Sky Arts, Prince Charles set out to reinvigorate heritage crafts in new series
February 10, 2022
Sky Arts is set to spotlight Britain’s rich heritage of traditional crafts with a new 7×60 series, The Prince’s Master Crafters: The Next Generation, airing later this year. Backed by The Prince’s Foundation, produced by Spun Gold TV and Motion Content Group and hosted by Jim Moir, the series will see a selection of top amateur craftspeople take on a variety of crafting challenges to supercharge their skills before each of them creates a final showcase piece to present to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales in person.
When it comes to traditional crafts, Britain has a rich heritage – from wood carving to blacksmithing and weaving to stained glass – but we risk losing them forever. Last year alone in the UK, four heritage crafts were declared extinct and a further 56 critically endangered. The Prince’s Foundation advocates for the preservation of heritage craft skills through the vast array of education and training programmes it runs at sites across the UK including at its Ayrshire headquarters Dumfries House, Trinity Buoy Wharf in London and at Highgrove estate in Gloucestershire. The Prince’s Master Crafters: The Next Generation will bring some of these crafts back to life, reinvigorating them with a new generation of talent.
Drawn from across the country, the six amateur craftspeople will explore the history and importance of six key disciplines. They’re joined by some of the country’s leading experts who each week set them a new task within their crafts. The challenges and experts are as follows:
- Episode 1: Wood Carving – Sarah Goss asks the craftspeople to create a carving inspired by William Morris and the arts and crafts movement
- Episode 2: Stained Glass – Derek Hunt challenges the craftspeople to create a stained-glass panel to include a symbol
- Episode 3: Weaving – Rezia Wahid sets an intricate task asking our craftspeople to use different types of weaving in as they weave material of their choice
- Episode 4: Blacksmithing – Phil Carter challenges our craftspeople to create a fire poker with a leaf detailing
- Episode 5: Stone Carving – Zoe Wilson sets a task to create a stone carved leaf
- Episode 6: Pargeting – Johanna Welsh’s task for the crafters is to create a pargeted panel of leaves and acorns
- Episode 7: Grand Final
The final episode will see our crafters visit Dumfries House, home to The Prince’s Foundation, to seek inspiration for their showcase pieces. They’ll then take part in a graduation like no other as they present their individual pieces to His Royal Highness himself at his private residence, Highgrove House. All the showcase pieces are then displayed at The Prince’s Foundation’s new training base at Highgrove.
Phil Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts, commented: “Over the last two years many of us have taken up artistic pursuits and more people are getting into crafts – from stained glass to woodcarving and everything in between. The Prince of Wales has championed those traditional crafts for many years, so it feels like there’s no better time to showcase the brilliant skills of this cohort of crafters. And with Jim Moir at the helm guiding us through the show it promises to be an entertaining and enlightening delight.”
The series was commissioned by Zai Bennett, Managing Director of Content for Sky UK and Ireland and Phil Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts and Entertainment. The executive producers are Ceri Jones for Spun Gold and Melanie Darlaston for Motion Content Group, with Kerene Barefield the development executive producer for Spun Gold. Barbara Lee is Commissioning Editor for Sky.
Daniela Neumann, Managing Director, Spun Gold TV, added: “We are delighted to be partnering with Sky Arts for the first time on this wonderful series. The talent out there in the UK is astounding and it’s a real honour to be working with HRH The Prince of Wales to champion these amazing craftspeople.”
Melanie Darlaston, Executive Producer for Motion Content Group commented: “It’s been a pleasure working with Sky Arts and Spun Gold on this charming series. It’s great to see that traditional crafting is still going strong in the hands of some seriously talented individuals.”
This series will air on Sky Arts, Freeview Channel 11, and streaming service NOW in May 2022.