The Crafts Council’s Hothouse programme supports talented makers at the start of their career.
What is Hothouse?
Hothouse is a programme of creative and business development, which provides you with the tools to grow a sustainable and successful creative business.
Hothouse is unique in being a nationally recruiting programme which takes place at a series of leading centres of craft activity around the country, maximising opportunities for you to broaden horizons and build networks. This national outlook is balanced with a personalised approach to learning. The workshop and residential programme is tailored to the needs of its participants as a group, and each individual participant also receives ten hours of 1:1 professional mentoring with a specialist from the sector.
Being part of the programme, offers you outstanding opportunities to build strong networks. As a participant, you become part of a peer-support network of makers at a similar stage of their career and gain access to the Crafts Council’s national network of industry experts, organisations, speakers and trainers. Status as a ‘Hothouser’ is also a mark of achievement recognised by a number of organisations.
This is a high quality programme that works. In the words of a previous participant:
“It was the best thing I could have done at the time and I don't think I would have managed to keep my business going for the last 5 years without everything I was taught back then. There was no one else who was either willing to spend their time mentoring me for free, or could have taught me the wide range of subjects that I needed to get off the ground.”
Who is eligible?
You might define yourself as a maker, a designer, or an artist, but making, primarily in 3-D, will be at the heart of what you do.
You could be self-taught, have studied craft at university, or as an apprentice, but you will you have started your practice or business within the last four years.
The materials you use could include clay, metal, wood, willow, stone, paper, textile, glass, leather, gems, plastics or even new ones you have developed yourself, but you will show skill and understanding in how you work with those materials.
The processes you use could be traditional or innovative (including digital), but you will bring a contemporary perspective to your practice, and show a high level of skill in your work.
We are open to a range of disciplines, materials and ideas. If you are a talented maker able to demonstrate potential to commit to and succeed in your making practice – Hothouse could be for you.
We want to bring together a diverse group of talented makers from all over the country whatever their background or professional qualifications. We particularly welcome applications from currently under-represented groups in craft. Applicants who identify as Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and/or as disabled will be guaranteed an interview if they meet the essential criteria for the Hothouse programme.
In order to apply you have to create a Crafts Council website account – once logged in you will see the Hothouse application. You will be able to submit part of your application by video if you have difficulties with written application forms and you will be able to save it as you go along.
Before you apply, please read the document/s in the Download section to the right hand side of this page.
The story so far
Hothouse was launched in 2011 and since then over 200 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%
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).
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).
In 2012 there were 40 makers selected for Hothouse 3 to complete the programme in 2013:
Greig Alderman, Thomas Appleton, Grant Aston, Catherine Aitken, Jane Cairns, Emma Calvert, Leigh Cameron, Catherine Carr, Victoria Carter, Sanni Falkenberg, Miche Follano, Hayley Gammon, Laura Grain, Jennifer Gray, Grace Hamilton, Rosie Hofman, Fay Jenkinson, Agnes Jones, Martin Keane, Anne Laycock, Leanne Lucas, Annabelle Lucilla, Drew Markou, Neil Marlow, Fay McCaul, Heather McDermott, Naomi McIntosh, Alice McLean, Kim Norton, Claire-Anne O’Brien, Sarah Pasley, Kirsty Pearson, Naomi Robinson, Suzanne Rogers, Jill Shaddock, Sophie Stamp, Paul 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).
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).
In 2014 there were 40 makers selected for Hothouse 5 to complete the programme in 2015:
Beatrix Baker, Juliette Bigley, Joanna Bury, Jane Crisp, Charlotte Anne Duckworth, Emma Finch, Alma SG Geller, Joanna Gordon, Richard Hardy, Ruth Hollywood, B.Lynne Hutchinson, Leah Jensen, Emily Kidson, Stephanie Lawton, Katherine Lees, Emma Leslie, Beth Lewis-Williams, Catherine MacGruer, Catriona MacKenzie, Rhona McCallum, Rosalie McMillan, Kelly Munro, Annemarie O'Sullivan, Harry Owen, Rita Parniczky, Sian Patterson, Hollie Paxton, Tom Philipson, Adele Retter, Nadia Ricketts, Bethany Robinson, Heather Shields, Jasmine Simpson, Jessica Thorn, Tess Wakeling, Katie Wallis, Libby Ward, Judith Watson, Rhiannon Wilkey and Simon Wilks.
