The Heritage Craft Project

In 2018 a large six figure bequest was left to the Company's Charity with the sole end use of restarting the art of fan making in the UK. The challenge was taken up by Past Master Colin Bramall, who put together a small team of specialists. The Heritage Craft project was born and the team set about talking to fashion designers, the retail sector and art colleges. What became blatantly obvious was that training would need to be at the heart of the project.

A partnership for training was formed between Chelsea College of Art/UAL and West Dean College. The partnership is in its third year of an overall project life of ten years. Nearly 200 students from the BA and MA Product Design courses have studied a month-long module called “Rethinking the fan” which forms part of their final degree. Some 30 of the best students and their designs have gone on to study fan making on a one-week residential course held at West Dean and taught by leading experts in topics ranging from woodwork to paper engineering.

In an age of sustainability and global warming, the popularity of the use of the hand fan is very evident in everyday life in the UK. As we experience summers as hot as anywhere in southern Europe, the use of the hand fan is very relevant. This project aims to produce fan makers who can fulfil the orders for the hand fans of the future.

The 2022 UAL winner Fabiana G.Soares presented with her prize winners’ certificate by the Free Warden Michael Lakin, for her solar light cockade fan.

The 2023 UAL winner Jesse vanSteen (centre) presented with his prize winners’ certificate by the Master Peter Dove, for his comb fan.

University of the Arts London

UAL is "the world’s biggest factory for making trouble" (Grayson Perry, UAL Chancellor). We are 1 university, made up of 6 Colleges and 19,000+ students from everywhere.

And we are top 2 in the world for Art and Design (QS World University Rankings 2023).

Come and join the creators and innovators of tomorrow.

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West Dean College of Arts and Conservation

West Dean College of Arts, Design and Conservation offer a uniquely broad range of world-leading courses. At the heart of what they do, is our belief that 'making' makes our lives better. They celebrate the intrinsic value of work that has been hand-made by artists and artisans, and challenge the assumption that mass-produced must be the only way because, across the world, the maker movement is growing.

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