Sian Evans

Fellow’s Profile

Sian Evans

Coppersmithing: researching ancient origins, traditional techniques and modern contexts

Fellowship

Focus

Preserving the art of coppersmithing by discovering its origins and encouraging new smiths

Fellowship year

2011

Locality

South East

Biography

I've been a coppersmith since 1991, after a four-year forge apprenticeship. I make bespoke copperwork, take private commissions and exhibit at shows and galleries. The rarity of my craft inspired my Churchill Fellowship. I went to France, Greece and India to meet craftspeople and learn traditional techniques, as well as the ancient origins and modern contexts of coppersmithing. Preservation of tacit knowledge had become a prominent issue – and when the Heritage Crafts Association (HCA) produced the Red List of Endangered Crafts in 2015, they found only six coppersmiths. I began a PhD in archaeology in 2018, recording the unacknowledged history of female metalworkers and contributing my coppersmithing skills to ongoing experimental archaeometallurgy research. In 2019 I represented Great Britain at the first UNESCO International Festival of Handicrafters in Uzbekistan and learned about wider ideas for protecting intangible cultural heritage. I aim to consolidate these strands of knowledge in a way that will make coppersmithing more widely known and practised. There is a growing interest in crafts and people are keen to learn. My Fellowship taught me the value of my knowledge as a craftsperson and also the joy of sharing it.

Disclaimer

All Reports are copyright © the author. The moral right of the author has been asserted. The views and opinions expressed by any Fellow are those of the Fellow and not of the Churchill Fellowship or its partners, which have no responsibility or liability for any part of them.

Disclaimer

All Reports are copyright © the author. The moral right of the author has been asserted. The views and opinions expressed by any Fellow are those of the Fellow and not of the Churchill Fellowship or its partners, which have no responsibility or liability for any part of them.

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