Posted by Rachel Westall on 27 April 2023
Heritage Crafts and Sonnaz Ltd have teamed up to create a new Young Upholsterer of the Year Award, with a £1,000 prize, open to anyone up to the age of 25 who has made a promising start to their upholstery career.
As the national charity set up to safeguard traditional craft skills, Heritage Crafts aims to ensure that these skills are passed to the next generation. For this to become a reality it is vital to celebrate the young people who are embracing craft skills today, already demonstrating excellence and becoming the role models of the future.
Sonnaz Nooranvary is a British-Iranian upholsterer based in Dorset, and a regular expert on BBC's The Repair Shop. Sonnaz started her craft career with an apprenticeship in upholstery at Sunseeker Yachts, but quickly expanded from yachts to other forms of upholstery and furnishings when she set up Sonnaz Ltd in 2011, where she employs a small team of dedicated makers. In recent years she has become one of the most beloved members of the Repair Shop team.
The Young Upholsterer of the Year Award has been created to celebrate a young heritage craftsperson aged 25 or under who has made an outstanding start to their upholstery career. The winner will be highly skilled amongst their peers, and likely to be raising the profile of their craft by attending events or creating and sharing content online. They will have given themselves a fantastic chance of achieving long-term success, perhaps overcoming disadvantage or setbacks along the way.
The award sits alongside other new awards for young woodworkers, weavers, basketmakers and metalworkers, sponsored by Axminster Tools, Rose Uniacke, Sims Hilditch, and Lucy and Laurence Butcher respectively, as well as other awards for heritage crafts makers, trainers, trainees and volunteers of any age, supported by the Marsh Charitable Trust.
Anyone, including the maker themselves, can nominate for the Young Upholsterer of the Year award. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend the high-profile Winners' Reception at the Vicar's Hall, Windsor Castle, on 15 November 2023, where the result will be announced and £1,000 prize awarded.
Applications are open now and close on Friday 5 May 2023 at 5pm. For details on how to apply, visit https://awards.heritagecrafts.org.uk