Harp maker Allan Shiers, founder of Telynau Teffi Harps, was named Maker of the Year at the recent Heritage Crafts Association annual conference in London on May 7th, 2016. The conference, entitled Craft Across Continents, focused on how craft and heritage is supported and promoted across the world. The submission to the HCA was supported by harpists Elinor Bennett and Catrin Finch.
Since completing his five-year apprenticeship in 1978 with John Weston Thomas (who resurrected harp making in Wales), Shiers has spent almost 40 years refining the design and making of harps as well as sharing his knowledge and craft. In 2005, he established Telynau Teifi Harps a not-for-profit community business as the best way to ensure a future for harp-making in Wales. Since then the company has made over 900 harps with a worldwide distribution. Shiers encourages younger harp makers through apprenticeships, workshops, and masterclasses.