Press Release: Awards for the high-flyers, arts and conservation graduates

Students from the UK, The Netherlands, Japan and the USA have been awarded prestigious prizes at West Dean College. In total 15 talented students were presented with awards by industry professionals such as the British Antiques Dealers' Association (BADA), The Worshipful Company of Cutlers and the Antique Horological Society.

Katherine Boucher, Master Fine Arts (MFA), has been awarded the Valerie Power Prize as the student who has made the most progress on the MFA programme. West Dean is the only college offering postgraduate study in Tapestry and Textile Art and Kate's MFA work combines large scale drawing, feltmaking and blacksmithing. Talented artist Kate was previously awarded a significant Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust and was The Edward James Foundation Scholar in 2015. These awards enabled her to continue her postgraduate study.

Kate previously studied at Chelsea College of Art and she believes the freedom to work across disciplines at West Dean, incorporating traditional and experimental techniques from tapestry to blacksmithing, is rare in Higher Education and has served to expand her studio practice, develop her portfolio and professional profile, as well as enhancing her theoretical and contextual knowledge.

"We are pleased that the college is able to continue to teach a really wide range of processes and techniques. Our charitable mission is to preserve craft skills and we do that both by enabling students to work on historic artefacts in our School of Conservation and also, as in Kate's work by enabling new generations of artists and makers to explore their possibilities in creating new work," says Francine Norris, Director of Education.

Conservation Awards 2016 included Stacey Hibberd, Metals Conservation, Graduate Diploma, who was awarded the Worshipful Company of Cutlers Langdon Dowsett Scholarship for her intuitive understanding of ferrous metals and processes. Stacey is a trained farrier and blacksmith and is one of the founders of the college's Student Blacksmithing Society.

Conservation students gain hands-on experience working on unique and often rare objects from acclaimed collections. Many graduates go on to work in some of the world's finest institutions, such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, National Maritime Museum, The British Museum and Imperial War Museum, or establish their own conservation practice.

Full List of Awards Recipients 2016

Antiquarian Horological Society, Southern Section Clocks Prize. Awarded to a postgraduate student who has successfully complete all tool and clock making exercises to a high standard, exhibiting both technical and applied historical research. Recipient Michael Cranefield.

BADA Geoffrey Moss Prizes - awarded to students from four disciplines for the greatest contribution to their programme through sharing knowledge, collaboration, mentoring and support within their peer group. Recipients - Adelheid Hansen (Ceramics Conservation, Graduate Diploma), Robert Thompson (Clocks Conservation, Graduate Diploma), Thomas van Kampen (Furniture Conservation, Graduate Diploma) and Daniel Ravizza (Metals Conservation, Postgraduate Diploma).

BADA Harold Davies Prizes awarded to a student from each discipline who has made the most progress through the use of materials, scientific analysis, studio practice and the reflection process. Sophie Croft (Ceramics Conservation, Graduate Diploma), Daniel Corda (Clocks Conservation, Graduate Diploma), Patrick Newall (Furniture Conservation, Graduate Diploma), Harriet Knightley (Metals Conservation, Postgraduate Diploma).

Historic England, John Ashurst Prize. Awarded in recognition of achieving an outstanding level of work. It was set up in memory of John Ashurst, the former Chief Architect at English Heritage who brought the Building Conservation Management programme for professionals to West Dean College. Since 1998, almost 2,000 students from all over the world have attended the courses. Recipient, Aidan Quigley, Building Conservation Masterclass.

Nick Johnson Prize. Awarded to recognise the unique combination of interdisciplinary skills required for excellence in book conservation. Recipient Mito Matsumaru (Books Conservation, Graduate Diploma).

Sidney Sanders Trust Prize awarded for best performing student judged by the most complete comprehension and implementation of a range of skills. Recipient, Francesca Levey (Metalwork Conservation, Graduate Diploma).

The Worshipful Company of Cutlers, Langdon Dowsett Scholarship. Recipient, Stacey Hibberd (Metalwork Conservation, Graduate Diploma)

Tom Robinson Prize. Recipient, Fjodor van den Broek (Clocks Conservation, Graduate Diploma)

University of Sussex, Vice Chancellor's Prize. Recipient, Jill Marion Laudet (Master Fine Arts). Awarded to the most outstanding MA student.

Valerie Power Prize, Recipient, Katherine Boucher (Master Fine Arts).

West Dean is internationally renowned for teaching Creative Arts and Conservation of historic objects. The college's range of bursaries and scholarships puts an exceptional level of Postgraduate Creative Arts or Conservation study within the reach of talented students. Places are still available for September 2016 entry on some courses. Full information at


Notes to editors

  • West Dean College is part of The Edward James Foundation, an educational charitable trust established in 1964, also comprising West Dean Gardens, West Dean Estate and the West Dean Tapestry Studio. Charity No. 1126084.
  • All photography is copyright free for editorial purposes.
  • West Dean College is situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and within easy access of Portsmouth, Guildford, Brighton and London.

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Media Contact Information

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West Dean College, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