The programme was delivered across the UK and included 13 partners and promotional partner Arts Thread:
Applied Arts Scotland, British Ceramic Tile, Craft Scotland, Craft Study Centre, Creative Skills Cornwall, Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Emergents, Fife Contemporary Art and Craft, Manchester Craft and Design Centre, Manchester School of Art (Manchester Metropolitan University), New Ashgate Gallery, Plymouth College of Art, and Smiths Row. Studio LW’s (Emma Leslie and Rhiannon Wilkey) place has been supported by the Artisa Foundation
As well as being a partner - Crafts Scotland funded a group of six makers to take part in Hothouse 2015.
In 2015 there were 41 maker businesses selected for Hothouse 6 to complete the programme in 2016:
Abby Frances Jewellery, Adam Henderson, Aimee Bollu, Amanda Denison, Ami Pepper, Arjan Van Dal, Bola Lyon, Charles Byron & Maria del Mar Gomez, Charles Dedman, Chris Townsend, Ellie Birkhead, Elmina Fors, Hannah Tounsend, Hayley Beckley, Heather Scott, Jacky Puzey, Jen Orme, Bonner Leather Studio, Jode Pankhurst, Kate Whitehead, Kate Colin, Kira Meyer, Taylored Jewellery, Lydia Cotterell, Melissa Montague, Morna Darling, Oscar Copping, Ranti Bamgbala, Rebecca Sarah Black, Rhian Malin, Richard Cullen, Sally Burnett, Sam Andrew, Sarah Fennel, Terrarium, Thomas Wittingham, Tina McLeod, Toby Cotterill, Victoria Dawes, and Will Elworthy.
Bilston Craft Gallery, City of Glasgow College, Craft Central, Craft Scotland, Crafts Study Centre, Craftspace, Creative Lancashire, Design Event, Design Factory, Design-Nation, Fife Contemporary Art and Craft, London Metropolitan University (CASS Faculty of Art Architecture & Design), Manchester Craft and Design Centre, Manchester School of Art, New Ashgate Gallery, Nottingham County Council, Nottingham Trent University, Plymouth College of Art, The Bluecoat Display Centre, The Jewellery School at Birmingham City University, The National Centre for Craft and Design, University of Brighton, University of Central Lancashire, University of Dundee, and Yorkshire Artspace.
As well as being a partner - Craft Scotland has funded a group of six makers based in Scotland to take part in Hothouse 2016.
In 2017 there are 35 Maker Businesses:
Amanda Priest, Anita Carnell, Anya Kovalieva (Oll), Charlie Birtles, Charlotte Wilkinson, Chloe Smith (Casabi Designs), Christina Hesford, Elizabeth Jane Campbell, Emma Johnson, Eva Fernandez, Forest + Found, Francesca Rossi, Harry Morgan, Juan Junca, Juli Bolaños-Durman, Julia Rushworth, Karolina Baines, Kate Haywood, Lauren Bell-Brown, Line Nilsen, Majeda Clarke, Mariam Syed, Matthew Duckworth, May Wild Studio, Mella Shaw, Miriam Griffiths, Rachel Butlin, Rosie Deegan, Ruth Leslie, Sarah Hitchens, Sophie Southgate, Tim Evershed, Tim Summers, Tropezar, and Verity Howard.
Our Partners are:
City of Glasgow College, Craft Central, Craft Scotland, Crafts Study Centre, Craftspace, Creative Lancashire, Design Event, Design Factory, Design-Nation, Fife Contemporary Art & Craft, London Metropolitan University (CASS Faculty of Art Architecture & Design), Manchester Craft and Design Centre, Manchester School of Art, Middlesex University, New Ashgate Gallery, Nottingham County Council, Nottingham Trent University, Plymouth College of Art, The Bluecoat Display Centre, The Jewellery School at Birmingham City University, The National Centre for Craft and Design, University of Brighton, University of Central Lancashire, University of Dundee, and Yorkshire Artspace. Promotional partners include Arts Thread, and Etsy.
As well as being a partner - Craft Scotland has funded a group of seven makers based in Scotland to take part in Hothouse 2017.
Partner with us
Hothouse is only made possible through partnership. We have worked with 49 organisations to deliver Hothouse over the last five years and we are now looking for Hothouse partners for future years.
If you want to know more about being a partner contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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.