ShackletonThomas craftspeople are trained in the traditional methods of handmade furniture and pottery following a path of apprenticeship. ShackletonThomas employees come to the company from a wide variety of backgrounds, but each with a desire to learn and develop their skills in handmade furniture and pottery. The training system allows them to grow from apprentice to master craftsperson in their field.
After four years at ShackletonThomas, our ‘apprentices’ graduate to trained craftspeople. At this time, we ask them to present the company with a handmade spoon (furniture) or teapot (pottery) specially designed by its maker. This piece is intended to showcase the skills they have developed, and to express their character as a unique craftsperson. This character will continue to show in the ShackletonThomas furniture and pottery that they make. In return for the piece, the company presents them with an Apprenticeship Certificate, which certifies that the craftsperson has completed the four years’ training and can create any of the pieces in the ShackletonThomas range.
After seven years at ShackletonThomas, each craftsperson presents the company with a personally designed and crafted bowl in wood or clay. In return, they receive a final certificate recognizing them as a master in their field. As opposed to the spoon and teapot, which are intricate and require skill and technique, the bowl is intended to showcase the expression of the artist. Upon receipt of this certificate, the craftsperson is not only highly skilled, but we believe has now learned the skills required to start their own business if they so choose. It is our philosophy to teach people who work with us everything we know about both the traditions of the handwork and the running of a handcraft business. Our craftspeople are then in a position to choose what fits them best; some stay to work with our company and others start out on their own. We encourage them to follow their passion.
At ShackletonThomas, we believe in enabling the future of handcrafts, and preserving the traditions of making handmade furniture and pottery by passing them on to each artist that works with us.