comes to life.
Excited to see the project develop and think up more creative ways to work together and learn and teach each other.”

Historic Environment Scotland’s (HES) Craft Fellow Programme aims to address the key skills challenges facing the sector by upskilling Craft Fellows in conservation sector specific skills relevant to protect the future of important heritage skills and crafts. The programme does this by inspiring growth in individuals and teams whilst attracting new talent across the historic environment sector. HES works with partners to ensure that Craft Fellows learn from experts in their fields and the wider conservation sector.
In 2021/22 HES have partnered with National Trust for Scotland, Highland Folk Museum and The Scottish Crannog Centre to host and train 5 Craft Fellows in traditional building skills including vernacular building skills, thatching, coppicing skills, woodland management and stone carving.

HES Craft Fellow Cameron is based at The Scottish Crannog Centre and will work to develop skills in woodland management, coppicing, green woodworking, timber frame building and vernacular construction skills. Cameron will help in the development and construction of the Iron Age village and Crannogs at the new site.
We also have 2 Craft Fellows based at NTS Glencoe Visitor Centre who work on the maintenance, interpretation and engagement of the newly constructed Creel House. Both Craft Fellows, Rob and Lucy, assisted with the construction process and they both now work on their own projects, including writing a maintenance manual for the Creel House, and creating an engagement plan for visitors and the local community.
HES Craft Fellow Euan recently started at the Highland Folk Museum in the Maintenance Team. Euan will work with the team there learning skills on the construction and maintenance of a vast range of buildings based on site. Euan will develop skills including thatching, repair and maintenance of vernacular buildings, traditional joinery, green woodworking etc.
Our final Craft Fellow from this year is Nathalie who is based at our Training Skills Centre in Stirling. Nathalie is a stonemason who will use this opportunity to develop her stone carving skills. She will work on live stone carving projects such as carving a “Worker’s memorial” stone, being paced in Falkirk town centre. She will use this opportunity to learn from experts across the UK and develop her skills in drawing, design, clay modelling and tool use.