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Ben's story


Ben’s Story

Ben Collyns completed the Foundation’s Building Craft Apprenticeship (BCA) in 2012. Here he tells us about his time on the course:

“I applied for the BCA because it offered me the chance to get involved with a range of crafts and to study alongside other craftspeople. I felt it would enhance my vocational skills through design knowledge, work experience and coaching required to pursue a career in the traditional building sector.

“From a young age, I was interested in how heritage buildings tell a story about the local area and the people who lived there in the past. I began to understand the importance of keeping our heritage through traditional crafts and I became aware of the shortage of craftspeople with heritage skills.

“Learning a design process from start to finish on the live build was a definite highlight”

“When I started the BCA, we spent a week focusing on drawing and geometry with architectural drawing tours. Then we worked with local craft expert teams to learn a huge variety of skills from drystone walling to lime plastering. We also designed a structure to be built later on.

“Working alongside craftsmen and architectural students from around the world was an incredible experience. Learning a design process from start to finish on the live build was a definite highlight. And I made some great friends and contacts who I'm still in touch with now.

“After the course ended, I worked with a fellow graduate on designing and building the Colemore Pavilion and the Peach House at Dumfries House Estate in Scotland. I was invited by the Foundation to Rose Town, Jamaica, as part of one of their international programmes. I've also been invited back to teach at the Foundation's summer school. I've been able to set up my own company and I'm delighted that I can now help others to pursue a career in traditional building crafts.”

Watch previous students on graduation day