• A Celebration of Craft at the V&A

    In February, QEST Vice Patron Viscount Linley hosted the charity’s inaugural fundraising dinner at the home of design and craftsmanship, the Victoria & Albert Museum. The evening was a wonderful opportunity for the 250 guests to see the work of many QEST Scholars first hand and to raise funds to support similar talent over the many years it takes to create masters of their craft.

    Moët jeroboams, a dinner party cooked by Royal Chef Mark Flanagan, a private tour of the McLaren Technology Centre and an outing on The Queen’s Rowbarge Gloriana donated by Lord Sterling were among the lots under the gavel of Christie’s auctioneer Hugh Edmeades. And a silent auction was anything but as guests bid on the table pieces made and donated by QEST Scholars, including gauntlets by Graham Ashford (2010), a painted ostrich egg by QEST Radcliffe Scholar Natasha Mann (2012), knitted vessel by QEST Johnstons of Elgin Scholar Kim Norrie (2014) and a Mia Sarosi (2004) Porcelain Collection.

    Craft was the order of the night with the cocktails too, from a Tanqueray Hallmark gin and tonic to the Johnnie Walker Blacksmith and Goldsmith, served alongside Moët & Chandon champagne and wines from Walker & Wodehouse.

    Due to the incredible success of this event Viscount Linley will be hosting the second QEST gala dinner on March 2nd 2017 at the V&A once more.

    For sponsorship and table enquiries please email Development Manager

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  • Work experience at QEST

    QEST has an exciting volunteer opportunity for somebody looking to gain valuable experience in the arts and charitable sectors. The charity is embarking on a momentous year as Her Majesty will become QEST’s first Patron in 2016, which will involve a number of significant events and other occasions. This is an exciting opportunity to join the charity in order to help prepare for the significant year ahead.


    Dates: November 2015 – January 2016

    Time requirement: 2 days per week – Thursdays and Fridays, 9am – 5pm 

    Remuneration: £10 per day for lunch and travel expenses


    Tasks and responsibilities

    • Data collection and research to support marketing and fundraising
    • Communications support with blogging and social media
    • Event support – assisting with the planning of a large-scale charity event in the New Year, as well as with exhibitions involving QEST’s beneficiaries
    • Administrative support for QEST Apprenticeship interviews in November
    • Liaising with beneficiaries for event engagement and updates


    Should you be interested in applying for this volunteer position please email your CV to QEST Grants & Communications Manager Julia Robinson at


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  • QEST Apprenticeship Scheme applications now open!

    Last year QEST piloted the Apprenticeship Scheme in a bid to support new talent in the craft world, as well as to address the nationwide issue of youth unemployment. We are very pleased to report that our pilot year was a success, having sponsored 6 QEST Apprentices in 2014, as well as 4 QEST Apprentices at the start of 2015. So far we have received extremely positive feedback from both apprentices and employers, who are enthusiastically taking part in training up the next generation of craftspeople working in Britain, and subsequently carrying forth the nation’s valuable skills.

    We have now launched our second round of QEST Apprenticeship applications this year, with a 28 August deadline and interviews w/c 16 November. Going forward QEST will be holding Scholarships interviews each spring, with Apprenticeship interviews taking place each autumn.

    Criteria for the QEST Apprenticeship Scheme:

    • You are a ‘team’ consisting of both apprentice and employer – you have already established a working relationship and are required to apply together. Please note that it is obligatory for both apprentice and employer candidates to attend interview should you make it to this final stage in the assessment process.
    • The apprentice must show acumen and dedication, and must envisage working with the company long term.
    • The employer must offer the opportunity to an individual who would otherwise be unable to take this career path. They must demonstrate why they are in need of QEST’s funding to employ the apprentice, and must agree to support the apprentice with at least the minimum wage for 3-5 years.  
    • We do not accept applications to undertake courses (MA, PGDip, short courses, etc.) at educational institutions. For this sort of training you would be eligible to apply for QEST Scholarship funding, interviews for which will take place in spring 2016. Check the website again toward the end of 2015 for information regarding Scholarship applications.


    Support from QEST will cover:

    • Funding to supplement wages above the minimum Apprenticeship wage
    • Funding to supplement training and equipment/material costs
    • A brief document outlining how to deal with any VAT issues that may arise from receiving ‘income’ for taking on an apprentice.
    • A meeting with a mentor, if needed, to help structure the apprenticeship.


    For more information please visit about the grants and how to apply to submit an application for Apprenticeship funding.

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  • QEST exhibits at London Craft Week!

    13 contemporary artists, 13 highly skilled craftsmen, 1 extraordinary collaborative exhibition inspired by the overarching theme of the inaugural London Craft Week. QEST has teamed up with Griffin Gallery to present MAKE / CREATE, an exhibition featuring 13 craftspeople and 13 fine artists in dialogue with each other.  The spirit of the exhibition lies in the desire to demonstrate the contemporary nature of craft, and the craft involved in contemporary art – changing perceptions of both.


