BISHOPSLAND tools library

Preserving craft skills and tools for future generations

The protection and preservation of craft skills is an important issue facing our society today. For over three decades, Bishopsland has been at the forefront and in that time we have amassed an extensive collection of tools, generously donated by retired silversmiths or their families.

These tools, imbued with the legacy of their previous owners, now serve as foundational resources for the next generation of makers. However, to fully leverage this wealth of tools and ensure their continued relevance and accessibility, we are seeking additional funding support.

With over 3,000 tools housed in the repository, we are looking for project funding to embark on a multifaceted initiative.

Project Aims

Digital cataloguing, tool care guides, starter tool kits and lending library for emerging makers


  1. Starting by marking donated tools with the initials of the donor and creating a digital memory board, our aim is twofold–to provide context and inspiration for young makers whilst also honouring the contributions of older silversmiths.

  2.  We will meticulously photograph all tool sets and utilise 3D scanning technology to capture the intricacies of rarer or more valuable tools. These digital assets will culminate in a comprehensive, searchable repository, empowering users to locate specific tools with ease while preserving their details for posterity.


  3.  Recognising the importance of proper tool maintenance and usage, the initiative will produce a series of instructional videos and written guides. These resources will share knowledge on tool care and use, thereby ensuring tools remain in good condition.


  4. The project also envisages the assembly of starter tool kits, curated to meet the needs of emerging makers as they establish their practice. These kits, equipped with essential tools, will not only alleviate the financial burden for budding artisans but will also foster a sense of continuity and tradition within the craft.


  5.  To further enhance accessibility, a lending mechanism for rarer or more valuable tools is planned. This approach ensures the preservation of tools while allowing them to be used by those whose work and incomes can benefit from access to specialist tools.

In summary, the project endeavours to create both a physical and digital repository of silversmithing tools, fostering a vibrant ecosystem where emerging makers can thrive.

By preserving heritage hand skills and tools, Bishopsland is helping to ensure the continued relevance and cultural significance of silversmithing, enriching the fabric of the craft sector.

Through meticulous documentation, educational resources, and strategic outreach, the initiative promises to make a tangible and lasting impact, empowering emerging makers and preserving the legacy of those who came before.

If you have tools you would like to donate, or can contribute in other ways, please get in touch
with our CEO, Claire Murdoch: 
+44 (0) 7880 504974