Turner Handel at the V & A

Turner Handel Traditional Toys at the V & A          Clare Pattinson

On 6th March I was fortunate to be invited to demonstrate the art of automata at the V&A Museum for one evening   The event was a fundraising gala dinner in aid of a charity called QEST, (Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust).


The evening at the V&A raised £150,000 to go towards supporting the future education and training of talented, aspiring craftspeople. There were about 25 QEST scholars demonstrating on the evening, to around 400 dinner guests.

The crafts on show were varied, and included enamelling, watchmaking, basket making, horology, sculpting, stone carving, automata, blacksmithing and armoury.

It was a magical evening in a magnificent setting, and at some point in the evening I was approached by Christopher Biggins, who asked me to make a bespoke piece for him! I feel he will be a fun client to work with.

In 2015, I was awarded a QEST scholarship for automata and mechanical art. The scholarship has allowed me to study mechanical and electrical engineering, welding , and to travel to visit automata makers and their inventions in Europe.

I would urge any talented craftspeople in need of a little extra support, to consider making an application to QEST.