Professional Development



A programme of support from the Crafts Council for emerging makers.

Are you looking for support and advice, tailor-made for your contemporary craft practice?

Are you within two years of setting up?

Are you looking to develop a strong foundation and peer-group to help you make the best start?

Applications are now closed

The next Hothouse programme will take place between January to June 2014.

You don’t have to be based in any of these regions to apply but must be able to travel to take part if selected. All this year’s cohorts are open to makers practicing in any craft discipline (as outlined in the Application Guidelines).

Please read the Application Guidelines carefully before applying. You can download the application guidelines below.
Hothouse Guidance PDF
Hothouse FAQ’s

Click here to apply for Hothouse

More about Hothouse

Hothouse has given us new ways to look at ourselves as creative people. I found it inspirational in making me want to move forward with my business. I feel happier in the knowledge that I am not alone and that support is there for me.
Hothouse participant.

  • Aimee Betts, Hothouse 2 Participant. Photo: Aimee Betts
  • Hothouse provides emerging makers with a programme of focussed, intensive business skills and creative development, complemented with 1:1 support over a six month period.

    We take up to 40 new makers per annum across the UK, delivered in cohorts of 10 – this means participants are part of a valuable peer group and a wide national network at the same time.

    Hothouse is open to any discipline; based in any region and from any educational background or training, both formal or informal. There is no age limit.

    Organisation, clarity, belief, confidence – all coming from in-depth research and learning, and submersing myself into a creative craft group, so that being a maker is the NORM.
    Hothouse participant

    I am much more positive, confident, thinking. I see the benefit of questioning one’s direction and not being afraid to change sometimes.
    Hothouse participant

    Hothouse Partners
    We work with other professional development and craft organisations across the country to deliver the Hothouse programme. This makes the Hothouse programme tailor-made for contemporary craft makers. Through a range of regional hubs created by our partners each year, we provide focussed support for the selected cohorts. This means that the Hothouse participants get to meet lots of other national organisations too, and our partners get to see up and coming talent and help them realise their potential.

    Our partners include universities, colleges, makers’ networks, galleries and retailers, studio complexes, Guilds & Societies, cultural institutions and professional development agencies.

    I’m beginning to see myself as a small business of one and to take that seriously… I’m the only one who can drive it where I want it to go.
    Hothouse Participant

    Hothouse relieved the pressure of achieving ‘everything’ in a short period of time, by allowing me to think about the long term sustainability of my practice. I now consider it a career.
    Hothouse participant

  • Photo: Tas Kypriano
  • The Programme
    Hothouse is a sequential core programme over a six month period, and it’s led by expert trainers and experienced practicing makers. The programme comprises: group sessions on developing business skills, market knowledge and creativity; networking events which bring participants together as a national group; support from a peer buddy from a past cohort; 1:1 sessions with a specialist mentor from the sector.

    It was so great to get feedback on my work from a professional making in my field who understands where I am coming from and really encouraged me to continue.
    Hothouse participant

    I really felt inspired by the people in the room. It was great to get to know the other cohorts and I feel very excited about our future.
    Hothouse Participant, Peer Networking Day

  • Photo: Tas Kyprianou
  • How can I find out more?

    Sign up to the Crafts Council e-bulletin to be the first to hear about when Hothouse applications are open, and to look out for when Hothouse Taster Days are happening around the country

    • Check out Hothouse 1, Hothouse 2 and Hothouse 3 maker Pinterest boards as well as the Crafts Council Collective in Action Pinterest Board for training day and workshop pictures.

    • Keep a regular eye on the Opportunities listing in our Craft Directory. Details of forthcoming Hothouse cohorts – along with the application guidelines and forms will be posted here, plus lots of other exciting opportunities from other organisations too.

    • Are you an organisation interested in being a Hothouse Partner or delivering a Hothouse Taster Day? Organisations can read more and get in touch here.

Download documents

  • Hothouse FAQ's

    Download (209KB Pdf File)

For further information about Maker Development programmes, please contact

If you are a maker that is not eligible to join the Hothouse scheme, we currently run other business and practice development programmes for makers in different points of their career. See below for further details;

See also

  • Join the NRM

    Join the National Register of Makers and be part of a growing network of makers.

    Apply now
  • Craft Directory

    Search our national resource of contemporary crafts

    Search now