Ned Schärer is a conservator and craftsman, an experienced teacher and an inspiring public speaker.
He recently featured in the Our Lives series ‘Our Island Home’ with his family for BBC 1, and has appeared as an expert on Time Team (Channel 4) and the Culture Show (BBC2). His YouTube tutorials on using traditional plasters and paints, have reached a wide global audience.
Ned is a widely respected conservator of historic buildings, and an expert in natural building materials and techniques; he has a special interest in historic methods of making materials, and the intrinsic link between buildings and the landscape. His portfolio is extensive and varied, including the repair of priceless ancient sculpture and nationally important historic buildings.
Ned left his home in North Wales at the age of sixteen, after winning a scholarship to attend school in Paris. He later studied sculpture at Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in London, and to gain more practical experience, he became an apprentice traditional lime plasterer. This was the beginning of a lifelong interest in vernacular architecture, and a love of traditional craftsmanship.
He was awarded a Queen Elizabeth Scholarship to study Sculpture Conservation at the City and Guilds of London Art School, where he gained a 1stclass degree, before winning a Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship, and representing Wales as a craftsman at the Smithsonian Folk-life festival in Washington DC.
An engaging public speaker, Ned regularly gives talks about the fascinating projects that he has worked on throughout his career, and chairs thought-provoking discussions on sustainable living and building.
He is an experienced educator, a visiting tutor at the City and Guilds of London Art School, and runs bespoke courses from his premises in North Wales for architects, engineers and homeowners in the use of traditional building limes.
Ned is a director of the Natural Building Centre, which he set up along with his wife Sophie at Plas Tirion, an Elizabethan manor house set in the heart of Snowdonia. They have shared and documented the story of their authentic restoration of the estate, with thousands of visiting students, alongside managing their ninety-acre forest, where for the past 30 years they have been replanting native woodland using traditional methods.
Ned values the ingenuity and the resourcefulness of craftsmen worldwide, and champions the regional diversity of built heritage. He is a natural communicator, able to connect to his audience with warmth and humour, and convey his expertise and abiding enthusiasm for his subject.