Sheffield Craft that Built the World

Ken Hawley Collection Trust gains Heritage Lottery Fund support to improve knowledge of Sheffield's unique tool making and cutlery industry.

The Ken Hawley Collection Trust has received £83,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project ‘Sheffield Craft That Built The World - Capturing and Sustaining Knowledge For Future Generations' centred on the Hawley Collection housed at Kelham Island Museum.

Over a period of three years the recently appointed Project Officer will work with founding collector Ken Hawley to gather knowledge on the processes of manufacture within six areas of cutlery and tool making and both existing and new volunteer curators will be trained to improve and sustain access to this knowledge into the future.

The project will enable local, national and international audiences to discover and explore the unique skills used in the making of tools and cutlery, many of which have totally died out, whilst others are only practised by a small handful of craftsmen. Volunteer curators will in turn develop their skills and knowledge to share this with the local community through temporary exhibitions, family learning days, handling sessions, talks and tours in the Hawley Gallery and through the collection's website.

The internationally acclaimed Hawley Collection comprises over 100,000 objects that tell the story of tool making, cutlery manufacture and silversmithing through objects, archives, photographs and audio-visual material. This collection is recognised as being of national importance and is unique in that it combines finished artefacts and work in progress to illustrate how things were made and records the development of Sheffield's manufacturing processes, products and companies, as well as demonstrating the skills of the workpeople involved.

Keith Crawshaw, Chair of the Ken Hawley Collection Trust was delighted that the grant had been awarded saying, "Some of the knowledge held by Ken is vital in understanding Sheffield's tool making past. This project will allow us to record that knowledge and make sense of the artefacts we have in the collection. The project will also help ensure that this knowledge is made more accessible for future generations through trained, dedicated volunteer curators. "

Fiona Spiers, Regional Manager for the Heritage Lottery Fund said "This internationally significant collection forms an important part of our industrial heritage. I am delighted that this award will document the lost skills of the tool and cutlery industry and ensure this unique collection is fully understood for future generations to appreciate and learn about."

Heritage Lottery Fund

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