    Date: 6 – 10 May

    Time: Wed 1-5pm; Thurs – Sat 11am-5pm; Sun 11am – 3pm  

    Location: The Crypt Gallery, St Pancras Church, Euston Road, London NW1 2BA


    QEST Scholars Scott Benefield/Trevor Cain/Deborah Carré/Steve Cook/Cordaelia Craine/Daniel Durnin/Margaret Jones/James Kirby/Rosanna Martin/Alan Moore/Mia Sarosi/Melissa White 

    Artists Jake Abrams/Eliza Bennett/Nicola Dale/Lucy Dore/Susan Fletcher/Aidan Gray/Anneli Holstrom/Evy Jokhova/Rose Munro Kerr/Gill Newton/Anne Parfitt/Chantal Powell/Heidi Sincuba/Rachel Wickremer



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  • Scholar Blog – Zoe Barnett

    Zoe Barnett – a term at City and Guilds


    I spent five years training and working as a stonemason following a degree in fine art painting and I’m now at City and Guilds of London Art School studying Historical Stone Carving.


    Following a successful first year and a busy summer working as a stonemason I was keen to get back to college and get my teeth into year two. The college runs a competition with St. George’s chapel at Windsor to design and carve new gargoyles for their restoration project. Over the summer we had been developing ideas, which we presented to the Windsor committee at the beginning of term. My design was shortlisted and I was given feedback to develop it further. In November the committee returned and accepted my design to be one of the three winning gargoyles. I was thrilled. I was then asked to make a full-scale model in clay, which once approved I started carving in stone.




    Alongside the Windsor project there was also the ‘normal’ timetable of study. We were paying particular attention to the ‘sketch’ this term and understanding how to capture the essence or movement of an object before developing detail. This initially started off two days of ‘sketch’ modelling. We were looking at the movement of the hips and shoulders of a person and how their weight was distributed. I found this a fascinating process which changed the way I was looking at the body and allowed me to give my work a more realistic look. After the two days working in 3D, we had another four days drawing.


    In the workshop the brief was to carve a stiff leaf capital. I found a beautiful, but rather damaged, plaster cast to copy. I researched which building it was originally from, and drew out how I thought it originally looked. Then, using wax, I remodeled the large damaged section so I had a clear understanding of the form before starting carving it in stone. The skills we’d just been working on in sketch modelling really came into play to help give the leaves a sense of movement, almost like a coiled spring. The carving was challenging, but I feel it has pushed my skills along again and I’m really pleased with the final result.



    carving 2


    The stone-carving department had a ‘school trip’ to Venice for five days in November. It is such an inspirational place and hearing about its history from our tutors and lecturers made it even more fascinating.  I found it very humbling to see quality and volume of all the amazing work, but at the same time it has certainly made me more determined!

    Outside college I have been involved in some very interesting projects at weekends for a well-regarded stone carver. I had the opportunity to work on the Houses of Parliament a number of times, repairing badly eroded tracery windows, which was very interesting (if a little nerve wracking!). I have also carried out letter carving at Westminster School, and assisted with some work for Canada House.

    It was certainly been a busy term, but seems to have flown by! I am really looking forward to next term which is going to involve carving the Windsor gargoyle in stone, completing my first bronze casting, transcribing a painting into clay and learning how to draw drapery!

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    Join us this summer as ‘Team QEST’ take part in the 2015 Regents Park 10 K run!


    About the run

    Set in the stunning Regent’s Park, this is one of the most popular summer races in London. The flat terrain makes it suitable for beginners and experienced runners alike. We will be here to support your running journey every step of the way with fundraising and training tips, as well as socials around the event, where you can get to know your fellow QEST teammates!. 


    How to take part

    To secure your place in the Regents Park 10K run, click here and register. noting ‘QEST’ as your team/charity name.

    PLEASE NOTE: We will be running the 5th of the 6 races – on Sunday 2nd August 2015

    Once your place is confirmed on the website, simply email us on: to confirm your spot on the QEST team. Please note these places are first come, first served, so please register with us as soon as possible! 



    The fee to sign up is £17, however we require each runner to set a fundraising target of minimum £100 as a donation to QEST. To facilitate your fundraising please register for a JustGiving page at Should each participant be able to break their £100 target, – this will allow us to fund an additional QEST scholarship next year!

     This is an excellent opportunity to raise money for QEST and continue in the pursuit of further opportunities for craftspeople throughout Britain. Beyond that, it will be a really fun team event!


    We look forward to welcoming you to Team QEST!


    Any questions please email-



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