James is an experienced blacksmith, interested in both the artistic and conservation aspects of metalwork. Having gained experience in different workshops across the UK, he has been established at Hall Conservation Ltd for the last 4 years as one of their core blacksmiths. He has worked on a variety of conservation, heritage and contemporary projects and with the support of QEST will now start the two-year Blacksmithing Design Forgework Skills course at The National School of Blacksmithing, Hereford, to further develop his skillset. This will help him as he works towards his goal of being acknowledged as a master blacksmith by the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths.
Recognising the lack of training opportunities for blacksmiths wishing to focus on conservation and heritage skills, James is also keen to establish training opportunities alongside his own business in the future.
The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) funds the education of
talented and aspiring craftspeople through traditional college courses, apprenticeships or
one-to-one training with master craftspeople. QEST was established to help support
craftspeople of all ages, from all backgrounds and at critical stage in their careers and thus
sustain traditional British craftsmanship. As a charity of the Royal Warrant Holders
Association, QEST was established in 1990 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the
Association and the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. Since 1990 the
Trust has awarded over £4.9 million to over 550 craftspeople, across 130 craft disciplines. In
May 2017 HRH The Prince of Wales became the charity’s Patron with Vice-Patrons The Earl
of Snowdon and the Marquess of Salisbury.