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  • Photo: Ros Millar


Creative and business development for new craft makers

Hothouse is a free programme of professional support for craft makers, delivered by the Crafts Council and partners and run over the course of six months. 

Hothouse provides makers with the tools to grow a sustainable and successful craft practice and helps nurture a strong peer network.

In the words of the 123 makers who have completed the programme to date - Hothouse .....

... was invaluable, helped focus my goals and ambitions, moved my practice forward, created a support network of outstanding makers, kept me on track, widened my creative contacts, took my business in the direction, provided fabulous mentors and support, gave me life-long friendships .....

The story so far

Hothouse was launched in 2011 and since then 123 makers have completed the programme.

Evaluation of the programme year on year shows that it has a transformative effect on participants and evaluation of Hothouse 4, who completed the programme in June 2014, revealed;

  • 100% said Hothouse enabled them to think differently about their career direction
  • 92% understood the sector better
  • 87% could identify new skills/abilities learnt during the programme
  • 91% could identify next developmental steps
  • 96% had benefitted positively from being part of a peer group
  • vision for practice/business increased from 39% to 96% good or excellent
  • knowledge of business planning increased from 7% to 78% good or excellent
  • business judgement when assessing opportunities increased from 11% to 74% good or excellent
  • creative analysis skills increased from 29% to 78% good or excellent
  • ability to be entrepreneurial increased from 25% to 78%

Hothouse 1

In 2010 there were 20 makers selected for Hothouse 1, the pilot year, to complete the programme in 2011:

Claire Baker, Holly Berry, Katherine Carey, Stella Harding, Leon Lewis, Jo Lovelock, Rosanna Martin, Heidi Harrington, Gillian Royal, Helene Uffren, Claire Moynihan, Clare O’Driscoll, Emma Yeo, Lucy Harvey, Rose Sharp Jones, Ros Millar and Sarah Elwick.

The programme wsa delivered across two cohorts (Farnham and London) and with six partners including promotional partner Arts Thread:

The Business & Community School at the University of the Creative Arts Farnham (UCA), Farnham Maltings, Craft Study Centre, New Ashgate Gallery (Farnham cohort), the Innovation Centre at Central St Martins University of the Arts London and Palmer Hamilton Partnership (London cohort).

See the Hothouse 1 Pinterest board and find them on Twitter

Hothouse 2

In 2011 there were 28 makers selected for Hothouse 2 to complete the programme in 2012:

Amy Bear, Aimee Betts, Eleanor Bolton, Emma Bradbury, Kevin Brook, Hannah Felicity Dennis, Jane Dzisiewski, Amelia Fever, Lucy Jane Foakes, Helen Foot, Jasmin Giles, Anna Glasbrook, Mahtab Hanna, Zehava Hashai-Spellman, Tortie Hoare, Anna Collette Hunt, Zoe Lloyd, Hanna Nielsen, Elizabeth Peers, Carly Petitt-Taylor, Helen Smith, Rhian Solomon, Thorody, Ellen Thomas, Victoria Walker, Sarah Warsop and Janice Zethraeus.

The programme was delivered across three cohorts (north, south west and Goldsmith's/London) and with seven partners including promotional partner Arts Thread:

Cleveland College of Art & Design, Design Initiative, Designed & Made (all north cohort), Arts University College Bournemouth, Bath Spa University, University College Falmouth (all south west cohort) and The Goldsmiths' Institute (Goldsmiths'/London cohort). 

See the Hothouse 2 Pinterest board, find them on Twitter and follow them on Facebook 

Hothouse 3

In 2012 there were 40 makers selected for Hothouse 3 to complete the programme in 2013:

Greig AldermanThomas AppletonGrant AstonCatherine Aitken, Jane CairnsEmma CalvertLeigh CameronCatherine Carr, Victoria CarterSanni Falkenberg Miche FollanoHayley GammonLaura GrainJennifer GrayGrace HamiltonRosie HofmanFay JenkinsonAgnes JonesMartin KeaneAnne LaycockLeanne LucasAnnabelle LucillaDrew MarkouNeil MarlowFay McCaul, Heather McDermottNaomi McIntoshAlice McLeanKim Norton, Claire-Anne O’BrienSarah PasleyKirsty PearsonNaomi RobinsonSuzanne RogersJill ShaddockSophie StampPaul Stopler, Keith Varney, Annabel Williams and Umut Yamac.

The programme was delivered across four cohorts (south west, north, east and London) and with eight partners including promotional partner Arts Thread:

The Devon Guild of Craftsmen and Plymouth University (south west), the Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool Hope University and Yorkshire Artspace (north), Smiths Row and the University of Hertfordshire (east) and benchpeg (London). 

See the Hothouse 3 Pinterest board and find them on Twitter 

Hothouse 4

In 2013 there were 38 makers selected for Hothouse 4 to complete the programme in 2014:

Jenny Ayrton, Elaine Bolt, Anna Brimley, Charlotte Brown, Sarah Brown*, Sue Brown, Marie Canning, Jessica Coleman, Adam Collins, Brittany Delany, Katharina Eisenkoeck, Louisa Finch, Anna Gravelle, Sophie Alice Hirsch, John Jacques, Elaine Jenkins, Julia Jowett, Silvia Kamodyova, Katharina Klug, Beatrice Larkin, Katy Luxton, Hilary Mayo, Alex McCarthy, Rosie Moss, Charlotte Nash, Imogen Noble, Paula Ortega, Angie Parker, Izzy Parker, Bryony Penman, Jelka Quintelier, Natalie Ratcliffe, Adam Slade, Stephanie Tudor, Amy Whittingham, Heather Woof, Theo Wright and Cristina Zani.

*Sarah Brown’s place has been supported by the Artisa Foundation.

The programme was delivered across four cohorts (south west, north, south east and midlands) and with ten partners including promotional partner Arts Thread:

Plymouth College of Art and Creative Skills (south west), Creative Lancashire and University of Central Lancashire (north), Craft Study Centre, Making Space, New Ashgate Gallery (south east), Harley Gallery, Nottinghamshire County Council, and Nottingham Trent University (midlands).

See the Hothouse 4 Pinterest board, find them on Twitter and follow them on Facebook

Partner with us

Hothouse is only made possible through partnership. We have worked with 29 organisations to deliver Hothouse over the last four years and we are now looking for Hothouse partners for future years. 

If you want to know more about being a partner contact makerdev@craftscouncil.org.uk

Professor. Simon Olding, Director, Craft Study Centre, Hothouse 1 and 4 partner:

The arrival of a Hothouse cohort is a moment of energy, anticipation and awareness. So much is in the balance: not only the advance of careers and practice, but also the synergies of the partners, which have to be refreshed and challenged to fulfill the (rightly) high demands of this important national programme. The crafts in the UK would be poorer without it.

Apply for Hothouse

We call for applications to Hothouse on an annual basis. The next call for applications will be summer 2015.

There are of course plenty of other opportunities for emerging makers throughout the year. So sign up to our newsletter and check the Opportunities section of our website so you don’t miss out!